Monday, October 6, 2014

7 lessons I Learned About Pornography

The other day I had an experience that I feel that I must share to create a dialogue and hopefully promote ideas that we can use to strengthen our families.

I was scrolling through Facebook and saw an article posted by our local news station with a title I was interested in... SCOUTS!  I clicked on the article and read it and then proceeded to read some of the comments.  I was surprised by the negative tone the comments took so quickly after publishing the article but I was interested in why people were opposed to young men earning their Eagle Scout award at younger ages (This young man earned his when he was 13, which is amazing!  And my hubby earned his at 14 (correct me if I am wrong sweetie)), so I scrolled through the comments... BIG MISTAKE!

Some person posted a picture in the comments like none I have ever seen before in my life.  It was a pornographic picture.  I have had several experiences in my life when I have accidentally seen something online that I wish I wouldn't have... and this was the WORST I have ever seen.  I immediately turned off my phone. I was shocked. Stunned. Unprepared for this. And that is why I need to share it. Because I want to share 7 things I learned about viewing pornography.

1. Exposure to pornography is inevitable.  It is going to happen no matter what you do.  It is going to happen to you and it is going to happen to our children.

"Pornography is more vile, evil, and graphic than ever before. As we counsel with our children, together we can create a family plan with standards and boundaries, being proactive to protect our homes with filters on electronic devices. Parents, are we aware that mobile devices with Internet capacity, not computers, are the biggest culprit?"

2. Satan will use this accident against you.  Satan will fill you will whatever emotion works best on you. For me... it was guilt!  I felt HORRIBLE! But it isn't a stretch to picture how Satan will use this feeling of guilt to entice our children to look again, look at more. Show a friend.

Satan knows how to exploit and ensnare us with artificial substances and behaviors of temporary pleasure. I have observed the impact when one struggles to win back control, to become free from destructive abuse and addiction, and to regain self-esteem and independence.

3. It's important to tell someone.  My poor husband wasn't home 5 minutes before I said to him "something happened to me today..." and explained what I saw (not in detail as i don't want to relive it or put those images in his head!) Telling him allowed me to start to heal and leave the state of shock and guilt behind. And that is when I started to think more clearly and figured out what would have helped even more!  It is important to ensure our children are comfortable telling us when they see things they shouldn't have.  And if you struggling with an addiction it is so important to tell parents, spouses and church leaders so they can help you on the path of repentance.

4. Say a prayer! I don't know why I didn't think to say one right away, I wish I would have, and so this really should be #1!  That is why i am sharing.  I want you and your family to know that immediately after seeing or hearing something you wish you wouldn't have you can pray to Heavenly Father.  The Holy Ghost can provide comfort and protection from all the feelings of guilt or shame and help your thoughts turn to God.

5. Sing a Hymn. Music heals.  It's a fact for me... and probably for you too.

  “Music is given of God to further his purposes. Sweet melodies mellow the souls of men and help prepare them for the gospel. After men receive the truth, songs of praise to Deity help to sanctify and cleanse their souls.”

-- Elder Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine

 I love the line: "Cleanse the soul"... I couldn't describe better how good music makes me feel. Cleansed. Uplifted. Inspired. 

6. Use the Atonement. Often times we think of the Atonement of Jesus Christ to be only about repentance.  It is so much more! Christ suffered all of our afflictions as he bled from every pore in the Garden of Gethsemane.  He suffered for our sins, and our heartaches, and our sicknesses. He knows weaknesses and our strengths. We can call on the power of the Atonement to relieve our burden, erase our minds, and strengthen our bodies.  I am grateful for my growing testimony of the Atonement. 

7. Repeat. It has been less than 24 hours since I saw that pornographic image in my newsfeed.  I have had the image enter my mind again several times. 

Probably the greatest challenge to people of any age, particularly young people, and the most difficult thing you will face in mortal life is to learn to control your thoughts. As a man “thinketh in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7.) One who can control his thoughts has conquered himself.

Please leave a comment.  How do you protect yourself and your family from inappropriate images, articles, movies etc in your home?  Has this happened to you?  

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for posting this. I loved your insight. It is a good reminder to discuss this often with our families to make sure these tools are fresh on their minds.