Marriage, Sex, Adultery, Homosexuality
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This page provides Biblical teachings on marriage, sex, adultery, fornication, homosexuality, and bestiality.  The central focus is on doctrine; and is not intended to offend any person whose behavior might fall within the category of improper sex.  It is the hope of the author that men and women might understand the goodness of proper sex; and the severe penalties that will be imposed by God upon improper sex.  “33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God , and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matt. 6)  “9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God ?  Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God .” (1 Cor. 6)   The two most grievous sins of man—against man—involve killing and improper sex.

  SEX

The GOOD, the BAD, and the UGLY
By Samuel E. West, Elder

THE GOOD:  proper sex exists only in marriage; and it does not involve any sin.

THE BAD:  improper sex exists as fornication—defiling the unmarried bed.

THE UGLY:  This worst form of improper sex includes adultery, homosexuality, and bestiality.  These are all grievous violations of the law of God. Improper sex is both a sin and blight on society and the genetics of mankind. If persisted in, improper sex will bring any civilization to ruin.

  The first law given to mankind was to, “22 Be fruitful, and multiply.” (Gen. 1)  After the physical creation of Eve, Adam noted another law of God, “24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” (Gen. 2)

  There are two forms of marriage: one spiritual and the other temporal.  Spiritual marriages exist only between members of the kingdom of God .  Like other spiritual ordinances (e.g. baptism) it is for eternity; unless broken through disobedience.  Only those marriages performed by officers of the priesthood appointed of God to administer the sacrament of marriage can seal the marriage for time and eternity.  All other marriages are temporal and are valid only for life.

  Spiritual marriage is one of the greatest blessings given to the saints of God.  Like other spiritual ordinances it remains in eternity, “she may be thine in life, thine in the resurrection, and thine in life everlasting; and that the children which she beareth thee, may be with thee in the everlasting Kingdom.” (Book of the Law, p. 159)  No words can describe how wonderful it will be to have your family together for eternity.

  The Christian church lost all divine authority in 325 AD, when an unbaptized, pagan Roman Emperor, Constantine , stood as the absolute head of the Christian church.  Even a knowledge of the Levitical and Melchisedec Priesthoods was lost.  Christians were left to be married only “until death do you part.”

  There were both spiritual and temporal marriages in Israel .  Sarah was Abraham’s spiritual wife.  They were both members of the kingdom of God .  They will be together in the land of their inheritance with their offspring forever.  The other two wives of Abraham (Hagar and Keturah) were concubines or temporal wives.  Ishmael was actually the first born son of Abraham by Hagar; but, he was not born of a spiritual marriage.  His progeny became the Arabs.  Isaac being born of Sarah, his spiritual wife (being sealed for time and eternity), was declared by the law of God to inherit the right of first born son.

  Temporal marriages are created by civil law; and are valid only for life.  There is sometimes a provision for common law temporal marriage; when a couple live together for a fixed period of time.  The added law of Moses was a temporal law, provided for temporal marriage, and therefore provided for divorce; and only one other marriage after a divorce.  “1 When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house. 2 And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man's wife. 3 And if the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, which took her to be his wife; 4 Her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the LORD: and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.” (Deut. 24)

  Marriage of saints to those outside of the kingdom of God has been admonished against since the earliest times.  In Israel it was not a common practice to marry outside one’s own tribe.  Rules on marriage were established in Section 101 of the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants.  This provided for both temporal and spiritual marriages.  1 According to the custom of all civilized nations, marriage is regulated by laws and ceremonies: therefore, we believe that all marriages in this church of Christ of Latter Day Saints, should be solemnized in a public meeting, or feast, prepared for that purpose: and that the solemnization should be perfor­med by a presiding high priest, high priest, bishop, elder, or priest, not even prohibiting those persons who are desirous to get married, of being married by other authority. We believe that it is not right to prohibit members of this church from marrying out of the church, if it be their determination so to do, but such persons will be considered weak in the faith of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ… 4 All legal contracts of marriage made before a person is baptized into this church, should be held sacred and fulfilled.”

  Although a temporal marriage is sacred, it is only for life—like the concubine wives of Abraham.  Ishmael, the son of such a marriage, was still greatly blessed by God.  Abraham sent his temporal wives and children away; and the inheritance went to Isaac.  “5 And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac. 6 But unto the sons of the concubines, which Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts, and sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet lived, eastward, unto the east country.” (Gen. 25)

  Marriage between believers and unbelievers is defective; as it continues only “until death do you part.”  A betrothal confers the general rights and obligations of marriage; but, the marriage celebration should be held at the earliest opportunity.  Only marriage between believers, by one holding proper divine authority, is for time and eternity.

