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Friday, January 9, 2015

Why is Pornography Bad?

As missionaries for Jesus Christ, we teach, expound doctrine and exhort others to live according to God's commandments. Jesus Christ did the same in His day. Among the Laws God gives us is the inspired "Law of Chastity." We teach this before baptism and invite people to live it. This post is going to have some deeper doctrines, bolder and very blunt statements. Therefore I CAUTION you as you go further. If you are sensitive, you don't have to read it. The law of Chastity simply is no sex before marriage; in marriage, sex only with your spouse; no homosexual relationships; and no pornography. The first two in the list, are quite obvious. When we teach those first two rules, there is usually no opposition to understanding why it is a rule (there still is opposition of people refusing to live them). The latter two is the other half of Chastity. Often times, people over look these two "rules." During my time as a missionary, I haven't had any opposition to anybody accepting "no homosexual relations" as a law, but far too often I hear, "I know why killing is a sin. It is because you are hurting someone else. I even know why adultery is a sin. It is because it involves others, but I don't see why pornography is bad. It is only involving me."

"The tragic pattern is so familiar," Elder Richard G. Scott observed. "It begins with curiosity that is fueled by its stimulation and is justified by the false premise that when done privately, it does no harm to anyone else." Whenever anyone does any action, good or evil, it involves Jesus Christ. Why? Because He paid the price with His blood for everyone to be accountable to Him. Even our thoughts are accountable to Him. So, God knows and is always involved, whether we know it or not. This understanding comes to us from our knowledge of His Plan of Salvation for us.

First, He, our Heavenly Father; the Father of all spirits, begat us spiritually before we came to this earth only as spirits. Our Heavenly Father has given us the opportunity to be stronger, and has created this world for us to gain strength in spirituality. When he created our first father, Adam, he used, "the dust of the ground." (Genesis 2: 7) Then he put the spirit of Adam into his tabernacle to make him a living soul (spirit AND body). Since then, God has given us the opportunity to have physical bodies. As a result, we are dual beings of spirit and flesh.

In the entire context of the Plan of Salvation, God created things to act, and things to be acted upon. In order for us to be perfect, we must be able to act and influence all things around us; and not the vice versa, to have all things influence us. Our spirits are to act upon our bodies, and our bodies are to be acted upon by our spirits. When we do this in perfect harmony, we are able to influence the world around us. For example some ways we influence the world around us is, building superstructures (like the pyramids), moving entire mountains, and turning entire rivers' courses. But since the fall of Adam, the world is able to influence man. The Lord said, "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return." (Genesis 3:19) With the first worldly influence, the forbidden fruit, came other influences from the world, "Thorns also and thistles shall [the earth] bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field..." (Genesis 3: 18) so, in order to grow in spiritual strength as Sons and Daughters of God, we must overcome the world. Elder David A. Bednar explained, "As sons and daughters of God, we have inherited divine capacities from Him. But we presently live in a fallen world. The very elements out of which our bodies were created are by nature fallen and ever subject to the pull of sin, corruption, and death. Consequently, the Fall of Adam and its spiritual and temporal consequences affect us most directly through our physical bodies. And yet we are dual beings, for our spirit that is the eternal part of us is tabernacled in a physical body that is subject to the Fall. As Jesus emphasized to the Apostle Peter, 'The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak' (Matthew 26: 41)."

Elder Jeffery R. Holland has stated, "[Our Heavenly Father] is immortal and perfect. We are mortal and imperfect. Nevertheless we seek ways even in mortality whereby we can unite with Him spiritually. In so doing we gain some access to both the grace and the majesty of His power. Those special moments include kneeling at a marriage altar in the house of the Lord, blessing a newborn baby, baptizing and confirming a new member of the Church, partaking of the emblems of the Lord's Supper, and so forth. (D&C 84: 20) These are moments when we quite literally unite our will with God's will, our spirit with His spirit, where communion through the veil becomes very real. At such moments we not only acknowledge His divinity but we quite literally take something of that divinity to ourselves. One aspect of that divinity given to virtually all men and women is the use of His power to create a human body, that wonder of all wonders, a genetically and spiritually unique being never before seen in the history of the world and never to be duplicated again in all the ages of eternity." In other words, sex bonds the souls (the body and spirit) of those involved in divine ways, which is one reason why God commands that we don't have sex outside of the bonds of marriage (see Personal Purity). But, what happens to our soul when those bonding feelings, and the power to create, reserved to be used a marriage covenant, are used by only one person? To what does the soul involved bond?"

