" Our War Against Pornography"
The Plague of Pornography:
“And now I show unto you a mystery, a thing which is had in secret chambers, to bring to pass even your destruction in process of time, and ye knew it not;” Doctrine and Covenants 38:13
A few weeks ago my husband and I returned to the city we spent our first decade of our marriage together in. After eight years, we were blessed to see many of our old friends and catch up with their and their children’s lives. Our four hour trip home was consumed with talk of the many tragedies our friends have experienced over the last eight years and how we could help our children and the youth in our ward avoid similar tragedies. Celestial marriages have been wrecked, once strong missionaries have gone astray, complete families have left the church, and seminary youth we thought were so strong have abandoned their faith. As we discussed this, we found that most of the tragedies could be traced back to pornography. Together we mourned for the victims and brainstormed ways to prepare our youth.
The next day, I was reading Alma 52. I’ve always been so impressed with Moroni’s amazing ability to lead and prepare the Nephite armies. I’ve often prayed that my boys will be like Moroni, learning how to stand for right at a young age and then strengthen others in the war against evil. I read verse 19, ”…Moroni and Teancum and many of the chief captains held a council of war….that they might gain advantage over them (the Lamanites).” These great captains and general came together to devise strategies to regain their City with as few causalities as possible and they were very successful.
My children are young, and I’ve been in Primary for 12 years, so my focus is on avoiding the problem, not necessarily overcoming it. Recent research has shown that most kids are being exposed to pornography by the time they are NINE! I am convinced that preparing them to deal with the temptations when they come and helping them see the tragedies indulging in the temptations bring, are vital to avoiding pornography. I was struck by how affective Moroni’s proactive approach to this war was, how their strategies saved thousands of lives and I wondered how our family could learn from their example. My thoughts eventually converged into this fun Family Home Evening:
I told the boys that in a few days we’d be having a war council to devise strategies against the war on pornography and to be thinking of ideas to contribute to our council. I baked something really good and made them look at it all day, saying, “No, that’s for the war council...you’ll have to wait.” When the time finally came, I had the boys build a tent, like Moroni might have used for his war council, out of blankets in our living room. We turned out all the lights and used a flashlight to crawl into the tent.
In my most masculine and serious voice, I told them that they were each the general of their own mind, and only they, would be able to keep bad thoughts and pictures out of it. We were here to discuss strategies to defeat pornography in our lives. The flashlight went around the circle and each general gave a strategy until we ran out of ideas. Here is what the Crosby Generals devised to win our war against pornography:
We are Waging
WAR AGAINST PORNOGRAPHY
- Change the channel-quickly (tv channels and/or mentally switch topics)
- Crash and Tell-quickly (turn off the computer and tell a parent)
- Look ahead to see the consequences that come with pornography and decide you don’t want that for your future.
- Never START and you’ll never have to STOP!
- Pray to keep pornography out of your minds.
- Have friends with the same standards.
- Be 100% honest with yourself and with Dad in PPI’s.
- If you accidently see pornography, come tell Mom or Dad right away.
It was short and sweet (maybe 10 minutes), but fun for the boys. Our strategies now hang on the fridge so we can remember them.
Please note: Research is showing that more than 70% of men in the church battle with pornography addictions and they are being exposed VERY young. Thus, we have discussed pornography, masturbation and sexual fantasies in depth with our boys many times prior to this activity (of course we keep it age appropriate and don’t use those words per say).
Karson also does PPI’s (Personal Priesthood/Parent Interview) with them every Fast Sunday to make sure they know they are accountable for their thoughts and actions to someone. We both feel PPI’s are essential to helping boys stay away from masturbation and pornography. Interestingly enough, through these PPI’s we have discovered that our six year old has experienced more issues of concern than our nine year old. Each child will begin to experience sexual feelings at a different age, and since we don’t know what that age is, we feel we should begin as soon as the child can talk with a very simple PPI and then cater it to their maturity level as they grow.
With today’s media, even the commercials are stimulating our youth. As parents, we absolutely HAVE to discuss these issues with our children. If we don’t, the world will. Sadly, because we parents are too afraid to discuss sexual feelings with our youth, they are turning to the world to understand their sexual confusion. The world is quick to interpret their confusion as “homosexuality”. When I was a school counselor in Kingman I noticed a high rate of same sex attraction in 7th and 8th grade. Kids this age are coming into their bodies, they need someone to talk to about the changes and when it’s not parents, it’s friends, or TV or the internet. I feel that because of the homosexual push in media, it is natural for those kids to “decide they must be gay”. Do we want TV and internet explaining sexual feels to our children? If we parents talk with our kids about sexual feelings, the confusion will be eliminated, their feelings normalized, and a plan put in action to deal with their feelings and desires. This will help them fulfill God’s Plan of Salvation with a beautiful and healthy intimate relationship after their temple marriage.