Remember when hard core, live action pornography was only available in seedy joints located in deserted areas of town where nobody dared venture but the very addicted and very desperate? Remember when ‘Playboy’ and ‘Hustler’ were dirty words and a shame to be hidden? I remember, as a student at BYU, hearing the story of a man so addicted to pornography that he would catch red eye flights to San Francisco, pick up his porn at the airport newsstand, and get himself back to Utah all in time to be at work the next morning. This type of addiction was shocking to my soul.
Now we have young children encountering pornography at home while innocently navigating the home computer. (Average age of first exposure-11 years old…still in Primary.) We have teens carrying around pocket porn in the form of a smart phone. Youth can also circumvent your filter and access it directly on Facebook. Women access it in novels like Fifty Shades of Grey . And maybe as a surprise (or not) Mr. James, the author of the novel, admits to using the success of the Twilight series as the inspiration for his trilogy. This type of ‘Mommy Porn’ is somehow viewed as an acceptable way to escape the doldrums of motherhood. (I will depress you with the fact that this book became the fastest selling paperback of all time.) This written, emotional pornography that women live and relive in their minds is just as damaging to relationships as visual pornography. Furthermore, it’s a gateway ‘drug’ to other forms of pornography. Women are the largest growing demographic of pornography viewers in the world. And if mothers are getting seduced by pornography WHO is going to tend the hearth-who is going to protect the children?
Pornography is the number one industry on the internet. Number ONE. That’s some evil to be reckoned with. I recently read an article in National Review that reviewed an event in Las Vegas that is an award ceremony for porn stars-similar to the Oscars. Vendors have booths peddling sex toys and other forms of pornography. Men, unashamedly, stand in line and discuss the porn industry as if they were discussing the latest medical innovation or the best BBQ joint in town. Is there any doubt that, “…we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Eph 6:12)
Pornography is everywhere. It’s at Target on the magazines when you check-out. (Yes, I believe that Vogue magazine is pornography. All is does is peddle sex.) Of course , pornography is used to sell everything from hamburgers to cologne. Most shows have some element of inappropriate content. Some video games have combined pornography and violence. Sexting is a popular form of teen-age communication. You may not give your child a phone but who knows what the kid on the playground has on their phone or what they watched last night. Gone is the Age of Innocence. It is not a matter of ‘if’ your child will be exposed to pornography it’s a matter of ‘when’. “Some studies show that close to one hundred percent of today’s teenagers will be exposed to pornography by the time they graduate from high school.’ (September 2014 Ensign p. 53) And when that happens it may not be an image-it might very likely be live-action. Can’t you see Satan with that ‘great chain in his hand’ veiling the whole face of the earth with darkness, looking up, and laughing while his angles rejoice? (see Moses 7:26)
The Age of Ignorance must end. All is not well in Zion. Many in Zion are sick. Our youth need guidance. Our leaders need education. Our parents need support. No family is going to be left untouched. As my friend Rob said, “It’s Normandy out there.” And he should know-he’s a YSA Stake President. Pornography is so accessible, so enticing and so addictive it’s ‘an overflowing scourge…a desolating sickness’ that covers the whole land. (DAC 45:31)
So, this is my wake- up call. My call to arms. My plea to set aside the sickness we feel inside that this has to be a part of our discussions and our lives and open our eyes to the deep problem that has beset our world-yes, even our LDS world. In the September 2014 Ensign it states: ‘research shows that Latter-day Saints “are no different when it comes to prevalence or magnitude of sexual addictions. ‘ ” (p. 53)
Feeling desperate? Don’t stay there long. This is the Dispensation of the Fulness of Evil BUT much more importantly it is the Dispensation of the Fulness of Times. We have some of the most amazing weapons at our disposal. We have the Gospel of Jesus Christ and a knowledge of the Plan of Salvation and the Atonement of Jesus Christ. We can study our very own scriptures. We have church publications. We can pray anytime, anywhere. We have 12-Step Addiction Recovery Programs. We have gifted, trained professionals. We can be empowered at the temple (DAC 109:24-29, 38). We have priesthood power covering and cleansing the earth. We have mothers who know. We have church leaders who truly are watchmen on the tower. We can suit up in the Armor of God (see Eph 6 and DAC 27). We have angels to support us. (See DAC 109: 22, Moroni 7:29, 36, 3 Nephi 7:15, 18, Omni 1:25)
And don’t forget Paul who said: “If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31) or Nephi who said, “the Lord…he is mightier than all the earth, then why not mightier than Laban (or pornography or Satan…or substitute in your own enemy)…(1 Nephi 4:1)
And I like to think of all of the strange things that have happened in the world like the boy David killing the unstoppable giant, Goliath, or our prophet-friend Moses parting the Red Sea and allowing a whole people to escape certain destruction. Surely God has a mighty deliverance in store for us. Surely.