LDS women, I'm about to give you a virtual slap in the face. Just know that it comes from a place of love. You see, there's something we need to talk about. There is something that a lot of you have been absolutely blind to. For some of you, this is really going to hurt.
Odds are someone in your home is looking at pornography.
Before you dare think you might be the exception, you may want to hear me out.
More than 70% of men actively seek out porn on a regular basis. Don't you dare think, "well, that is for nonmembers." It isn't. Best estimates are that those statistics are the same within the LDS church. I've heard numbers such as 50% of active Melchizedek Priesthood holders are actively involved in pornography, and 1/3 of High Priests. Just because someone has been or is currently a member of a bishopric, quorum presidency, YM presidency, etc, doesn't mean they aren't involved in pornography. It's kind of scary. You'd be surprised how many wives of men in high profile callings end up discovering their husbands secret other life. That probably scares you. You might even be in denial about it. But it makes sense. Satan is targeting us like never before. The love of men is waxing cold, just as ancient prophets said it would.
Every single one of your kids will be exposed to pornography by the time they reach age 18. In today's world they will not just be exposed, but bombarded by it. Your sweet innocent 6 year old that is just learning how to read? He (or she) may be looking at porn. You may think that age 5 or is too young to talk to your kids about sex and pornography, but Satan doesn't.
But your girls are okay, right? Wrong. Somewhere around 30% of them are actively seeking out porn. Maybe you are too. Books, pinterest, or hardcore porn. There's a wide range. Those girls and women have social expectations of not having problems like that (like women somehow are naturally uninterested in sex FALSE) so their shame can be pretty devastating.
Do you feel like you've been slapped in the face? Those kind of numbers are enough to scare any wife or mother. Some of you are fully aware of the realities of the situation and this will have felt more like a punch in the stomach or a bee sting to the heart. But for those of you blissfully unaware of the big wide world of pornography, this is your slap in the face. Wake up! We need you to get to work. The battle for souls is raging.
These trapped men and women are not lost causes. The fact is, there is a lot of hope. You see, two thousand plus years ago a man by the name of Jesus atoned for the sins of the world. He provided endless hope to all mankind.
I cannot cover all the information you need to wage this battle. But I can give you some places to start. Here are 4 things you can do right now to make a difference.
1. Have an FHE lesson on pornography ASAP!
You have got to start talking about pornography in your home. It needs to be a fairly regular conversation. The Church recently released a series of lessons for use in family home evenings which you can read about and access HERE. Some of the lessons are specifically designed for nursery and primary age children. Be careful of the language you use when you talk about. Pornography addiction feeds off of secrecy and shame. If you use shaming language you will only force people away from you and deeper into pornography.
2. Put Up Some Defensive Barriers
You should have a filter on every internet accessible device in your house including but not limited to computers, phones, and tablets. Parental controls should be enabled on your television, cable, satellite, netflix, hulu, and amazon. Make it a habit to check browser histories, search histories (on internet devices as well as television devices). Cleared browser histories are unacceptable and a huge red flag. It is vitally important that you don't think that just because you have those things set up, you are in the clear. There is absolutely nothing you can do to prevent pornography from entering your home. Accept that fact right here, right now. I didn't say these were preventive barriers. I called them defensive. Filters are only one line of defense. It helps prevent accidental exposure, or clues you in to current behavior. The best filter is an internal one. And that is much harder to install.
3. Open the line of communication
I don't recommend you set out on a witch hunt. Forcing someone into repentance rarely works. What you can do is open the line of communication. Let your husband and your children know that you know how common of a problem it is and that if anyone is involved in it and would like help, you will be there for them. Play it cool. Don't let your anger, jealousy, or pride get in the way. You've got to come from a place of absolute humility. You can't force people to repent. You can only invite. The scriptures constantly describe the Savior as inviting people unto repentance with open arms. Don't stand in the way of that. Facilitate it.
4. Demystify the repentance process
Sinners don't like to face consequences. I'm a sinner and I hate the consequences of my actions. When the sins get serious, so do the consequences. Children and teenagers involved in pornography are often terrified of the consequences. Will their parents still love them? Will they never be able to use a computer again? Will they get grounded until they are 18? Will the bishop yell at them? Take the mystery out of it. (By the way, please don't ground your kids for looking at pornography. That will only deepen their shame and give them even more reason to cover their tracks. Facilitating repentance means getting them the help they need. Talk to them. Figure out what kind of things will really help them stop). Husbands are afraid too. See, Satan builds up all these lies in their head about what will happen if anyone finds out. You can help by talking about the realities. Learn about church discipline. Demystify it. Church discipline is not about punishment. Teach about how bishops help guide people to Christ. When Satan has us in a deep trap, we need help to get out. Teach it. Live it. Testify.
