A Latter-day Saint couple has anonymously created a powerful and frank guidebook to marital intimacy, And It Was Very Good. Originally written for their children to teach them correct principles about sexuality and sex within marriage, the book is designed to help couples prepare for their wedding night with confidence and purity. Subjects discussed in detail include anatomy, foreplay, female pleasure, male pleasure, the wedding night and more.
The couple is offering a free PDF copy of the entire book to anyone who is interested. Simply email firstname.lastname@example.org to request it. Hard copies and digital copies are also available through Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
The advice is frank, but respectful, and presented in a tasteful manner in the frame of gospel principles. Clinical sexual therapists have praised the book, noting the comprehension and practicality. One of the most universal sections opens the book with the couple’s “sexual articles of faith” designed to promote healthy principles about intimacy. Below are those seven principles as related in the book.
It’s worth laying out our fundamental beliefs about married sex. These beliefs seem good and right to us. These beliefs appear to us to have doctrinal support. We have received confirmation from the Spirit that we should pass our beliefs on to you. Don’t rely on our faith, of course. We suggest you and your spouse consult with the Spirit and decide in your own hearts if you share our beliefs and if you wish to adopt them in your own family. Our family’s “Sexual Articles of Faith” form the foundation upon which we have built our views of sexuality—in this book and in our lives.
We believe sexuality is a good gift from our heavenly parents.
We believe we are literal children of God. Our heavenly parents have gifted us with bodies like unto theirs. These bodies include sexuality in all its wonder. Indeed, if there is any religion on the earth today that may lay claim to a belief in the divinity of sex, it is the gospel of Jesus Christ.
We believe married sex is for joy and bonding in addition to creating new mortal bodies for spirit children to inhabit.
We are that we might have joy—and not just for the life hereafter.
…sexual relations within marriage are divinely approved not only for the purpose of procreation, but also as a way of expressing love and strengthening emotional and spiritual bonds between husband and wife.
—Handbook 2: Administering in the Church
We believe God has ordained sex for the married couple. Nobody else should be involved.
Any sexual intimacy outside of the bonds of marriage—I mean any intentional contact with the sacred, private parts of another’s body, with or without clothing—is a sin and is forbidden by God.
—Richard G. Scott
We believe sex is not a right to be demanded but a gift to be offered and received voluntarily.
…a woman should be queen of her own body. The marriage covenant does not give the man the right to enslave her, or to abuse her, or to use her merely for the gratification of his passion. Your marriage ceremony does not give you that right.
—David O. McKay
We believe husbands and wives are individually responsible for expressing their own sexual desires and for caring for each other’s sexual needs.
Nobody else can do this for you.
Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and
care for each other…
—The Family: A Proclamation to the World
Tenderness and respect—never selfishness—must be the guiding principles in the intimate relationship between husband and wife. Each partner must be considerate and
sensitive to the other’s needs and desires.
—Howard W. Hunter
We believe viewing pornography is forbidden.
Church leaders warn against viewing sexually explicit images of those outside the marriage. We’re not going to recommend viewing pornography, and we won’t discuss it except to point out some of its downsides.
Over the years we’ve been instructed at least one hundred times on the evils of pornography and exactly zero times on techniques of sexual pleasure. Church members are human and may pass on false traditions. It’s our observation that false teachings among fellow Latter-day Saints tend toward negative framing of God-given sexuality and normal sexual behavior that might bless a marriage. Well-meaning people sometimes pass on rules that don’t exist.
We don’t expect school to have taught you gospel values about sex. We don’t even expect school sex education to have given you the useful facts. Some sex-ed classes focus on menstrual cycles and puberty while skipping the how-to bits. How to find the clitoris in the dark probably wasn’t on the quiz.
The internet has the facts somewhere out there, of course. Unfortunately, keyword searches practically guarantee you will see porn. That’s just the reality. Plus, the internet is full of nonsense. The magazines you see in the grocery checkout line are the worst. They just make stuff up. It’s easier to make up a quote than it is to interview an expert. It’s easier to make up statistics than it is to look up an actual study.
Sex manuals are better. However, far too many are thinly veiled pornography. Even if you do come across an accurate, non-salacious sex manual, the framing may be counter to gospel principles.
Here, we’ve chosen facts and advice from select manuals, expert-hosted podcasts, and academic journals. We have avoided the outright pornographic nature of some sources and have steered clear of that which is in direct conflict with unambiguous gospel teachings. That’s not to say you or your spouse will read this and necessarily think we’ve drawn the line at the right place. Where God is silent on what exactly is fulfilling the law of chastity, we’re not filling in the blanks for you. We can’t. Married sex is actually one of the least rule-bound areas of the gospel. It’s largely left to you and your spouse to work out how to use your sexuality to bless each other. Perhaps married sex is an area where God has decided it is not meet that we be commanded in all things.
Along those lines, there is no doctrine of which we are aware governing whose hand does what during married sexual activity. That’s not an endorsement but an honest admission. This one is up to you, your spouse, and the Lord. This gets us to our family’s seventh and last Sexual Article of Faith.
We believe sex that unites a married couple in Christ is good and sex that divides a married couple is bad.
God intends the married couple to “become as one.” Sex can be a glorious means to this end. A faithful Latter-day Saint couple may study in their own minds (and bodies!) if this or that sexual act is good or bad given their unique circumstances. A first test can be “does this act unite us or divide us?” Sex that unites a couple may accomplish the will of the Lord. Sex that
divides a couple cannot.
Want to read more from And It Was Very Good? Click here.
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.