The Divine Design of All Human Beings

spirit and body

One of the “Ideas for Personal Scripture Study” for the Come, Follow Me lesson for August 19-25 is the concept—“My body is sacred.” The manual explains that many people living in Corinth during the meridian of times believed that sexual immorality was acceptable. Paul clearly taught that members of Christ’s Church should live a chaste life: “Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own. For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). The law of chastity is a key doctrine that latter-day Saints also need to understand and live today.

A Church resource that can especially help youth learn gospel truths about healthy living, love, and intimacy is the August 2019 New Era. All the articles focus on issues related to the sacredness of the human body. This New Era issue can help parents and youth understand the divine design of human bodies and why all of us should live the Lord’s law of chastity.

New Era

What follows is a brief review of some key concepts in President Russell M. Nelson’s article for the August 2019 New Era: “Your Body: A Magnificent Gift to Cherish.”

We Are Dual Beings”

President Nelson reiterates the concept that Paul taught: “Your physical body is a magnificent creation of God. It is His temple as well as yours and must be treated with reverence … It is a tabernacle of flesh—a temple for your spirit. A study of your body attests to its divine design.”

Your Body Is a Magnificent Gift”

Instead of wishing to change our bodies, he encourages us to “Ponder the magnificence of what you see when you look in the mirror. Ignore the freckles, the unruly hair, or the blemishes, and look beyond to see the real you—a child of God, created by Him in His image.”

mirror reflections

He explains: “Each organ of your body is a wondrous gift from God. …Your heart is an incredible pump. It has four delicate valves that control the direction of blood flow. These valves open and close more than 100,000 times a day—36 million times a year. Yet, unless altered by disease, they can withstand such stress almost indefinitely.”

He notes: “A perfect body is not required to achieve a divine destiny. In fact, some of the sweetest spirits are housed in frail frames. Great spiritual strength is often developed by those with physical challenges—precisely because they are challenged. Such individuals are entitled to all the blessings that God has in store for His faithful and obedient children” (See: Abraham 3:25-26).

Our Spirits Should Be in Charge of Our Bodies”

He explains: “Your spirit acquired your body and became a living soul to experience mortality and the associated trials and testing. Part of that testing is to determine if the appetites of your body can become mastered by the spirit that dwells within it.”

President Nelson clarifies: “Substances such as alcohol, tobacco, and harmful drugs are forbidden by the Lord. We have similarly been warned about the evils of pornography and unclean thoughts. Appetites for these degrading forces can become addictive. In time, physical or mental addictions enslave both the body and the spirit. Repentance from such shackles should be accomplished in this life while we still have the aid of a mortal body to help us develop self-mastery.”


He adds: “When we truly know our divine nature, we will want to control such appetites. And we will focus our eyes on sights, our ears on sounds, and our minds on thoughts that are a credit to our physical creation as a temple of God. In daily prayer, we will gratefully acknowledge Him as our Creator and thank Him for the magnificence of our own physical temple. We will care for it and cherish it as our own personal gift from God.”

Follow the Savior”

President Nelson counsels everyone: “Remember, not a season of life passes without temptation, trial, or torment, whether spiritually or physically. But as you prayerfully develop self-mastery, the desires of the flesh may be subjected to your spiritual control. And when that has been achieved, you may have the strength to submit to the will of your Heavenly Father. Remember, Jesus said, ‘Not my will, but thine, be done’ (Luke 22:42).”

Jesus in Gethsemane

He advises: “May we ever be grateful for the incredible blessing of a magnificent physical body, the supreme creation of our loving Heavenly Father. As great as our body is, it is not an end in itself. It is an essential part of God’s great plan of happiness for our eternal progression. If we honor it as God has ordained, we will remain on that ‘strait and narrow path which leads to eternal life’ (2 Nephi 31:18).”


President Nelson concludes: “We are sons and daughters of Almighty God. He is our Father. We are His children. Our divine inheritance is the magnificence of humankind. Our inheritance is sacred. Our potential is unlimited. May we always honor His gifts and that heritage in all that we do and say.”

Other Articles, Illustrations, Ideas, Q&A, and Activities in the August 2019 New Era

“More Than a Body: Seeing as God Sees” by Lexi and Lindsay Kite

“Your Physical and Spiritual DNA” by David A. Edwards

“Let’s Have a Modest Conversation”

“Some Things We Don’t Share”

“Brain and Body: How They Work Together” by David Dickson

“How I Fight Illness with Faith” by Jessie Jamison

“Amazing Things the Body Can Do”

“The Word of Wisdom: What It Is, What It Isn’t”

Vaping, Coffee, Tea, and Marijuana”

“What’s Your Body Type” Poster

“What Voices Will You Listen To?” by Sister Michelle D. Craig

“What I Learned from Having to Lose Weight for My Mission” by Jillian Pierson

“What Is the Law of Chastity” by Joshua J. Perkey

“Why Chastity?”


“Fun Stop”

“What do I do if I don’t like my body?” Q&A

“What are resurrected bodies like?” Q&A

“Firm Foundations”

“Respecting the Gift of Our Bodies” Last Word by Elder D. Todd Christofferson

“Your Body Is a Temple”