You forgot something, right?

24 Oct

Yesterday in Relief Society the lesson was on strengthening marriage. There were 10 bullet points, each on a slip of paper handed out before class to be read by a different sister. You know what I mean.

Not one about sex. Not even referenced by a euphemism.

Not. One.

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30 Responses to “You forgot something, right?”

  1. merkin4 October 24, 2011 at 12:29 pm #

    For what it’s worth, we hear about sex in Elder’s Quorum all the time. Like how we are all disgusting, degenerate perverts who offend the tender sensibilities of the Sisters, and if we spent half as much time doing home teaching as we do surfing the ‘net for feelthy peekchures, the Church would follow the path of the City of Enoch, but alas! woe! we hold the Sisters back from their Divine Potential.

    In other words, we’re told to want it less.

    But, everyone knows that Mormons don’t have sex. They just pray for babies, really hard.

  2. Lucy W. October 24, 2011 at 12:38 pm #

    Apologies in advance, because I know you’re serious (and probably irritated at the situation), but the way you phrased that made me giggle.

  3. Zaissa October 24, 2011 at 2:15 pm #

    Perhaps the women in your RS are just having really good sex as it is and figure well enough should be left alone?

  4. Lucy W. October 24, 2011 at 2:54 pm #

    @Zaissa, the tone was set by the teacher, who didn’t include intimacy or date nights or the usual line about the most important relationship in the marriage is the actual marriage and not to let kids get in the middle of it. A token reference to intimacy would have been enough. One line, one sentence. It would have sufficed. Not even that. It was as if sex does not exist.

    I don’t know about you, but if my sex life isn’t going so hot, nothing else in my marriage can compensate.

  5. Fanny A October 24, 2011 at 2:56 pm #

    Grrrrrr!!!! Dammit, this just pisses me off. Sex is what makes your husband different than every other friendship in your life. And I am SO SICK of men being told they’re degenerate and horny and the sisters are more spiritual. It’s a load of bunk- we’re all fallen, with feet of clay, in the world, and dammit, and I’m okay with having a strong sex drive and sometimes wanting to pin a man against the wall and have my way with him.

  6. handle with care October 24, 2011 at 3:38 pm #

    But it’s even more than that,right?

    It’s a great fuck,but it’s also the most deeply spiritual journey into the depths of our ability to surrender and to love with all we have. It’s connecting to the heartbeat of the universe,it’s serving and being served. The mystic union.The man in the woman and the woman in the man. Cleaving unto one another. Becoming one. Healing all the hurts that life inflicts upon us.

    How can this not be the beating heart of a marriage.

    It seems to me that we don’t have to go into detail,but we do have to affirm the sacred importance of our sexuality as part of the expression of our love for one another.We impoverish ourselves unnecessarily when we choose not to invest in our sexuality.

  7. Lucy W. October 24, 2011 at 3:41 pm #

    It’s connecting to the heartbeat of the universe […]

    Beautiful. Perfect.

  8. KaralynZ October 24, 2011 at 5:08 pm #

    Merkin4 – oh dear. I find myself rather glad my husband doesn’t go to Priesthood meetings…

  9. Fanny A October 24, 2011 at 5:23 pm #

    Amen, Handle with Care. AMEN.

  10. Strong Man October 24, 2011 at 5:35 pm #

    ARRGH! That’s all I have to say.

    Here’s the clincher–you were there. What did you say?

    Surely there are opportunities to comment during the RS meeting. Did you?

    With Merkin4–I rarely recall anything positive said about encouraging married men to have sex in any kind of church setting–youth or adult. Perhaps–it is okay, permitted, even beautiful, but not a recommendation that it’s an important commandment, even the first commandment ever given to mankind–See Genesis 1 and 2.

    That’s why we need you are your blog! Keep it up.