  Temporal marriages are broken by civil law through divorce.  The provisions for divorce are contained in the civil law.  The Apostle Paul wrote of temporal marriages, “14 the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. 15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart.  A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.” (1 Cor. 7)  The children are made clean (sanctified) by marriage.

  A divorce is the formal declaration of ending the civil contract.  There should be only limited circumstances under which a civil divorce is acceptable: primarily adultery and when life is threatened.  Divorce has become a plague on the family and society; and has brought improper sex into the majority of families in America .

  When Jesus restored the Melchisedec Priesthood, He fulfilled the added temporal law, and man was again bound by the original spiritual law (for time and eternity).  The laws governing these marriages are stricter.  It is requisite that the couple truly loves each other and is willing to enter into a contract for time and eternity.  1. WHEN thou takest a wife, thou shalt take such a one as thou lovest, and who loveth thee, and whom thou mayest lawfully marry: and thou shalt go before an Apostle, a High Priest, or the Chief of the Elders where thou dwellest, or the Priest who administereth in the Temple or the Synagogue; and by him shall ye be joined in marriage, that she may be thine in life, thine in the resurrection, and thine in life everlasting; and that the children which she beareth thee, may be with thee in the everlasting kingdom.” (Book of the Law, p. 159)

  “You both mutually agree to be each other’s companion, husband and wife, observing the legal rights belonging to this condition; that is, keeping yourselves wholly for each other, and from all others, during your lives.” (1835 Doctrine and Covenants, 101:2)

  There is only one provision for breaking a spiritual marriage:  adultery. “31 It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: 32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.” (Matt. 5) “7 They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? 8 He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.” (Matt. 19) 

  “6. Thou shalt not put away thy wife but for adultery: the adulteress is abominable; she shall be given to the corruptions of the flesh, that her belly may swell and her thigh rot; and that she be a warning and a proverb:  if she repent in dust and ashes for a long time, thou mayest forgive her; yet is she not thy wife: if thou wilt take her, thou shalt marry her again.  7. Thou shalt not lie with the wife of thy neighbour; for it is an abomination: neither shalt thou take her to wife; she cannot be thine:  if he stone thee to death, no man shall hinder:  thou shalt not be avenged; what he doeth he shall do speedily.” (Book of the Law, pp. 314, 315)

  It should be noted that the law on breaking the bond of a spiritual marriage does not require a divorce.  Being spiritual in nature, the violation of the marriage oath—by adultery—breaks the spiritual marriage bond.  If the guilty party has repented and the couple desire to again be married for time and eternity, they must be married again.  The sin of adultery can only be forgiven one time.  It must be remembered the offended party cannot refuse forgiveness.  “14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matt. 6)  “9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1)  “9 Wherefore, I say unto you, that ye ought to forgive one another; for he that forgiveth not his brother his trespasses standeth condemned before the Lord; for there remaineth in him the greater sin. 10 I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.” (Doctrine and Covenants, Section 64)

  Some have been confused by the law, “2. And he who joineth you in marriage, shall unite her unto thee by an indissoluble bond.” (Book of the Law, p. 159)  Any covenant is only good as long as the terms of the covenant are intact.  As marriage is a spiritual covenant between the husband, wife, and God, God will never initiate a breaking of the bond.  As long as the marriage bond is kept undefiled by man, the marriage is for eternity.  In the case of adultery, the marriage bond is broken; and the marriage is null and void.

  The everlasting covenant has been given to the people of God as a bond between them and God.  God cannot violate a covenant.  It is everlasting, though, only as long as the people abide by the terms of the covenant.  “9 The LORD shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, and walk in his ways.” (Deut. 28)  One of the causes of the destruction of most of mankind before Jesus returns will be result of violation of that covenant.  “5 The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.” (Isa. 24)

  When people are married both under the spiritual law and under the law of the land, and the spiritual marriage is violated, the temporal marriage continues.  The civil laws of divorce then apply to the temporal marriage.  If the husband and wife are not re-married according to the spiritual law, the children born of the temporal marriage are not sealed to them in eternity.  They still remain clean; because a temporal marriage bond still exists.

