Arias trial highlights Mormons' views on sex

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- Jodi Arias continued with more sexually explicit testimony Wednesday during her murder trial.

She claims she killed former boyfriend Travis Alexander in self defense, in 2008.

Arias portrays Alexander as sexually deviant, who altered between leaning on his strict Mormon faith and values, and demanding sex from her in 'uncomfortable' situations.

Some of Alexander's family members covered their faces, as explicit pictures Alexander texted to Arias were shown in court.

The trial is putting the issue of Mormon chastity and sex into the spotlight.

"The LDS faith puts a tremendous amount of emphasis and attention on chastity," Dr. Patrick Mason, Chair of Claremont Graduate University's Mormon Studies Program, told 3TV.

"One main message from church leaders in recent years is to avoid pornography at all times. Mormons are told to not even see R-rated movies. Mormon language and conversation is chaste, as well as their actions," explained Dr. Mason.

A November 2006 incident was the most shocking for the courtroom.

Arias says Alexander baptized her in his LDS church in a November ceremony.  Later that day, she told the jury, he forced himself on her, sexually.

"That time it was painful," Arias said, "I probably would've let him continue, but it became too painful."

"I didn't feel very good about it," Arias later recalled. "I felt like a used piece of toilet paper."

For something like this to happen on the day of one's baptism would be a major problem for Mormons.
"I think that, for Mormons, if it's true, that would be beyond the pale. Baptism is a sacred ordinance. Mormons consider it the gateway on one's pathway to salvation," said Dr. Mason.