Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Wise Women: Prepare for the Plague of Pornography in Positive Ways

I strongly believe that we don't need to fear pornography, but we do need to prepare to fight against it. We need to understand there is a reason prophets refer to pornography as a plague. We need to decide now that we will act with compassion toward anyone affected by pornography. Finally, we need to have a plan in place to combat pornography.

Faith in the wise instruction of the Savior, Jesus Christ to "Be not afraid, only believe." provides courage to fight against " The sleaze and the filth of pornography" (President Gordon B. Hinckley,"The Condition of the Church, April 2003 General Conference). President Thomas S Monson affirms, " This is not a time for fear. . . but rather a time for faith. . ." ("Be Your Best Self," April 2009 General Conference). "I know that the Lord giveth no commandment unto the children of men save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them" 1 Nephi 3:7

  We must acknowledge that pornography doesn't only affect those who seek after it, it is a plague which also infects those diligently trying to avoid it. "Just as fiery serpents swept through the camp of Israel, pornography is sweeping through our world, and even the Saints of God are not escaping unharmed." ( Overcoming Addiction  Through the Atonement, Ensign September 2012) It is not only affecting those who go out and seek it, but biting some on the heel even when they are doing their very best to avoid it.  I have heard many stories from friends who have been horribly exposed to the disgusting stuff even after choosing very carefully what movie, etc.  they went to.  Like any flu germ, we can do our very best to avoid it, and we should, but we must also know what to do if we, or someone we love, becomes infected despite our best efforts at germ control.  Being prepared by choosing now to show compassion and understanding when we encounter or hear about someone who is struggling with pornography, and not reacting with fear, disgust, or anger, is extremely important:

". . . everyone I have met struggling with addiction suffers from a terrible sense of shame and a belief that he or she is broken, defective, and beyond the love and grace of God.
But this belief, in my experience, is far from the truth. Usually I find that those who struggle with addictions are warriors with tenacity, courage, and a strong desire to be clean. They win far more battles than they lose as they march toward recovery.
This may be hard for some to comprehend—if people are so strong, why is overcoming addiction so difficult? Addiction is often misunderstood, and some believe that if a person would simply choose to recover or work harder at stopping, he or she would be able to. But the nature of addiction—and all sin, for that matter—is such that we cannot heal ourselves from it. The children of Israel could not heal themselves from the bites of the fiery serpents, and we cannot simply wish or even work addiction away. We must find our hope of healing in Christ."( Overcoming Addiction Through the Atonement, Ensign September 2012) 

Clearly one of our duties as mothers is to have a clear plan in place to deal with pornography. That plan must have our own good example of avoiding all forms of that plague very close to the top of that list."Parents need to teach children to avoid any pornographic photographs or stories. Children and youth need to know from parents that pornography of any kind is a tool of the devil; and if anyone flirts with it, it has the power to addict, dull, and even destroy the human spirit."(Marriage and Family Relations Participant manual, chapter 15).  Have a specific plan we discuss with our children such as "if you see pornography, which is pictures of immodest or naked people, be sure to turn off the TV or computer right away, don't click on another thing on the Internet, don't turn another page in that book, run to me or to another adult and ask for help!" 

 Those efforts to avoid pornography are commendable and necessary, but they must also be accompanied with a powerful testimony of the source of healing: Jesus Christ and the Power of the Atonement must be at the very top our preparation plan.  As Moms we must nurture our own testimony of our Savior and do our very best to lead our children, and all those around us to him so that if they ever are bitten by the fiery serpent of pornography, or any other sin or addiction, they know from our example that they are still loved and still important to the Savior and if they look to Him they will be saved.

Yes we live in a world of darkness and fiery serpents so we need to have our armour and our family's armour as strong as possible so that we can fight each battle with confidence that even if we can't always see it, the light of Jesus Christ is never far away, and He will always win.  All we have to do is choose to fight with His help.

Be Inspired,

Janelle Joy

Overcoming Addiction Through the Atonement, Ensign September 2012
Combating Pornography Website

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