For several years, Mormon feminists have been trying to get their church to eliminate from official publications any connection between rape and chastity.
It was especially noticeable in an LDS scripture, Moroni 9:9, which says, "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 — "
This Book of Mormon passage was the first LDS verse Mormon girls were required to study under the value of "virtue" in their Personal Progress workbooks.
In 2013, writer and editor Kristine Haglund argued that inclusion of the verse was inappropriate and harmful.
In a blog post at By Common Consent, Haglund explained that "the chastity in which the Lord delights (Jacob 2) is not merely virginity, and cannot be taken away by another person, especially not by violence or abuse."
Remove that reference, Haglund urged the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the time. "Do it now."
Three years later, the verse is gone, LDS Church spokesman Eric Hawkins confirmed Monday. It has been eliminated "first in the English version, others will follow."
The change matches LDS Church policy — as stated in thepamphlet "For the Strength of Youth" — which declares that "victims of sexual abuse are not guilty of sin and do not need to repent."
Many Mormon women took to social media to express delight at the church's latest move.
"We are no longer teaching a young woman's virtue can be taken by being raped," writer, editor and blogger Emily W. Jensen wrote on her Facebook post about the change. "Hooray! And thank goodness."