Normally, I don’t write about such heavy topics but with LDS General Conference coming up, how destructive this topic is, and how much it’s been weighing upon my mind lately I feel the need to address this…
Let’s start by defining what Pornography is. In the book “True to the Faith” it says, “Pornography is any material depicting or describing the human body or sexual conduct in a way that arouses sexual feelings.” (p. 117) Pretty straight forward, right? To add to that definition: Pornography is hurtful. It deteriorates the human body and damages self-worth. It bring a nothing but a dark tunnel with many consequences. It brings loneliness and unhappiness. I don’t know about you, but that does not sound very pleasant.
How do you deal with all of it because from my general understanding on pornography studies, it takes quite a bit of time to fully recover from this form of addiction? Intensive therapy (not counseling), support groups, a support system, reachable goals, new habits, time, persistence, and more are needed to recover from this addictive behavior. From what I have seen in my own life, pronography has destroyed incredible talents, relationships, self-worth, the spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical aspect, and more. And each time that I’ve witnessed this, it has broken my heart. It’s beyond heartbreaking to watch any one go down to the path to the “Valley of Death” per say. It tears at all of my heartstrings when I find out that someone has been sucked into that trap. It’s awful for families and friends to watch their loved one go down such a dark path. But at the end of the day–more than that kind of hellish-pain–the real tragedy is what happens to the viewer.
Then life as they know it crumbles before them. Before they know it, their world is whatever is on the computer screen. They are living a virtual life. They don’t have a ton of friends and if they do they may be trapped into the same cage. They are unhappy. They are in total denial of how much unhappiness is in their life. They are in total denial of how much it is affecting their life. And that’s just the surface of it: Marriages fail. Girlfriends/Boyfriends break up with you. Job opportunities fly by. Life opportunities skip by. And more.
So, why change?
Correction: Why not change?
Objectively speaking, I can understand why so many people don’t come forward with this addiction. The endurance of shame, guilt, embarrassment and more impacts every aspect of that person’s life. It’s humiliating admitting this to anyone. So why come forward? What’s the point? Because let’s be honest here: The road to recovery for any type of addiction isn’t easy. But on the other hand, getting to the point to where you want to be free from that prison is pretty motivating. Coming forward with this (and any) addiction is so beneficial because life is so short and everything can just change in a matter of seconds.
Let’s do a reality check though: It’s gonna be hard. Really, really hard. But ultimately, it’s worth the battle. I can think back to a few guys that I’ve dated and I’ve found out down the road that they have had (or maybe even still have…I’m not sure) a problem with pornography. For me, what it comes down to is not so much how long or how much they’ve looked at but what they are willing to do to change it and how committed they are to dealing with the problem. I’ve come to realize that it doesn’t necessarily matter what has happened in the past. What matters is if the person values themself enough for not just their own sake but for the sake of their future family to change. That right there is a deal breaker to me because of my oh-so-wonderful daddy issues (that’s for another post though). It hits really close to home when someone isn’t willing to change to benefit themselves and the ones that they supposedly love.
So, what does a person do to change?
You may cry a little. You may worry a little. You may wonder why you started in the first place. You may feel helpless and maybe even hopeless. You may wonder how can you get out of this destructive mouse trap? You may even attend addiction recovery programs to get over all of this. But there is one vital missing puzzel piece that we call need; and thankfully, the answer is fairly simple: It’s the good news that all of us need–the good news of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.
Now, I’m not going to go all churchy (or whatever you want to call it) and down play the seriousness of pornography by brining up the gospel because therapy and recovery programs are essential in overcoming this addiction. But I also know that the Atonement of Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father’s plan for each of us is real. I know that with all of my heart. I know that God’s true intention of sending us here to Earth is so we can grow, learn, repent, and eventually return back to Him; and the way that we can do that is through the Savior Jesus Christ.
But the only way of doing that is by BELIEVING Jesus Christ and not just believing in Jesus Christ. That is what makes all the difference. Believing Christ means believing that when He says that He will make your burden light that it really applies to you and not your next door neighbor. Believing Christ means believing that He will make the sin go away and not just temporarily. Believing Christ means believing that He will make the difference when you or I fall short. Believing Christ is believing that He will change your life because He loves you.
I know that by believing Christ anyone can overcome this addiction or any addiction. I’ve seen it be doen many times in my life. I’ve also seen what happens when someone chooses not to believe Christ. That’s a rough road. But I do know that it can be done. Overcoming this addiction can help you come closer to the Savior and really change your entire life. I know that God loves each of us and that so does His son Jesus Christ. I know that even though I fall short so many times that there is a way for me and you to avoid the road to “Death Valley.” It’s possible. But we have to be the ones to take the first step and that’s admitting to yourself that you need to change.