Unchastity a Dominant Evil

David O. McKay

Called Unto Liberty, 20th Century Sermons, David O. McKay

A dominant evil of the world today is unchastity. I repeat what appeared over the signature of President Joseph F. Smith while he was living: “No more loathsome cancer disfigures the body and soul of society today than the frightful affliction of sexual sin. It vitiates the very fountains of life, and bequeaths its foul effects to the yet unborn as a legacy of death” (The Improvement Era, Vol. 20, p. 739). He who is unchaste in young manhood is untrue to a trust given him by the parents of the girl; and she who is unchaste in maidenhood is untrue to her future husband and lays the foundation of unhappiness, suspicion, and discord in the home. Do not worry about those teachers who talk about inhibitions. Just keep in mind this eternal truth that chastity is a virtue to be prized as one of life’s noblest achievements. It contributes to the virility of manhood. It is the crowning virtue of womanhood, and every red-blooded man knows that is true. It is a chief factor to a happy home. There is no loss of prestige in maintaining in a dignified way the standards of the Church. You can be in this world and not “of the world” (John 17:11,14-16). Keep your chastity above everything else! God has commanded that we be chaste: “Thou shalt not commit adultery!” said the Lord at Sinai (see Ex. 20:14).

Degenerating forces in the world are rampant, but they can be resisted if youth will cherish right thoughts and aspire to high ideals. The age-old conflict between truth and error is being waged with accelerating fury, and at the present hour error seems to be gaining the upper hand. Increasing moral turpitude and widespread disregard for the principles of honor and integrity are undermining influences in social, political, and business life.


Source: David O. McKay, “Structure of the Home Threatened by Irresponsibility and Divorce,” Conference Report, April 1969, pp. 4-10. David O. McKay served as the tenth President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


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