“I plead with you … to keep yourselves free from the stains of the world. You must not indulge in sleazy talk at school. You must not tell sultry jokes. You must not fool around with the Internet to find pornographic material. You must not dial a long-distance telephone number to listen to filth. You must not rent videos with pornography of any kind. This salacious stuff simply is not for you. Stay away from pornography as you would avoid a serious disease. It is as destructive. It can become habitual, and those who indulge in it get so they cannot leave it alone. It is addictive.
“It is a five-billion-dollar business for those who produce it. They make it as … attractive as they know how. It seduces and destroys its victims. It is everywhere. It is all about us. I plead with you young men not to get involved in its use. You simply cannot afford to.
“The girl you marry is worthy of a husband whose life has not been tainted by this ugly and corrosive material” (Ensign, May 1998, 49).President Gordon B. Hinckley
Here are some other ways you can stay far from the lethal spiritual crevice called pornography:
1. Know it when you see it. A simple definition is this: Pornography is any entertainment that uses immodest or indecent images to stimulate sexual feelings. So even a mainstream television program or advertisement can be pornographic. If images trigger sexual feelings in you, you should avoid them.
2. Break the emotional connection. There is a connection between any addictive behavior and emotions such as stress, anxiety, and depression. If you are feeling stressed or anxious, try to deal with those feelings directly—rather than using pornography or any other destructive means to cover them up. Prayer, scripture study, exercise, positive friends, and regular Church attendance can all help. A parent, a Church leader, or another trusted adult can be a lifeline if problems seem too big to resolve alone.
3. Surf smart. If you have the Internet at home, ask your parents to install an Internet filtering service. But don’t rely on the filter alone; it may fail you. The only real control is self-control. Do keep your computer out of your bedroom; keep it where others will be around.
4. Be a modern-day Joseph. Remember what Joseph did when Potiphar’s wife tried to trap him in an immoral situation? Joseph “fled, and got him out” (Gen. 39:12). In other words, he ran. When you are exposed to pornography, leave immediately—whether by a mouse click, a channel change, or a quick exit from a friend’s house.
5. Get the most powerful help of all. Don’t let your spirit grow weak from lack of spiritual food. A steady diet of righteous influences—such as prayer, scripture study, Mutual, seminary, and a careful study of For the Strength of Youth—can give you the strength you need to navigate through a world that has spiritual crevices at every turn.