  The law of God both allows and provides for polygamy.  Monogamy is an invention of man.  The Patriarchs and Prophets of old had multiple wives; and were favored servants of God.  Abraham had three wives and Jacob four.  Yet, God made the sons of these marriages Patriarchs.  The law of Moses provides for polygamy. In the conquest of Midian there were sixteen thousand females added for Israel to take to wife.  Without polygamy, it would not have been possible to provide for them. Polygamy is provided for in the Old Testament; and is not forbidden in the New Testament.

  God actually required polygamy in some instances.  At the death of a brother, the other was required to marry his brother’s wife; and raise seed for his brother.  “8 And Judah said unto Onan, Go in unto thy brother's wife, and marry her, and raise up seed to thy brother.” (Gen. 38)  “5 If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband's brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband's brother unto her. 6 And it shall be, that the firstborn which she beareth shall succeed in the name of his brother which is dead, that his name be not put out of Israel .” (Deut. 25)

  The law of God requires sex, marriage, and reproduction. “24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” (Gen. 2)  “11 Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. 12 For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of god.” (1 Cor. 11)  “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” (Heb. 13:4)  As sex and marriage was commanded by God, a person that has proper sex remains a spiritual virgin; having never violated the body.

  Proper sex exists only within the marriage bond.  Thus, “cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”  They become one flesh through their children.  When the male seed and the female ovum unite, a new flesh is created that is a union of the genetics of both husband and wife.

  Man is the head of the household and bears the greatest responsibility for obeying the law of God.  “3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.” (1 Cor. 11)  This does not remove any responsibility from the woman.  Men and women are equals in the sight of the law.  “Thou shalt not,” applies equally.  Greater responsibility for fidelity has been placed on the woman in some societies and at various times; but, the man is equally responsible.

  Eve was cursed because she did not consult with Adam before partaking of the forbidden fruit.  Adam was not deceived; but, partook of the fruit rather than lose his wife.  Some believe that Adam and Eve did not have sex before the fall.  As soon as Eve was created, they were married and Adam declared that man should, “cleave unto his wife.”  It would require a stretch of imagination to think Adam and Eve were watching the animals and birds reproduce; but, did not become involved in the same act.  It was a right of marriage.  God’s primary goal is the happiness of mankind.  Sex has always been one of mankind’s greatest pleasures.  They could not reproduce, though, until after the fall; when their bodies were changed and blood (bringing mortality) flowed in their veins.

  Improper sex involves any other form of sexual relations.  Adultery, fornication, homosexuality, and bestiality are all forbidden by the law of God.  Adultery is sex between married persons.  Fornication is sex with a person that is not married.  Sodomy is any unnatural sex act; and includes homosexuality and bestiality.

  The law of God prohibits sexual relations outside the marriage bond. “14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.” (Ex. 20)  The grievous nature of adultery is revealed in the temporal law.  “10 And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.” (Lev. 20)

  “Thou shalt not commit adultery:  thou shalt not in any wise lie with the wife of thy neighbour; and if she seduce thee, thou shalt resist her; that thou pollute not thyself, and make not the place of thy house unclean, and destroy not the house of thy neighbour, and that thou cause no violence in the land [Case of Sodom, Gen. 19; Case of the Benjamites, Judges 19, 20, 2 Sam. 12:10]:  thou shalt not lie with the wife of the stranger; neither shalt thou lie with the wife of thine enemy; lest thy children be scattered abroad, and know not thee, nor the fear of thee be upon them, and they be strangers to the covenant of God, and the whole land be corrupt, and  thine offspring be destroyed with the wicked.” (Book of the Law, p. 30)

  Fornication is a lesser form of adultery; but is ranked as a near equal.  James J. Strang, in his notes to the Book of the Law of the Lord in 1856, interpreted the law of God on adultery and fornication. “1. Few crimes have worked so terrible destruction among men as adultery, that popular vice, which, in these degenerate days, is rather boasted of, than concealed, by the guilty.

  “2. The most wicked delusion of the times, is that which places the obligation of chastity, on woman alone; visiting the penalty of crime on the victim, rather than on the criminal.

  “3. Every man of the world understands very well, that with-in certain trifling limitations, he can indulge in unrestrained licentiousness, without suffering reproach in fashionable society.

  “4. Worse than this; those who are reputed successful in this crime, are most popular among women, and envied by men.   Thus society offers bounties for the crime which, of all others, most desolates the household, and the social circle.

