The law of chastity is not a crash diet

Many of you have probably seen this video, “Worth Waiting For,” which has been making its rounds on the interwebs.  If you don’t feel like watching it, I’ll summarize it for you.  An adult gives a child a chocolate chip and tells the child they can eat it whenever they want, but if they don’t eat it, then after five minutes they can have what’s inside this attractively wrapped gift box.  The kids wait and wait and sigh and wait and it’s so hard, but after five minutes they get to unwrap the gift, and inside is this delicious cupcake.  Whoa–that’s way better than a measly chocolate chip.  Aren’t they so glad they waited?  Of course they are. Then the video tells us that Heavenly Father wants you to wait until you’re married…”to use your procreative powers.”  (It’s okay to giggle at that.  We’re not at church.  Also, it sounds pretty silly.)  If you wait, He will bless you “with something so much greater than a cupcake.” Oh heck, just watch the video.  The kids are really cute.

Now, I know what you’re thinking:  “Rebecca J is notoriously picky about her analogies–”  (it’s true, I am–don’t get me started on Stephen Robinson’s parable of the bicycle) “–and I bet the only reason she’s showing us this video is so she can pick it apart and criticize it.  She’s gonna be all like, ‘Wow, how could they take those precious children and sexualize their innocent behavior to make a creepy point about chastity?’ or ‘Wow, in this video the sin is represented by chocolate and the blessing is represented by a cupcake with vanilla frosting–you don’t suppose that could be racial at all???’”

Well, that just goes to show how little you know me.  I don’t think this video is terrible.  A terrible video would have been one that showed a kid eating the chocolate chip and the adult saying, “Oh, too bad, you can’t have what’s in the box.  But here is a licked cupcake for you, since apparently you like that sort of thing.”  Or they could say, “Well, you made a mistake, but don’t worry, you can still have this cupcake provided you get your stomach pumped first.”  That would have been just awful.  But no, the video’s fine.  It just reminds me of something.

I’m thinking of all the talks and lessons on chastity that I’ve sat through that I can remember.  (It wouldn’t do much good to think of the ones I can’t remember.)  They all said that sex was a wonderful thing that you can enjoy after you’re married.  You could, of course, choose to have sex before you were married, but that would lead to misery and heartache, and you would have to go through a painful repentance process before you could be married in the temple.  (And we all know what happens to couples who don’t get married in the temple:  they get tragically killed in car wrecks on the way to the reception, and death parts them for eternity.  Just kidding.  Oh, wait, I’m not.  But I digress.)  I’m just going to share some particular gems from my youth:

* “Waiting until you’re married to have sex is like waiting for cookies to bake in the oven.  You can smell the cookies baking, and they smell so good, but if you try to eat them while they’re still in the oven, you’ll get burned.”  (What would have made this lesson much worse:  “Also, if the cookie dough is still raw, you could get salmonella.  Also, it’s true the cookies taste best when they’re fresh out of the oven; eventually they will get stale and yucky, but that’s to be expected.  Um, what were we talking about again?”)

* “The scriptures say to bridle all your passions, that you may be filled with love.  Right now you don’t want to bridle your passions; you want  to ride bareback at a hundred miles per hour.  (Get it???  ‘Cause bridles…horses…bare…okay.)  But it’s not safe to ride a wild horse.  You have to tame it first.  Then you can ride bareback all you want.  At a hundred miles an hour.”  (What would have made this lesson much worse:  “The church counsels against riding horses with saddles.”)

* “My dear young sisters, don’t throw away an eternity of happiness for five, ten…fifteen minutes of pleasure!”  (What would have made this lesson much worse:  Nothing.)

Those are some specific anecdotes I can recall.  My general recollection is a consistent promise that if you kept the law of chastity, you would be rewarded with a fabulous eternal marriage, including sex.  (Yay, sex!)  NOT that anyone gets married just to have sex, but of course if you get married, you will have sex.  See, you don’t have to wait forever.  It just seems like it.  (And boy howdy, when you finally get to do it, it’s going to be so awesome.  Much better than a stupid chocolate chip.  Not that there’s anything wrong with chocolate chips–oh, never mind.)  I don’t know that the cupcake in this video is supposed to represent a wonderful, eternal marriage (or, for that matter, great sex).  It’s just a tangible object any dummy can understand is good and it symbolizes whatever awesome thing God has in store for us when we keep His commandments.

