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When Jesus visited the Nephites, one of the things he said was the following:

Whosoever looketh on a woman, to lust after her, hath committed adultery already in his heart. (3 Ne 12:28)

Obviously this means more than simply looking at a woman, but what specifically does it mean? Is there more to this scripture than simply saying that adultery goes beyond simply as a married person having sex with someone other than his spouse? If so, what constitutes looking at a woman lustfully? Does looking at a woman and thinking she has nice legs constitute lust? Can a man look at a woman’s body on purpose without the thought of having sex with her and still be lusting after her?

24 thoughts on “Lust

  1. This verse makes for a classic definition of the vice of Pornography and why it is the single biggest factor today for breakups of LDS temple marriages.

    But, i’m also reminded of a common saying I heard frequently in the mission field (referring to when a pretty girl walked by) – if you don’t look once you’re not a man, but if you look twice you’re not a missionary.

  2. So I take it that working around attractive people is completely out of the question, then?

    …wouldn’t want to accidentally look twice, now.

  3. and why just women? as in men looking at women? Does that mean women can look at men with no worries about it being lustful or grounds for adultery? WOOOHOOO!!

  4. I think the “lust after her” or him for that matter, is key. And honestly Kim, your version of lust is not offensive in any way. The world’s gage of lust is turned up about 100 degrees from where you are coming from. I think when lust becomes self gratifying and an act more than a feeling…you gots problems.

  5. What is the rational behind the requirement that when one partner commits adultery and they confess their sin to their Bishop, the Bishop then requires that person to confess to their partner?

    It seems to me, this act of extra confessing causes the innoncent partner to suffer. How is this a beneficial thing to those involved?

  6. Because a marriage is based on trust, and adultery is a abuse of that trust. In all honesty, I think the adulterer should go to his/her spouse before going to the bishop.

  7. I agree with you but why should the spouse have to be told? Repentance is between the person the Lord and the Bishop.

    Telling the spouse can make things worse such as a divorce and at the least hurt feelings that can last a lifetime. I don’t see how it helps the spouse who was cheated on to know their partner made a mistake.

  8. “why should the spouse have to be told?”

    I already told you. Marriage is based on trust, and an adult er has broken that trust. It’s about honesty.

    “Telling the spouse can make things worse such as a divorce and at the least hurt feelings that can last a lifetime.”

    Ya think?

    “I don’t see how it helps the spouse who was cheated on to know their partner made a mistake.”

    It doesn’t. But it’s not about doing it to help the other person. It’s doing it to be honest. I don’t see how being adulterous helps the other spouse either.

  9. “Repentance is between the person the Lord and the Bishop.”


    That’s some pretty twisted thinking that would allow for a Bishop to be in the loop, but the spouse not to be.

    …and in the end I think it odd that the Bishop’s wife would know, but the cheated-on spouse would not.

  10. Kim said: “It doesn’t. But it’s not about doing it to help the other person.”

    But why hurt the other person? Does not seem very Christ like to cause pain in the name of God.

  11. It’s a total betrayal of trust to not confess to one’s spouse. S/he deserves that more than anyone else (well, besides the Lord). The covenants made in the temple at marriage are between husband and wife and God. If a person is cheated on, they deserve to know. It’s self serving for the perpetrator to not tell their spouse if they have done so. Yes, it seems like they want to “spare their spouse the pain” but in reality I think it has more to do with the person not wanting to feel more guilt than he or she already feels. And as Kim said, committing the adultery ALREADY has created pain. Keeping it from the victim exacerbates that.

  12. Assuming the couple is going to be together forever, and that in an exalted state a person has perfect knowledge, the affair is going to be discovered anyway.

    So ya might as well fess up now, no?

    “But why hurt the other person?”

    It’s not about hurting the person, it’s about beginning the healing process. It’s the release from the anxiety of having to keep a secret that is taking place here, not an exerted effort to injure one’s spouse.

  13. The way I see it:

    1) it’s a question of lust

    2) it’s a question of trust

    3) it’s a question of not letting what you’ve built up crumble to dust

    In fact, it is all of these things and more…

  14. But why should a Bishop make it a condition of repentance? What if the other spouse would prefer not to know?

    I know a Bishop who told the injured spouse that they had to forgive the spouse or the Bishop would exe him/her for not following the Bishops command. A divorce would trigger a court action.

    Would you really want to go through all the pain if your spouse cheated on you and it was a one time thing that would not happen again?

    I’m pretty sure I would prefer not to know.

  15. And so would I prefer to know. Our relationship is based on trust, not on lies and if my husband were to lie to me, especially to such a magnitude, I would want to know. It’s the only way healing can begin. You cannot base any relationship on lies. Otherwise it is no sort of relationship at all.

  16. Once? No. Twice? No. Beyond that? I cannot create a concrete limit on a hypothetical situation, but I assume there would probably be a point where I would give her an ultimatum, but that’s just speculation.

  17. So is it lust when I ‘check out’ a statue?

    Is it lust when I tell my daughter how great she looks?

    This would be a biblic example of hyperbole, I believe.

  18. I think what Christ was getting at here is that it’s best to surpass the minimum requirement of not committing the physical act of adultery, and eliminate the adultery from our hearts—cleanse the inner vessels. When one looks on another with adulterous thoughts, then one is taking the first step towards that horrible sin. Is it better to have adulterous thoughts you don’t act on than to commit adultery in fact? Yes, I think so. But that still leaves you as a kind of whited sepulchre—clean on the outside but filthy on the inside. Christ wants us clean all the way through, in our thoughts as well as our deeds.

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