I had been dating a young man whom I was madly in love with for about a year. I truly thought I was going to marry him! But I never thought that dating him would bring me face to face with a problem I had once struggled to overcome with all my strength.
When I was preparing to go on a mission, I had to go to my bishop and confess that I had struggled with pornography in the past. After I had repented and removed this burden from my spirit, I never thought that pornography would affect my life again. But I was wrong.
When I found out this man I was planning on marrying was using pornography, I was eager to help him and support him in overcoming it. I had been through the repentance process and the effort of overcoming pornography before, and I knew what the Lord could do for Him. But it seemed like every time I tried to guide him to the help he needed to overcome his problem, things always went wrong. He didn’t seem to want help. After a while, I realized we didn’t have the same ideas about pornography. Yes, we were both members of the Church, but the teachings of the gospel didn’t seem to mean the same thing to both of us.
I was frustrated. I loved him, and I believed that with help, he could beat this problem. I was also feeling vulnerable because I was having to face the same problem I had worked so hard to overcome in the past. I decided to pray one night and ask for wisdom from my Father in Heaven on how to move forward because I needed the power to resist temptation, and I also wanted to know how to support the person I was planning to share my life with.
When the answer finally came, I felt peace and knew I had to talk to the man I was dating with a purpose in mind. I wanted to let him know what I expected from dating someone, which was getting married in the temple and having children. I needed to know if our futures aligned and if he was moving toward the Savior. I needed to know if we should continue our relationship. I had high hopes for it and believed that after we talked, everything would work out.
It was a sunny afternoon when I shared with him my dreams and goals about my future family and raising my children in the gospel. To my surprise, after listening to me, he got irritated with me. I realized we had very different ideas about the future. I was devastated, but surprisingly I felt at peace, and I knew my answer was to end the relationship. He wasn’t in a place where he was willing to try to overcome his problems with pornography or turn to the Savior for help, and I couldn’t help him if he didn’t want the help.
For a while, I wondered why even after doing the right thing and doing everything I could to help him, my heart still ended up being broken into a million pieces. But eventually, I shed my last tears for him and I focused on that peace I had felt when I ended the relationship. I knew that answer had come from heaven.
It has been a few years since my relationship with that man ended. And I still see him as the good person he always was. But I know that he needs to be the one who goes to the Savior for help—I can’t force him to. He has his agency and I have mine. Since this experience, I have tried to follow the voice of the Holy Spirit without hesitation. I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for all of us and that we can trust that as we make decisions based on the Spirit’s promptings, He will never let us be led astray. He is always preparing us for good things to come.