Steps You Can Take Now
President Thomas S. Monson offers three specific steps we can implement to battle pornography.
- Return to Righteousness. An understanding of who we are and what God expects us to become will prompt us to pray. We can yet be guided by that still, small voice.
- A Quest for the Good Life. He speaks not of the fun life, the sophisticated life, the popular life. Rather, he urges each to seek eternal life—life everlasting with mother, father, brothers, sisters, husband, wife, sons, and daughters, forever together.
- A Pledge to Win the War. As we encounter pornography, let our battle standard and that of our communities be taken from that famous ensign of early America, "Don't tread on me."
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 one's use of pornography or involvement with other immoral behaviors, one should 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.
- 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).