The Savior, through the power of the Holy Ghost, will help us become aware of influences affecting us, identify triggers, and make plans. As we seek to better understand our motives and behaviors, we need to take into account things that influence us, such as our biological sex drive. Other influences might include things like childhood trauma, feeling distant from God, or certain friendships. We often aren’t readily aware of our influences, but seeking to identify them helps us in our efforts to change.
Identifying Triggers and Establishing Barriers
Triggers are things that encourage us to engage in pornography use. They can include music, movies, websites, or other prompts. As we learn to recognize our triggers, we should seek to avoid these unique stimuli whenever possible.
When we have identified triggers, we want to establish barriers between us and the triggers. For example, establishing a barrier might include putting our phone away at night to avoid reaching for it when we are feeling vulnerable. It could also include setting filters, blocking inappropriate images on social media, or reducing or eliminating contact with those who post or share sexual images or links via messages or social media.
Responding to Setbacks and Adversity
Inspiration in creating a plan will come as we “study it out” and then humble ourselves before the Lord and seek His guidance (D&C 9:8). Yet we should expect opposition in our efforts, and we will need to make regular adjustments to our plans. Often we learn and become stronger by experiencing setbacks and adjusting our plans. The key is to not give up on ourselves and our plans just because we have a slipup or things don’t go as we had hoped.
If we feel unsure about figuring out a plan that will work for us, we can ask for help, and the Lord will direct us to those who can help us plan and make adjustments.
As we refine our plans and address new insights we observe about ourselves, we can be assured that the power of the Savior, because of His Atonement, is available to us and can help us persevere despite continued imperfection.
Ideas for Taking Action
Here are some ideas that others have found helpful. Prayerfully consider what actions might be best for you, taking into account that they may or may not be listed here.
- Study the examples of those in the scriptures who have overcome trials. What can you learn from them? Consider committing to following their examples.
- Visit the Church’s How to YouTube channel and learn about self-help topics.
- Seek out self-help books on topics that may be affecting you.
- Consider consulting with family, friends, a support group, mental health professionals, medical professionals, and others who may be able to help.
- Review the advice on seeking support from others found in Support Guide: Help for Spouses and Family of Those in Recovery, pages 88–89.