The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently published a series of Family Home Evening (FHE) lessons centered around the dangers of pornography and how to combat it.
In a 2004 General Conference talk, President Gordon B. Hinckley said:
[Pornography] is like a raging storm, destroying individuals and families, utterly ruining what was once wholesome and beautiful.
Pornography is a plague that is affecting families and individuals—even children are not exempt from exposure. Herald Extra reports that the Church released four different FHE lessons on the topic with hopes of helping parents to teach their children about its dangers and to hopefully prevent the problem altogether.
Program Director of LDS Family Services, Ben Erwin, contributed to the creation of the FHE lessons and says that the lessons are geared toward giving children the knowledge and skills needed to appropriately respond to pornographic content. He explains that “the lessons include basic doctrines and principles about the sacredness of the body, sexual intimacy, following the Spirit, choosing good media, appropriate action steps for when a child sees pornography, and repentance.”
While some parents may believe that discussing pornography does not need to take place until children are older, Elder Richard G. Scott counsels otherwise, saying:
Parents, be aware that the addiction of pornography can begin with youth at a very early age. Take preventative action to avoid that tragedy.
The four lessons published to the Church’s website on overcoming pornography include:
- My Body Is From God
- The Spirit Can Help Me Choose good Media
- What Should I Do If I See Pornography
- The Savior Desires To Forgive And Heal The Wounds Of Pornography
The lessons are not meant to be taught in any particular order. Each lesson includes suggestions on how to use the scriptures and references to teach children about pornography. They also include activities for both young children and teenagers. The first lesson, My Body is From God, states that as parents teach their children the appropriate ways to respond to pornographic content, they will be able to preserve their individual “spiritual well-being and ensure protection for further involvement.” The lesson also includes a definition of pornography, defining it as “any material that depicts or describes the human body or sexual conduct in a way that arouses or is intended to arouse sexual feelings inappropriately.”
Erwin adds that fighting pornography begins at home:
The solution has to begin with the family… I hope these lessons empower parents to have discussions. The long-term solution is in the home.
Parents are asked to counsel with the Lord to decide which lessons, activities, and resources will most benefit their family in the fight against pornography.
The lessons are another resource that the Church has released in hopes of helping its members to become more familiar with the reality of the dangers of pornography. On August 20, 2014, Mormon Channel released a video taking viewers through one couple’s struggle with pornography, the effects it had on their family, and the way they relied on their faith and on their Savior to overcome such a destructive addiction.
The Church’s website is dedicated to helping others overcome pornography and includes resources to help struggling individuals and resources to help families who are dealing with its effects. It also includes a link for Church leaders to help them to understand and appropriately respond to an individual’s struggle with pornography.
On the site, members are reminded of the protection and healing power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and in the miracle of forgiveness. For a complete list of the FHE lessons, and for other resources published by the Church, go to overcomingpornography.org.