Look at shows geared toward children, tweens, and teenagers. Pornography isn't always full nudity; it is immodesty or revealing clothing that is intended to awaken and tamper with sexual desire. If it's not in the shows, it's in commercials, music, and some literature.
Our children become desensitized to what is appropriate and what is not. The lines become blurred. Sadly, some children view more intense versions of pornography and, what starts out perhaps as innocent curiosity, becomes an addiction to pornography.
Pornography is highly addicting, ruins relationships, destroys love, and can alter lives negatively. Some may argue that it's OK for adults and that it improves their sex lives, but it will end up destroying it by leading to sexual dysfunction at the very least. Pornography is not "just sex." It is degrading. It is taking something sacred--our bodies and procreation--and making it casual, common place, or insignificant. Personally, I also believe it can lead to child pornography, sexual abuse, rape, affairs and divorce. Not to mention, as with other addictions, a loss of self-control or the ability to stop without professional help.
Linda S. Reeves, 2nd counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency, recently said,
"Many children, youth, and adults are innocently exposed to pornography, but a growing number of both men and women are choosing to view it and are drawn back repeatedly until it becomes an addiction. These individuals may desire with all of their hearts to get out of this trap but often cannot overcome it on their own. How grateful we are when these loved ones choose to confide in us as parents or a Church leader. We would be wise not to react with shock, anger, or rejection, which may cause them to be silent again.
"We as 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.
"Pornography is more vile, evil, and graphic than ever before. As we counsel with our children, together we can create a family plan with standards and boundaries, being proactive to protect our homes with filters on electronic devices. Parents, are we aware that mobile devices with Internet capacity, not computers, are the biggest culprit?"It is vital to teach your children about pornography and the dangers of it at a young age. Children need to know what to do if they see it (come tell you!) and how to be safe on the Internet, smart phones, and even with text/picture messages.
As we told our children during a recent Family Home Evening, it's not a matter of "if" they'll see pornography, but "when." We also expressed that whether they've seen it once or a hundred times, we still want them to talk to us and we won't get mad. We are their parents and are here to help them avoid and/or overcome hardships in their lives.
This is a fantastic video to get your discussion started:
Vitally important is the need for your children, no matter their age, to understand the power and necessity of the Atonement. No matter what they have done, they can be forgiven and made clean through the Atonement. Sin and mistakes are not the end of hope. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ loves each of us and the Atonement is evidence of that pure love. If you or one of your children are caught in the snares of pornography or any other sin, use the help of a loving bishop to know which necessary steps are needed to overcome and heal from it.
Do not allow your family to be deceived by the adversary. Talk about these important topics often and openly. Use the Spirit to help guide your discussions, as the Spirit will testify to your hearts the truthfulness of the teachings and help us each know what we need to do as individuals.
© Wendy 2015