Oct 2, 2014

Latter Day Saint: Can Someone View Pornography and Still Attend the Temple Worthily??

Pornography and the Law of Chastity

 LDS Mormon Quotes


pornography and temple worthiness

What is Pornography?

Definition of Pornography :
"Pornography is any material depicting or describing the human body or sexual conduct in a way that arouses sexual feelings. It is distributed through many media,including magazines, books, television, movies, music, and the Internet. It is as harmful to the spirit as tobacco, alcohol, and drugs are to the body. Using pornographic material in any way is a violation of a commandment of God: “Thou shalt not … commit adultery … nor do anything like unto it”"
"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."

What is Worthiness?

"Personal worthiness is an essential requirement to enjoy the blessings of the temple. Anyone foolish enough to enter the temple unworthily will receive condemnation."
Richard G Scott, LDS. org

.".He or she should know that unless there is true worthiness, there will be no blessing gained, and condemnation will fall upon the head of him or her who unworthily crosses the threshold of the House of God.”
- David E Sorenson, LDS .org

“Let me give a word of caution here. We cannot go to His holy house unworthily without bringing upon ourselves the judgments of God. For God will not be mocked.

…If a man who is dishonest in his personal life, as it pertains to his wife and children or his business dealings, goes to the temple, he is heaping damnation upon his own soul and is in great need of repentance.”
- Elder J Ballard Washburn

  "Holy temples may also be defiled and desecrated by members of the Church who go into the temple and make covenants unworthily, or which they are not prepared or willing to accept and carry forward. When people go to the temple and then make light of its sacred principles, they are defiling it. When unrepentant people accept the holy ordinances without full determination to prove worthy of them, they are helping to violate the sacredness of the holy temple and they are desecrating holy places.
When promises are made and covenants are entered into without serious or pure intent to magnify them, pollutions may occur in the holy temples. It is not only a matter of receiving a recommendation to enter the temples of the Lord, but it is also a matter of one having a pure, sweet, and repentant spirit as well."
- Spencer W Kimball, LDS.org

 “We are not expected to be perfect to enter the temple. Rather, the purpose of the things we learn and the covenants we make in the temple is to help perfect us. We must, however, be worthy to enter.

 This recommend allows us to enter the temple for the next two years, provided we remain worthy.

The following are some of the topics your priesthood leaders will ask you about:

1. Your testimony of Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost.

2. Whether you sustain the President of the Church.

3. Whether you live the law of chastity, pay tithing, are honest with others, and keep the Word of Wisdom.

4. Whether you strive to attend church, keep the covenants you have made, and keep your life in harmony with the commandments of the gospel.”

“When you sign your recommend, you make a commitment to the Lord that you sure WORTHY of the privileges granted to those who hold such a recommend.
“One who goes into the house of the Lord must be free from any unclean, unholy, impure, or unnatural practice."..  
Remember the Lord knows all things and will not be mocked. We are trying to help you. Never lie to try to obtain a call, recommend, or a blessing from the Lord.
If an applicant is not keeping the commandments or there is something unsettled about his or her life that needs putting in order, it will be necessary for that individual to demonstrate true repentance before a temple recommend is issued." 

"If the adversary could succeed in any way to overcome you, it would be to keep you from the temple or to entice you to go there unworthily."
- Elder Kent F Richards, LDS.org

“..It is much better to postpone a mission for a period than to go unworthily. In almost every case he can repent and prepare himself for a mission."
Elder N Eldon Tanner, LDS.org

Is Watching Pornography a Direct Violation of the Law of Chastity and Worthiness?

The Chastity Definition on LDS.org INCLUDES pornography :
"Stay away from pornography.
Do not view, read, or listen to anything that depicts or describes the human body or sexual conduct in a way that can arouse sexual feelings. Pornographic materials are addictive and destructive. They can rob you of your self-respect and of a sense of the beauties of life. They can tear you down and lead you to evil thoughts and abusive conduct."

“Keep the law of chastity. This includes avoiding pornography in any form."

