Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Hold Fast

This month we're discussing emergency situations. Today, we're focusing on a different kind of emergency--what Elder Holland would call a moral health crisis. That crisis is pornography. 
This past weekend, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland spoke at a convention for the Utah Coalition Against Pornography. He explained how pornography affects the chemistry of the brain and causes willpower to shrink. He said that such an impact on the brain is similar to what cocaine does to the brain of a drug addict, and what alcohol does to the brain of an alcoholic. "This person simply craves more and more, regularly seeking a higher number of, or more extreme examples of visual images, in order to get what was an earlier, easier 'high.'"

Elder Holland continued, "...This ought to be seen like a public health crisis; like an infectious, fatal epidemic; like a moral plague on the body politic that is maiming the lives of our citizens. Frankly, until the sirens of a public-health war sound, I fear we will be wholly unsuccessful in this fight against the germ-invasion sweeping across our homeland.

"Furthermore, I have often had the feeling that a great preventive for this evil would be the realization... that the person on that screen or in that magazine or on that internet site is someone’s son or daughter... And what if it were your son or daughter? ...I can’t imagine a solitary man or woman who could proceed with a pornographic experience if he or she remembered that the actor on the screen, the object of their perversion, was their son or daughter, their sister or brother."

Elder Holland offered guidance for those who struggle with pornography. He asked those who struggle to hold fast. He said:
F – is for “flee.” Get away from the temptation. Put distance between the person and the problem in any way possible.
A – is for “ask.” Ask anyone who is trustworthy for help—a parent, spouse, friend, Church leader, counselor, physician, etc. But above all, ask God for help.
S – is for “strive.” Strive constantly to win this battle once the help comes.
T – is for “triumph.” Have hope. Others have overcome this battle before. You can do it, too.
If pornography or any addiction is affecting your life, or the life of a friend or family member, there is help available. The Savior's atonement offers relief and hope. Seek guidance and counsel from trusted friends, family and priesthood leaders. There are several professional resources available, as well. For a list of some of these resources, click HERE. For the Church's 12-Step Addiction Recovery Program, click HERE.

"When hope is gone and lives are shattered in a hundred different ways for a thousand different reasons, the reality of Christ’s redemptive, lifting, exalting power is still there. Against all odds and in spite of so much sin in the world, His promise is permanent, peaceful and everlasting."

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