I think it’s important, when we’re teaching these commandments, to give a variety of examples of blessings we could get for keeping the commandments.  If you pay your tithing, God may very well bless you with a tangible, financial blessing.  My family has certainly had its share of financial blessings, and while I can’t prove scientifically that it’s all due to paying tithing faithfully, I’m not about to stop paying my tithing just for the sake of science.  However, I know lots of other people who faithfully pay their tithing and don’t get blessed in quite the same way.  They don’t end up on the street, which is a blessing in and of itself, but I suspect that the bulk of their blessings for paying tithing comes in a less tangible form than rent money or a better-paying job.  Likewise, you may keep the law of chastity and end up with a rather different cupcake than you were expecting.

God commands us to be chaste, and when we obey God’s commandments, we are blessed.  I think it’s the law or something.  (There’s a scripture…not involving bridles or horses…)  We just don’t always get blessed the way we’d like to (or think we ought to…or have been promised by well-meaning people who were just going by their understanding of statistical probabilities).  We don’t necessarily get married.  We don’t necessarily have fabulous marriages.  We get what we get, because that’s how life is, but the purpose of our life here is to become more like God, so that we can live with God in the hereafter.

Everything that God commands us to do is toward that end–bringing us closer to Him.  You may experience some other benefits, too.  Of course there are several reasons to reserve sexual intercourse for marriage, including some practical ones.  It’s a super way to minimize your chances of…regrets, let’s say.  I won’t argue with that.   YMMV–or should I say YCMOMNHS (Your Cupcake May Or May Not Have Sprinkles)?  But the law of chastity is more than just saving yourself for marriage.  You still have to keep it after you’re married, for one thing.  For another thing, it’s never too late to start keeping it.  Because “purity” (a loaded word, but let’s just go with it) is not something we accomplish on our own.  Only God can make us pure.  It’s no easier or harder for Him depending on how many commandments you’ve kept at which times in your life.  It may be easier or harder for us, but not for Him.  God desires to bless us as soon as we say “yes” to Him; the blessing we are guaranteed to receive is our relationship with Him.

There are two true principles in this video:  1) the ability to delay gratification is a crucial element of successful living, and 2) God wants us to be chaste.  I wouldn’t go so far as to say the first has nothing to do with the second–that would be silly–but the first is primarily about willpower, while the second is primarily about faith.  Sometimes that distinction gets lost in the mash-up, and I wish it didn’t.

Comments

  1. Kevin Barney says:

    There’s a Crumbs fancy cupcake shop next door to my office building, and it always takes an act of will for me to pass by without ducking in and buying–and gorging on–one of the pretty cupcakes.

    Anyway, I enjoyed the post, Rebecca J.

  2. Your first analogy is a very, very bad one. I like to eat the dough before the cookies ever go in the oven. In fact the best moment ever was when my wife discovered the recipe for egg/salmonella free cookie dough.

  3. 1) the ability to delay gratification is a crucial element of successful living — which was what I was reminded of when the analogy came up.

  4. ben orchard says:

    It’s also very true that you are HIGHLY unlikely to get salmonella from raw eggs. They’d have to have been covered in feces and then handled poorly (fresh eggs are frequently quite disgusting–covered with chicken droppings and the like, but washing them in cold water will take care of this–not warm water as this leads to the slightly porous shell allowing microbial transfer). But from a modern egg production facility where laid eggs are separated from the hens very quickly then irradiated or washed properly, one is extremely unlikely to get salmonella.

    The problem with any analogy (even the parables that Christ used), is that if you push the boundaries of it very much beyond the the given parameters, it will fall apart. In explaining why one should wait, perhaps we should talk more directly to teenagers about why premarital sex (like pornography) can set up unrealistic expectations for marriage, thereby adding further strain to what is undeniably a difficult situation (even for those who are very well suited for each other). Telling teenagers in the church that sex is evil is a terrible thing to do (leading to situations where a young couple ends up with serious hangups about sex even after a temple marriage).

