New FHE Lessons Help Teach Children about Pornography
Contributed By Tracy Allen, Welfare Services
“Parents, be aware that the addiction of pornography can begin with youth at a very early age. Take preventative action to avoid that tragedy.” —Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve
Some parents may feel uncomfortable discussing sexual intimacy and pornography with their children, or they may not feel like it is necessary until children are much older.
Elder Richard G. Scott counseled, “Parents, be aware that the addiction of pornography can begin with youth at a very early age. Take preventative action to avoid that tragedy” (“To Acquire Spiritual Guidance,” Oct. 2009 general conference).
The Church has published a series of family home evening lessons designed to help parents discuss pornography with their children and to equip children with skills to respond appropriately to pornographic content they likely will be exposed to.
The lessons include basic doctrines and principles about the sacredness of the body, sexual intimacy, following the Spirit, choosing good media, appropriate action steps for when a child sees pornography, and repentance. They also include age-specific activities parents can select based on the needs of their family.
The lessons are designed for a family home evening setting, but the references and activities can be used in a variety of situations.
Sister Cheryl Esplin, second counselor in the Primary general presidency, said, “Sometimes the most powerful way to teach our children to understand a doctrine is to teach in the context of what they are experiencing right at that moment. These moments are spontaneous and unplanned and happen in the normal flow of family life. They come and go quickly, so we need to be alert and recognize a teaching moment when our children come to us with a question or worry” (“Teaching Our Children to Understand,” Apr. 2012 general conference).
While the doctrinal foundation will be taught during family home evening, parents and children can return to these materials frequently in personal study and one-on-one interactions to help youth deal with the pervasive effects of pornography.
The following lessons can be accessed on the overcomingpornography.org website:
The lessons are not intended to be taught in a particular order, nor is it expected that all of the content will be shared in a single family home evening lesson. Rather, parents can counsel together and with the Lord on which principles and activities will be most beneficial to their family.