Discovering a spouse or child's involvement in pornography can be devastating, but it is not hopeless. You can be a tremendous force for good in the battle against pornography. It's time to step up and fight.
This is the official LDS Church website dedicated to helping individuals and families utilize the Atonement to overcome the sweeping effects of pornography. Resources for individuals, families, and leaders.
Has a series of videos on how to talk to children and teens about sexuality and human intimacy from LDS therapists who specialize in the area.
Offers resources for loved ones and female addicts. Offers an anonymous support forum for loved ones.
Provides hope, education, and resources related to pornography and sexual addiction recovery.
No filter is 100%. Internet filters can easily be bypassed by anyone, even if they are not tech savvy. Instructions to bypass any level of filtering is easily available online. Even without bypassing the filter, pornography can still come through. Filters are a great first-line defense. Every internet capable device should have filtering. A device-specific filter will provide filtering service regardless of the location or internet connection. A second level filter can be installed to protect all internet capable devices that enter your home (friends and visitors) and can provide a second level of defense.
Individual Device Filtering = software installed on individual devices that filters all internet connected to that device no matter where they are.
DNS Filtering = filters your entire internet connection when installed on your router. Requires each individual device to honor the dns settings. www.opendns.com
ISP Level Filtering = internet filtering from your internet service provider. Most ISPs do not provide this service. You have to call your ISP to get this set up. Your ISP is the person you pay your internet bill to.
Relying on the latest research on addiction, and merging this knowledge with spiritual aspects of repentance and recovery, the author provides understanding and hope to those who seek healing and restoration of both body and spirit, which are the "soul of man."
This manual contains reliable information about pornography and sexual addiction, including answers to frequently asked questions about what is necessary to support recovery for those addicted- and their afflicted loved ones.
Written by the spouse of a pornography addict, the book shines light on the darkness of pornography and sexual addiction, the trauma felt by loved ones, and the hope that recovery and peace are possible.
An LDS Clinical Psychologist shows couples how to identify and address vulnerabilities in their relationship. This book offers healing advice for spouses, provides help for the struggling partner to avoid relapse and focuses on how to make the marriage relationship stronger than it was before.
http://www.healingthroughchrist.org/ has created a comprehensive 12-step book based on LDS principles for family members affected by a loved one’s addiciton. It is available for free on their website.
Written by a pornography addict in complete recovery, this author shares his LDS perspective to help others understand and overcome their own pornography addiction. The book is available for download for free from his website: http://rowboatandmarbles.org/
SUPPORT GROUPS, COUNSELORS AND THERAPISTS, AND TREATMENT PROGRAMS
Offers both in-person and telephone 12 Step Meetings specific to Pornography Addiction for both addicts and loved ones. Local groups are for men only addicts and separate classes for loved ones (women only). Women addicts can access phone meetings
12-Step Group for both men and women who have a sexual addiction. Age 18+ only. Also offers phone groups, conferences, and workshops. Not for loved ones (see S-Anon for loved ones information).
12-Step Group for men and women who have a sexual addiction. Not for loved ones.
The S-Anon Family Groups are a fellowship of the relatives and friends of sexually addicted people who share their experience, strength and hope in order to solve their common problems. Our program of recovery is adapted from Alcoholics Anonymous and is based on the Twelve Steps and the Twelve Traditions. It is free and non-denominational.
Offers an intensive outpatient group therapy using a three phase treatment program for addicts, loved ones, and teens. San Diego office contact information: John J. Boyle (MA, MFT) & Rebecca Jorgensen (PhD) (714) 869-4682
Offers online counseling via video conferencing as well as group 12 step meetings with counselors specialized in pornography addiction and betrayal trauma. Offers a free 6 class program for loved ones of pornography addicts, as well as paid services for individual counseling for both addicts and loved ones, group counseling, and couples counseling.
Offers paid online counseling via video conferencing for men, women, and teens from qualified addiction therapists.
Provides short-term counseling. Contact your bishop or local office for more information.