  11. Zookie October 24, 2011 at 5:40 pm #

    We recently had the strengthening marriage lesson and the Law of Chastity lesson in our Relief Society (two separate Sundays). No sex brought up AT ALL on the strengthening marriage class, and the LoC class was all about abstaining, of course. So I raised my hand both times to make sure that SEX was brought up in a good way. I made a comment that it was a vital part of the marriage relationship and we shouldn’t be rejecting our spouse (or something like that, I don’t remember exactly). I also commented that girls are always getting told how sex is bad, bad, bad, but they need to know that it is good, good, good, after marriage. I used my driver’s license analogy and several ladies really liked that.
    I actually got a high five from a sister sitting next to me.
    I recently got called as a Primary teacher. Coincidence? hmmmm (kidding!!)

    Seriously, I asked the teacher later if she was okay with my comments and she said absolutely. I also got other positive feedback from some of the other sisters. Ladies, speak up in your Relief Society lessons. Raise your hand and talk about sex. There are more of us than you think who know that sex is a GOOD thing! And it’s really important for the sisters who’ve internalized the wrong message about it to hear something positive from other sisters.

  12. Zookie October 24, 2011 at 5:41 pm #

    And it pisses me off, too, if the poor Priesthood holders are being told they are the devil incarnate for having sexual desires.

  13. Eliza R. October 24, 2011 at 6:43 pm #

    sadly, this does NOT surprise me. At all.

  14. Lucy W. October 24, 2011 at 6:45 pm #

    @Strongman Because the sisters were too busy bitching about their husbands. And in context, I can totally see that they were justified. Maybe if their husbands spent less time at church (biggest complaint) and more time in bed, they might not be so quick to want to bitch about their husbands. Good enough answer for you?

  15. Whitney October 24, 2011 at 8:24 pm #

    Lucy W: THAT is some advice I would LOVE to hear at church. Men, spend more time in bed with your wife, less time at church.

  16. YoungFox October 24, 2011 at 8:37 pm #

    We had our Law of Chastity lesson a few weeks back, towards the end of the lesson someone brought up the fact that sex is a commandment and that it is something very good and important in marriage. It was not the focus of the lesson but it was a good ending to the lesson. Just for your info, the lesson was taught by a recently returned missionary, so basically there was no way he was going to bring up sex. All in all, pretty good lesson, so not all elder’s quorum lessons on chastity make you feel like crap.

  17. Rob October 24, 2011 at 11:10 pm #

    Yeah, speak up with sex-positive messages. I did in Elders Quorum a few weeks back during the LoC lesson. I highlighted the “divinely appointed” aspect of sexuality and said that it’s something to figure out as a team. I also shared Brotherson’s comment that’s it’s God’s wedding gift to couples. I think that’s a great message for youth.

    I remember a fireside when I was a teen. A bishopric member told us what a great thing sex was. He tacked on the usual “…but there are rules”, but I think everyone noticed the endorsement more than the usual talk. It’s good to hear those messages. Be the one to share them!

  18. Strong Man October 25, 2011 at 12:29 am #

    Whitney and Lucy W.–I don’t agree that staying away from Church is the answer, although I find your disgust interesting and informative.

    At Church and in General Conference, we are regularly told to study scripture, so I feel that is a good solution. And, properly understood, the scriptures have numerous sex-positive messages. I outline this a bit in my post on Sex and Scripture

    Our doctrine is fine–it’s our culture, personal fears, and habits that are problems.

    We ARE the Church–so we can definitely influence what is said in class.

  19. Lucy W. October 25, 2011 at 12:53 am #

    Strongman, I really am not getting the correlation between “spend less time at church and more time in bed with your wife” and “staying away from church.” I feel like you’ve twisted my words to mean something entirely different from what I said. There is a wide gap in meaning between the two phrases.

    MY point was that this was the lesson the teacher prepared. It was without comment as to marital intimacy. You don’t find that odd or disquieting?

