I’m feeling tempted today. Not necessarily tempted to just straight up go look at porn, but definitely to engage in risky online behavior. Mostly to try and find seemingly “innocent” images or videos, things that aren’t technically “pornography”. Though they aren’t technically evil, they are like a gateway drug to more and more pornographic things. I have been listening to General Conference talks by Elder Jeffry R. Holland, and I came across the talk he gave in the April Conference in 2010 entitled, “Place No More for the Enemy of My Soul”. In that talk he very boldly talks about pornography and lust. He gives several ideas one might use to escape temptation.
1) Separate yourself from offending people, materials and circumstances
2) Acknowledge that you might need help. Seek that help from other people and pray for Angels to help you.
3) The only real control is self-control. Use filters, but also use self-control to walk out of an offending movie, turn off an offending TV show, and I might add close an offending website. These things might not be technically evil, but they can blunt your judgement and dull our spirituality, and lead to something that could be evil.
4) Unwelcome, lustful thoughts will come, but we don’t have to dwell on them. Replace lewd thoughts with hopeful images and joyful memories.
5) Be where the Spirit of the Lord is. Make your home a place where the Spirit can dwell and attend the Temple as often as possible. The parts that feel the most applicable to me today are numbers 3 and 4. The risky online behavior I am tempted to participate in is not technically evil. However, it does blunt my judgement and dull my spirituality, and will lead me to riskier and riskier behavior little by little until I truly relapse. So, here’s something hopeful and joyful to replace my temptations, I will think of my children. They are bright and smart and innocent. Each of them has an amazing potential for great good in their lives. Though this world is hard and life is uncertain, It is my duty, my stewardship, to guide them. I can only do that my best if I am clear-headed and sober. With that hope here’s to another 24 hours of sanity and sobriety