There is a problem in the church that many people don’t realize exists.
It’s a pornography problem.
You might be thinking, “Well, that’s a shocker!”
While we all know that pornography is a plague that is spreading throughout the world and has infested the church, you might not realize that it is also common among the women of the church.
A bishop told me years ago, “People would be really surprised if they knew how many women have struggles with pornography.”
That sentiment was echoed recently by Al Carraway who is addressing the issue head on in a series of recent posts revealing the theme of countless messages she is receiving from the young women of the church.
It appears many young women are struggling with pornography as well, and the problem becomes more worrisome because they don’t know how to deal with it.
Al’s post below is very informative, as many young women don’t know what to do after they’ve sinned, because so often there is the assumption that they don’t have issues with pornography. Because of that assumption, the pure gospel of Jesus Christ, that of faith in Jesus Christ and repentance, is not being taught.
We are sharing this article in attempt to join forces with Al in helping our youth understand that there is hope through repentance, which is a wondrous gift provided us through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
We should be teaching the pure gospel of Jesus Christ to those among us, because church is a place for those who are sinners. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”¹
The larger problem is not the sin, it is in the hiding. When we attempt to cover our sins it prevents us from taking corrective action and repenting. As Stephen W. Owen taught in October 2017’s General Conference, “Repentance … points us to freedom, confidence, and peace. My message to all—especially to the youth—is that repentance is always positive.”
Not only is repentance always positive, it is always available. As it says in the Book of Mormon, “But as oft as they repented and sought forgiveness, with real intent, they were forgiven.”²
My message to all—especially to the youth—is that repentance is always positive.”
Al Carraway’s post struck quite a chord, with over 1,500 shares, and close to 300 comments. Here are some of comments that were received.
“Let me add this, PLEASE STOP giving stupid lessons that tell our youth they are chewed gum or unworthy. If you have that opinion then you absolutely do NOT understand the atonement.” – Chelle
“One of the greatest things I ever heard said from a past Bishop who is now my Stake President. I wish I would have spent less time as a parent teaching all the things “not to do” and teach more about “what to do when we do them.” Teaching about how to USE the Atonement is more important than don’t do this and don’t do that lessons. Great reminder! Thanks!!” – Tami
“I didn’t know this until I was a bishop’s wife… one day I asked my husband if listening to people’s confessions was the worst part of his job. He said, “No way! I love it! That’s the best part of my job! When someone comes to me that means they want to change! There is never more love in my office than when I’m working with someone on repentance. Repentance is an act of love not of shame! I wish I could help more people understand that!” I have used those words in lesson after lesson since then, especially with Young Women. I was a 40 year old woman and had no idea, so how would they know as teenagers that if they go to a bishop for help, they will be met with nothing but love. That’s what I want people to know!!!” – Tami
“I went to the bishop one time and have never felt so much love before in my life. It was terrifying going in, but it was worth it. I wish I could wrap my arms around these specific young women and help them and let them know they are loved.” – Natalie
“Thank you for your post! There is a reason why Christ told his disciples to preach nothing save it were repentance and faith on the Lord. Not because they were judging the people but because repentance IS the good news of the gospel! It is not a punishment, but a gift from a loving Savior who can and wants to heal all our ills!” – Mary
“You are so right, my daughters Bishop actually brought this subject up during a 5th Sunday class. He going that young teens, thought their sins were unforgivable and no hope or future of any kind, they had no understanding of God’s love and the Saviors Atonement, and how it truly applies to their lives, their future and their sins.💜❤💙💖” – Peggy
Let us be more aware of the fact that we live in a state of sin. We all do. No one is exempt, and when we assume someone is, we are doing them a disservice. We must lead our youth and fellow members of our church toward Christ, as He is the healer of our souls.
May we all be powerful teachers and testifiers of the merits of Jesus Christ as was Alma, who commanded his people that they should “preach nothing save it were repentance and faith on the Lord, who had redeemed his people.”³
This post might be helpful to share with those who are concerned about the dynamics of meeting with the Bishop > What A Mormon Bishop Really Thinks Of Struggling Saints
Tuesday 24th of August 2021
The same happened to me but the thing is that I told my bishop about it and he looked at me like if I was a disgusting sinner and I felt so sad I was hopping compassion like Jesus would do and then he told me I was going to live with that all my life and told me to read the miracle of forgiveness. I prayed to God I ask for his forgiveness and I really didn't want to live with that all my life why can a drug addict leave it and forget but I can't? Why did my bishop had to give me that curse? I don't believe in bishops anymore I got a lot of relapses because the curse he gave me made me feel that I was destinated to live with that all my life. I don't believe in church anymore I believe in God the Father and Jesus Christ and of course the holly spirit and the book of Mormon and all the teachings but I don't believe in my bishop or other bishops or my leaders I really don't.