  20. Whitney October 25, 2011 at 2:30 am #

    What disgust? I’ve definitely heard men lament how little time they get to spend with their families, and how much time they spend in countless meetings. It’s wonderful that these guys are so willing to serve in the church, but it means they have less time for their families–less time to help take care of the kids, and less time to spend with their wives. It’s an unfortunate and all-too-real consequence. No one’s saying anyone should quit church.

  21. Strong Man October 25, 2011 at 10:38 am #

    Lucy W.–It appears I took your comments a bit further than you intended. “spend less time at church” is not identical to “stay away from church,” although I felt a similar sentiment.

    And–yes, your original post about this lesson really bothered me–as I commented above: “AARGH!”

    That lesson totally missed the primary purpose and blessing of marriage, and probably the number one way in which women can improve their marriages. I absolutely agree with you: “but if my sex life isn’t going so hot, nothing else in my marriage can compensate.”

    Having said that–you still didn’t answer my question: What did you say? If nothing, what do you wish you had said, and what do you plan to say next time?

    Your blog is wonderful, but if you, who have such strong feelings about this, aren’t willing to speak up in RS, aren’t you somewhat contributing to the problem?

    Whitney–You’re right. Well-put. Meetings sometimes get in the way of families, and I think sometimes even in the way of actual ministering in the Church. Wise leaders, such as President Monson, for example, have told several stories about intentionally leaving or missing meetings so they can visit someone in need. And Church isn’t the only distraction–work and kids can also get in the way of bedtime with the wife.

    I really mean what I said above:

    “That’s why we need you are your blog! Keep it up.”

    You’re doing great work and it is sorely needed–not just on the Internet, but in conversations with your friends, and in Relief Society discussions.

  22. Strong Man October 25, 2011 at 11:11 am #

    My apologies for continuing on and on, but I thought this might be helpful.

    Just out of curiosity, I wondered if the actual manual for this lesson missed the boat as badly as the teacher apparently did.

    Assuming the teacher did as directed and used the Gospel Principles manual this past Sunday, she would have been most likely teaching this lesson on “Eternal Marriage:”

    http://lds.org/manual/gospel-principles/chapter-38-eternal-marriage?lang=eng

    ALL SIX scriptures suggested for study in this lesson are about sex:

    • Genesis 1:26–28 (we should multiply and replenish the earth)
    • Genesis 2:21–24 (the first marriage was performed by God)
    • Matthew 19:3–8 (what God has joined)
    • D&C 132 (the eternal nature of the marriage law)
    • D&C 42:22–26 (marriage vows should be kept)
    • Jacob 3:5–7 (husbands and wives should be true to each other)

    The first three all express commandments: “They shall be one flesh.” or “Mutliply and replenish the earth.” These are clearly commandments, not options, not just privileges.

    The last two are about faithfulness to your spouse in physical intimacy and avoiding “adultery.”

    D&C 132 even hints strongly that sex is eternal, and that this is the distinguishing feature of exaltation and of God: v. 19: “which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever.” The eternal sex part is, I admit, an extrapolation that I probably wouldn’t teach directly, but I believe it’s accurate to the context.

    Scripture Score: 4 clearly sex-positive, 2 sex-cautious, 0 no mention of sex.

    You could use a scripture from the manual to make a very helpful comment.

    Our church leaders are trying to help us by designing manuals, suggesting scriptures, and telling us to study them. They won’t force us when we ignore them.

  23. Eliza R. October 25, 2011 at 11:52 am #

    Strong Man, are you seriously chastising Lucy (a fully active highly participating member in the church) for not changing the course of a lesson she was not teaching?

    I can’t speak for her: she does brilliant work in the church and in the LDS online community; stuff I could never do. I’ll just speak for me: IT’S EXHAUSTING TO ALWAYS HAVE TO SWIM AGAINST THE CURRENT IN ONE’S WARD.

    Your comments on the lines of “you are part of the problem” and “do better next time” are condescending.

  24. Lucy W. October 25, 2011 at 11:53 am #

    @StrongMan

    What did you say? If nothing, what do you wish you had said, and what do you plan to say next time?

