I imagine most of us have experienced them -those chastity lessons that make us guffaw. Maybe it’s the object lesson that’s just a little too phallic. Maybe it’s the lesson that leaves no room for the atonement. Or maybe it’s hyperbolic statements about the diseases you get from premarital sex. Here are my top 8 ways to NOT teach about chastity.
Object lessons to avoid:
– Guns: Bringing a real revolver to the meeting as a way to teach that premarital sex is like playing Russian Roulette.
– Banana banging. Bring a beautiful banana to class. Let the class admire it. Start whacking it on the table so it becomes all nasty and black and mushy. Teach the class that our virtue is like the banana. (This object lesson is just way too phallic.)
– Wood block: Showing the perfectly nice piece of wood. Driving nails into it to symbolize sexual sin. Taking the nails out to symbolize the atonement. But commenting that even though the nails are removed through the atonement, you still are damaged goods to some extent because of the ugly holes. (Once again too phallic. And does not show a good understanding of the atonement).
– The licked cupcake: Bringing just enough cupcakes for every class member. Taking one of those cupcakes and licking the frosting completely off. Then passing the tray around so that the last person is stuck with the licked cupcake, which of course he/she won’t eat.
– Chewed stick of gum. We all know this one. Major atonement problems here.
– The rose ceremony: Passing around the beautiful white rose. Encouraging class members to touch it. By the end it will look wilted and sad. Alternatively, show the rose and then whack it against the table until the head falls off, then tell the class that’s what they are – headless roses – if they have premarital sex.
Rhetorical Strategies to avoid:
– Discussing in great detail the types of diseases a person could get from unprotected sex. Mentioning the phrase ‘disgusting pustules’ over and over again when talking about genital herpes. (This actually occurred in a sacrament meeting talk I experienced.)
– Talking about how it is better for a young person to die than fornicate. (I remember this statement from our R.S. manual a couple of years ago. Was it the Joseph F. Smith manual…?)
Please contribute your own experiences with memorable chastity lessons. I’d love to hear about the good as well as the bad.