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djw2000

While it’s still a long way from any official church position on nudity, an article in the March 10, 2007 issue of the Church News (subscription required) appears to be going in the right direction.

It starts by giving some shocking (at least to me) statistics:

Research indicates that by their senior year in High School, 100 percent of males have viewed pornography….In addition, the average first exposure of males to pornography is age 11.

So what’s the best way to protect your children from this epidemic?

Because pornography thrives in dark, secret places where teens learn to lie and deceive, the best defense against the problem is openness and communication, professionals say.

It then gives three suggestions to help:

  1. “…teach [your children] to feel the Spirit and recognize when it is no longer with them…”
  2. “…help children learn to regulate their emotions and cope with life…”
  3. “…parents should have regular, age-appropriate conversations with their children about healthy sexuality.”

To me, this last suggestion is the kicker. As further support, the following is from Jeffrey Robinson, a psychotherapist who holds a Ph.D. in marriage and family therapy:

There has been a tradition in the Church that you might create curiosity if you talk about things. The time has come where the danger of not talking far outweighs the danger of talking.

And from Rory Reid, a licensed therapist, author and program director for the Provo Counseling Center:

Brother Reid said studies report that teens who come from families where sex is not discussed openly “experiment with sex at an earlier age, are more likely to engage in unprotected sex, and have higher rates of teenage pregnancy when compared to teens who come from homes that have a more open climate towards issues of sex.”

As I said, all this comes far short of an endorsement of familial or social nudity, but it is completely consistent with it. After all, how better to create a home with “a more open climate towards issues of sex”? Not only that, but it can help to curb the natural curiosity about the bodies of those of the opposite sex that makes pornography so tempting.

While I’m sure it will still take a long time before nudity will be readily accepted within the Church, at least it looks like things may be actually be going that way.

bryans_saturdays

DJW,

Wonderful! Thank you for posting this. I need to get my hands on a copy of that issue.

Even if it does not, as you say, openly advocate chaste nudity in the home, it is still a giant leap forward. I hope this theme is repeated often and loudly… like in the upcoming General Conference in a few days.

“The danger of not talking far outweighs the danger of talking.” I wonder why this was such a hard concept for our parents to grasp? I guess it all goes back to culture… the further we get from the extremes of the Victorian society, the more willing and less ashamed we are to have these kinds of conversations with our kids.

Thanks DJW. Fantastic post.

Bryan

Elton

May I request permission to share djw2000’s post with the LDSSDC e-List?

Elton.

djw2000

Originally posted by Elton

May I request permission to share djw2000’s post with the LDSSDC e-List?

Elton.

By all means, go ahead.

djw2000

The article I referenced above (including the other six parts of the series) can now be accessed on the Deseret News website. (The one I referenced was part 2.)

James

Our wonderful bishop recently gave a presentation to the combined priesthood & Relief Society on this very topic, and quoted some of this material. He was very blunt about it and chastised the parents of teens in the ward for being so wishy-washy and lazy when it came to dealing with this stuff. He quoted the 100% have viewed pornography statistic, and an audible gasp went through the group, particularly the women. He told everyone to start being pro-active in helping their kids deal with this flood of garbage and one of the ways to do that was to have frequent, respectful but explicit talks about sexuality with them. He actually said “sex” and “sexuality” several times. In the chapel, even! I must admit that it was fun to watch a lot of the sisters, in particular, squirm and grimace each time he did so. I wonder if any of them will muster the courage to follow this wise bishop’s wise counsel; if they shuddered at just hearing the word “sexuality,” how will they be able to talk easily with their kids about it? “Traditions of the fathers” don’t just bind the ancient Lamanites!

I couldn’t help noticing that afterward, not a single parent talked with the bishop about what he’d said. They all headed for the exits PDQ. So I went to find him, shook his hand, and said I thought it was one of the best presentations I’d ever heard a bishop give on any subject, anywhere, I appreciated his candor and his bluntness and his clear concern for his flock, and I wished there could be more presentations as realistic and helpful as his was. I assured him I was doing everything he counseled, at an age appropriate level, for and with my kids. He seemed genuinely grateful for the feedback, perhaps because so far nobody else had said anything to him? I wonder.

