Tuesday, December 7, 2010

On Pornography (Again)

Another one of those posts that are for my personal record more than to share with the world at large.
A couple of months ago, at a random time on a random day I felt I should talk to Ev and Dave about pornography. We've talked about it before of course, but it seemed a good time to talk about it again.

I love having talks like this with my kids. These are the times when I can put into words some of the things that are not easily understood just by seeing an example. My kids know how we feel about pornography, nudity and immodesty (a subject I've gone into great detail about before here) and we obviously avoid it in all types of media, but for them to fully understand the why of it, we have to discuss.

I explained a little about avoiding pornography and how we should make decisions before we meet temptations so that we don't have to make an on-the-spot choice. If we already know that we're not going to look it'll be easier when a situation arises (and the spirit can help us keep resolutions we've already made).

While we talked I compared pornography to alcohol; the seeming harmlessness of it, it's addictive nature, the curiosity young people sometimes feel about it. We talked about how alcohol is bad for our bodies and can be physically dangerous in many ways, besides the possibility of losing a job or even breaking up a family. I compared this to how looking at pornography is bad for our spirits and repels the Holy Ghost (which we need in our lives).

I explained how Satan wants to do everything he can to keep people from following God's commandments and having happy families.

We had been talking for maybe 10 minutes or so; pretty long for this type of conversation, I felt. The kids threw things in now and again, mostly about alcohol and how their friends talk about it sometimes. Overall I felt like they were understanding what I wanted them to know. Then I said something and the reaction I got from David made me realize that, while he had heard what I was saying, he maybe didn't fully get it until that point.

I almost didn't want to say it because it made it sound like they might make such a choice, or that I was even throwing it out there as an option, but I said it anyway. "If I had to choose between you trying alcohol or looking at pornography I would rather you have alcohol," I said. David looked confused. He asked me to repeat. I did, and this time he was shocked.

Finally I found a way to really get the point across about how serious I think it is. I'm so glad he is so clear on how "taboo" alcohol is so he could really get the point about how important it is to avoid pornography. I hope that will stay with him.

I was very happy just a week or two later to hear President Packer's conference talk which, I felt, had a strong emphasis on pornography and how Satan uses it to damage, destroy and even prevent the building of families. I was so grateful to have a prophet's testimony borne so soon after I had shared my own on this important topic, the purpose of the commandment, blessings of keeping it and the miracle of the way back if it has been broken.

As a mother I really love helping the kids understand why they're supposed to do and not do certain things. I love that the gospel makes this so much easier. There's not a lot of "because God said so". Even when the world tries to make us think things are perfectly harmless, or even good which God says are not, it is easy to see past the world's view and through "eyes of faith" when the blessings that come from keeping commandments are so apparent.

15 comments:

Melissa said...

That is great that you were able to have an uplifting conversation about something so serious. I love that the church is addressing it so specifically and often. Travis works as a counselor for the church and the number of people coming in for marriage counceling due to pornography abuse is staggering!

Lindsay said...

Wow- this is really great. Things like this scare me as a new mom- I worry that I won't know what to say, how to say it, or when to say it. But I am just trying to have faith that when the time comes, I'll know, and that it will come naturally to me. You're an inspiration!

Erin said...

This is so important Lisa and it is great that you are so open about it. I was volunteering in Ethan's classroom last week (2nd grade) and some boys were gathered around a book and giggling. When I went over to check it out they were looking at an immodest picture of a woman in a Guinness book of World Records. I thought they were too young to be aware this kind of thing and didn't really address it but had them move on to something else in the book. When I left I heard one of the kids say turn it back to the hot lady, which makes me think they are exposed to this so much sooner than we would like.

Annette Lyon said...

Powerful moment there. Love those motherly "aha" statements.

L.T. Elliot said...

A friend once told me that he'd rather see his daughter behind their barn smoking a cigarette than hearing her talk poorly of another person. It shocked me at the time but when he explained the damages--the far reaching consequences of something seemingly small--I began to understand. I think you've just done that for your kids. And I agree with you, wholeheartedly on this subject. If they know beforehand what choice they'll make, they won't struggle as much.

Lara said...

You're such a good mom, Lisa. Thanks for this. I have a few things I've been putting off talking to my kids about, but I will be doing it sooner than later!

Melanie Jacobson said...

You're really excellent.

MelancholySmile said...

It still surprises me how early I need to address such things with my kids. It seems that I wasn't aware of all that at such a young age. Thanks for reminding me that bringing these things up can be a good experience!

Jennifer Webster said...

Oh I love this! I'm going to use your ideas when I talk to my boys. Thanks!

Kazzy said...

I agree that the "why" really matters, especially once they get to the age where they can have a good interchange with you, and can even relate some of the consequences to things they have heard and seen.

Good job, Mom!

Loralee and the gang... said...

i get that. It certainly is a testament that you have been effective at teaching your kids the Word of Wisdom, etc. Good mom! And I feel the same way, that pornography is more evil that most anything else...

Carolyn V. said...

So great! I've had that discussion with my kids. It's a difficult one, but one that needs to be addressed before they are tempted. I love the comparison. I may have to borrow it from you. =)

Kimberly said...

What an awesome mom you are. Seriously. I love how proactive you are - so many of us wait for something to go wrong and then do damage control. Thanks for sharing this with us, it really got me thinking.

Susan said...

I miss you. I'm so glad you blog. I wish you lived next door to me and I could send my kids over to get some sage counsel from their wise Aunt Lisa!

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

You knew I would love this, right? :) We've had a lot of conversations like this recently for the same reasons you mentioned: just felt like it was something we should talk about. Yay for proactive parenting.