Steps You Can Take Now
Preventing the use of pornography is critical to avoiding a pornography problem that may lead to an addiction. Below are some helpful suggestions to avoid pornography.
Protect. Safeguard the home. As a family, discuss and implement healthy media habits such as limiting television and computer time, installing Internet filters, and placing televisions and computers in high-use areas where the screens are visible to others.
Exemplify. Immediately turn away from suggestive images and teach your children to do the same.
Love. Develop a loving, open, and influential relationship with your children, teaching them proper values and healthy attitudes toward sexuality.
Warn. Warn family members about pornography's ability to enslave and spiritually destroy them.
Teach. Help family members understand the desensitization process that occurs from repeated exposure to immoral images and behaviors found in books, magazines, and popular television programs (see 2 Nephi 4:31; D&C 1:31).
Though you may already recognize that pornography is a part of your life, the questions in the article "Is My Pornography Use a Problem?" may help you determine whether it is time for you to seek help. If you answer yes to any of the questions or if you are troubled by other pornography-related thoughts or behaviors, you may benefit from discussing your pornography use with your parents, your bishop, or a professional counselor.
Pornography use thrives in secrecy. To overcome use of pornography or involvement with other immoral behaviors, discuss these problems openly with appropriate priesthood leaders. Here are some suggestions that may help.
- Disrupt the Cycle of Pornography Use. When attempting to overcome pornography use, find something to take its place; otherwise, you may be tempted to engage in other unacceptable behaviors to fill the void.
- Control Thoughts. The First Presidency issued this statement: “We remind you of scriptures that make clear the relationship between one’s thoughts and actions (see Matthew 15:19; Mosiah 4:29–30; Alma 12:14; 3 Nephi 12:28; D&C 121:45)." As thoughts are kept clean and pure, the temptation to view pornography will decrease. Any desire to use will diminish.
- Stop Rationalizing. Replace rationalizations with true statements such as “I know that I am hurting myself, my spouse, my family, my relationship with the Lord and His Church, and my spiritual well-being every time I choose to indulge in pornography.”
- Study and Apply Gospel Principles. A deeper understanding of gospel principles will help to overcome the use of pornography. Important topics to study include faith in Jesus Christ, the Atonement, repentance, and forgiveness.
- Fully Disclose the Problem. Be completely honest and open when discussing pornography use with your bishop. A forthright confession will help the bishop understand the extent and seriousness of the problem and how he can best help.
As those struggling with pornography work to recover, seeking necessary support from others, they will also benefit from the sources listed below.
- Family Members. Family members can most effectively be a source of support by offering love and acceptance and by applying the same treatment steps to their own lives.
- Recovery Meetings. In these meetings, newcomers hear participants describe how they apply recovery principles and practices in daily living. Find a Recovery Meeting.
- Professional Counselors. When seeking professional help, it is important to select someone who is supportive of gospel principles as well as recovery methods consistent with those taught in the Addiction Recovery Program.
- Ecclesiastical Support. Never forget or underestimate the power of ecclesiastical stewardship.
- A Support Person. A support person helps those in recovery put their “lives into perspective and avoid exaggerating or minimizing [their] accountability” (Guide, 29).