In the Middle Ages, one third of Europe’s population was wiped out by the Black Plague. Today there is a plague killing people, but this plague is killing them spiritually–it is pornography. Pornography is defined as “any material depicting or describing the human body or sexual conduct in a way that arouses sexual feelings” (lds.org). I know that many in the world would say that there is nothing wrong with watching a little pornography here and there, because it doesn’t affect them. But just letting a cat into the house in the Middle Ages could have caused the death of the entire family. Pornography should be avoided at all costs. The effects it has on the brain are well documented– it is more addictive than cocaine. Fully half of all divorces in America cite an obsessive addiction with pornography by one of the partners as a major reason for the split. It is not worth even a tiny glance.
I am sympathetic to those who personally deal with this extremely addicting and destructive vice. I can only imagine how hard it must be to break the shackles. I am sure that such people feel that they can never escape, or that they have come so far down, that they can’t escape. But there is always a way out and that way is through the atonement of Jesus Christ. I am not saying that addiction to pornography is easily overcome, but what I am saying is that it is possible with sustained, diligent effort. Our church has put together a website (combatingpornography.org) to help those who are struggling in any way with pornography. It is also a great resource to educate oneself about the effects of pornography on the individual, family, and society.
But what about those that dabble here and there? Is it really that bad? Christ said, “That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart” (Matthew 5:28). It is clear, God views these types of activities as sin. Under the law of Moses adultery was punishable by death by stoning. That should indicate to us the seriousness that God places on breaking commandments that deal with virtue.
And for those of you who are married, (and even if you are not) I urge you think twice about viewing pornography in any form. You are better than that. Your dignity and integrity aren’t worth it. You owe it to yourself, your spouse, and your kids to keep your mind clean from this filth. If you have fallen into this trap, there is a way out. A starting point would be to click on the combatingpornography.org link I listed above. Here are some links to articles or talks by a few of the leaders of our church:
- A Tragic Evil Among Us, President Gordon B. Hinckley, General Conference, October 2004
- Pornography, Dallin H. Oaks, General Conference, April 2005
- Pornography, Gospel Topics, www.lds.org
I advise everyone who reads this to treat the issue with as much care and consideration as you would if you were living amidst an outbreak of the Black Plague. Guard yourselves. Protect your families. Pornography is an addictive, destructive and draining habit. Even viewing it one time can be enough to start an addiction. Teach your children and avoid it yourselves.