  “5. There can be no remedy for these evils until chastity becomes the duty of men, as well as women.   Such is the rule of God’s law.   The interdict of adultery is addressed principally to men, as the persons chiefly bound to preserve the sanctity of this Commandment.

  “6. This rule was well understood in the days of the Patriarchs, as well as in later times.  Joseph resisted the seductions of his master’s wife, and numerous instances are recorded where crimes against chastity, were visited on the guilty men, rather than on their victims. (2d Sam. xii, 9, 10. Gen. xxxiv, 1, 2.  25-29.)

  “7. Happily for the people of God, this rule, in spite of the corrupt education, which, as Gentiles, they received, has become a sentiment among the Saints, so strong that treating it lightly produces universal indignation.

  “8. Among Gentiles a man would be laughed at and lose caste, who professed to practise chastity in the face of strong temptation; but a woman once overtaken in sin, is irrecoverably disgraced, no matter by what false practices overcome.

  “9. But among the Saints, a man guilty of adultery, would be avoided as though infected with a plaguespot, and his victim, though deeply disgraced, might hope, by a long course of humility and penitence, for some of that forgiving charity, which, from the infirmities of human nature, all so much need.

  “10. The crime of fornication is only an inferiour kind of adultery.  For, as adultery is a pollution of the marriage bed, so fornication is the pollution of the bed of celibacy.

  “11. Nor should any one imagine for a moment, that any subsequent reparation can justify fornication.  For though the law compels the guilty seducer to marry the victim on whom he has begotten seed, he is yet guilty.” (pp. 30, 31)

  Homosexuality is another direct violation of the law of God.  This law was given through Adam; and its violation was a significant cause of the great flood.  “24 Wherefore God also gave them [before the great flood] up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves… 26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.” ( Rom. 1)  This grievous sin was included in the law of Moses.  “13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.” (Lev. 20)  When the judgment of God arrived, those before the great flood all died by water—save eight!  Those of this generation will soon die of fire, famine, and decease!

  The grievous nature of improper sex is reflected in the temporal law.  If a man took a woman to wife and claimed that she was not a virgin to get out of the marriage—when the tokens of virginity did exist—he was severely punished; and could never put her away.  If a woman was not sexually pure when she got married, she was to be put to death.  When a man was found lying with a married woman, having consensual sex, they were both to be put to death.  If a man raped a married woman, only the man was to be put to death.  When a man raped a virgin, he was to marry her; and never put her away.

  “13 If any man take a wife, and go in unto her, and hate her, 14 And give occasions of speech against her, and bring up an evil name upon her, and say, I took this woman, and when I came to her, I found her not a maid: 15 Then shall the father of the damsel, and her mother, take and bring forth the tokens of the damsel's virginity unto the elders of the city in the gate: 16 And the damsel's father shall say unto the elders, I gave my daughter unto this man to wife, and he hateth her; 17 And, lo, he hath given occasions of speech against her, saying, I found not thy daughter a maid; and yet these are the tokens of my daughter's virginity.  And they shall spread the cloth before the elders of the city. 18 And the elders of that city shall take that man and chastise him; 19 And they shall amerce him in an hundred shekels of silver, and give them unto the father of the damsel, because he hath brought up an evil name upon a virgin of Israel: and she shall be his wife; he may not put her away all his days.

  “20 But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel: 21 Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father's house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you.

  “22 If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel.

  “23 If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her; 24 Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city; and the man, because he hath humbled his neighbour's wife: so thou shalt put away evil from among you. 25 But if a man find a betrothed damsel in the field, and the man force her, and lie with her: then the man only that lay with her shall die: 26 But unto the damsel thou shalt do nothing; there is in the damsel no sin worthy of death: for as when a man riseth against his neighbour, and slayeth him, even so is this matter: 27 For he found her in the field, and the betrothed damsel cried, and there was none to save her.

  “28 If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found; 29 Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel's father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days.” (Deut. 22)

  Although the added law of Moses was fulfilled with Jesus, and death was no longer the penalty, the grievous nature of the sin remained.  “17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 5) “18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.” ( Rom. 1; read whole chapter)

  There are different degrees of sin.  The most grievous sin is blasphemy against the Holy Ghost.  “31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.” (Matt. 12)  Yet, people every day accuse the Holy Ghost of adultery in the presumed conception of Jesus; when Joseph and Mary were betrothed (married).

