Principle 3: Connect and Build Relationships

    The Savior taught that the greatest commandments are to “love the Lord thy God” and to “love thy neighbour as thyself” (Mark 12:30–31). Living these commandments helps us build and restore relationships of trust and increases our capacity to find healing.

    Building and rebuilding healthy relationships is hard work, regardless of circumstances. When seeking for growth in relationships that have been damaged by pornography use, we may feel a sense of loneliness and despair.

    Our behaviors have caused pain to those we love. As we see their pain, we can strengthen our resolve to change. When we recognize the pain we have caused, it means that we have the Holy Spirit with us and that He is attempting to direct us away from negative behaviors. At the same time, Satan attempts to discourage us, wanting us to believe there is no hope of rebuilding. He would have us be alone and separated from those we love.

    We can begin to feel connected in Christlike love by nurturing a relationship with the Lord. As Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles stated:

    “One can never get away from the need to have a personal relationship with the Savior. That is what His Atonement is all about. His Atonement is about Him taking the transgressions of you and me and providing a way for us to be forgiven of our transgressions. It requires an investment in knowing who our Savior is and knowing what the Atonement, repentance, and forgiveness mean. Read what the Savior and the prophets say about Christ and His Atonement. The more you do, the deeper your love for our Savior will become. The more you love Him, the more you will desire to follow Him.”

    The Holy Ghost will aid us in this process of building a relationship with Jesus Christ. Inviting the Holy Ghost into our lives draws us closer to the Savior. The Spirit can also help us rebuild other relationships in our lives.

    Through the guidance of the Spirit, we will be gently directed as to how to rebuild the relationships that may have been damaged through our choices. Rebuilding relationships takes time, effort at restitution, and patience. As we seek to repair and rebuild relationships with the Lord and with our loved ones, we can begin to feel connected to others again.

    Capture Impressions

    Take a moment and write down what you’ve felt as you’ve studied this principle.

    Apply This Principle

    The following are some helps on additional topics to enhance your learning and application of this principle.

    Opening up for the first time can be difficult. Pornography use flourishes in secrecy and isolation. When we open up, we end the facade and break the secrecy that often keeps us trapped.

    Determine what might help you, and get the help you need. The desire to change must come from within ourselves. Nobody else can make that decision for us. However, if we’ve been working to overcome our behaviors for a while and have been struggling to find success, it may be beneficial to consider other approaches.

    Additional Study