Sunday, August 28, 2011

Watch Your Step

Do you ever just want to punch Satan??? Okay. I know that technically I can't since he didn't get a body so he couldn't feel it. And I know that Satan is the one who tempts us to feel anger and violence, but I never said I was perfect. I just want to scream, "SATAN, go a-w-a-y!" But we know he is a part of this life and we all have to learn to defeat him or pay the sad consequences.

I am tired of getting news that yet another one of my friends has been affected by divorce because of one thing---Lust. There are other reasons, but this one comes up too often. Whether having affairs, inappropriate relationships in person or online, fantasies about someone other than their spouse, or pornography all destroy a marriage. I am tired of Satan succeeding at destroying another family.

I am especially tired of seeing the poor children being affected by selfish decisions of a parent. Whoever says divorce doesn’t have much of an effect on children is trying to make himself/herself feel better about what he is doing.

“Men, take care not to make women weep, for God counts their tears” President Thomas S. Monson, Standards of Strength, Ensign, Nov. 1990, 47

“God will hold us accountable if we neglect His daughters” President Gordon B. Hinckley, Our Responsibility to Our Young Women, Ensign, Sept. 1988, 11

If you couldn’t tell, a friend of mine has been going through a divorce because her husband decided to leave her. One of her girls has been going through depression after hearing the news and she has started cutting herself. This poor girl. I am glad that her mother found out and she is getting help and doing better, but this is not something you emotionally heal from quickly.

I know that the people who need to hear this message aren’t my blogger friends, but I’m posting as a way to vent and also in hopes that it will somehow help someone. Have you noticed that pornography and divorce are so often topics at General Conference now? You and I know why. The number of families, including LDS families, which are affected by both of these is increasing. I have heard many BYU bishops say that pornography is a big problem in their ward semester after semester. People who have been taught since they were young that this is dangerous and wrong are caught up in it.

“Pornography is like that evil stranger, that enemy operating in secret chambers. It targets children, teens, and adults—both male and female. Its purveyors often operate in secrecy and seek to deceive us by claiming to offer something normal and pleasurable that doesn’t harm anyone.” Loran Cook, “The Secret Enemy", New Era, Feb. 2011

“The father of lies and lust … will do anything he can to counterfeit true love, to profane and desecrate true love wherever and whenever he encounters it. … We can reject the evil one. If we want it dearly and deeply enough, that enemy can and will be rebuked by the redeeming power of the Lord Jesus Christ. Furthermore, I promise you that the light of His everlasting gospel can and will again shine brightly where you feared life had gone hopelessly, helplessly dark.”
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland“Place No More for the Enemy of My Soul,” Ensign, May 2010, 46.

“Pornographic or erotic stories and pictures are worse than filthy or polluted food. The body has defenses to rid itself of unwholesome food. With a few fatal exceptions, bad food will only make you sick but do no permanent harm. In contrast, a person who feasts upon filthy stories or pornographic or erotic pictures and literature records them in this marvelous retrieval system we call a brain. The brain won’t vomit back filth. Once recorded, it will always remain subject to recall, flashing its perverted images across your mind and drawing you away from the wholesome things in life.” Elder Dallin H. Oaks, Pornography, April 2005 General Conference

How can someone expect to have the Spirit with them in any part of his life if he is doing something so contrary to the Lord’s commandments?

“When we undertake to cover our sins, … behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man” Doctrine & Covenants 121:37

Pornography destroys relationships. Those who are not yet married might say that their “hobby” doesn’t affect anyone but himself. Those images will stay embedded in his mind for decades and will warp his expectations for how a woman is supposed to act and look. Even after someone stops viewing pornography, it affects his mind. I am saying “He” only because it is most common, but I know pornography is a problem with some women also and the effects are the same. It is something important for us to teach our children, young men and young women and to continue to teach to adults.

"Do not be misled by Satan’s lies. There is no lasting happiness in immorality. There is no joy to be found in breaking the law of chastity. Just the opposite is true. There may be momentary pleasure. For a time it may seem like everything is wonderful. But quickly the relationship will sour. Guilt and shame set in. We become fearful that our sins will be discovered. We must sneak and hide, lie and cheat. Love begins to die. Bitterness, jealousy, anger, and even hate begin to grow. All of these are the natural results of sin and transgression." President Ezra Taft Benson, The Law of Chastity, New Era, Jan. 1988, 5–6

"Trying to find lasting love without obeying God is like trying to quench thirst by drinking from an empty cup—you can go through the motions, but the thirst remains." Elder John H. Groberg, “The Power of God’s Love” The Power of God's Love  Ensign, Nov. 2004


