February 4, 2011
Regrets: Part Two
The following is an excerpt from a letter sent to me from an inmate currently serving in the Utah State Prison, as a sexual offender:
"I hope something I say can make a difference...that someone decides not to follow the "slippery slope" they have been on and that a tragedy is averted. First and foremost, the healing of victims is paramount.
I've wanted so long to be part of an any effort to combat immorality-to tell people not to go down that path. It's about the only way I believe I can finally compensate (to a small degree) for the offense and harm that I brought to others.
...For 4 1/2 years of my marriage I chose to ignore trying to find a solution. I did many good things during that time, but I kept waiting for the shoe to drop so to speak, without seeking the the Lord's help, and tried to deal with things myself.
I can't emphasize how important two people working together to maintain an eternal marriage is. Even if the marriage is falling apart one can still work on it,especially themselves,and find solutions.
We did have several good years of marriage too, but maintaining a marriage is a continuous process. When it finally looked like or when I finally realized, my marriage was definitely over, (than is not blaming anyone but myself for being here though) it sent me into a tailspin and I made the choices I did to get here.
Sometimes in certain circumstances, a marriage does need to end and if I'd realized that even a year or so earlier, then I wouldn't be here today. My wife and I had many happy times and we parted amicably but it should have ended a lot differently, a lot better.
We do have several LDS prisoners here and we seek to strengthen each other and do what's right. We pray for the healing of those we have offended and sinned against, to be with our families once again, and to return to full fellowship in the church.
I hope some day to be able to help many tragedies be prevented."
Staying Far from Danger
Here are some 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.
(This article was originally published in the October, 2002 New Era magazine.)