“Those who seek out and use pornography forfeit the power of their priesthood. The Lord declares: “When we undertake to cover our sins, … behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man”

 Patrons of pornography also lose the companionship of the Spirit....They cannot have the Spirit of the Lord to be with them.”
"The scriptures repeatedly teach that the Spirit of the Lord will not dwell in an unclean tabernacle. When we worthily partake of the sacrament, we are promised that we will “always have his Spirit to be with [us].” To qualify for that promise we covenant that we will “always remember him” (D&C 20:77). Those who seek out and use pornography for sexual stimulation obviously violate that covenant. They also violate a sacred covenant to refrain from unholy and impure practices. They cannot have the Spirit of the Lord to be with them. All such need to heed the Apostle Peter’s plea: “Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee".
When persons entertain evil thoughts long enough for the Spirit to withdraw, they lose their spiritual protection and they are subject to the power and direction of the evil one... "
- Dallin H Oaks

"Some have suggested that pornography should be a separate question in the temple recommend interview. It is already. At least five different questions should elicit a confession and discussion on this subject if the person being interviewed has the spiritual sensitivity and honesty we expect of those who worship in the house of the Lord."
- Dallin H Oaks

"With this priesthood comes a great obligation to be worthy of it. We cannot indulge in unclean thoughts. We must not partake of pornography. We must never be guilty of abuse of any kind. We must rise up above such things. “Rise up, O men of God!” and put these things behind you, and the Lord will be your guide and stay.

"If you are using pornography, you are not morally clean, even if you haven't done anything else immoral."

"Some who would not think of taking a sip of liquor or of smoking a cigarette, have rationalized indulgence in pornography. Such have warped values totally unbecoming one who has been ordained to the priesthood of God”

"Actually, with pornography, there is no such thing as just looking. Looking is the problem. Viewing pornography triggers sexual feelings. We can easily get hooked on those pleasurable feelings, especially if they seem to relieve stress or anxiety—and we can start a cycle of addiction just as difficult to break as an addiction to drugs or alcohol."

“Satan has become a master at using the addictive power of pornography to limit individual capacity to be led by the Spirit. The onslaught of pornography in all of its vicious, corroding, destructive forms has caused great grief, suffering, heartache, and destroyed marriages. It is one of the most damning influences on earth. Whether it be through the printed page, movies, television, obscene lyrics, vulgarities on the telephone, or flickering personal computer screen, pornography is overpoweringly addictive and severely damaging. This potent tool of Lucifer degrades the mind and the heart and the soul of any who use it. All who are caught in its seductive, tantalizing web and remain so will become addicted to its immoral, destructive influence. For many, that addiction cannot be overcome without help. The tragic pattern is so familiar. It begins with curiosity that is fueled by its stimulation and is justified by the false premise that when done privately, it does no harm to anyone else. For those lulled by this lie, the experimentation goes deeper, with more powerful stimulations, until the trap closes and a terribly immoral, addictive habit exercises its vicious control.
Participation in pornography in any of its lurid forms is a manifestation of unbridled selfishness. How can a man, particularly a priesthood bearer, not think of the emotional and spiritual damage caused to women, especially his wife, by such abhorrent activity?
Well did inspired Nephi declare, “And [the devil] will … pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, … and thus [he] cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell.”
"True repentance from pornography requires more than slimply ceasing to use it. Such repentance requires a change of heart through the Atonement of Christ."

"We hope that our parents and leaders will not tolerate pornography. It is really garbage, but today is peddled as normal and satisfactory food. … There is a link between pornography and the low, sexual drives and perversions.

It is ridiculous to imply that pornography has no effect. There is a definite relationship to crime. Murder, robbery, rape, prostitution, and commercialized vice are fed on this immorality. Sex crime statistics seem to reflect a relationship between crime and pornography.

Members of the Church everywhere are urged to not only resist the widespread plague of pornography, but as citizens to become actively and relentlessly engaged in the fight against this insidious enemy of humanity around the world."

"..Pornography degrades sex. It dehumanizes the participants and those who witness it. Much of this filmed, photographed, or written “prostitution” is actually antisexual, because it gives a great deal of misinformation about human sexuality. Rather than being sex education, most of it is sexmiseducation. Introducing abnormal stimuli into the mind of those who view it, it could create fantasies that may never be erased. It has the potential of corrupting values and degrading those who indulge. It suggests behaviors that could destroy one’s marriage and family.