Satan has become a master at using the addictive power of pornography to limit individual capacity..." Elder Scott explained. "The onslaught of pornography in all of its vicious, corroding, destructive forms has caused great grief, suffering, heartache, and destroyed marriages. It is one of the most damning influences on earth. Whether it be through the printed page, movies, television, obscene lyrics, vulgarities on the telephone, or flickering personal computer screen, pornography is overpoweringly addictive and severely damaging. This potent tool of Lucifer degrades the mind and the heart and the soul of any who use it."

When those divine feelings are aroused by a screen, magazines, or any other object, the fallen nature is enhanced. The spirit bonds to fallen objects and fallen principles. Thus, our spirit is influenced more by the environment around it, and desires to not return to the presence of God. The inspired prophet, Nephi well declared, "And [the devil] will … pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, … and thus [he] cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell." (2 Nephi 28: 21)

"In matters of human intimacy, you must wait! You must wait until you can give everything, and you cannot give everything until you are legally and lawfully married..." Elder Holland warned, "If you persist in pursuing physical satisfaction without the sanction of heaven, you run the terrible risk of such spiritual, psychic damage that you may undermine both your longing for physical intimacy and your ability to give wholehearted devotion to a later, truer love. You may come to that truer moment of ordained love, of real union, only to discover to your horror that what you should have saved you have spent, and that only God's grace can recover the piecemeal dissipation of [your] virtue..."

"If you are ensnarled in pornography," Elder Scott pleads, "make a total commitment to overcome it now. Find a quiet place; pray urgently for help and support. Be patient and obedient. Don't give up." Elder Bednar further explains, "The Savior is often referred to as the Great Physician, and this title has both symbolic and literal significance. All of us have experienced the pain associated with a physical injury or wound. When we are in pain, we typically seek relief and are grateful for the medication and treatments that help to alleviate our suffering. Consider sin as a spiritual wound that causes guilt or, as described by Alma to his son Corianton, "remorse of conscience" (Alma 42: 18). Guilt is to our spirit what pain is to our body--a warning of danger and a protection from additional damage. From the Atonement of the Savior flows the soothing salve that can heal our spiritual wounds and remove guilt. However, this salve can only be applied through the principles of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, repentance, and consistent obedience. The results of sincere repentance are peace of conscience, comfort, and spiritual healing and renewal. Your bishop or branch president is the spiritual physician's assistant who is authorized to help you repent and heal. Please remember, however, that the extent and intensity of your repentance must match the nature and severity of your sins--especially for Latter-day Saints who are under sacred covenant. Serious spiritual wounds require sustained treatment and time to heal completely and fully."

"the Savior of the world will walk that essential journey with you." Elder Holland promises, "He will strengthen you when you waver. He will be your light when it seems most dark. He will take your hand and be your hope when hope seems all you have left. His compassion and mercy, with all their cleansing and healing power, are freely given to all who truly wish complete forgiveness and will take the steps that lead to it. I bear witness of the great plan of life, of the powers of godliness, of mercy and forgiveness and the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ--all of which have profound meaning in matters of moral cleanliness. I testify... in the name of purity Himself, even the Lord Jesus Christ, amen."


Other videos on the subject (I CAUTION you, there are more blunt terms mentioned in the following, and some of  statements made in the video don't quite agree 100% with all the standards of God.):

Learn the Science, and Outcomes

Learn the Morals and Ethics

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