I'm currently reading a book called He Restoreth My Soul by Donald L. Hilton Jr. MD. I first heard him speak at and LDS Addiction Recovery Program Conference last summer. He is brilliant, motivated and insighful in his approach to the subject of addiction recovery. He is a faithful Latter-day Saint and a renown Neuro Surgeon.
Here are a couple of startling quotes from the book: (He is speaking of addiction to pornography)
The current scenario of sending the young man on a mission after three to six months of 'white-knuckle' sobriety is only setting him up to intermittent struggling throughout his mission, and/or quick relapse upon return and re-introduction into the overwhelming media barrage he will surely face.
Understand that the majority of young men returning from missions are slipping quickly into addiction, and we must be ready to support them with 12 Step support groups specific to pornography addiction immediately upon return from their mission.I quote these things not to alarm you but to give you a reality check. The pernicious plague of pornography is present in the lives of our young men. It is addictive and problematic, but it won't destroy us.
While we have emphasized prevention in the past, and should continue to do so, we must also recognize that virtually all of our young men and many of our young women are already seriously exposed, and are therefore already in need of treatment. By continuing to emphasize avoidance only, we shame the majority who are already caught in the addiction into secrecy and guilt. We must extend a hand of healing and support to those trapped in secrecy, so there is a safe place for them to seek help.It could destroy us, but it won't. I say that having experienced recovery myself, after 45 years of addiction. The answer is the same as it has always been. Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, Repentance, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins and the laying on of hands for the Gift of the Holy Ghost. The gospel is, has been and ever will be the answer, the only answer.
Satan, has made horrible inroads into our society, indeed our very lives and homes. His influence is part of the Plan of Salvation. These kids and adults are not evil monsters, they've just been exposed to a deadly and potentially fatal disease. It has become pandemic in society and most of society doesn't even recongnize the destruction and havoc it is causing. Satan's influence through pornography can be overcome, by turning to the Lord.
I always wondered why the Lord told us the story of Zeniff, Noah and Limhi and their people. That is until I discovered that their story shares a key to escaping this great bondage that is enveloping us. Most of us, like Zeniff are zealous, even righteous, but we are also willful. We want what we think we deserve, so we go out and take it. That marked lack of humility always leads to bondage in one form or another, In their case it was bondage to the Lamanites. Gradually, pride leads us deeper and deeper into a trap of our own making. Evenually, Zeniff's people, under the corrupt tutelage of Noah are utterly bound by their poor choices. They didn't like their bondage any more than we do. Ask any addict if they like being where they are. Of course not. And each has tried and failed, tried and failed, tried and failed until they are in the depths of despair.
Remember the people of Zeniff and their descendants did the same thing. They tried and failed repeated times to deliver themselves from the bondage they'd gotten themselves into. They suffered horrifying losses and returned from each battle weaker either spiritually or physically or both. Finally humbled, Limhi instructs them regarding the means by which they can escape:
Mosiah 7:33 - But if ye will turn to the Lord with full purpose of heart, and put your trust in him, and serve him with all diligence of mind, if ye do this, he will, according to his own will and pleasure, deliver you out of bondage.And so, they did, and so did He. That is the business God is in, delivering us. Multitudes of Latter-day Saints are laboring in the bonds of addiction. Most are laboring under the impression that they must deliver themselves and consequently are failing. That, coupled with widespread secrecy in the matter, are doing great damage to lives and families. It does not need to end like this. Ultimately every Latter-day Saint, every person on earth, for that matter, must allow the Atonement of Jesus Christ to take effect their lives. This principle applies, addict or not. If addiction drives us to our knees and humbles us sufficiently to reach for that relationship with the Master, the end result will be Perfection in Christ. Then opposition will have served it's purpose.
Ether 12:27 - And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.Would prevention have been better? Of course. The reality though, is that for many many it is already too late for that. The call to teach the gospel of faith and repentance is imperative. Our brothers and sisters have a great need to know that they can indeed be forgiven, and in this case, more specifically, that they can be delivered from bondage. Addicts cannot (I am unequivocal about this) deliver themselves and thank God it is true. If it weren't, what need would we have for a Deliverer?
I am certain, that the Lord does not intend to allow this horrific plague to destroy His Church and Kingdom. He will prevail and He will afflict His addicts until they let Him prevail in their individual lives.
If you or one you love is caught in this trap. Go to your Bishop, seek the Deliverer, come out of bondage and rejoice in that liberty wherewith you are made free! You are more than welcome to drop me a note. I will strictly keep confidences and I'm sure I can help you find help.