Principle 5: Be Accountable

“Principle 5: Be Accountable,” Help for Me (2019)

“Principle 5: Be Accountable,” Help for Me

couple holding hands

Principle 5: Be Accountable

We become accountable by taking full responsibility for our choices and actions. Accountability also includes regularly reviewing and measuring how well we are enacting our plans.

Being accountable helps us recognize our progress, identify areas that need work, seek needed help from others, and receive the Lord’s blessings as we strive to change.

Being responsible for our behavior helps us as we learn to be honest and make plans. Taking responsibility for what we think and do is central to repentance and healing. This includes recognizing the pain our bad decisions may cause others and doing our best to make restitution and alleviate that pain. Figuring out why we at times make bad decisions, striving to make good choices, and repenting as needed are all part of accountability.

Through the repentance process, we can change and come to know the Savior more profoundly. This connection with our Savior leads us to a desire to live a life patterned after Him. President M. Russell Ballard stated,

“The Lord Jesus Christ and His Atonement make it possible for all of us to come unto Him—to really accept Him and love Him and strive to keep His commandments and to repent if we need to. And that’s accountability when we’re willing to use the eternal principles to help us become the kind of people—sons and daughters—that our Heavenly Father wants us to be when we return to Him” (“Be Accountable” [video]).

Focusing on Christ helps us to shape our goals and understand our progress in this journey. Rather than measuring our success by sequential days of abstinence, we can measure success by how consistently we turn to Christ for guidance, strength, and help and how diligently we strive to follow Him. Christ is our greatest source of encouragement and strength. He will never make us feel ashamed as we strive to improve. Instead, He will fill us with His love.

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.

How long does it take to get over my pornography habit?

Getting over viewing pornography takes time, focus, and consistent effort. It can be easy to get discouraged in the process. Learning to measure our goals accurately helps us move forward.

What can I do to strengthen myself against future relapses?

We can strengthen our resolve and improve our accountability by inviting others to support us. With the right people supporting us, we are more likely to stick with our plans and get help and encouragement when we need it.

Additional Study


Jesus praying in Gethsemane

Principle 1: Find Hope and Strength in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ

open planner book

Principle 4: Make and Adjust Plans

parents with two kids

Overview for Pornography Users