I admire my bishop tremendously. I haven’t seen too many others who I think would have had the guts to do this. Wish there were more like him. I’d be curious to know if anyone else in the group has ever had a bishop who’s given this kind of instruction to their ward’s assembled adults.

bryans_saturdays

Originally posted by James

I’d be curious to know if anyone else in the group has ever had a bishop who’s given this kind of instruction

Sure haven’t. I admire his boldness.

yogaman

I admire my bishop tremendously. I haven’t seen too many others who I think would have had the guts to do this. Wish there were more like him. I’d be curious to know if anyone else in the group has ever had a bishop who’s given this kind of instruction to their ward’s assembled adults.

I haven’t seen it either. Sexuality contains too much baggage for most leaders, at least in public. Counsel is given mostly in private I think.

argonaut

Years ago I was responsible for arranging firesides for the Elders Q. in my Utah ward. I was at BYU at the time and had become friends with a very distinguished professor who was also the Dean of the Collage of Bio. and AG Sciences (A. Lester Allen). He had given a talk at BYU about how human reproductive technologies were changing and creating ethical and theological issues – such as whether or not a baby from an artificial insemination using sperm not from the father of a sealed couple is considered born “under the covenant” (they are).

The Bishop refused to allow the talk. No one was going to talk about sex in his ward! This Prof was also a Regional Representative (like Area Authority now) and succeeded in persuading the Bishop to allow the talk.

The Bishop came to the fireside and began to fume part-way through. He left before it was done. I was called into the Bishops office, released from my calling and severely reprimanded. But the reaction from most of the attendees was much different. I got more positive comments than any other fireside I had arranged. One couple with 6 young kids was very grateful to learn that they were not alone responsible for replenishing the entire world and that contraception was not prohibited by the church (as they had believed).

The fact is that there are people who sincerely believe that legitimate dialog on issues of sex is evil, and apparently that kids and adults are better off ignorant. If the Bishop is still alive, I can just imagine his anger at such an article appearing in the Church News!

James

argonaut

The fact is that there are people who sincerely believe that legitimate dialog on issues of sex is evil, and apparently that kids and adults are better off ignorant. If the Bishop is still alive, I can just imagine his anger at such an article appearing in the Church News!

Heaven help us. Though I’m sure this is true. Our wonderful bishop also said very bluntly that it is now more dangerous not to talk about these things with our kids than it is to be real frank with them, so parents, get over your discomfort and pull your heads out of the sand, most of you probably have no idea what your kids know (or think they know) or where they got it from. Ignorance and inaction (yours, parents) is no longer bliss, it can be fatal to your families. A very wise man, our bishop.

kwb

Again, this is a late post, but it is still and will always be timely.

I believe that one of the most fundamental reasons why pornography is so addicting is that there’s a VERY strong tie to the Maker of us all – our Heavenly Father. Look about us in all the world – for all intents and reasons, the creeping things, the fowls of the air, all life for the most part replicate themselves after their kind through sexual intercourse (or a form thereof). Makes one kind of wonder at times if the Lord Himself isn’t somewhat obsessed with the act/fact (and I only say that with only the deepest of respect). The point being – is that it comes from above, is God ordained, and is in and of itself a most wondrous and beautiful thing to behold. What happens though, as with any and all things given from God (which when given is pure and good) is that Lucifer wretches it into an adulterated form or concept, and then we go from there. (If procreation was accomplished merely by shaking hands, you can rest assured that Lucifer would have it tainted into something to be loathed, shunned, tempted out of appropriate circumstances, and finally, prick the heart of the offender to his/her utter destruction. If it wasn’t such a precious & MOST important gift from our Heavenly Father, it wouldn’t have the allure, or give Lucifer the power to manipulate it as he does. (I might also add, but won’t digress too much into it at this time, of why – in these latter days – the windows of technology has sprung forth as in no other age of mankind – it’s because the Lord has a work to do, and it can only be accomplished in this Telestial state by mortal beings, i.e., the work for the dead in the form of Genealogy – and the progression of the Church to accomplish the same. And it’s a race against time, because as soon as the Lord bequeaths a benefit upon us to help us accomplish His work, Lucifer will adulterate it. That’s why we now have all these marvelous toys & conveniences that have been deprived from our ancestors for thousands of years. Elements are the same, and we’re no smarter than they were – difference is that we are on the Lord’s errand. The destructive power of the Internet and other things are so great that even the very elect would fall except for time being cut short.)

