“The Savior Desires to Forgive and Heal the Wounds of Pornography,” Help for Parents (2019)
“The Savior Desires to Forgive and Heal the Wounds of Pornography,” Help for Parents
“If you are caught in Satan’s trap of pornography, remember how merciful our beloved Savior is. Do you realize how deeply the Lord loves and cherishes you, even now? Our Savior has the power to cleanse and heal you” (Linda S. Reeves, “Protection from Pornography—a Christ-Focused Home,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2014, 15).
“But if ye will turn to the Lord with full purpose of heart, and put your trust in him, and serve him with all diligence of mind, if ye do this, he will, according to his own will and pleasure, deliver you out of bondage” (Mosiah 7:33).
While accidental exposure to pornography is not a sin, seeking out and repeatedly viewing pornography is. Sexuality is a divine gift from God that helps us connect with our spouse and create families. Satan uses pornography to corrupt and distort the sacredness of physical intimacy. Continued viewing of pornography can easily become a habit or an addiction that physically alters the brain, making it very difficult to quit. But it is never too late to change with the help and power of Jesus Christ. The Lord is merciful, and He will always provide a path to escape. That is His nature and His mission.
For those who are struggling to overcome this habit, the first, most important step is to break the secrecy by telling someone you trust. You do not need to face this challenge alone. Indeed, it may be impossible for you to overcome this habit without help. Talk to God about your struggles in prayer. The Savior can help you gain confidence and find a way to reach out to a family member, your bishop, a trusted friend, and, if appropriate, others who can provide support and professional help.
The following scriptures and resources can help you deepen your knowledge of the doctrine related to this topic. As you study, consider ways to share the doctrine with your children.
Isaiah 1:18 (You can be completely cleansed)
John 8:2–11 (Christ forgives the woman taken in adultery); see also “Go and Sin No More” from The Life of Jesus Christ Bible Videos
Mosiah 4:2 (The Nephites recognize their sins and repent)
Mosiah 7:33 (If we turn to the Lord with full purpose of heart, He will heal us)
Alma 7:11–13 (Christ suffered so He would know how to succor us)
Ether 12:27 (God can turn our weaknesses into strengths)
Doctrine and Covenants 58:42 (When we repent, the Lord remembers our sins no more)
Doctrine and Covenants 64:2, 7 (The Savior will forgive us and help us overcome the world)
Doctrine and Covenants 95:1 (The Lord chastens those He loves)
Conference talks and magazine articles:
Linda S. Reeves, “Protection from Pornography—a Christ-Focused Home,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2014, 15–17
Joshua J. Perkey, “Repentance Is Real,” New Era, Mar. 2014, 30–31
Family Conversations: Talking about Healthy Sexuality, Mormon Channel, mormonchannel.org
“The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2017, 145
“It Is Never Too Late” (video, ChurchofJesusChrist.org)
Let Virtue Garnish Thy Thoughts (pamphlet, 2006)
A Parent’s Guide (1985)
“Stay within the Lines” (video, ChurchofJesusChrist.org)
For more materials to use in teaching children, see “Repentance” in Resources for Teaching Children, ChurchofJesusChrist.org.
Choose from these ideas or think of your own to introduce the doctrine of Jesus Christ’s mercy and love.
Invite your family to remember a time that they forgave someone. Why did they forgive? How did they feel when they forgave? How did the person feel when he or she was forgiven? Compare this experience to the love of God and His desire to forgive and heal us. What questions does your family have about repenting and being forgiven?
Read or watch the story of the woman taken in adultery (John 8:2–11; “Go and Sin No More” [video]). Discuss Christ’s reaction to the serious sin of sexual transgression. How does He treat the woman and those who accuse her? Does He condone her sin? What is His judgment on the matter? What can we learn about repentance from this story?
Read Alma 7:11–13 together as a family. Discuss the different ways the Atonement of Jesus Christ can bless us. Why did Christ bear all the pains and sicknesses of the world? What does this scripture teach us about repentance?
Following the guidance of the Spirit, select one or more of the following activities that will work best for your family.
Ask everyone to share a simple experience when they did something they knew was wrong. Use the activity from “Learning from Mistakes” (Darcie Jensen, Friend, July 2012, 34; Liahona, July 2012, 72) or another like it to talk about how we repent. Discuss how these steps apply to each of the examples your family shared and how they can apply to viewing bad pictures or reading bad books.
Print out the activity from “What Is Repentance” (Hilary Watkins Lemon, Friend, Jan. 2012, 46) for everyone in your family. Invite them to complete the activity and identify the steps of repentance. You could read the scriptures aloud together and give a treat to the family members who identify the step of repentance in each scripture.
Teach or review with your children the steps of the repentance process (see “Repentance,” Gospel Principles , 107–113). Then watch the video “Stay within the Lines” (ChurchofJesusChrist.org). You could ask the members of your family to raise their hands every time they see the young man do one of the steps of repentance.
Discuss what it means to repent. Read the following definition of repentance: “The Greek word [for repentance] denotes a change of mind, a fresh view about God, about oneself, and about the world. Since we are born into conditions of mortality, repentance comes to mean a turning of the heart and will to God, and a renunciation of sin to which we are naturally inclined” (Bible Dictionary, “Repentance”). How does this definition add to what you already understand about repentance?
Read the story of Alma the Younger in Mosiah 27 and Alma 36. Draw a line down the middle of a piece of paper. On one side list what this story teaches about how to repent. On the other side write what it teaches about the blessings of repentance.
Ask your family what they have learned about repentance and forgiveness today.
Each of us can turn more fully to the Lord through repentance. Make sure your children understand that repentance is a positive experience that leads to peace and relief from guilt and shame. Invite everyone to quietly and prayerfully seek inspiration on what to improve and how best to seek the Lord’s help. Ask family members if they need any help with their commitments. Ensure that each family member has an increased understanding of God’s love for him or her individually and a brighter hope that he or she can make changes.