I was recently involved on a panel discussion over at Mormon Matters regarding “virtue.” Here is the description from Dan Wotherspoon:
So often in Mormon discourse, the term “virtue” is treated almost exclusively as relating to sexual purity, chastity, and virginity, completely missing its much broader and wonderfully expansive meanings. Similarly, most talk about “morality,” “passion,” “modesty,” and “sensuality” are spoken about almost solely in terms of sexuality. We receive, without careful parsing, statements about how molestation and rape victims have been deprived of “that which was most dear and precious above all things, which is chastity and virtue” (Moroni 9:9). Messaging and publications for youth still put forth the idea that sexual sins are “next to murder” in seriousness, never mind that this idea is based upon highly questionable scriptural exegesis and a failure to recognize horrendous evils that can’t even come close to approaching soul dangers associated with sexual experimentation and slip up. And rarely do we encounter public teaching that considers all those within the listening audience for whom extreme rhetoric about sexual sin will be harmful and discouraging, and who because of such messaging will more likely be driven away from a sense of their being deserving of God’s love and LDS community fellowship.
In this episode, Natasha Helfer Parker, Margaret Blair Young, Micah Nickolaisen, and Lisa Butterworth join Mormon Matters host Dan Wotherspoon in a frank and forthright discussion of these and other aspects of how to talk in healthier ways about sexuality.