Helping Others

"Helping Others," Let Virtue Garnish Thy Thoughts, (2006)


If you learn that a family member or friend is involved with pornography, you may feel discouraged, betrayed, or distressed. In these difficulties, you may find strength as you counsel with your bishop. You may also want to ask for a priesthood blessing from a worthy priesthood holder. You should not blame yourself for the actions of others. Each individual is responsible for his or her own behavior.

You can help your friend or family member as you continue to increase your own spiritual strength. The light of the gospel in your life will lift you and do much to dispel darkness in the lives of those you love. As you seek the companionship of the Spirit, the Lord will guide you. Seek His help through prayer, scripture study, and temple attendance.

The following principles will also help as you interact with your friend or family member:

  • Listen carefully. Do not respond with shock or anger. Do not rush to give advice. Talk with the person in a loving and confidential way.

  • Be kind and loving, but do not tolerate or join in inappropriate behavior.

  • Avoid being critical or controlling. Your friend or family member will be less likely to discuss problems if you respond in a critical or punitive way. Criticism may lead others to hide problems instead of seeking help.

  • Support efforts to repent. Express confidence in your friend or family member. Pray for him or her. Help him or her come up with a solution to solve the problem, including specific plans to avoid pornography and to repent. Encourage him or her to speak to the bishop.

  • Compliment specific strengths and positive actions.

  • Talk together about ways to remove temptation.

  • Learn to forgive.

If your friend or family member speaks to a bishop and the bishop does not impose a visible or obvious punishment, you may feel as though the problem is not being taken seriously. Recognize that a bishop is to rely on the Spirit to determine what will best help each individual.