How to Live Today » Don’t Look at Pornography

[this teaching has not yet been illustrated]


The sleazy filth of pornography sweeps over the earth like horrible, engulfing, poisonous tide. Do not ever view or read anything that depicts or describes the human body or sexual conduct in a way that can arouse sexual feelings. If you do, it will pull you down into a swamp of evil thoughts and abusive conduct. It will destroy you. Avoid it like you would a foul disease, for it is just as deadly.


Pornography is worse than contaminated food. Our bodies have a way to rid themselves of sickening food and get it out of the system, but once pornography has been seen, it cannot be unseen, and it is stored forever in our brains. Those who view pornography suffer impairment of their ability to enjoy a normal romantic, emotional, and spiritual relationship with a person of the opposite gender. They are led to act out what they have witnessed.


Pornography is extremely addictive, and like other addictions it will dull your senses, leading you to seek more powerful stimulation. As your conscience becomes desensitized, and the moral barriers that stand against abnormal and illegal behavior erode, you will seek portrayal of sexual perversion that is rougher and more extreme, such as bestiality.


The use of pornographic material in any way is a sin that breaks God's commandment: "Thou shalt not commit adultery nor do anything like unto it." Other serious sins that are spawned by pornography include adultery, abortion, molestation, incest, homosexuality, robbery, prostitution, rape, and murder. A recently executed killer confessed the impact pornography had on his life.


Adolescents use pornography much more than any other age group. If you discover that your child has been looking at pornography, stay calm and avoid responding with shock or anger. Ask your child questions such as, "How long have you been viewing pornography?", "Have you also masturbated while you looked at pornography?", "How do you feel about your involvement with pornography?", and "Do you plan to continue your involvement?"


One teen struggling with an addiction to pornography reported, "When my parents caught me looking at porn, it was an answer to my prayer! The night before, I prayed that something would happen so I could stop looking at porn. I have tried and tried to stop by myself, and I just couldn't do it. I was relieved when my parents found out!"


Teach your child about the dangers of pornography, the serious sins it can lead to, and express your concern that involvement in pornography is putting their happiness during their mortal life in jeopardy, and may cause them to suffer torture in hell and become ineligible to return to the presence of Heavenly Father. If needed, encourage your child to speak with a bishop, or get professional help.


What should you do if you suspect your spouse of using pornography? Carefully research your suspicion to make sure no one else is responsible for the pornography in your home. One wife was distraught upon discovering pornographic images in a folder on the family computer. When her husband came home from work, she burst into tears and attacked him. As it turned out, however, it was their teenage son's friend who was to blame.


On the other hand, another wife became suspicious of her husband's late-night computer activities, and months later discovered that after she went to bed, he had indeed been viewing pornography. The key is to gather the appropriate evidence which can include: unexplained financial transactions; increased isolation; quickly turning off the computer screen when you walk in the room; irritation and mood swings; lower interest in spousal sex; increased or insatiable appetite for sex; or sex that is rushed, rigid, or without passion.


Discovery of a husband's pornography addiction can cause immense shock, grief, and pain. You may become consumed by thoughts such as, "Why did my husband do this to me?", "Am I not attractive enough?", "Is he attracted to someone else?", "Will this destroy our family?", "I have lost my dreams", "Have our children been molested?" Some wives can spiral downward into depression, self-doubt, and even suicidal thinking.


Other wives, despite their frustration and disgust, excuse their husband's behavior as normal. Trusted friends or family members may contribute to denying and invalidating the seriousness of the issue by rationalizing the problem with statements like, "Boys will be boys," "All guys are into porn," or "At least he isn't cheating on you." Such comments betray a lack of understanding that spousal use of pornography is devastating.


When confronting your spouse, do not hide your pain. Ask questions such as, "When did this first begin?", "How often do you view pornography?", "How and when is this pornography viewed?", "Is there masturbation involved?", "Have there been periods of abstaining from viewing pornography?", "If so, how was that achieved?", "Is there a plan in place to stop using pornography?" Suggest your spouse attend a 12-step program or speak to a bishop.


To keep pornography from being used in your home, use Internet filters that block inappropriate content. Install monitoring software that records all computer activity including websites visited, instant messenger and chat room conversations, and emails sent and received. Some programs even capture screenshots every 30 seconds. But remember that pornography can always be accessed elsewhere, and the only truly effective filter is a desire not to view pornography because it is against one's principles.


We live in a world filled with filth and sleaze. A world that reeks of evil. It is on the TV screen, movies, and popular books. Even newspapers, in an effort to gain higher circulation, publish graphic illustrations that are basely provocative. Satan knows when we are lonely, depressed, or confused, and tempts us when we are at our weakest. You must not let the filthy poison of pornography touch you.



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