Trigger Warning: This section describes many aspects of sexuality, including sexual assault.

My wife has worked as a sexual assault therapist for several years, so I have deferred to her for advice on this section. While she is very respectful of clients’ privacy and never shares any identifying details, her experiences have helped her guide our understanding of sexuality, and it has become clear to us that the church does not care about its members’ well-being, especially their sexual health.


Everything is sexualized in the church. At least that’s how it felt as a young male teenager. I was always confused by the strict modesty standards given to young women (i.e., covered shoulders, stomachs, and knees) when the young men were never taught about modesty. In one priests’ quorum lesson, we discussed the importance of only dating modest women and teaching our future daughters to dress modestly. Girls as young as 2 or 3 were taught that it was evil to wear anything remotely revealing, while young men were shamed for wanting to wear a shirt during swimming activities.

I was criticized during this lesson for asking why God would have different standards for men and women. I was taught that because Eve tempted Adam, God made a woman’s body tempting to men. Thus, women had to cover their bodies to keep men from thinking inappropriate thoughts. I briefly wondered why we weren’t taught not to sexualize women.

This never sat right with me, but I brushed it off. After all, my Y-chromosome prevented me from experiencing much of the shame and guilt that comes with being born into a female body as a member of the church.

Sex is Bad (until it isn’t)

The church encourages people to develop hard-wired neural networks defining sex as an evil sin. Teenagers are warned over and over of the evil of sex. For decades, the church promoted The Miracle of Forgiveness and To Young Men Only, both of which condemn any sort of exploration of sexuality.

Because sex is evil, parents do not teach their children about sex. I learned about masturbation from a bishop at 12 years old. I learned about the mechanics of sex on the bus to a marching band competition at 15. I learned at 17 that birth control existed when a high school biology teacher went around school policy by talking about animal reproduction. I remember wondering what was so funny to my classmates when she mentioned that “in case we weren’t aware such technology existed, if a lady horse wasn’t ready to have a child, she could go to a horse convenience store and pick up a horse condom, or she could talk to the horse doctor to take a pill or get an implant. I learned about the concept of consent at 20 years old when I returned from my mission and had to take a sexual respect training as part of university onboarding. I learned about the importance of being equal partners in sexual interactions during a frantic web search the week before my wedding. Sex was such a shameful topic in the church that people seemed afraid to teach me about it.

Further, when people are not educated about sex, they make mistakes. I am infuriated to hear about people who experienced sexual assault not because of malice, but because their spouse never learned how to get consent. It is distressing to know that so many men are taught in the church that they own and are to dominate their spouses, including and especially in sexual relationships.

After potentially decades of shame and guilt alongside a deeply-ingrained perspective that sex is evil, as soon as someone is married, they are encouraged to start having kids. My heart goes out to countless church members who have experienced anything from disinterest to rape because of conditioning within the church. Because people are hard-wired to think sex is evil, many of our friends (especially women) have mentioned how traumatic it is to go from complete abstinence to an intense sexual relationship overnight.

Children and Youth

From an extremely young age, children and youth are shamed in the church for having healthy sexual feelings and experiences. It is heartbreaking to think about the trauma, fear, and shame that come from the church’s approach to sexuality. It is much more heartbreaking to see how little the church cares about protecting people from sexual violence. The church creates an environment in which abuse thrives, and it is unacceptable that church leaders continue to show nonchalance about these critical issues.

LGBT+ Issues

I have brought this up throughout this document, so I will try to avoid repeating myself. Simply put, people are shamed for experiencing “same-sex attraction” or feeling like they were meant to be a different gender than they were born. It has been painful to watch friends and family members suffer because of the church’s policies, and the church seems to have made its position clear. Church leaders do not care about the LGBT+ community any more than they have to to save face.


The church’s attitude toward sex and sexuality is unhealthy and extremely traumatizing. I cannot believe in a God who promotes such unhealthy attitudes, and I cannot support an organization that appears so aloof to the suffering of innocent individuals. Like every other section in this epistle, I believe the church’s attitude toward sexuality alone is enough to justify that the church is not true.