Pornography is any material depicting or describing the human body or sexual conduct in a way that arouses sexual feelings. It is distributed through many media, including magazines, books, television, movies, music, and the Internet. It is as harmful to the spirit as tobacco, alcohol, and drugs are to the body. Using pornographic material in any way is a violation of a commandmentof God: "Thou shalt not . . . commit adultery . . . nor do anything like unto it" (D&C 59:6). It can lead to other serious sins. Members of the Church should avoid pornography in any form and should oppose its production, distribution, and use.
Pornography is tragically addictive. Like other addictions, it leads people to experiment and to seek more powerful stimulations. Those who experimentwith it and allow themselves to remain caught in its trap will find that it will destroy them, degrading their minds, hearts, and spirits. It will rob them of self-respect and of their sense of the beauties of life. It will tear them down and lead them to evil thoughts and possibly evil actions. It will cause terrible damage to their family relationships.
Because of the addictive nature ofpornography and the harm it can cause to body and spirit, servants of God have repeatedly warned us to shun it. Those who are caught in the trap of pornography should stop immediately and seek help. Through repentance, those who have been addicted can receive forgiveness and find hope in the gospel. Bishops and branch presidents can provide counsel on how to overcome this problem. The Atonement of JesusChrist can provide the needed healing as people prayerfully seek the Lord's help.
See also Chastity; Temptation
—See True to the Faith (2004), 117–18
Matthew 5:27–28; Romans 6:12; Alma 39:9; D&C 42:23
Avoiding Pornography’s Trap
“Danger Ahead! Avoiding Pornography’s Trap,” New Era, Oct 2002, 34
Why is pornography considered such a big deal? We let three young men telltheir stories of entrapment, struggle, and despair. And of how they were finally rescued.
It has been an incredible day on the snow-covered mountain, the most challenging climb you and your buddies have ever attempted. Nearing the peak, you spot a deep crevice just ahead—the kind of crevice that can swallow up a hiker and leave no trace. Will you walk to the edge of the slippery slope and riskeverything? Will you warn those behind you or let them take their chances?
Pornography is like that crevice. One of its greatest dangers is that you might not even realize how treacherous it is until you are caught in its trap. Three young Latter-day Saints have shared their stories anonymously. We will call them Blair, Ryan, and Rob. They hope their experiences will help others avoid this trap.And, for anyone with a similar struggle, they give advice on how to escape.
Blair: I grew up in the Church and have a testimony. However, there is a part of my life that few people know. At age seven I often saw a pornographic poster on a teenage neighbor’s wall. It left an impression in my mind that I could not forget. Unworthy thoughts led me to develop an unworthy habit I felt I couldn’t break.Ryan: When I was about 12 years old I went to a friend’s house and found him and a bunch of neighborhood boys gathered around the computer. I joked, “Hey, are you guys looking at pornography?”
They said, “How did you guess? Come check this out.”
That was the beginning of a problem in my life. I soon began using our family computer to find more and more images.
Rob: You usually don’t realizeyou have a problem until you are in so deep you can no longer see the light. That’s what happened with me. I was curious and justified my involvement with pornography by reminding myself that guys at school were involved with it too, and it didn’t seem like a big problem for them.
Just Looking or Getting Hooked?
Pornography first appeals to curiosity. Somehow, just looking doesn’t seem all that...