  The second most grievous sin is killing.  David placed Uriah in the front lines of battle where he would be killed, so he could take his wife to himself.  There is no forgiveness in life for a murderer; and in eternity until the last farthing has been paid.  At the time Jesus was resurrected, saints of former times were also resurrected; but, the bones of David remained in his sepulchre (Acts 2:29 ).

  The third most grievous sin is the sin of adultery.  If confessed, it can only be forgiven once in this life.  “11 She said, No man, Lord.  And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.” (John 8)  If a person returns to adultery, they become outcasts of the kingdom of God and must await the resurrection with the spirits in prison (hell).  “4 Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” (Heb. 13)

  The sin of fornication ranks with that of adultery.  “9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God ?  Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God .” (1 Cor. 6)  “19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: 20 These are the things which defile a man.” (Matt. 15)

  The punishment by God for improper sexual relations has been most severe.  Consider those who lived before the flood.  Their punishment was death by water and being taken (in the spirit) to those in prison (hell).  “28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” ( Rom. 1)

  Sodom and Gomorrah practiced unrestrained sexual relations and sodomy.  “19 For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him. 20 And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous.” (Gen. 18)  Two angels appeared to Lot in Sodom and entered his house.  “4 But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: 5 And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night?  bring them out unto us, that we may know them.” (Gen. 19)

  What was God’s judgment upon these people?  “24 Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven; 25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.” (Gen. 19)

  The residents of Sodom and Gomorrah were a similitude of what is to happen in the near future.  They were destroyed by fire and ash; and their spirits taken to hell.  Adulterers, fornicators, whoremongers, and those guilty of sodomy all rank together.  “7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. 8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone.” (Rev. 21)

  The fate of those before the great flood should serve as a great warning to this last generation before the return of our Lord.  Many claim to be Christians; but, are such in name only.  They fulfill the prophecies given for this time and season.  “1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, 7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (2 Tim. 3)

  In the United States the majority of young men and women become involved in improper sex before marriage—many while still in school.  The majority of married men and women admit to having improper sex in marriage—adultery and fornication.  Divorce rather than being the exception is now the standard.  Marriage is recognized by every civilized country as being the union between a man and a woman.  Now those who participate in sodomy are granted special rights.  In some places they are even allowed to marry; as if such a union represented marriage.  Marriage is identified throughout the Bible as a union only between a man and a woman.  After Eve was created, Adam noted, “24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” (Gen. 2)

  In 1856, James J. Strang wrote, “22. The whole course of prophecy indicates that the nations of the earth will not be converted to Godliness; but that they will increase in wickedness, and be destroyed.  The day has not yet come, but is in the future, which “shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, and all that do wickedly, shall  be stubble,” and shall be burnt up, leaving neither root nor branch; when they that fear the Lord shall tread down the wicked, as ashes beneath their feet. (Mal. iv, 1, 3.)

  “23. Paul assures us that the coming of Christ shall be “in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ; who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord.” (2d Thess. i, 8, 9.)  Isaiah says, the earth shall be made empty, and few men left. (Isa. xxiv, 1, 3, 6.)  Those days are days of vengeance, when Christ shall tread the wine press of the wrath of God, and the blood shall flow unto the horses’ bridles. (Rev. xiv, 20.)  As those times  are approaching, the judgment is pronounced on Babylon ,  “Reward her as she hath rewarded you, and double unto her double, according to her works.” (id. xviii, 6.)  Then shall the Saints execute vengeance on the heathen [Gentiles]. (Ps. cxlix, 6, 7.)” (Book of the Law, p. 213)

  Punishment for improper sex is self-fulfilling.  James J. Strang wrote, “But the effect of indulgence in such sins is general corruption of the physical systems of the whole people.  If persisted in, it would result in the extermination of any people.” (Book of the Law, p. 310)

  The family suffers when adults become involved in improper sexual relations.  When a child is born out of wedlock, it produces a strong influence upon the child to follow the same course.  Instead of having the proper family group of father, mother, and child, the child is raised by only the father or mother.  Development of proper personal and social behavior depends greatly on the participation of both a father and mother in the raising of a child.

  Improper sex and divorce have become the worst plagues which adversely affect the family structure that was established by God for the happiness of mankind.  The result is that the parents suffer, the children suffer, and society suffers.  In time, improper sex will bring an end to any society.  Consider also the economic cost of all the divorces.