    Perhaps what is needed is a more established official doctrine regarding exactly *why* pre-marital sex is a sin–beyond ‘because God said so’. Teenagers are at just the right age where they’ve started to question any appeal to authority and want to know the deeper meaning of ‘why’. A young child is often okay when we say ‘because that’s the rules’, but an adult rarely is. Even a very wise adult who may accept that as good enough to start following the rules will almost always still want to know why at some point.

    For teenagers, knowing why is probably the most effective way to help them obey any commandment. Unfortunately the scriptures and many of the writings of GAs is often less about *why* than *what*. We are told quite clearly *what* the commandments are, but rarely are we told why in a very clear way. Some might argue that we should just have faith, but I believe that for those that are struggling with faith, why is the most important question that can be answered.

  5. gleewatcha says:

    I don’t like these analogies at all, because there’s no guarantee when or if someone will ever get married or stay married. Sure, most people eventually do, but holding the cookie out as some kind of extra-special prize for those who wait makes it easy to marry the first person who gives you the warmies.

  6. Sharee Hughes says:

    Sex is the highest expression of love betwen a man and a woman. It is through sexual union that we become closest to God–by becoming co-creators (either actually or symbolically) with God. That’s why we need to wait until we are in a totally committed relationship–marriage. And that is the “why” we need to teach our children. Just think about the next life for a minute. The only place in heaven there will be any sex is the highest degree of the celestial kingdon–exaltation. That makes is pretty important, I think. Important enough to save it for marriage.

    As for the chocolate chip/cupcake analogy–children of the age shown in the video don’t even know what sex is, let alone why they should wait for it. Perhaps teens should have been used in the video? Anyway, I’d take a chocolate chip any day over a white cupcake with white frosting. Isn’t chocolate one of the major food groups?

  7. You’ll never find a perfect analogy for teaching the law of chastity, but it is easier than getting explicit with a bunch of teenagers or adults for that matter (who are likely not your kin) during church.

    I think your two main principles are on the money. Willpower and faith are the foundational principles for so many temptations (and you could say the difficulties of life in general), are they not?

  8. NewlyHousewife says:

    Sharee,

    One can also say that stating sex will only occur in the highest of glory (which we can’t say as we don’t know what specifically goes on in any degrees let alone that one) that women who wait are destined for an eternity of child birthing.

    I don’t know about you but I hated every part of pregnancy, labor and delivery and the first three months of someone gnawing at my chest.

    Rachael is right. The reasons we use analogies in church is because its easier and doesn’t cross parental bounds. After all, the only people who should be explicit is the parents.

  9. Maybe I have been married too long (13 yrs), though I do enjoy sex quite a bit, but the “highest expression of love” idea irks me. It’s easy to have sex with my husband, it’s even pretty easy to enjoy it, and it’s beyond fun when we (still!) discover new aspects to enjoy about it.

    But “highest”? Somehow that seems like something we should have to attain or sacrifice for or something. I hear that phrase and I think of the scene that ends The Grapes of Wrath. Surely that is a “higher” (more holy, sanctified, pure and selfless) expression of love.

    Sex seems (maybe ironically) too physically gratifying to be the “highest.”

    I teach my four daughters that sex is best saved for marriage because it is the most physically and emotionally vulnerable they will ever be in their lives. Maybe that is a uniquely feminine viewpoint (or maybe just mine), but I am unable to contemplate physical intimacy without emotional intimacy and (relative) security.

  10. I really like how you brought in the point that we still have to live the law of chastity after marriage. When I was at BYU as a single student, I felt like I was constantly being told (by the bishopric, certain B of M teachers, the Honor Code Office, and their cronies) that, “All you single students want to do is have sex out of marriage! You’re fallen and wicked and we need to beat you over the head with the law of chastity or you’ll go off and have premarital sex!” But it seemed like married students were put up on a pedestal of virtue. The married students never got once-a-semester lectures on chastity and the Daily Universe was forever running stories on the heroic sacrifices of married students. Single students housing is monitored and limited to “BYU approved” housing to make sure that the sexes are separated (as if this will prevent premarital shenanigans), yet married students can live wherever they like. I really disliked the idea that because I was single, I must have lust in my heart whereas someone who is married in the temple must automatically be pure. As you say, only the Lord can make us pure- no sealing, wedding, or reception can do that.

