May 4, 2014

Protection from Pornography - a Christ-Focused Home

Protection from Pornography - a Christ-Focused Home
by Linda S. Reeves defines pornography as “any material depicting or describing the human body or sexual conduct in a way that arouses sexual feelings”.

"Pornography. . .overtakes lives, causing loss of the Spirit, distorted feelings, deceit, damaged relationships, loss of self-control, and nearly total consumption of time, thought, and energy."

The Sad Facts:
-  Pornography is an estimated $97 Billion dollar industry.  It generates more money on an annual basis than most sports, television, or other entertainment industries.

-  40 million people are sexually involved over the internet.

-  The internet is the most popular place to view pornography. . ."The lure of anonymity has made this content available without social stigma. No longer do people need to be concerned about their neighbor recognizing them, or seeing the mailman deliver a magazine that they might be embarrassed to possess. Instead, they can sit at their computer, in the privacy of their own home, and consume as much of this content as they like. The problem is that the content is also available to everyone else who accesses the Internet—including our children."

-  The average age of first exposure to pornography on the internet is 11.

-  1 in 5 teenagers who regularly log onto the Internet have received a sexual solicitation via the web.

-  Sister Reeves informs us that "mobile devices with Internet capacity, not computers, are the biggest culprit".

- Pornography isn't just a problem for males. Girls who are addicted to pornography usually start with printed words. And it can start out so innocently: a romance novel, fan-created spin-offs of her favorite books or TV shows . . . (source)

There was a time when the only risk of a child viewing pornographic material in their home was if the parent brought it into the home. Purchase of the material was limited to adults and the primary way for the content to get into the home was from an adult member of the family who would purchase it and bring it home. Today, however, simply connecting your computer to the Internet makes it possible for this content to come into your home, without your knowledge, consent or approval. 

Years ago, we were warned of the drug dealers who lurked around schools and provided free drugs to children. Once the children experimented with their free dose, they would be hooked and the dealer then had a steady clientele. Studies have shown a similar addiction from viewing pornography. . . the porn industry has followed a similar business model to the drug dealers of old. Some people go to work every day with the express intent of getting their pornographic content in front of as many people as possible free of charge. They know this content to be highly addictive and are doing everything in their power to get this content in front of anyone who could be drawn in and eventually pay for more of that content. The Internet has given them a perfect venue for such activities. No longer do they need to convince people to trudge down to the local corner store to purchase their adult materials–they simply need to turn on their computer (or their cell phone).


I think the title of this talk says it all:
Want protection from pornography? -> Have a Christ-focused home.

"Brothers and sisters, how do we protect our children and youth?  Filters are useful tools, but the greatest filter in the world, the only one that will ultimately work, is the personal internal filter that comes from a deep and abiding testimony of our Heavenly Father's love and our Savior's atoning sacrifice for each of us."

"How do we lead our children to deep conversion and to access our Savior's Atonement? . . .'We talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, [and] we prophesy of Christ. . .that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.'"

I know all the things I should be doing to teach my children the gospel, and to make my home centered on Christ, and sometimes when I start going over the list of all the things I wish I was doing or I should be doing, I begin to feel very over-whelmed, stressed, and inadequate.  "How am I going to do it all?"  Being a parent is definitely challenging and time demanding.  So many things to do, not enough time or energy to do it. . .

In her talk Sister Reeves reminds us that most of the things we worry and stress about as parents don't matter.
"It is OK if the house is a mess and the children are still in their pajamas and some of the responsibilities are left undone.  The only things that really need to be accomplished in the home are daily scripture study and prayer and weekly family home evening."
 Make these things the priority.
"[Try] not to worry about the less-important things. . .These (daily scripture study and prayer and weekly family home evening) are the very practices that help take away stress, give direction to our lives, and add protection to our homes.  Then, if pornography or other challenges do strike our families, we can petition the Lord for help and expect great guidance from the Spirit, knowing that we have done what our Father has asked us to do."

Some other ways Sister Reeves suggests we can protect our families:

-"Parents and Leaders need to counsel with our children and youth on an ongoing basis, listening with love and understanding.  They need to know the dangers of pornography and how it overtakes lives, causing loss of the Spirit, distorted feelings, deceit, damaged relationships, loss of self-control, and nearly total consumption of time, thought, and energy."

- "As we counsel with our children, together. . ., create a family plan with standards and boundaries, being proactive to protect our homes with filters on electronic devices."  

- "Take responsibility for your own spiritual well-being.  Turn off your phone if necessary, sing a Primary song, pray for help, think of a scripture, walk out of a movie, picture the Savior, take the sacrament worthily, study For the Strength of Youth, be an example to your friends, confide in a parent, go see your bishop, ask for help, and seek professional counseling, if needed."

Helpful Links-
and Here

We used this this past Monday for our FHE- my little kids loved the video.

By the awesomely amazing Jocelyn over at We Talk of Christ, We Rejoice in Christ.  Her whole blog is incredible.

by Jason Carroll Ph.D, a professor at BYU

Next Week's Talk: