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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Why Prophets warn of evils of pornography

The evils of pornography have been spoken about over the pulpit at General Conferences of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for at least the last thirty-five years.  As many do not recognize the evil that pornography is, nor its consequences, The Mormon Eagle posts the following essay.

In the Deseret News issued on Tuesday 29 November 2011 we read the words of Ken Wallentine, the chief of law enforcement with Utah's Attorney General's office: "I believe that cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine have nothing on pornography when it comes to destroying families and destroying lives.  You cannot overstate the dangers that are there. . ." ("Link between child porn, sex abuse 'frightening, powerful'", Deseret News, Tuesday 29 November 2011, A5).  Mr. Wallentine is right - so right, in fact, that a convicted felon agrees with him.  Samuel Seager was convicted in 2008 of felony-abuse which lasted almost four years; he is serving as many as 75 years in prison for his crimes.  Seager said, "Would I have done so much with [the victim] if it hadn't been what I'd seen on the Internet?  Got ideas and really started playing with the deviant part on my mind?  With these cases, you don't know what you would have done without that influence in your life" (Ibid., A1).

The Bane of the Church
True it is that pornography is the bane of the membership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Prophets and Apostles have constantly warned against pornography's deadly trap.  Of pornography, President Gordon B. Hinckley strongly stated that "sin it is.  It is devilish.  It is totally inconsistent with the spirit of the gospel, with personal testimony of the things of God, and with the life of one who has been ordained to the holy priesthood" ("A Tragic Evil Among Us", October 2004 General Conference).  Elder Dallin H. Oaks stated it thus, "Some involved in pornography apparently minimize its seriousness and continue to exercise the priesthood of God because they think no one will know of their involvement.  But the user knows, brethren, and so does the Lord" ("Pornography", April 2005 General Conference).  Elder Jeffrey R. Holland warned, "The first key reason for personal purity?  Our very souls are involved and at stake" ("Of Souls, Symbols, and Sacraments", BYU Devotional Address, 12 January 1988, speeches.byu.edu).

"The Hope which thou Desirest"
Those of whom feel tempted to look at pornography or are actually trapped within pornography's snare need not - and especially must not - loose hope, for Jesus Christ has taken Hell itself on before you, and come forth triumphant.  President Gordon B. Hinkcley testified,

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. . . . Let any who may be in the grip of this vise get upon their knees in the privacy of their closet and plead with the Lord for help to free them from this evil monster. . . . How wonderful are the ways of our Lord.  How glorious His promises.  When tempted we can substitute for thoughts of evil thoughts of Him and His teachings ("A Tragic Evil Among Us", October 2004 General Conference).

President George Albert Smith taught, "If you will stay on the Lord’s side of the line, you will be under His influence and will have no desire to do wrong; but if you cross to the devil’s side of the line one inch, you are in the tempter’s power, and if he is successful, you will not be able to think or even reason properly, because you will have lost the Spirit of the Lord” (The Miracle of Forgiveness, p. 232).  Lastly, President David O. McKay taught, "I implore you to think clean thoughts.  Every action is preceded by a thought.  If we want to control our actions, we must control our thinking" ("Preparation Brings Blessings", April 2010 General Conference).

To have clean thoughts, one must focus on the command of the Lord Jesus, which saith that we must always remember Him.  To do so, the Eagle suggests reading the Book of Mormon at least a chapter a day, but especially more if one is tempted.  The Book of Mormon is the most correct book on Earth for a reason - to receive and maintain the Spirit of the Lord.  I know the Book of Mormon is true, that it will bring the Holy Ghost as a buckler and defense against the wiles of the devil - but especially against the fiery darts of pornography.  In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

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