  11. I love this, Rebecca — thank you. The law of chastity — any commandment, really — is about so much more than the “not.” Every commandment has a physical/mortal element of self control (I won’t lose my temper under this provocation; I will pay my tithing this month; I won’t listen to that gossip; I will make those visiting teaching appointments this morning), but the reward isn’t simply having the obvious blessings of a more sociable life or successfully answering the questions for renewing your temple recommend; the real rewards are less tangible and less immediately recognizable: a life more in tune with God and another infinitesimal step toward becoming like him.

  12. actually I decided I like the cookie analogy. As long as you don’t try to extrapolate it too far like with the eating of raw cookie dough. If you burn your mouth on hot but not cooked cookie dough, you won’t be injured forever but it will still be painful while you’re healing. Granted you don’t have to DO anything for your mouth to heal, but then again the Atonement is a free gift…….

  13. You could eat all the cookies, wait a year, and then have the cupcake.

  14. The main reason we use these flawed analogies is because we’re too chicken to really discuss the issue. We need more teachers who aren’t afraid to discuss the issue directly, and fewer who use the “it’s the parents’ responsibility” excuse, or other excuses, to dance around sensitive topics.

    And let’s face it–students have a lot more respect for teachers and leaders who don’t tiptoe around the issue of chastity. If a leader (and especially a bishop) can’t address these issues explicitly in public lessons, youth are going to be more reluctant to approach the leader with issues in private.

  15. You’ll never find a perfect analogy for teaching the law of chastity, but it is easier than getting explicit with a bunch of teenagers or adults for that matter (who are likely not your kin) during church.

    I’m finding myself thinking that if we can’t talk about a thing without resorting to weak analogies, maybe we shouldn’t be talking about it. (In fact, I wonder sometimes why people’s sex lives are under the jurisdiction of churches at all. But that’s another story.) I just think the Mormon approach toward sex could be much healthier if we could talk about it calmly and frankly, without all the sensationalizing half-formed analogies. It’s like sex is Voldemort, and we’re so afraid of it that we can’t even just talk about what it is. Sex is natural and normal and basic and seriously, if we could just be honest and grown-up about it, I think teenagers would respond a lot better.

  16. Haha Tim, I was writing mine while yours went up. And I basically echoed everything you said. So… well said! :)

  17. Now I really want to get Rebecca started on Steven Robinson’s Parable of the Bicycle….

  18. I hate cupcakes.

  19. “For another thing, it’s never too late to start keeping it. Because “purity” (a loaded word, but let’s just go with it) is not something we accomplish on our own. Only God can make us pure. It’s no easier or harder for Him depending on how many commandments you’ve kept at which times in your life. It may be easier or harder for us, but not for Him. God desires to bless us as soon as we say “yes” to Him; the blessing we are guaranteed to receive is our relationship with Him.”

    Rebecca, this statement is my favorite from your post, and one we do not teach well enough. We are all sinners, and we all need to start wherever we are, and it’s never too late to do just that.

    #15 Miri — one reason we use these analogies is the same reason the Savior taught in parables. Not every youth is ready to hear the blunt message in the same way. Analogies (or parables) allow those who have ears to hear. But you and Tim are right: in the proper setting, frank conversation is a good thing.

  20. I’m having computer issues, so my time on the interwebs is necessarily brief, but I want to thank everyone for their thoughtful comments and state again, for the record, that I understand there is no such thing as a fool-proof analogy (although the “parable of the bicycle” is still really bad).

  21. And then sometimes you don’t eat the cookie and you open the box to find those awesomely yummy Brussels sprouts… (In which case you don’t like Brussels sprouts, be grateful it’s not dirt.)

    And as Th. told me once: All analogies break down when you stretch them far enough.

  22. Having grown up LDS, it took me a few years to figure out that marriage isn’t all about sex. The way I was hammered on in all my youth meetings, you’d think it was. It turns out that sex and cupcakes are about equally satisfying, but not equally fattening.

  23. Stephen Robinson revised/updated/clarified the parable of the bicycle during exchanges with Craig Blomberg. I wish the book could likewise be edited to reflect an the better understanding–and so that it couldn’t be so misunderstood.

