088.2: Sexual Morality; OT Lesson 11 (Study Notes)

“How Can I Do This Great Wickedness?”

In this segment we return to the narratives from a literary and historical perspective, discuss LDS approaches to sexuality from a more critical perspective, confront difficult issues such as rape and sexual abuse, and get into more detail about sexual morality.

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Class Member Reading: Genesis 34373839

Additional Reading: Genesis 32:2835:221 Chron. 5:1-2Romans 8:28

Other Reading: None

SaraCoreyJennifer and Natasha continue the valuable discussion.

You can access the Annotated Reading here (or PDF)

You can access the Lesson Notes here (or PDF)



Lesson Part 2: Scholarship

0:00        Rape or Inappropriate Sex?

4:05        Genesis 49:5-7

6:02        Genesis 38

Lesson Part 3: Study Notes

9:00        Sexuality in LDS Context

16:30     Addressing Sexual Sin

Discussion Part 3 (Mature Content)

20:59     How to Use These Bible Stories in Church

34:27     Most Urgent Points For Improvement of LDS Sexual Discourse

43:15     Principles Underlying Sexual Standards/Guidance

1:03:45  Women as Sexual Commodities

1:11:50  Inequality in Messaging

1:15:20  Teaching Sexual Topics/Stories in Church




Thanks to James Estrada for postproduction, and as always to Steven Nelson for the beautiful bumper music.

Latest Comments

  1. Pablo says:

    This was awesome


  2. Mama Rae says:

    I was listening to a podcast that was citing that the j source of the bible phrases the command that Adam rule over Eve in a completely different way that points more to that he will enjoy their intimacy as he is “over” her. Do you know where one can buy the j source of the bible?


  3. Brian says:

    I did want to say that Jennifer mentioned that she never had a man experience the licked cupcake type of lesson. I have. Once.

    At a summer priest/teacher camp we were having a lesson about virtue and we all were given an egg (that we were going to eat the next morning, he he). The egg represented our “virtue.” Not chastity, not virginity, but virtue. Being the poor listener that I always have been, I was sitting there playing with the egg and telling my friend that “you can squeeze an egg really hard and it won’t break because the force is distributed all over the shell……” Well, my great strength proved too much and it broke. Everybody got a good laugh and the leader made sure to not let me go clean it up right away and pointed out that once we lose our virtue there is no getting it back. I wasn’t too embarrassed and certainly not humiliated at the time but it did have an impact on how I perceived myself and began (or continued) to base my personal value on my sexual purity. I can only imagine the accumulated impact that hearing these types of lessons over and over and over and over would have on my perception of my self worth. I still love the leader that taught the lesson to this day and I imagine it was designed to protect but I do not approach teaching the youth in this way.

    Also, I did have a misguided understanding of section 121. Where it states “amen to the priesthood of that man” I figured it was directed at youth and meant that you had no worth if you looked at pornography, masturbated, or (gasp) thought a sexual thought. It is a different approach than how the YW are taught but I think it has a similar effect by placing most if not all of your personal value on your perceived sexual purity. How can you go into a marriage and be comfortable with sex if your whole life has been overwhelmed with teaching that being sexual is something that will destroy you. We certainly need to approach this topic carefully and differently.


  4. James Needham says:

    I was thinking along the same lines Jared, when you mentioned about Judah and his descendants coming through a sinful union with Tamar, one of those descendants being Jesus (line of Judah isn’t he?). It got me thinking. That yes, illicit sex is harmful, but when a baby is a result and if those involved resolve to live a better life then that “sin” does turn out to be a great blessing. I have family that have had babies out of wedlock and, wow, what great kids came out of it. There were some problems and hard ache but in hindsight a child is a gift to the world. So maybe God and us can turn a negative into a positive. This is part of the messiness of life and it is good to have these types of stories in the scriptures. These individuals are more real than some of those prophets we put on pedestals. And just to take this idea a bit further, I’ve been thinking how the world was much more immoral only a couple hundred years ago. Since this is so, I would bet a large sum of money that if we really knew our genealogy, all of us have ancestors that aren’t too far removed from the story of Tamar and Judah. (We just all don’t descend from kings, which is what most of Mormons us wish to find.)


  5. Joel says:

    I can’t seem to find that quote by president Mckay. Has anyone else found it? It is hte one about Chastity.


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