Pornography

Pornography is evil

I’ve run into a series of articles lately that have brought up this notion or idea that pornography is blown out of proportion. Many of these articles talk about how pornography is really a victimless crime if we think about it and one actually goes so far as to say we need to readjust our “moral expectations” to include the use of porn, so long as it doesn’t go any further than that.

The argument in some of these cases is that the vast majority of individuals already look at porn and to try to fight against this trend is so incredibly hard to do, that it is almost impossible to do so. So that being the case we ought to accept it and redefine our moral lines to make sure that we don’t cross the important line of adultery or fornication. One of the articles mentioned that women/men are only angry when they find their spouses looking at porn because we as a society have set unreal expectations on them and ourselves. It mentions that if we were to look at the reality of the situation, expectations aside, we would see that porn really only affects individuals as much as we allow it to do so.

Many of these posts talk about pornography being a victim-less crime. Victim-less crime?! Seriously?! How about we ask the husband who has to deal with a wife who is constantly watching porn in the secret corners of the home? How about we ask the wife whose is currently going through a divorce not due to any specific act of adultery but simply because the husband has lost interest in his wife and their relationship? How about we ask the countless numbers of families that have been broken up due to the effects of pornography in their homes? I would hardly imagine that any of these individuals (including those who were addicted to porn) would argue that it didn’t have a detrimental effect in their personal and family lives.

I’d like to take a minute to address this notion of readjusting the moral lines of pornography. In my mind, there is very little difference between viewing pornography and adultery. It’s all the same shade of the same color and both have the same effect on the family. This is not to belittle those who are currently struggling with pornography and I wouldn’t want to hammer down any efforts on their part or their family’s in overcoming this addiction any less than you would belittle those who are overcoming a drug issue. However, I do want to address this seemingly rising sentiment that pornography is ok and better clear the lines for those who think pornography doesn’t affect others around them. To address the argument that the vast majority of individuals already look at porn and to try to fight against this trend is so incredibly hard to do, that it is almost impossible to do so I would recite a quote by President Hinckley.

The excuse is given that it is hard to avoid, that it is right at our fingertips and there is no escape. Suppose a storm is raging and the winds howl and the snow swirls about you. You find yourself unable to stop it. But you can dress properly and seek shelter, and the storm will have no effect upon you. Likewise, even though the Internet is saturated with sleazy material, you do not have to watch it. You can retreat to the shelter of the gospel and its teaching of cleanliness and virtue and purity of life.

There is absolute hope for those who might find themselves in this mire of filth and sleaze. God has provided a way for us to overcome such powerful addiction through the Atonement of Jesus Christ and His gospel.

Pornography is Not Cheating.

Some may justify in their hearts that there is a huge difference between cheating on your spouse or viewing pornography. Not mentioning the fact that so many times the one leads to the other; in your heart for that moment in time, viewing pornography is cheating whether you are single or married. If you are married, it is cheating on your current spouse. If you are single, it is cheating on your future spouse.

It is cheating because for that moment in time, you are taken to a place that you would rather be than your spouse who you have made a solemn and sacred commitment to. If you are single, you are inevitably starting a habit that if you can’t deal with now, chances are unlikely that you won’t be able to or choose not to deal with after you are married. You are robbing from your current/future spouse of your time and energies to the sacred relationship you have chosen to commit to. Pornography use is not a few minutes here and there. Over time it consumes your mind and thoughts and even when you are in the presence of your loved ones, it starts to occupy your thoughts unceasingly. We cannot and must not do this to our spouses.

Though there are exceptions to the rule, most individuals who are addicted to porn, do not develop that habit after their marriage. In my case, every one of my friends who are addicted to porn were addicted long before they ever got married. There is no magical cure or promise that once you get married, all of sudden all of these feelings and temptations to look at porn will disappear. Just as if you were addicted to drugs prior to getting marriage, marriage in and of itself won’t help you overcome that addiction. Sure it will help in providing another motivation to kick the habit but it just won’t go away on its own just because you are now a married individual as opposed to being single.

Now of course I don’t believe that those who do view pornography deep inside don’t love their spouses or families. I actually believe that a majority of those who do view porn really do love them. Using the drug analogy, while you may very well still love your family while doing drugs, that fact alone doesn’t take away the negative effects it still has on your family. The same holds true for pornography.

If you are currently struggling with a spouse or you yourself are trying to overcome this addiction, I applaud you for your efforts and would encourage you to continue to fight the good fight in overcoming it. Every wife deserves a marriage where she has a husband who is fully devoted to her and their family. Where the husband puts all of his time and energy into building a better life for them and their children. Every husband deserves a wife who is fully committed to him and their relationship and is constantly focus on the betterment of their relationship.

It absolutely breaks my heart when I hear of a wife whose life is shattered by the use of pornography of her husband. A wife who simply wanted to have an eternal family. A wife who wanted to have a husband who loved her with all of the strength of his heart just as she loves him with all of her heart. We are better than this and we must be better than this.

We cannot allow Satan to ruin the sacred family by allowing such destructive influences to penetrate our homes and we especially cannot allow him to penetrate our minds with the thoughts of pornography use being an acceptable occurrence in our covenanted relationships. The time is now to take a stand and re-emphasis the line that the Lord has drawn.