It fills the mind and soul with ugly images. It can lead to a psychological, sexual, and spiritual regression.

Those who witness this porno-violence in commercial cinema, on cable television, or on a rented videocassette and who allow their children to view it—in my judgment do great injury to themselves and their children. This exposure creates false images and feelings about men and women and sexuality and raises the possibility that the viewer may be conditioned into practicing sexual deviancy. For, as much evidence has suggested, all sexual deviations are learned, not inherited.

I have heard some argue that it is all right for moral, religious people to view soft-core pornography, such as that found in some R-rated films. They say this isn’t the really “rough stuff” found in the so-called hard-core films. But actually, the only difference may be a slightly different camera angle. The inappropriate behavior witnessed is still the same.

In the past five years a series of studies on the effects of pornography has been conducted by such investigators as Neal Malamuth at the University of Manitoba in Canada, Seymour Feshbach at UCLA, Edward Donnerstein at the University of Wisconsin, and Dolf Zillman at Indiana University. They have found that a merging of sexual and violent imagery increases the viewer’s aggressiveness, especially toward women. They found that it also lessens men’s sensitivity about rape, increasing their callousness toward women and stimulating fantasies of aggressive rape. Many viewers have admitted entertaining the idea of raping someone—especially if they thought they could get away with it. In one study at UCLA, 51 percent of the males studied admitted to such a possibility if assurred they would not be caught. So-called “nonviolent pornography” was also found to have a series of negative consequences for the viewers in studies by Dr. Dolf Zillman at the University of Indiana.

Three British scientists, R. J. McGuire, J. M. Carlisle, and D. G. Young, have noted how such sexual activity as masturbation.. , exhibitionism, and voyeurism can be prompted and reinforced by pornography. A number of studies I have reviewed suggest that persistent deviant sexual fantasies frequently lead later to deviant behavior. (“As he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” (Prov. 23:7.) "

“One of the greatest of these is the use of pornography. Pornography is related to such sins as self abuse, homosexuality, fornication, adultery, child and spouse abuse, incest, rape, and cruelty.  No love ever develops out of the use of pornography.”

"Common in many stories, however, is a realization that no amount of pornography use is OK or normal."

“Pornographic or erotic stories and pictures are worse than filthy or polluted food. The body has defenses to rid itself of unwholesome food. With a few fatal exceptions, bad food will only make you sick but do no permanent harm. In contrast, a person who feasts upon filthy stories or pornographic or erotic pictures and literature records them in this marvelous retrieval system we call a brain. The brain won’t vomit back filth. Once recorded, it will always remain subject to recall, flashing its perverted images across your mind and drawing you away from the wholesome things in life.”

Pornography impairs one’s ability to enjoy a normal emotional, romantic, and spiritual relationship with a person of the opposite sex. It erodes the moral barriers that stand against inappropriate, abnormal, or illegal behavior. As conscience is desensitized, patrons of pornography are led to act out what they have witnessed, regardless of its effects on their life and the lives of others.

Pornography is also addictive. It impairs decision-making capacities and it “hooks” its users, drawing them back obsessively for more and more. A man who had been addicted to pornography and to hard drugs wrote me this comparison: “In my eyes cocaine doesn’t hold a candle to this. I have done both. … Quitting even the hardest drugs was nothing compared to [trying to quit pornography]” (letter of Mar. 20, 2005).

Some seek to justify their indulgence by arguing that they are only viewing “soft,” not “hard,” porn. A wise bishop called this refusing to see evil as evil. He quoted men seeking to justify their viewing choices by comparisons such as “not as bad as” or “only one bad scene.” But the test of what is evil is not its degree but its effect. When persons entertain evil thoughts long enough for the Spirit to withdraw, they lose their spiritual protection and they are subject to the power and direction of the evil one. When they use Internet or other pornography for what this bishop described as “arousal on demand” (letter of Mar. 13, 2005), they are deeply soiled by sin.
Dallin H Oaks

"If we stop chopping at the branches of this problem and strike more directly at the root of the tree, not surprisingly we find lust lurking furtively there. Lust is an unsavory word, and it is certainly an unsavory topic for me to address, but there is good reason why in some traditions it is known as the most deadly of the seven deadly sins.

