Kimball said: “Kissing has been prostituted and has degenerated to develop and express lust instead of affection, honor and admiration. What do kisses mean when handed out like pretzels and robbed of sacredness?” If you're like me, your first response was probably, "Who goes around handing out pretzels? Which means that President Kimball was simply giving a much-needed reiteration of the Biblical ban on prostitution.I believe the point is that if you never lie down with your date, you two are much less likely to have sex. If you keep your kissing free from lust, you’re very unlikely to experience a hormonal override of rational thought.Additionally, your relationship is more likely to maintain a balance of emotional, spiritual and physical aspects.I think this is sort of the point of Jesus’ admonition that “whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” Physical attraction is, of course, all well and good, but lending undue gravity to physical attraction can shift a relationship’s focus and stunt its emotional and spiritual progress.I’m not going to go into any more detail or define lust for you.Unscrupulously, I would gladly share this bag with anyone.Shucks, I’d share this bag of pretzels all evening with a stranger I fully intended to never see again.
But, like President Kimball’s kissing quote, I’m not sure we all know what “passionate kissing” means.
I was recently explaining the LDS dating standards from this site to a friend of another faith who instantly picked up on the ambiguity of the term “passionate kissing.” “I don’t think I’d like to be kissed in any other way,” she protested.
This led to a discussion on how the word “passion” ought to be defined.
The dictionary provides us two slightly different definitions for "passion" that I think are worth differentiating: 1) "any powerful or compelling emotion, as love or hate," and 2) "strong sexual desire; lust." I would posit that powerful and compelling emotions such as love are and should be an important part of romance, courtship and eventual marriage.
In fact, I believe that a kiss devoid of compelling emotion toward the other party might be the epitome of casual kissing. Some LDS dating standards seem to be created less because the activities are wrong in and of themselves, and more because they help us avoid next-step wrong behavior.