    “In my parable of the bicycle, “sixty-one cents” is symbolic of our inability to earn our own salvation and also of the commitment in principle required of the saved. The believer who has only forty-one cents, or twenty-one, or eleven–or none–is still justified if he or she holds nothing back. It is not the quantity, but the commitment that matters. Without a commitment that translates into behavior, we are not saved. With such a commitment, be it ever so small at first, we are.”

    http://www.latterdayspence.blogspot.com/2009/05/grateful-for-grace.html

  24. ” here’s a licked cupcake since apparently you like that sort of thing”

    Hilarious!

  25. #15 Miri wrote: “It’s like sex is Voldemort…”

    Can we please award Miri 15 bonus points for that sentence?

    Best. Ever.

  26. I’m actually wanting to explore this Voldemort analogy further. The people who are too afraid to talk about it definitely lose out.

  27. Great thoughts, Rebecca.

    I have a deep testimony that we are blessed for obedience to God, and I do believe in the Law of Chastity itself (just not all the hedges built around it), but I also believe strongly that most of the blessings we receive for obedience to commandments aren’t tied as obviously to the nature of the specific commandment as we tend to think.

    I also am frustrated by our collective inability to talk about sex openly in the church. I understand that we don’t want to be as casual about it as much of the culture around us, but my older children talk and joke about it without hesitation. (In fact, my oldest daughter said something to a couple of her friends at a YSA dance last night in our stake that was hilarious – but I’m glad some of the older adults there didn’t hear her. I know they would have been shocked and completely misunderstood her sense of humor.)

  28. #15 BCOTW for the Voldemort thing. “use procreative powers” is worse than “he who cannot be named”/”you know who.”

  29. Seconded.

  30. I think all lessons in the law of chastity need to be intricately connected to two principles – virtue and charity, or the pure love of christ. And if have the former it would certainly encompass the latter.

    But it would be better to help youth and all of us understand that looking on, treating, and building up God’s sons and daughters in a way Christ would have done is going to get a lot more mileage than any cupcake or Hershey’s kiss story. And the added bonus is you’re pointing the youth to Christ and helping them come to know him as a foundation for their actions, rather than pointing them to a cupcake.

    But hey, maybe the cup cake is just a reflection of the best we can come up with as a modern society in comparison to the 10 virgins, prodigal son, good samaritan, etc.

  31. Re sex = Voldemort, I’m reminded of a classic comment from Starfoxy a few years ago at fMh:

    In a conversation about Georgia O’keefe someone kept referring to the vulva as the “you-know-what.”
    So I responded, “what? Vulvamort?”

  32. One of my FB friends just posted a NYE picture with this caption: “LOVE IS….getting to spend New Years Eve with your best friend!”

    She’s not saying that’s ALL love is. She’s saying that’s ONE of the great parts of love. Love is a warm puppy too. Etc.

    I like this video. I think, when used properly, it’s one of the ways we can explain the benefits of waiting until marriage to have sex. The truth is that most teenagers will eventually marry, and I have a personal testimony that there are many blessings that come from waiting. Why not share some of them with the girls I teach in YW? I can be frank (and I am), but I can also appeal to their understanding of delayed gratification by using this video. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.

    Again, it shouldn’t be our only conversation or our only example. It’s just one. But I think it communicates the message nicely.

  33. Bay Linda says:

    There are going to be some kids who never marry, or who marry late–in their 30s or 40s or beyond–or who are gay and aren’t allowed to be married to someone they want to have sex with

    What are we teaching them by the cupcake example: that they don’t deserve a nice sweet mushy treat at all? That it’s best to die a virgin and hope those who’ve been speculating about sex in the afterlife are right?

  34. Only God can make us pure. It’s no easier or harder for Him depending on how many commandments you’ve kept at which times in your life. It may be easier or harder for us, but not for Him.

    RJ, I think this is the essence of the whole thing. We like to think we have more control over what this means than we actually do- we make up jots and tittles and build fences that God blows right over. It’s about our hearts, and which direction they are looking.

    This is an awesome post, and I’m grateful for your voice, because I admit, my initial reaction to this video was far less measured than yours. Thank you.

