Pornography is everywhere. It is so prevalent that the chances of seeing it are high. Those who struggle with pornography need love, compassion, and support from family, friends, and leaders. How can we show compassion and support? As we prayerfully seek to help those who are struggling, we can find strength and guidance.
The article by Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on page 32, “Recovering from the Trap of Pornography,” provides some needed guidance. In it, he explains that there are different levels of involvement with pornography: (1) inadvertent exposure, (2) occasional use, (3) intensive use, and (4) compulsive use, or addiction. He also gives five principles to help us overcome pornography, teaching that hope comes to all who access the Atonement of Jesus Christ, which helps us heal and feel clean again. So important is this article that it also appears in this month’s New Era and in the youth pages of the Liahona. All members of the Church will benefit as parents, leaders, and teachers address the challenge of pornography from the perspective Elder Oaks provides.
Of course, avoidance is key when it comes to children and pornography. The article on page 39, “Oh No! Now What?” (reprinted from the February 2014 Friend magazine), can help children know what to do when they encounter pornography. You can also find help in this month’s Friend with “Standing Strong” (page 44) and an article explaining how to have healthy online habits (page 47). Both can help children learn to turn away from pornography.
While pornography is evil and not of God, having a clearer understanding of the depth of the problem—especially that it may not be as ingrained or extreme as feared—can engender hope and an increased capacity to choose to repent and discontinue use of it.
All of us can take comfort and find hope in this promise from the Lord, given in the Book of Mormon: “My grace is sufficient for all men [and women and children] that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them” (Ether 12:27).