“Because it’s bad” is usually the answer given to anyone explaining the reasons why someone should avoid pornography. Rarely does it go beyond such a simple justification. However, not being able to clearly explain why involvement in such an activity is negative is actually a result from the activity itself. This is why the Mormon Church is adamantly set against pornography.
Pornography makes us forget our spiritual nature. It bars us from being able to discern love from lust, and in doing so it risks us into rationalizing the danger of it. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has made a point of standing against pornography because not only is it in direct opposition to the commandments of God, but pornography is an adversity to strong families and a thick, sinking swamp to individuals.
Mormons believes that we are all spiritual children of God. This gives each and every one of us a divine nature. It is a defining aspect about humans and reminds us of who we are, supports the purpose for our earthly existence, and teaches of our potential. Pornography takes away from that belief by replacing eternal significance with carnal desires. It blinds individuals to that spiritual aspect, demeaning others and themselves to objects of lust instead of the children of God that they truly are. The result of such a perspective is always negative, and the greater danger is that the more that perspective spreads the easier it is to accept. Soon too many of us forget who we really are. We forget that we are special and that Heavenly Father loves us. This leads to depression, sorrow, and emptiness. It is a cycle that can be proven scientifically and spiritually, and yet it still holds sway over us. Mormons fight against this danger by openly standing against it and identifying it as a threat.
The Big Picture
The impact of pornography spreads across the world. It infects marriages with infidelity and distrust. It can damage parental relationships by misplacing priorities and wants. Friendship and professional relationships can be affected by feelings like guilt and inappropriate thoughts. The use of pornography has generally been a secretive act, subject to stealth and shame. It rarely connects people, and even when it does that connection is furtive and unstable. Relationships built on or affected by lust, lose the sight of permanence, and suddenly our concept of value becomes tainted.
This conflicts with the wonderful doctrine and belief of eternal family that the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ eternal family hold dearly. To Mormons, the relationships in people’s lives are of extreme importance and should be founded in love and faithfulness. Strong relationships lead to trust, strength, and joy. A marriage based on these traits would create the safe and caring environments that children deserve. In turn we see a ripple effect of happiness and stability in our societies, but the opposite can occur when pornography is introduced. “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. (Roman 8:6)”
Reality and Commandment
God has commanded and warned mankind about lustful thoughts and actions from the beginning. Broken relationships due to lustful thoughts and actions leave trails of sadness behind, and we can lose sight of what is truly important. Lust has been labeled as one of the seven deadly sins, and its power has been seen throughout history. In today’s society, pornographic images are easy to come across, and can sometimes seem impossible to avoid. But no matter how dangerous pornography is, the atonement of Jesus Christ is more powerful.
Like any sin, lust and pornographic indulgence can be overcome and forgiven. The Church of Jesus Christ teaches this just as much as they warn and encourage others to avoid it in the first place. Like all of God’s commandments, the avoidance of lust is a warning meant to protect us. The reality is that pornography is in our lives, but that doesn’t mean we can’t avoid it or be protected from it. Cravings and desires are part of who we are and God knows that. Pornography doesn’t teach us how to use those traits to love or strengthen, but it leads to selfish and destructive nature. Mormons stand firmly against this because the danger is real, and they don’t want the world to forget that they are children of God.
There is Help
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has always helped those with addictions to pornography. It warns of its dangers and have a deep and loving concern for those that wish to overcome it. Websites like overcomingpornography.org have been created for this purpose. This is an invaluable resource if you want to know how the Savior can help someone struggling with pornography in their lives or just want to be more aware of its danger.