I used to view pornography, and I have worked with my bishop to repent, but I have a hard time keeping my thoughts clean. What can I do?
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“I used to view pornography, and I have worked with my bishop to repent, but I have a hard time keeping my thoughts clean. What can I do?” New Era, Dec. 2014, 41

I used to view pornography, and I have worked with my bishop to repent, but I have a hard time keeping my thoughts clean. What can I do?

First, keep praying to Heavenly Father for help and strength, and have faith in the power of Christ’s Atonement to cleanse and transform you.

Next, try to identify the triggers for your unclean thoughts, and then, if possible, avoid those things. Viewing pornography is habit-forming because of the intense chemical effect it has on your brain. So you need to break the habit by changing your life and changing the associations your brain makes, even if it’s just in small and simple ways. Some of your triggers may be obvious, but others may not be. For instance, you may consider altering your daily routine in small ways to avoid things that could remind you (even unconsciously) of the habit you’re trying to quit. If you find there are certain places, situations, objects, or any other things that remind you of it, avoid them and try to replace them with things that trigger good, positive thoughts.

For people struggling with pornography, one of the most powerful negative triggers is, quite simply, having idle time alone. So fill your life with activities that will steer your mind in another direction—service, work, exercise, learning a musical instrument—anything positive and productive.

Finally, don’t go through this alone. Get help from your bishop, parents, friends, or, if needed, a professional counselor. For additional resources, visit lds.org/go/cleanthoughtsNE12.