I have to go on a mission in 4 months because All my family is a member of the church and I would loose the career I always dreamed of but I love God and the teachings that are in the books and I believe the teachings old apostols taught are good the gospel gave me a lot of happiness in my life, its just that I don't know what to do I don't believe in the church or my leaders why? because it all started because my young woman's President was angry at me because I said that I wasn't going to marry and won't have children she gave me a class all for myself about marriage and husband's it made me think God would be angry at me for not marry or have children so I decide I was going to prepare myself to be a wife and a mother first even thou I always wanted to have a career and be an entrepreneur, but then I thought to myself I know nothing about men and how does people reproduce and then I started searching and found an article about two lds ladies who talked about pleasing your husband and started reading but I have never seen in my life a male reproductive system that's how it lend to porn it was the first time I've ever saw a male naked I had just turn 18 and I have never learn anything about that and now I regret it
I'm 19 my life just fall to disgrace the stupid bishop told me that when I was 18, but I learned that I was okay I was not wrong I used to see people in a pure way like Jesus does I used to see man like my brothers and I've never saw anyone in my life in a romantic or sexual way just in a really inocense way I now live that way just a week ago finally decided I was done with all the trash they told me I am not a disgusting sinner I don't want a husband not even a boyfriend because I never want it or need it I don't care If I died as a minister angel I would be glad to serve my God all my eternity, for real I say it not trying to confort me or something what a sweet dream it is to serve him for all eternity but I will look at people the way I always wanted in a pure way, see them the way Jesus would have done it I really learned to not judge someone and have mercy with the sinner and everyone not to search everyone to be perfect because I think I'm perfect but instead give them love and help them to come back to the path. I think leaders should stop saying that to young woman's that they're only duty it's to have kids and help their husbands
Saturday 21st of April 2018
The root of the porn problem, for women or men, is that as a society we have allowed Satan to shape the way we see and understand the human body. We have let him convince us to see it as an object of lust and of shame. We have strongly associated simple nudity with sexuality. Then, because of our fear of sexuality, (remember, God gives faith, not fear) we have hidden the human form. By doing so, there is a pent-up natural curiosity combined with the allure of the forbidden that amplifies temptation and lays the foundation for a problem with porn. You see, both the "prude" viewpoint and the pornographic viewpoint teach the same underlying lesson -- the body is an object of lust and shame. Prudery says to hide it, and porn says to flaunt and use it, but they are two sides of the same evil coin. (See mychainsaregone.org).
We must to try to see the body as God sees it. -- Not as an object of lust, but as an object of divine design and part of the essence of who we are. It must be painful to God when we are ashamed of the wonderful bodies he has given us. Scripture does not indicate that bodies are to always be hidden. The Bible and even the Book of Mormon have many indications that simple nudity was commonplace in parts of society, or even for prophets, and was not condemned. Only inappropriate sexuality was condemned.
The individual who regularly sees nakedness in wholesome non-sexual contexts comes to understand the difference between nudity and sexuality. These are two independent concepts. Just ask a nurse. Sadly, especially in mormon culture, we are left to learn from the sexualized media around us how to interpret nudity, and what an acceptable body looks like. The result is body shame when we don't meet the world's standard, and ungodly sexualization of simple nudity -- the recipe for porn.
The person who knows from experience what real people's nipples or genitals, or any body part look like, and for whom just seeing them is not a sexual experience, is not tempted by images that leave just a little to the imagination. The imagination can always come up with something better than reality. When reality is familiar, the imagination will not have a chance to get started -- then the soft porn that initially traps most people is clearly unrealistic, without any titillation, and easily cast aside.
Here is a link to an article that a friend of mine wrote they might do a better job of explaining the ideas: https://lazeruslong.wordpress.com/2015/10/31/preparing-your-children-for-a-world-of-ubiquitous-pornography/