As of late, the ugly, destructive, and hard truth about the current plague of pornography has been brought to my attention again and again. Perhaps the new campaigns going around on the internet have encouraged people to speak more freely and honestly about their opinions. There are two specific groups of people that have talked with me about their concerns, those who love someone sick with this disease, and those who are fighting the addiction themselves.
First, to those who have a loved one struggling with pornography- please don’t give up on, or stop loving the person struggling with the addiction! Remember that we are not defined by our weakness, and neither should we define others by their weakness. Your loved one is still a great person with just as much potential to become something as you! Some who recognize their addiction as a problem find themselves longing to be supported in their trial, and in the same moment don’t want to be a burden or bother to you. Others haven’t yet recognized the deadly poison, but you can still be a support to them.
In the Book of Mormon we read of a young man named Alma the younger. He goes about seeking to destroy the church of God. He rebels against his family, his faith, and his future as he seeks to do what makes him feel good and happy in the moment. (Haven’t we all had those days?) Meanwhile, his family and friends continued to live the gospel and do the things that they knew to be right. They joined together in mighty prayer and fasting for Alma, even without his knowledge. Then we hear the most beautiful and magnificent story of change and overcoming. Through a series of events the Lord stops Alma from his own self destruction and helps him see and understand the gravity of his sins. Alma the younger changes his life totally around. The Lord in His mercy allows Alma to face the consequences and then to move forward with his life. For the next several chapters we learn of all the great and wonderful ways Alma blessed hundreds of lives and repaired damage he had previously done.
To those who are struggling themselves, please know that first and foremost you are loved! Your Heavenly Father loves you in spite of your decisions! Your Savior Jesus Christ understands the exact temptation you are fighting! Your family and friends still care about you. That love is real! It seems from talking to those with this battle that the root of the problem is being confused by Satan’s counterfeit of lust. Jeffrey R. Holland said, “Love comes with open hands and open heart; lust comes with only one open appetite”.
Please don’t give up! The road to recovery is often full of obstacles and may feel like you are walking up a steep mountain. You will likely mess up along the journey, but no matter how many times you slip and fall, as long as you keep trying your best to move forward you will reach the top! “Don’t you quit, you keep walking, there is hope and happiness ahead.” Jeffrey R. Holland
While you don’t quit, also don’t sit idly by hoping the temptation will flee. Like Joseph fled fromPotifer’s wife- RUN! Get away from it! Elder Holland reminds us, “Above all, start by separating yourself from people, materials, and circumstances that will harm you. As those battling something like alcoholism know, the pull of proximity can be fatal.”
You CANNOT AND WILL NOT be successful if you try to face this battle alone. There are many people who love you and want to help you.” Acknowledge that people bound by chains of true addictions often need more help than self-help, and that may include you. Seek that help and welcome it. Talk to your bishop. Follow his counsel. Ask for a priesthood blessing. Use the Church’s Family Service offerings or seek other suitable professional help. Pray without ceasing. Ask for angels to help you.” Jeffrey R. Holland
To both sides of this issue the most important lesson of all- turn to the Savior Jesus Christ! Rely on the enabling power of the atonement! If you want the power to love and serve someone in their darkest times, turn to the Savior. If you want to change and overcome, turn to the Savior! I don’t pretend to know very many things, but what I do know is that Jesus Christ understands. He feels it just the same as we do. His power and grace can provide the peace we seek in our lives. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Just like Alma the younger and his family, we can also witness the miracle of change. In his own words Alma said,
“Now, as my mind caught hold upon this thought, I cried within my heart: O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me, who am in the gall of bitterness, and am encircled about by the everlasting chains of death. And now behold, when I thought this, I could remember my pains no more; yea I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more. And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as we my pain! Yea, I say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea, and again, I say unto you, my son, that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy.”
Ashley Dewey is extremely talented at being single. Hobbies include awkward conversations with members of the opposite sex, repelling third dates, talking to boys about their girl problems and to girls about their boy problems. In her spare time she also has a very fulfilling school life, work life, and social life. Besides being a professional single, Ashley is also a BYU graduate with a degree in linguistics (Aka word nerd). She enjoys studying other languages, particularly American Sign Language, and finds most all of them fascinating. She is currently pursuing a masters degree in Teaching English as a Second Language. Ashley works most of the time and has often been accused of being a workaholic. Currently she works full time as a merchandiser and supervisor in a retail store, and part time doing social media work. On her day off she works (really it doesn't feel like work) in the Provo LDS temple. The only kind of work she finds difficulty focusing on is house work. Her favorite activities in her free time are reading, writing, creating social experiments, and spending time with great friends and family. Specific activities with those family and friends include: going to concerts, plays, dance recitals, BYU basketball and football games, and watching sports on television.