Can Mormons View Pornography?

September 26, 2011

I was asked to write a response to the question: “Can Mormons view pornography?” Sadly the answer to this is yes they can. (That brings up the agency issue, which is a subject for another time.) But to the question, “Should Mormons view pornography?” I would answer NO! It is seen as sinful behavior that is demeaning to both the viewer and the objectified person in the picture.

An excerpt from the LDS Pamphlet For the Strength of Youth: Fulfilling Our Duty to God, pretty much sums up what Mormon’s believe regarding viewing pornography.

“Pornography in all its forms is especially dangerous and addictive. What may begin as a curious indulgence can become a destructive habit that takes control of your life. It can lead you to sexual transgression and even criminal behavior. Pornography is a poison that weakens your self-control, changes the way you see others, causes you to lose the guidance of the Spirit, and can even affect your ability to have a normal relationship with your future spouse. If you encounter pornography, turn away from it immediately.”

That sums up the church’s attitude toward pornography. There are some policy issues regarding those who indulge. Generally if a person tells their bishop that they are viewing pornography they will be denied access to holy temples and given all the help they are willing to accept to overcome the habit.

They can learn from their bishops how to repent and regain access to the atonement of Jesus Christ, which enables them to fully recover.

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8 Responses to “Can Mormons View Pornography?”

  1. Bradley

    This is an excellent summary, and some would say an understatement. Kind of like the sign that warns you to avoid Grizzly bears but doesn’t use words like “They’ll rip your throat out”.

    Notice how it contrasts with the views of mainstream society. This is where the Gospel shines, when it stands up against incorrect (spiritually uninformed) cultural notions.    

  2. Steve G

    Very well written.  Thanks Bus.

  3. Jan

    What, no pictures?
    Great post.  I would love to read about people who have successfully overcome this addiction.  I only read about how destructive it is.  Do people completely free themselves from it??

  4. Bus

    Its hard to say when a bad habit becomes an actual addiction and some would argue that pornography is more of a choice than an addiction.  Anyway, I did work with some young people who were plagued by the problem and with a will to overcome it and a few changes of habits and circumstances they were able to clean up their lives and be worthy of the spirit again.  The main issue is if they are willing to change.  The second is to alter their surroundings to make it more difficult to get to the pornography.  So the answer is yes it can be overcome.

  5. Nef

    I know that people recovering from other addictions such as alcohol or drugs view themselves as recovering true true all their lives.  saying things like “I have been drug free for 20 years”.  This helps them stay alert and away from the object of their addiction.

    I think that yes you can overcome addictions in that they no longer are the masters of you, I think that you can be the master of your addiction but I also think the mentality of  been always vigilant is a very powerful tool in the fight against addictions. 

  6. Kassie

    I am reminded of the analogy my husband has used with our teenagers. (19, 17, 16, 14 at the present time!) It is the one about the fact that if you drop a frog into a pot of boiling water it will leap out because it immediately senses the life threatening danger. But if you put the frog in a cool pot of water and slowly and slowly turn up the heat the frog will not sense the immediate danger and will eventually die when the water becomes hot enough. He likens this to pornography and how it insidiously can take hold of you until it is too late. So beware he instructs them of any thing like pornography or other inherent evils that can fool you so slowly you won’t realize the danger until it is too late!

  7. Sallysue

    The church condones and does not punish. In fact some bishops may even tell you it is your fault for not pleasing your husband. I have had many personal experiences. Do they say it is bad yes. D they mean it….no.

  8. Jan

    SallySue, I’m sorry that happened to you. That Bishop was wrong. Sometimes people are just plain wrong. Good thing you have your head on straight though, to see and feel what is right.