Although the tongue weighs very little, very few people are able to hold it. -Anonymous
Question #45339 posted on 05/26/2008 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Regarding Board Question #45219 and steen's response:

I hope that you'll indulge an old writer with a concern about a reply that was given to a reader under the name of New To This in response to her question about "becoming one flesh."

steen replied that:

The bottom line is, if you and your future spouse stay clean and true to each other and the Lord, everything will work like it is supposed to and there will be nothing to be worried about.


I can't begin to explain how uncomfortable this statement makes me. While I recognize the spirit in which the comment was intended, I think it perpetuates a very false idea among the members of the church: that by virtue of being a worthy member of the church, God will exempt you from how things normally have to work here in mortality and from the natural trials of life.

There are many good couples in the church who struggle with the sexual aspect of their marriage. Those struggles can be of a physical nature such as one of them suffering from any one of the myriad of physiological conditions that can make sexual intercourse difficult if not very frustrating and unfulfilling for both partners. Since when has a righteous church member been spared having to deal with physical shortcomings, struggles, impairments, and imperfections?

Those struggles could also be knowledge-based. I don't feel I am at all off base in saying that most LDS young men and women who marry are relatively ignorant on sex. Having just finished a graduate level class on human sexuality, I am becoming painfully aware of the lack of good sexual education that people receive (regardless of whether you believe it should happen at home, school, church, or your kid's treehouse in the back yard). No righteous church member has ever become proficient or skilled at anything without receiving some good instruction. After all, we receive instruction on how to recognize the Spirit, how to study our scriptures, and how to keep the Sabbath day holy. How is it that righteous church members need to seek out information and study those issues, but will be suddenly divinely imbued with what they need to know about a (I'll go out on limb and say) relatively unexplored and new aspect to your body and another body with which you've had next to no intimate experience?

No, simply being a righteous member of the church won't miraculously heal any physical maladies or remove any need to learn and that goes for things of a sexual nature or any other aspect of our mortal lives.

New To This, I highly suggest you do some learning (the books referenced in Laser Jock's cited questions are great). You'll also need to make sure you get in to see a gynecologist for a premarital exam (be sure to discuss with him/her the hymen and what your options are). Don't be afraid to ask questions from anyone (doctor, bishop, parents) and don't be afraid to ask them where they learned that (there are a lot of myths perpetuated about sex, both outside the church and about church doctrines surrounding it). Don't be afraid to talk any issues of concern over with your significant other. I also suggest you do some studying about what "becoming one flesh" really means, because it isn't only referring to s-e-x. Lastly, don't get overwhelmed (about the sexual aspect of marriage or the rest of the wedding). It should be enjoyable (again, both the wedding and the sex).

Best of luck and congratulations.

-Pa Grape