This is not a light subject, so forgive me if I forgo my usual levity.
TWO FEMALE MISSIONARIES were raped, beaten, and one was shot. This happened in South Africa, according to ABC-4. One was from Kenya, and the other from California. This is a very, very sad case, and one has to ask, “Is sending these ‘children’ out to proselytize’ really safe?” What kind of angst will these young women bear the rest of their lives? I grew up in the era of the “it’s better to die than to give up your chastity,” but I don’t think that is pushed so much right now. Nevertheless, it is there, for anyone to see.
I know many young women had a hard time living with a rape, especially after hearing the teachings and counsel of LDS leaders. Here are a few of those.
Not only is safety an issue, but how will these victims deal with this terrible tragedy when they heal physically? Mentally, they have a long road ahead, particularly considering LDS teachings.
Consider these quotes:
“Loss of virtue is too great a price to pay even for the preservation of ones life – better dead clean, than alive unclean. Many is faithful the Latter-day Saint parent who has sent a son or a daughter on a mission or otherwise out into the world with the direction: ‘I would rather have you come back in a pine box with your virtue than return alive without it.'”–Apostle Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine (all editions), page 124.
” . . . Your virtue is worth more than your life. Please young folk, preserve your virtue even if you lose your lives. Do not tamper with sin . . . do not permit yourselves to be led into temptation.”–President David O. McKay, quoted in THE MIRACLE OF FORGIVENESS by Spencer W. Kimball
“…There is no true Latter-day Saint who would not rather bury a son or daughter than to have him or her lose his or her chastity — realizing that chastity is of more value than anything else in all the world.”–Heber J. Grant, quoted in THE MIRACLE OF FORGIVENESS by Spencer W. Kimball
“Also far-reaching is the effect of loss of chastity. Once given or taken or stolen it can never be regained. Even in forced contact such as rape or incest, the injured one is greatly outraged. If she has not cooperated and contributed to the foul deed, she is of course in a moe favorable position. There is no condemnation where there is no Voluntary participation. It is better to die in defending one’s virtue than to live having lost it without a struggle.”–Spencer W. Kimball, THE MIRACLE OF FORGIVENESS
“… For behold, many of the daughters of the Lamanites have they taken prisoners; and after depriving them of that which was most dear and precious above all things, which is chastity and virtue–“–Moroni 9:9
“The victim must do all in his or her power to stop the abuse. Most often, the victim is innocent because of being disabled by fear or the power or authority of the offender. At some point in time, however, the Lord may prompt a victim to recognize a degree of responsibility for abuse. Your priesthood leader will help assess your responsibility so that, if needed, it can be addressed. Otherwise the seeds of guilt will remain and sprout into bitter fruit. Yet no matter what degree of responsibility, from absolutely none to increasing consent, the healing power of the atonement of Jesus Christ can provide a complete cure.”
– Apostle Richard G. Scott “Healing the Tragic Scars of Abuse,” General Conference, Ensign, May 1992
“Of course, a mature person who willingly consents to sexual relations must share responsibility for the act, even though the other participant was the aggressor. Persons who consciously invite sexual advances also have a share of responsibility for the behavior that follows. But persons who are truly forced into sexual relations are victims and are not guilty of any sexual sin.”
– First Presidency Letter to General Authorities, Regional Representatives, and other priesthood leadership, 7 Feb. 1985
These girls are going to need a lot of therapy. My heart goes out to them.