The church is sensitive about its historical relationship with polygamy, and entry into a polygamous marriage, even where legal, will result in mandatory consideration of church discipline and possible excommunication.Since 1985 the church has provided a manual for parents to use in discussing sexuality with their children.Under this code, all members are taught to be "morally clean in their thoughts, words, and actions" and to abstain from pornography.filthy communications, impurity, inordinate affection, fornication. They included all sexual relations outside marriage—petting, sex perversion, and preoccupation with sex in one’s thoughts and talking." Though celestial marriage is the only form of marriage recognized as a sacrament, the church permits sex within government-recognized marital unions, the notable exceptions being same-sex marriage, common law marriage, civil unions (in jurisdictions where marriage is available), and polygamy.
The LDS Church teaches its members to obey what it calls the law of chastity, which is a code of morality and modesty.Ashoka Mukpo, US Program Associate, and US Program interns Anjali Balasingham, Andrea Barrow, Madeline Gressel, and Kari White provided important research assistance.Zama Coursen-Neff, acting deputy director of the Children's Rights Division and Janet Walsh, acting director of the Women's Rights Division, reviewed the report. What happened to nine-year-old Jessica Lunsford is every parent's worst nightmare.We want to acknowledge our special gratitude to Patty Wetterling, Alisa Klein, Jim Rensel, Nancy Daley, Dr. Levenson for providing guidance and insights in helping us to shape the research and writing of this report. Politicians have responded with a series of laws, including the sex offender registration, community notification, and residency restriction laws that are the subject of this report.Federal law and the laws of all 50 states now require adults and some juveniles convicted of specified crimes that involve sexual conduct to register with law enforcement-regardless of whether the crimes involved children.