Before I was married, one of the more common questions that I received from friends and others interested in the Mormon faith was whether Mormons practiced abstinence before marriage. Very simply, the answer is “Yes.”
Mormons follow the “Law of Chastity” which outlines that sexual relations are only allowed between husband and wife in marriage. Therefore, Mormons are not allowed to have sexual relations before marriage (also known as fornication) or with anyone other than their spouse while married (also known as adultery).
President Ezra Taft Benson, president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1985-1994, taught:
Do not be misled by Satan’s lies. There is no lasting happiness in immorality. There is no joy to be found in breaking the law of chastity. Just the opposite is true. There may be momentary pleasure. For a time it may seem like everything is wonderful. But quickly the relationship will break down. Guilt and shame set in. We become fearful that our sins will be discovered. We must sneak and hide, lie and cheat. Love begins to die. Bitterness, jealousy, anger, and even hate begin to grow. All of these are the natural results of sin and transgression.
On the other hand, when we obey the law of chastity and keep ourselves morally clean, we will experience the blessings of increased love and peace, greater trust and respect for our marital partners, deeper commitment to each other, and therefore a deep and significant sense of joy and happiness.
Keeping ourselves chaste before marriage shows our commitment not only to the Lord, but also to our future spouse. How wonderful when both bride and groom come to their wedding day without regret, having kept themselves pure for each other.