petting? Should it be confessed to the bishop?"
By Elder Lindsay R. Curtis, New Era, Nov. 1985, Page 16:
Petting is fondling
a member of the opposite sex in areas that are private,
personal, and sacred.
Because of modern
movies and television we must add prolonged kisses that
involve the tongue and excite the passions as an off limits
form of fondling. Even a simple kiss should be reserved
for special occasions and for special people we care about.
In The Miracle
of Forgiveness, by Elder Spencer W. Kimball, we read: "Too
often, young people dismiss their petting with a shrug of
their shoulders as a little indiscretion, while admitting
that fornication is a base transgression. Too many of them
are shocked, or feign to be, when told that what they have
done in the name of petting was in reality fornication.
The dividing line is a thin, blurry one."
"All those who
have slipped into the disgraceful and most reprehensible
habit of transgressing through petting should immediately
change their lives, their habits, and their thought patterns,
repent sorely in 'sackcloth and ashes,' and by confession
get so far as possible a clearance from the Lord and the
leaders of his Church so that a measure of peace may
accompany them through their lives (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft,
1969, pp. 66, 67)."
you have it. Petting should be confessed to the bishop.
It is important to realize that your bishop is not there
to probe, to confront, to condemn, or to embarrass. Yes,
he is a 'judge in Israel' (D&C 107:72) and must serve in
this capacity. But he is also our friend and confidant when
we need to unburden our soul. He is there to help us repent
and turn our lives in the right direction once more. He
is there to help us find comfort and reassurance as we pursue
a repentant course.
said that conscience is that still, small voice deep inside
us where the acoustics are so bad. It is our task to answer
responsibly to this guardian of our souls called conscience.
Only with complete confession and repentance can its voice
of accusation be stilled.
It is not
only a necessity but a privilege to go to our bishop
so that a welcome spirit may come into our mind as it did
with Enos, reassuring us that, "thy sins are forgiven thee,
and thou shalt be blessed" and we can have our guilt "swept
"A kiss is an
evidence of affection. A kiss is an evidence of love, not
an evidence of lust - but it can be. Don't ever
let a kiss in your courtship spell lust. Necking and petting
are lustful; they are not love. I don't mind you
kissing each other after you have had several dates; not
the kiss of passion, but the kiss of affection."
- Spencer W. Kimball, address to missionaries, 2 Jan.
"On the very
brink of sorrow and disgrace are they who are guilty of
immodesty, necking, petting, or other secret and
unwholesome practices. Neither person is at his
best when he is petting. Each discovers in the other and
reveals in himself traits of which he should be ashamed.
He is voluntarily permitting himself to be led down the
path of misery and shame. Some pride themselves on never
going further than petting. They do not realize how disastrously
far they have already gone."
-Apostle Hugh B. Brown, The Abundant Life, page 64
twins, 'petting' and fornication are alike."
-Prophet Spencer W. Kimball, Miracle of Forgiveness,
"Shame on the
girl who will let a boy fondle her body with his hands.
Petting leads to something worse and whatever leads to
something worse is bad itself. Petting is an abomination
in the sight of God: and you know it-even if Mom or
Dad or your teachers failed to warn you. Instinctively you
know it. And you should know, too, that necking leads to
petting. This boy who came to me, and others of you may
have to put petting on your list of sins to be repented
-Elder William J. Critchlow, Jr., BYU Speeches, April
28, 1964, page 7
"And the world
will go on dying-destroying itself until people begin to
use words in their true meanings, 'calling a spade, a spade'
and not a spoon; calling 'petting' a deep sin and not
a harmless diversion-- until we rip its disguising mask
from its ugly face and strip from its lustful body the
sheep's clothing with which the vicious wolf has concealed
his mean self. My beloved young folks, do not excuse petting
and body intimacies. I am positive that if this illicit,
illegal, improper, and lustful habit of 'petting' could
be wiped out, that fornication would soon be gone from our
-Prophet Spencer W. Kimball, "Love Versus Lust", BYU
Speech January 5, 1965.
and petting like a plague, for necking and petting are
the concessions which precede the complete loss of virtue."
Prophet Ezra Taft Benson, "Safety in the Face of Dangers",
BYU Speech May 10, 1966.
"I, too, get
letters from young people. I got one the other day from
a girl who wanted to know, Is it wrong to pet? She said,
frankly, "I don't know. Will you tell me, is it wrong to
pet?" And I wrote back to that girl and told her that petting
is one of the most pernicious things that ever came into
-Apostle Mark E. Petersen, General Conference, 1 April
remaining in the field of simple expressions of affection,
some have turned themselves loose to fondling, commonly
called 'necking' with its intimate contacts and its passionate
kissing. It is an insidious practice leading to other vices.
Necking is the younger member of this unholy family.
Its bigger sister is called 'petting.' When the intimacies
have reached this stage, they are surely the sins condemned
by the Savior. What, may I ask you, is like unto adultery
if it is not petting? Did not the Lord recognize that this
heinous sin is but the devil's softening process for the
final acts of adultery? Can a person in the light of the
Lord's scriptures pursue the path of petting with clear
conscience? Can anyone convince himself that this is not
First Presidency Pamphlet, "To The Returning Missionary"
Page 14 and "Repentance Brings Forgiveness, Page 4
"A boy whom
the apostle (Spencer W. Kimball) a week back had turned
down for a missionary recommend, wrote that he had resisted
petting with his girl, and was determined to justify the
apostle's confidence in him. And a young girl wrote him
thanks for his counsel the week before, continuing: "I know
with your (Spencer W. Kimball) blessing and your prayers
I will overcome my weaknesses. Pray for me, please. It seems
easier to have some help. I hope there are few in this world
like me. I often wondered why the Lord didn't destroy
me for all the things I've done."
-Biography of Spencer W. Kimball, Chapter 15.