I wrote a post about fathers on Father’s Day and when I was done I realized I wasn’t done. I didn’t even scratch the surface on what I had to say about Mormon Fathers (or men in general). I focused my last post on the selflessness that is required of Mormon men. I now want to focus on the purity expected of Mormon men, particularly the husbands and fathers.
I was shopping for birthday cards for my dad and just about every card had a reference to 1) alcohol, 2) sex or 3) gambling (the really great ones tied in all three). Sometimes our society’s definition of a real man is one that can hold his liquor and get with as many girls as possible. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches something different. According to the gospel of Jesus Christ a real man is someone who has the strength and character to be loyal and true to his God and his family.
A lot of things the Mormon church expects of men I have heard people say is literally not possible. Like, not only no pornography but no media that is meant to arouse and tempt. Mormon men are expected to be sexually pure having complete fidelity to their wives–both emotionally and physically.
For a lot of people, both Mormon and not Mormon, this is a very difficult task. Everywhere you look there are unsolicited advertisements using sex and pornography. It takes real strength, the kind that matters, to resist giving into these impulses and urges and to stay true to yourself, God and your spouse (if married). Sometimes (most of the time) people can’t do it alone and that is where Jesus Christ steps in. Sometimes the borrowed strength from Jesus Christ (which he will give freely and often) is the only thing that can help people avoid the temptation that is constantly thrown at them.
As a wife, married to a real man, I know it is difficult for men striving to live a pure life but I also know that it brings the greatest blessings of happy relationships and self respect. It is hard but it is worth it. Men do not have it easy in this world but there is a way to receive strength and help and that is through Jesus Christ.