    Your blog is wonderful, but if you, who have such strong feelings about this, aren’t willing to speak up in RS, aren’t you somewhat contributing to the problem?

    You so don’t know me.

    I have thrown bombs into the middle of Gospel Doctrine and Relief Society so many times nobody will call on me when I raise my hand. I throw them anyway. I have gone toe-to-toe with priesthood up to and right through the stake president and made them back down because I was right and they knew it. I am not asked to give talks in Sacrament Meeting. But you wouldn’t know that because you don’t know me and you assumed far too much.

    I didn’t say anything because the bullet points were read throughout the lesson and I vaguely assumed it would eventually pop up. When it didn’t by the time the lesson ended 10 minutes after the hour, it was too late. Not only that, but it didn’t start hammering at me until later. (That happens, you know. Something you hear at church doesn’t torque anything until you get to thinking about it later on. Please google “fridge logic.”)

    Not that I feel accountable to you or anyone else.

    But Strongman, I have to say, you really come off as condescending. Maybe you don’t mean to. Maybe you do. I don’t know. I’m trying to be patient and not let my temper loose, but every time you talk I feel like we sister-wives are being patted on the head and tutted at–but really just chastised.

  25. merkin4 October 25, 2011 at 12:56 pm #

    Time for a new quote, or more.

    “No other success in marriage can compensate for failure in the sack.”

    And things do change, although slowly. My wife remembers an Eternal Marriage lesson where the teacher brought out a red teddy and explained “What good is being married forever if there’s no passion?”

    The Nag Hammadi library has a great line along the lines of “The perfect conceive with a kiss.”

    Keep up the good work.

  26. Strong Man October 25, 2011 at 3:30 pm #

    Lucy W. Thanks for sharing. That helps. It sounds like you have had some real challenges and frustrations and that you’re doing what you can. You’re right–I only know you from what you’ve shared on this blog. I don’t pretend to know any more.

    I don’t intend to seem condescending. I made a suggestion that I believe applies to all of us, not just you. It’s the kind of suggestion I would hope you would make for me as well.

    Obviously you don’t know me either. I also understand many challenges of swimming against the current. I’m here because I’ve learned from you and your experience, and appreciate your insights.

    Please don’t ignore all the positive things I’ve said about the good work you’re doing, and that I agree with and share your concerns expressed in this post.

    Now for the third time–this blog is important, and I’m sure you’re doing lots of good things apart from this blog as well.

  27. demon October 27, 2011 at 12:41 am #

    I for one am a proponent of starting a class in church that has to deal with sexual issues. They have classes to get you ready for a temple marriage and a mission so why shouldn’t there be a class to help people who just don’t understand the sexual aspects of marriage.

    I have even suggested it to the bishop that keeps coming over to my house and asking me why I haven’t been to church in over a year. I have gotten tired of the same lessons over and over and over again since I was a kid. Plus I work over nights so I sleep during the day.

  28. i October 30, 2011 at 7:37 pm #

    They mentioned it today in our ward. Bishop taught a combined class and basically hit on about 40 topics from the church handbook answering random questions ranging from politics to symposiums to sex.

    Not a lot of discussion on any of the topics, but just quick answers on topics that sometimes the bishop or the general authorities get asked when it comes to official church positions.

    in short, sex is not just for procreation but is good, natural and ‘encouraged’ to foster better relations between husband and wife. The two women behind me giggled a little bit and whispered “well, duh!”

  29. handle with care October 31, 2011 at 4:34 pm #

    Discussed this with stake RS pres today-hoping it will get some consideration as a concern of the sisters at least…

  30. SPE November 1, 2011 at 6:55 pm #

    “I’ll just speak for me: IT’S EXHAUSTING TO ALWAYS HAVE TO SWIM AGAINST THE CURRENT IN ONE’S WARD. ”

    Yup, I know the feeling. I used to sit there, quietly seething, until one day I couldn’t take it any more. I’m never rude, but sometimes I just can’t keep my mouth shut.

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