True love requires reserving until after marriage the sharing of that affection which unlocks those sacred powers in that fountain of life. It means avoiding situations where physical desire might take control. Pure love presupposes that only after a pledge of eternal fidelity, a legal and lawful ceremony, and ideally after the sealing ordinance in the temple are those procreative powers released in God’s eye for the full expression of love. It is to be shared solely and only with that one who is your companion forever.
When entered into worthily, this process combines the most exquisite and exalted physical, emotional, and spiritual feelings associated with the word love. That part of life has no equal, no counterpart, in all human experience. It will, when covenants are made and kept, last eternally, “for therein are the keys of the holy priesthood ordained, that you may receive honor and glory” (D&C 124:34), “which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever” (D&C 132:19).
But romantic love is incomplete; it is a prelude. Love is nourished by the coming of children, who spring from that fountain of life entrusted to couples in marriage. Conception takes place in a wedded embrace between husband and wife. A tiny body begins to form after a pattern of magnificent complexity. A child comes forth in the miracle of birth, created in the image of its earthly father and mother. Within its mortal body is a spirit able to feel and perceive spiritual things. Dormant in that mortal body of this child is the power to beget offspring in its own image.
“The spirit and the body are the soul of man” (D&C 88:15), and there are spiritual and physical laws to obey if we are to be happy. There are eternal laws, including laws relating to this power to give life, “irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated” (D&C 130:20). These are spiritual laws which define the moral standard for mankind (see Joseph Smith Translation, Romans 7:14–15 [in the Bible appendix]; 2 Nephi 2:5; D&C 29:34; D&C 134:6). There are covenants which bind, seal, and safeguard and give promise of eternal blessings.
Alma admonished his son Shiblon, “See that ye bridle all your passions, that ye may be filled with love” (Alma 38:12). A bridle is used to guide, to direct, to restrain. Our passion is to be controlled. When lawfully used, the power of procreation will bless and will sanctify (see Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith , 158).
Source: Boyd K. Packer. Excerpt from his April 2015 General Conference address, The Plan of Happiness. Boyd K. Packer serves as President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. © 2015 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
Photo credit: © 2015 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
Called Unto Liberty is researched, compiled, and edited (with occasional introductory notes and commentary) by Steve Farrell, Founder and Editor In Chief of The Moral Liberal. Copyright © 2015 Steve Farrell (except when otherwise noted).