  35. I felt the analogy of the cupcakes can be applied to more than just about the law of chastity. In any aspect of our lives, with almost any commandment we are given, this can be applied. As we learn to control our natural man and all the desires and urges that come with a physical body, Heavenly Father will reward us with something a thousand times sweeter (no pun intended) and more gratifying….the blessings are infinite! It takes a great amount of self-control to live the law of chastity…some more than others. And as for learning about sex and the procreation part of it, really depends on the parents! My parents were open enough that we could talk about certain things and were never told that it was evil (as ben orchard said).

    @Bay Linda: I think you are missing the point…we are teaching them they DO deserve that and as long as they control their urges, they will be rewarded for it…whether in this life or, if they are not given the opportunity, the next.

  36. #35 – G&W, I’m not taking a doctrinal stance of any kind in saying this, but it is really easy for someone in a position of luxury to brush aside the real pain of those who aren’t able to enjoy the same luxury.

    Whether it’s saying that it’s just fine that I can eat a lavish, expensive meal prepared by a personal chef, because those who can’t afford it can experience it after death – or that it’s just fine that I can have sex in this life, because those who can’t will have the chance after death – or that it’s just fine that I can walk, see, smell, speak, hear, etc., because those who can’t will have the chance after death – or any other statement from a position of luxury – all of them are really easy to accept IF you are part of the group that can do them (“experience joy in that manner”) in the here and now. That’s worth considering, at least, before we glibly tell someone they’re missing the point, because, “It’s OK. You’ll get to have as good a life as I have at some point – so suck it up and quit complaining about it.”

  37. @Ray: I am sure there are things that you have gotten to experience in this life that I may not have or vice versa. I can only speak for myself when I say that I know as long as I can control my urges, desires, thoughts and actions I will be rewarded. I’m not saying that I don’t or can’t feel someone else’s pain…that is why we need to have empathy for others. I have had many struggles in my life…more than some and less than others. However, as long as I can get by on “Mac and cheese” and not dwell on what other people have but instead be happy and thankful for what I do have, someday I will be blessed with a great prime rib dinner. Sacrifices such as those will not go unrewarded.

  38. Bay Linda says:

    But how is a cupcake lesson supposed to teach a gay kid to want sex in the next life?

    And has any prophet ever come out and actually said there will be sex in the next life? LOL. That’s a pretty big gamble.

  39. #38 – As to your second question, unfortunately, yes.

  40. #37 – I understand that faith, G&W – but it is an element of faith, and that’s easy to forget sometimes. Sometimes we act as if it’s sure knowledge, and, in so many cases in discussions like this, it’s little more than faith-fueled speculation.

    I think it’s important to remember that, especially when, to continue the food analogy, you are dealing with something that you consider to be a delicacy but the other people to whom you are promising it view it as rotten food.

    Seriously, we’re talking about someone who is heterosexual saying to someone who is homosexual and is repulsed by the idea of heterosexual intercourse that they will be able to enjoy it in the next life. That’s a “reward” for them? How would you feel if that same “blessing” was offered to you but in reverse? Would you rejoice and exercise faith in the hope that you could engage in homosexual intercourse in the next life?

    Again, I’m not taking any doctrinal stance here – but I think it’s really important to consider how our framing of the issue affects how others view it (and how we would view it if it was framed that way for us). I think that’s part of the take-away from the post – that how we view and present something often is just as important as what it is we are presenting.

  41. Bay Linda says:

    Really? Which prophet has said there’ll actually be sex in the next life? I thought they always only said “no blessings will be denied” and other vague things.

  42. Haha, thanks… It just seemed apt. :) Ziff, that’s fantastic! I’m glad to be in such good company.

    Paul, #19: You’re right, but I wonder if that’s partially because of what the “blunt message” is. We approach sex as being of ultimate importance, incredibly dangerous, something to be terrified of. That’s certainly not something that children are ready to hear about. But if we approached sex as simply a natural process, the way babies are made? I think we’d have a much less difficult time talking about it. Essentially I think its our own fears and hangups about sex that make it inappropriate for younger audiences, not sex itself. We’re creating our own problem in the way we talk about it.

    Bay Linda and Ray, I agree, and I think that’s why I don’t care for the whole concept of this video as it relates to chastity.

  43. Ray, are we talking the spirit world as the “next life” or the CK way later?

  44. Bay Linda says:

    Okay, so I finally watched the YouTube video, and now I hate the analogy even more (which I didn’t think was possible).