  1. I have so much to say about this topic. But I'll try to just keep it brief because I'm feeling exceptionally hormonal today. Haha. Basically, I want to say a big AMEN to everything you just said... even the punching part. Haha. But a couple of points... First of all, and I cannot stress this enough, your friend NEEDS to go to the church sponsored 12 step recovery group for wives of porn/sex addicts. Even though the marriage is ending, it will CHANGE HER LIFE!!! I can't say that strongly enough. The main church website has a link to the schedule for meetings in all areas, or she could ask her bishop. I'm not kidding, she HAS TO go at least once to check it out, it's not about her marriage or her husband, it's about healing. Second, I wish EVERYONE would read the book "He Restoreth My Soul" by Dr. Donald Hilton.... whether you *think* anyone you love might have a problem or not... it is seriously a MUST READ. I really wish I could get all church leaders to read it. Understanding the problem is the only way to start to confront it. Really really, everyone should read it. I know they sell it at Deseret Book, and I also know you can buy it on Amazon and other places. And I guess I'll end my novel here before I start really getting on my high horse. :)

  2. I am so sad for your friend and for all families affected by pornography and adultry.

    I also come from a family of divorce - adultry was involved and it definately is not a pretty thing. We did not have the Gospel but I think it opened our hearts to accept the Gospel when it came not too long after the divorce happened.

    Great post Valerie - this is something we all need to hear. It is a disease.

  3. Thanks! I will get that info to her, Coco. She is working with her bishop so may have it already. I recently went to a class not knowing that it was about addiction recovery of all kinds. I didn't really need it, but thought it was interesting info to pass on. And they had that info on recovery groups for those affected by it. I did originally mean to find it and include it here, but didn't find it.

    I'm sorry to hear it was something that affected your family, Cherie. I am so grateful for the gospel to help us get through everything and even to give those with any struggle even pornography or affairs the ability to change their lives.

  4. I've seen pornography affect too many friends. Good people, who just gradually made more and more poor decisions. I'll say a prayer for your friends.

  5. So sorry for your friend. What a heartache.
    Yes, it is such a disease and so hurtful.
    Hugs and prayers for your friend.

  6. It breaks my heart to hear more and more families are breaking apart. My husband's parents divorced when he was 14, not for adultery reasons, but even now at 31, he still struggles with a lot of emotional issues and unrest from their divorce. I love my husband and it hurts me to see how, 17 years later, he just can't seem to shed his fear that someday I will leave him. What a terrible feeling to have. I know that you struggle with your new role of being a single mom, and while I don't know much about the circumstance, it shows that your REALLY care about your children. I think that is SO important when a marriage is ending is to make sure those kids know they are loved and nothing is their fault and that mom and dad are sorry (let me explain). My husband still holds it against his mother that she never apologized for all of the bad behavior that accompanied his parents divorce. Even after he told her he just wanted to hear her say she was sorry, all she said was "I'm sorry you feel this way.". I know it may sound like I'm being a little out of line, but whoever it comes from, I think the kids just need to hear an "I'm sorry", even if it's a marriage ending on the best of terms. You are being a great mom and good things are in store for you :)

  7. WELL DONE! This is such and incredibly important topic. It is astounding me to realize how common these problems are. Thank you for the wonderful reminders. I appreciate it, as I have sons who I desire to teach well and sometimes forget that this is a HUGE problem; I need to be sure my kids realize the destructive nature of such immorality and resolve to stay far way from the very first steps leading to it. Again, THANK YOU!

  8. This post makes me so sad ... and the video you shared is such a picture of what 1 choice can make. I'm so grateful for how Doc approaches things with work -- he goes out of his way to make sure he doesn't go down a path that could possibly lead to something in the future.

    I think the same safety measures have to be taken for us as women -- movies and literature introduce a different type of pornography that we often rationalize. FB has introduced so many opportunities for us to reconnect with (and, for some, reignite) old relationships.

    Thanks for having the courage to speak up. You will teach your children, who will have the strength to resist temptations.

  9. Amen to what you wrote, and Amen to Coco's advice to make sure the sister gets to the addiction recovery for spouses program. It is so sad how stupid decisions made by a man in the area of pornography can devastate the wife emotionally and spiritually. None of us lives in a bubble.

    Another consideration is that society has taken hold of so many men at such young ages, that dealing with porn addiction must become more mainstream. I had boys as young as 9 coming into my office to confess... It is truly tragic, and only getting worse.


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