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The Church recently released a video on YouTube regarding the relatively new Young Women value of virtue.

What you may notice in the video is that young women in the Church are equating virtue with sexual purity.

While chastity is technically a definition of virtue, I think the Church does a disservice to its youth by perpetuating this definition.

Other?Ǭ†definitions?Ǭ†of virtue are more encompassing:?Ǭ†moral excellence and righteousness; goodness;?Ǭ†quality or state of being morally sound.

So why is it that when we have the opportunity to raise youth with integrity, we focus on?Ǭ†chastity?

And this isn’t an old problem. The long-standing?Ǭ†practice?Ǭ†of equating immorality with sexual impurity is just as bad.

Can we stop with the fascination with sex and go back to being generally good people? Please?

14 thoughts on “Virtue

  1. While virtue does encompass much more than sex…I think it’s a pretty big issue with today’s youth – and so maybe that’s why the emphasis is there.

  2. Not to mention the fact that if one is overly worried about confessing one’s sexual transgressions it leads to problems with truth-telling. Two sides of the same coin.

  3. “So is honesty, self-esteem, integrity, trustworthiness, and so on.”

    I don’t think anyone disagrees with you, but you need to remember, this is ONE of EIGHT values

    Faith, Divine Nature (Self-esteem), Individual Worth (self-esteem), Knowledge, Choice and Accountability (trustworthiness), Good Works, Integrity (honesty) AND Virtue.

    As a young women’s president, I can tell you it IS necessary. The gravity of sexual sin and the lightness with which the world and these girls’ peers treat sexuality…well, it’s needed. But we certainly don’t talk about this all the time and to the exclusion of everything else. The young women’s program isn’t obsessed with sex, the world is obsessed with sex. We do our best to focus on ALL the values, and we also try to show how all those values are connected. Could we address chastity with the previous 7 values? Yes. But I am glad there is this extra emphasis, and I feel it is inspired.

    Re #3: We always do our best to testify to the girls the joy and peace that repentance brings and that we love them, no matter what they may have done. We want them to know that repentance isn’t about being punished, it’s about making us free to enjoy the blessings that Heavenly Father desires to give us.

  4. Let’s assume you are right, and we need to teach our children chastity and a reverence for marital sex.

    Why not make the eighth value chastity instead of virtue? If what we want to teach the young women is to be chaste—the definition of which can be argued as we are doing for virtue—then we should have that as the new value.

    If we are going to keep virtue as the new value, then perhaps we should be teaching all aspects of it, rather than just one.

  5. So, is the issue one of vocabulary, or what the young women are to be taught? And I promise you, we do teach all aspects of virtue, at least in my ward. Virtue in thought, deed, speech, etc., correct? Absolutely, yes. You’re absolutely right! In fact, the theme for the youth this year, “Be thou an example…” fits really well with that. I think one reason they chose the word “virtue” is the connection it has to “strength.” We want to teach them that chastity is one of many aspects of a virtuous young woman.

  6. So I am to understand that this sex thing among the young people is only now a problem? I am pretty sure generations of youth have been battling the chastity issue.

    My mom always said patience is a virtue, so I always took virtue to mean a list of good traits as opposed to just chasity. Being sex free doesn’t make you a virtuous person in and of itself.

  7. We want to teach them that chastity is one of many aspects of a virtuous young woman.

    Which I think is great.

    Too bad you aren’t in the Young Women presidency for the girls in the video. Nearly every one in the video seems to define virtue as “chastity”.

  8. “We want them to know that repentance isn’t about being punished…”

    But they will be punished.

    They know they’ll be punished (possibly also outing their partner) and all the pretty words and expressions of love aren’t going to do much for someone who is worried about the ‘grave’ sin of acting like a teenager isn’t going to stop a young woman from lying like a teenager; now compounding the guilt.

  9. They aren’t just “pretty words” and the expressions of love are real. I really do love the young women I serve, and if they commit sexual sin (acting as a teenager as you say), I would, and do, love them just as much. I want to teach them that part of life sometimes is sacrificing what you want in the moment (sexual gratification) for the opportunity for something better (temple marriage). That principle applies to a lot more than just chastity. And I don’t like the idea that breaking the law of chastity is acting like a teenager. I don’t think confessing sins to the Lord and the Bishop compounds guilt, indeed it lifts it off our shoulders and gives us hope. Delaying repentance compounds guilt.

  10. “Delaying repentance compounds guilt.”

    …and also delays punishment, as every adolescent knows. Thus the catch 22.

  11. Its not totally incongruous to compare chastity with purity because chastity is a subset of morality. Its an indicator of one’s moral uprightness. A person who is moral will not indulge in sexual activities and not the other way.

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