Why is lust such a deadly sin? Well, in addition to the completely Spirit-destroying impact it has upon our souls, I think it is a sin because it defiles the highest and holiest relationship God gives us in mortality—the love that a man and a woman have for each other and the desire that couple has to bring children into a family intended to be forever. Someone said once that true love must include the idea of permanence. True love endures. But lust changes as quickly as it can turn a pornographic page or glance at yet another potential object for gratification walking by, male or female."

“There are magazines today publishing pictures and articles which … beckon to the baser instincts of men and women and young people. There are newspapers around the world which, seeking greater circulation, boldly flaunt sex. Some of our newspapers continue to publish illustrated advertisements which are basely provocative, inviting their readers to pornographic motion pictures. It is in such advertisements and motion pictures where seeds are sown for rape, unfaithfulness, and the most repulsive of deviant sexual transgressions.”
Spencer W. Kimball, in Conference Report, Apr. 1978, p. 67; or Ensign,May 1978, p. 45.)

"Alma told his wayward son Corianton, who had gone after the Lamanite harlot Isabel: 'Know ye not, my son, that these things are an abomination in the sight of the Lord; yea, most abominable above all sins save it be the shedding of innocent blood or denying the Holy Ghost?' (Alma 39:5.) Sometimes we give as reasons for the law of chastity the risk of pregnancy or abortion, the possibility of an unwanted or embarrassing marriage, or the chance of a terrible venereal disease. As serious as these things are, I’m not sure they are the fundamental reason for the Lord’s having placed this commandment ahead of armed robbery, fraud, and kidnapping in the seriousness of sins. Think of it - unchastity is second only to murder. Perhaps there is a common element in those two things - chastity and murder.
-Elder Bruce C. Hafen

"What would happen if we truly treated our bodies as temples? The result would be a dramatic increase in chastity, modesty, observance of the Word of Wisdom, and a similar decrease in the problems of pornography and abuse, for we would regard the body, like the temple, as a sacred sanctuary of the Spirit. Just as no unclean thing may enter the temple, we would be vigilant to keep impurity of any sort from entering the temple of our bodies."

"Initially, we must avoid pornography ourselves because it is deadly. It kills genuine, tender human relationships—destroying marriages and families. It destroys the spirit of the person who consumes it as surely as the most deadly poison kills the body and the mind."

"Tenderness and respect—never selfishness—must be the guiding principles in the intimate relationship between husband and wife. Each partner must be considerate and sensitive to the other’s needs and desires. Any domineering, indecent, or uncontrolled behavior in the intimate relationship between husband and wife is condemned by the Lord. 
Pornography, flirtations, and unwholesome fantasies erode one’s character and strike at the foundation of a happy marriage.”
- The Prophet Howard W. Hunter

 “Chastity also includes cleanliness in thought"

"Now a word regarding how we treat those who have been ensnared by pornography. All of us need the Atonement of Jesus Christ..
Through proper and complete repentance, they may become clean, pure, and worthy of every covenant and temple blessing promised by God."

What Can a Church Leader Do to Help? 

Go here for information on how to help:

Consequences and Repentance and the Process of Worthiness. LDS Church quotes

pornography and temple worthiness

Articles That Also May Help:

What We All Wish Church Leaders Knew About Wives of Pornography Addicts: http://makemyburdenlight.blogspot.com/2014/08/what-we-wish-all-church-leaders-knew.html?m=1

Is Confessing Sins To a Wife Required For Repentance?: List of LDS Church quotes regarding the matter.  

LDS Quotes on Masturbation

Addiction Recovery - What It is, and what it isn't (list of behaviors):  

Commanded To Forgive: Must We Forgive Those Who Harm Us And Is Forgiveness The Same As Trust? LDS. org Church Quotes

LDS Church definition of Emotional, Sexual, & Physical Abuse : Quotes & Definitions http://makemyburdenlight.blogspot.com/2015/03/lds-churchs-view-on-emotional-sexual.html?m=1