The following is excerpted from an article in this month’s Ensign. To read the full article, CLICK HERE.

If you were to ask youth, “What is the law of chastity?” you may get a blank stare, or they may fidget with discomfort and then quickly quote something like, “It means not having sexual relations before marriage.” Our experience is that many young people remain abstinent before marriage but deeply misunderstand the full meaning and purpose of the law of chastity or of sexuality—misunderstandings that often, sadly, result in future marital struggles. Our goal as parents and leaders should be to help our children to be both sexually pure and prepared.

Consider All Aspects of the Law

The physical aspects of the law of chastity (for example, abstinence before marriage and complete fidelity after marriage) are central and important. However, abstinence is sometimes discussed more often than the emotional and spiritual aspects of the joy and beauty of sexual intimacy in marriage, as well as the peace that comes from living a life of virtue and purity both before and after marriage.

In addition to procreation, sexual intimacy in marriage has another important purpose. Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained: “Intimate relations … are not merely a curiosity to be explored, an appetite to be satisfied, or a type of recreation or entertainment to be pursued selfishly. They are not a conquest to be achieved or simply an act to be performed. Rather, they are in mortality one of the ultimate expressions of our divine nature and potential and a way of strengthening emotional and spiritual bonds between husband and wife.”1

In order to help our children prepare to enjoy sexual intimacy in its beauty and wonder within marriage, we need to help them understand their sexual development and guide them as they work toward controlling their God-given feelings and emotions.

If you worry that you haven’t talked with your children about sexuality soon enough or in the right ways, you’re not alone. There are a number of reasons why these conversations can be challenging. However, it is never too late to start teaching. Here are three tips to help you get started:

To read the full article, CLICK HERE.