    First of all, I think the chocolate chip vs delicious cupcake concept is just a watered down version of the chewed-up gum vs fresh stick analogy I endured as a young woman. The latter version was deemed unacceptable and wrong by most (rightly ao) because it compared those who chose differently to nasty reprobate sickos who were so carnal as to ingest something disgusting that had been passed around.

    While the chocolate chip for five minutes analogy seems tame and sweet in comparison, consider this in the same analogical terms:

    Not everyone gets the same five minutes. Some get five hours, days, years, or decades. By then they are bitter, hungry, angry, tired, and jaded. Not to mention that the treat in the box is becoming increasingly more stale, moldy, and indelible.

    Not everyone likes sweet treats. Not everyone finds them tasty or pleasurable. Some people can’t eat foods high in sugar or carbs. Some are diabetic.

    Back in real terms: I think the experiment is simply cruel. For those who have “partaken,” the takeaway from others is: “What, they couldn’t wait for five minutes?” I know single LDS folks in their 30s, 40s and 50s who as virgins finally gave in and had sex for the first time without being married. A couple of the women became pregnant. The judgment and shame heaped on them by others was insane: They had no faith! They couldn’t wait for marriage! What sluts! No one will marry them now if they don’t pretend they were divorced and not just never married! The horror! Yet their nieces who marry their freshman year of college are soooo much more ugh troys because “they waited”, even if they are too immature for marriage, if they marry someone they barely know, etc.

  45. Bay Linda says:

    Ugh troys= righteous

    I think lessons like the chocolate chip one also encourages young people to think of sex as the prize and their right for being righteous, being marriage-age (ready or not) and being straight.

  46. Bay Linda says:

    Finally, the analogy gives the false idea that sex outside of marriage will somehow always be bad, while sex when married will always be good. LOL.

  47. I didn’t have a chance to watch the video, but I think we might be missing part of the analogy here—who is to say that the cupcake represents sex at all? Or that the 5 minutes the kids have to wait is supposed to represent that time between youth and marriage? From what I picked up in Rebecca’s post, it seemed like she was explaining it as “if you keep the law of chastity throughout your life (not just wait to have sex until you’re married, but even after), then in the next life we will have *something* significantly larger and better,” not that sex after marriage is better than sex before marriage or anything quite so immediate. Assuming I interpreted Rebecca right, I like it. I think that sounds about right to me.

  48. #43 – Meg, personally, I use “next life” simply because it’s easy. I don’t really believe in a “next life” – since I view our eternal existence as “one life” with distinct (to us) stages or conditions. So, in that sense, I don’t think it matters in the slightest which “stage of life” it means.

    I think mentioning that we obviously won’t have sex in the “next life” if that life is the spirit world is a given to most people, but, just to throw a monkey wrench into the discussion, we also believe that ALL matter is identifiable matter (“physical” in a way), so even the assumption that spirits can’t engage in “sexual activity” is nothing more than an assumption. I believe that ssumption, but it still is an assumption.

  49. Oh boy. I hadn’t watched it either, but I just did, and I’m with Bay Linda again–I hate it even more now. The seminary music playing over the kids joyfully unwrapping their cupcakes… Watching the kids eat the cupcakes and thinking about how this was an analogy for having sex… The kids were cute and funny, but the video was creepy. What stood out to me is the difference between a chocolate chip and a cupcake the size of a kid’s face, which I think is an oversimplification when you get to sexual relationships.

    Peyton: The video, at least, is specifically talking about sex before marriage. At the end it says, “Your Heavenly Father wants you to wait until marriage to use your procreative powers so he can bless you with something so much greater than a cupcake.”

  50. Miri: Even given that statement, it means the chocolate chip specifically represents sex. Not necessarily so the cupcake. As someone above said (OP? commenter? Two-year-old crawling on me), obedience to a specific law is not necessarily going to result in a specific blessing—paying my tithing doesn’t always guarantee that an envelope full of money, just enough to cover my bills, is going to appear on my doorstep.

    Maybe I’m insisting on it being vague, but I like having room for interpretation.

  51. Is there a site where I can download this to my computer. I don’t have internet access in my ward building. I would love to use this in seminary

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