  Homosexuality brought one the worst plagues on the human race.  AIDS began in the gay community.  AIDS then made the jump from homosexual to heterosexual relations.  Millions have and are dying of AIDS; and tens of millions more are suspected to be infected or will soon be infected.  Improper sex has spread the disease among families worldwide. Such sins of the parents are visited upon their innocent children.  In underdeveloped communities, millions of innocent children are left as orphans to die with no means of sustenance.  Truly the parents suffer, the children suffer, and society suffers.

  NBC Nightly News spoke of this being the best of times.  Those before the great flood thought they were living in the best of times.  They must have cried, why, before they died.  The people of Sodom and Gomorrah thought they were living in the best of times.  They must have cried, why, before they died.  The hammer of desolation is about to fall upon the whole earth.

  The six day war in Israel marked the beginning of the last forty year generation before the return of Jesus.  “24 And they [the Jews] shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled… 32 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.” (Luke 21)

  What can this generation expect?  “6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.” (Matt. 24)

  Could the horrible Indian Ocean Tsunami have been a punishment for the inequities of mankind; and a warning of worse to come?  “25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring.” (Luke 21)

  When such events as earthquakes and tsunamis occur in expected places and of expected magnitudes, man should view these as the signs spoken of by our Savior.  Yet, men will say they are just natural events; and fail to heed the warning.  As we approach the end of this generation, we can expect these sorrows to increase.  There are extreme dangers in the world that are only now being understood.  There is great danger of a world wide pandemic.

  The times of tribulation are almost upon us.  “21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.” (Matt. 24)  There are many pages of prophecies concerning this generation.  “6 And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.” (Rev. 9)

  Then those who take pleasure in improper sex and unrighteousness will die in these tribulations.   “4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; 5 And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; 6 And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly… 9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished.” (2 Pet. 2)

  “1 Behold, the LORD maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof. 2 And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the taker of usury, so with the giver of usury to him. 3 The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the LORD hath spoken this word. 4 The earth mourneth and fadeth away, the world languisheth and fadeth away, the haughty people of the earth do languish. 5 The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. 6 Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left.” (Isa. 24)  Read Revelation and the seven plagues prepared for the inhabitants of the earth.

  Those who want to escape the coming tribulations must turn their hearts to the will of God.  It will be the only escape; but, there will be only a few.  Men have always been given the choice between good and evil.  The honorable men of the earth know that living according to the will of God brings the best and most enduring pleasures in life.  Members of the kingdom of heaven understand that righteousness will bring the greatest rewards and happiness in eternity.  “7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. 8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” (Rev. 21)

  The desolation coming on the world is already visible.  Is there not “distress of nations”?  Is the earth not covered in wars?  Are there not famines and pestilences?  Have there not been earthquakes in diverse places?  Were there not just recently about 200,000 people that died because of such an earthquake with “the sea and the waves roaring”?

  The breakdown of proper family relationships has already taken its toll.  What of the personal and social condition of mankind?  “1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts.” (2 Tim. 3)

  In earlier generations it was customary to marry when people became sexually fertile during puberty.  The same tradition is followed in some remote cultures today.  A general rule among some cultures was for males to marry at sixteen and females to marry at fourteen.  This resolved much of the problem with improper pre-marital sex.  I dated a girl, when I was young, whose mother got married at fourteen.  In Israel , males were expected to marry at the age of seventeen.  The economies of many more advanced cultures make it necessary for both husband and wife to work.  With a perceived freedom to engage in improper pre-marital sex, it becomes customary and society is corrupted. 

  The Bible makes it clear that improper sex is a grievous sin that will be severely judged by God.  Members of the kingdom of God who continue to engage in improper sexual activities are cast out of the kingdom.  Unbelievers cannot enter the kingdom of God .  After death, these disobedient spirits are taken to hell.  If properly understood, this should provide a strong incentive to remain sexually pure.

  Parents and children face the greatest challenges to retain a pure heart and conscience before God.  Children face more peer pressure to turn from good to evil than any generation before them.  Children must be taught and lead to develop the strongest conscience of any before them.  Drugs and improper sex are everywhere around them.  The greatest gift a person can take into marriage is virginity.  It should be highly prized.

  Parents and children must become the best of friends.  Children must share their life experiences and their feelings with their parents.  Parents must communicate as an equal and not a superior; when counseling their children.  Parents and children must communicate and pray together every day.  They should also read from the law of God and Scripture every day.  “15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Tim. 2)  We must communicate; and not leave the children to their peers and the evil delights of the world.  The battle for righteousness can be won only through mutual effort.  Refraining from the lusts and delights of the world has become the most difficult battle in our lives.