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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A week of rants, part III: Virginity, Virtue, and Value

This one can be a bit touchy, but I am going to address it anyways.

I'm sure my readers remember my rant on RMs and dating, so this one is going along similar lines: Virginity and Virtue are NOT interchangeable. Not all virgins are virtuous, and not all those who are virtuous are virgins.

There are some things that are always said in church, by well-meaning people, that irk me. One of them is the "bubble gum analogy." The basic premise is would you rather have a fresh new piece of gum, or one that's been chewed already. Some people add to this by adding that once gum has been chewed, it cannot be returned to it's previous state.

I hate that analogy. It is a spit in the face to repentance and the true power of the atonement. While it's true that being a virgin is a one-time loss, the bubble-gum analogy implies that someone who has had sex outside of marriage is damaged goods. This is not true. When someone repents, truly, they become just as pure as they were before. While there may be long-lasting implications of the actions, (STDs, pregnancy, bad memories, ect.) a person themselves may become just as pure as they were beforehand. (See Isaiah 1:18) As much as I enjoy Dear Bro JO, there have been many things where he and I disagree. One of these is when he told one girl that men will not consider her for marriage because she wasn't a virgin, and that they had every right to. IMHO, there isn't a bigger load of crap. In some way, EVERYONE is ABC gum. The only difference with sex is that no amount of repentance will ever restore physical virginity. But, the innocence, the purity, and virtue can be. Virtue isn't a set of requirements- it's a manner of living. A virtuous person lives his/her life in a way that is pleasing to the Lord. A virtuous person lives a life of true sexual purity, even if it hasn't been perfect; inversely, someone may do lots of things, but never go "all the way," thus being a virgin, but not virtuous.

This is where the 3rd V, Value, comes in.

When we look at the value of a person spiritually, are we looking for the right things? Shouldn't we be more worried about someone who is virtuous, loyal, and spiritual, rather than a set of requirements that may not be fair? If Heavenly Father has forgiven a person, and thus "remembers [the sin] no more", (D&C 58:42) than who are we to hold it against them? If the fact that someone has transgressed bothers you, than you have no testimony or faith in the atonement.

II remember once hearing a story of someone who was a chain smoker. He was shunned a lot by members of the church because his clothes smelled of cigarettes. He said: "The only difference between me and everyone else is my sin has an odor."

Let us learn to forgive everyone, as it is required of us. Don't EVER judge another person for past mistakes they've repented of.

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