Friday, July 12, 2013

Pornography Only Hurts the Viewer, Right? Think Again.

*This is a pretty serious post, about a serious topic. Just FYI.

I have been thinking a lot about pornography and the far reaching effects it has not only on the one who is using pornography, but to others around that person. I think too many people think it's okay to look at such degrading pictures, or think that it's not going to hurt anyone, or think even that they are not addicted and it's not affecting them. Or maybe they know it has affected them, but they think they now can't do anything to stop. Or many people probably think that the material they are viewing, reading, or listening to isn't even porn.

Really, I don't know what goes through the mind of one who uses pornography. But, I do know the pain and heartache and sorrow that happens to those close to the user. I spent my life with a father who was, and still is, addicted to pornography. I have to say, I barely know him as a person. I don't know if he loves, or even cares about me as his daughter (or if he is even capable of doing so at this point). There is no emotional connection--at least not a positive one. It has affected my siblings as well--even influencing some of them to struggle with pornography. It led to being molested. Ultimately, it led to infidelity and the end of my parent's marriage, a broken family, pain, heartache, and sorrow. I have lots of unanswered questions, unanswered love, and the feeling of basically being an orphan--at least on some level.

A scripture from the Book of Mormon hit me so hard, Jacob 2:35:
"Behold, ye have done greater iniquities than the Lamanites, our brethren. Ye have broken the hearts of your tender wives, and lost the confidence of your children, because of your bad examples before them; and the sobbings of their hearts ascend up to God against you. And because of the strictness of the word of God, which cometh down against you, many hearts died, pierced with deep wounds."
Recently, the Deseret News wrote a four part series on pornography, which you can read: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4. These four articles talk about some experiences from people who have been affected by viewing porn, some who have been deeply hurt by being involved in making porn, and also the legal problems around it. There are astounding statistics also given in the articles. It is a devastating trend in society. So many people think it's okay or 'no big deal', when in reality, it is a really big deal. Those with pornography addiction often have trouble controlling their tempers, become depressed or habitually unhappy.

Society is full of porn...or images that are really close to it. It's not just pictures. It can be live and suggestive dancing. It's suggestive or explicit lyrics in songs. You can find innuendo even in children's movies. Reading materials can be pornographic in descriptions (romance novels, erotica, etc.). Prime time television, commercials and other programming slowly desensitizes our minds to not recognize evil when we see it. Gordon B. Hinckley has said to "avoid pornography like the plague." I wish everyone would.

Because of things that happened in my childhood, it has affected me as an adult and in my marriage. I'm still healing. I don't trust many people alone with my children. We don't allow sleepovers. I am really careful with who I leave them with and we also have really blunt discussions with our children around the age of 8 about sex and safeguards that are important.

Painting by Del Parson
There are tools to help, but it is a long process that may involve many re-starts. Pornography is said to affect more parts of the brain than drugs. Another article about pornography, tells about a new website entitled "Overcoming Pornography Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ." It contains help for individuals, family members and church leaders who are affected by or dealing with pornography as well as ways to prevent it in our homes. I hope that if there is anyone in need of rescuing and healing from pornography addiction that they can find the help they need.

The Atonement is real. God loves you and wants you to be free and happy. He wants you to be healed. Jesus Christ paid the price for us--we just need to accept it, to use the atonement to be made whole and to heal. You have never gone too far to come back. It may not be easy, you may struggle, but there is always hope through Jesus Christ. Healing is not just for the sinner, but also for the brokenhearted, the abused, and the afflicted.

© Wendy 2013


  1. Thank you from one making the journey out of pornography addiction. I hope your voice is heard by many.

    1. Thank you for your comment. The Atonement is a beautiful healing balm that allows us to overcome our trials and other problems with a partner who will never leave us. I applaud you on your journey and know overcoming pornography addiction will be a major blessing in your life.