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Dear Gramps,

Are there any limits on physical intimacy after you’re married? Is it, ‘Anything goes’ or are there prohibited things? Nothing I’ve read gives a definitive answer.





Dear Anonymous,

Although you may not find an official Mormon handbook of instructions on marital relations, yet, as is the case with all the other areas of our lives, the principles of Mormonism and Christ’s gospel apply and should be followed and employed by the spirit of inspiration and revelation. Those principles don’t change when we enter the bedroom.

Here are some quotes from past leaders regarding this subject:

David O. McKay

“Let us instruct young people who come to us, first, young men throughout the Church, to know that a woman should be queen of her own body. The marriage covenant does not give the man the right to enslave her, or to abuse her, or to use her merely for the gratification of his passion. Your marriage ceremony does not give you that right” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1952, 86).

Spencer W. Kimball

“If it is unnatural, you just don’t do it. That is all, and all the family life should be kept clean and worthy and on a very high plane. There are some people who have said that behind the bedroom doors anything goes. That is not true and the Lord would not condone it” (Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, 312).

Howard W. Hunter

“Keep yourselves above any domineering or unworthy behavior in the tender, intimate relationship between husband and wife. Because marriage is ordained of God, the intimate relationship between husbands and wives is good and honorable in the eyes of God. He has commanded that they be one flesh and that they multiply and replenish the earth (see Moses 2:283:24). You are to love your wife as Christ loved the Church and gave himself for it (see Ephesians 5:25–31).


“Tenderness and respect—never selfishness—must be the guiding principles in the intimate relationship between husband and wife. Each partner must be considerate and sensitive to the other’s needs and desires. Any domineering, indecent, or uncontrolled behavior in the intimate relationship between husband and wife is condemned by the Lord” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1994, 68; or Ensign, Nov. 1994, 51).

One should demonstrate and express love, tenderness and caring for the marriage partner in all phases of the relationship. There should be no aspect of the marriage relationship in which “anything goes!” Consistent, then, with gospel principles, each marriage partner would do well to attempt to please and bless the other. Where one’s own desires and passions take precedence over the interests or the welfare of one’s companion, this immediately communicates to the partner the limits of the love, concern and caring that one has for the other. The basis for the happiest of marriages is to gain and to continually demonstrate the ability to subjugate one’s personal interests in favor of the interests of one’s companion.






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