That being said – namely that the attraction process, even the culminating act of sexual intercourse itself – has eternal significances (with emphasis on the plural of significances) both in this life and the life to come. Is it any wonder then, why we grasp at something that we’re not sure of or understand; why we’re drawn to something that seems “so right” but yet is “so wrong”? It’s because it is right – and beautiful and wonderful – at the right time in the right set of circumstances. But then Lucifer taints it.

What this (and other) forums have done for me is to help me realize that the body is the most wonderful of all our Heavenly Father’s creations – and so when I see it – that’s what I see, is wonderment and a sense of profound adoration & respect. Yet, without the knowledge of how this is separate from the adulterated concepts promoted by Lucifer, it becomes confusing as to how you can feel uplifted and close to the Spirit, while being condemned for it at the same time. The other aspect of it is the compulsive nature of it – when you grab a hold of something that you don’t quite understand – but holds you almost spellbound (forget the almost) – it’s hard to let it go until you have a comprehensive understanding of it. (Like catching a fish – and not wanting to let it go; or the proverbial basket tied to the ground in which monkey bait is placed – the monkey reaches in, grabs a hold of it, and won’t let go even though its life and/or freedom is in jeopardy. It has been said that the way out of a trap is to 1st know how the trap is made. And so it is.)

I firmly believe that we each have a little treasure chest, secured in our being. We guard it with absolute and utmost care. Anything and everything can go into our little treasure chests – some things good, some things not so good. As missionaries – we strive and work to gain the confidence of those we teach/taught so that they entrust us enough to open up their little treasure chests to us. Then, very carefully, we tenderly remove those things that ought not be there, and supplement it with things that ought to be there – particularly those things of the Spirit. If we take hold of something that is near & dear to the heart of our investigator – and in anyway give the impression that we think less of the individual or scoff at him/her for having it there in the 1st place – the lid to that little treasure chest comes crashing down, and we better not have our hand still in it or we’re apt to loose it!!

The reason I share the concept of the treasure chest is that it’s very important to note that when something comes out – something has to go back in, and generally that something needs to be as profound and meaningful to the individual as what was taken out. These things can be cultivated, but that usually takes constant care and attention. If we don’t replace that which was taken out by something of equal significance, then the vacuum created will suck the old thing back in. Will power only works for so long, but eventually gives in when the vacuum gets great enough.

To sum up – 1) pornography is evil, black, pernicious, and addicting. And the reason why is because it is counterpart to something that is so wonderful and very closely attached to the Source of all our beings. When we can understand that, and see it for what it is, it makes it easier to separate the good from the bad. It’s not being naked that is wrong or bad, but what one does with it (as with anything else that comes from God and is initially good). 2) Rooting it (pornography, etc.) out is almost sure to fail, unless a) one understands how it has such a grip, and b) replaces the urge/drive with something else equally powerful. And 3) the way out of the trap is with knowledge and understanding – to which this forum can be a powerful contributor and medium, especially when it comes to these sensitive and most sacred topics.

djw2000

knb,

Your post brought to mind a passage I recently read in Romans Chapter 7 (I’m going to quote from a modern translation since it’s a little more understandable than the KJV.)

For when we were in the flesh, the sinful desires, aroused by the law, were active in the members of our body to bear fruit for death. But now we have been released from the law, because we have died to what controlled us, so that we may serve in the new life of the Spirit and not under the old written code.

What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Absolutely not! Certainly, I would not have known sin except through the law. For indeed I would not have known what it means to desire something belonging to someone else if the law had not said, “Do not covet.” But sin, seizing the opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of wrong desires. For apart from the law, sin is dead. And I was once alive apart from the law, but with the coming of the commandment sin became alive and I died. So I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life brought death! For sin, seizing the opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it I died.

[Romans 7: 5-11, New English Translation]

If I’m reading this correctly, it’s saying that you aren’t tempted to violate a commandment that you haven’t been given yet. However, once you are told to not do something, such as do not covet, suddenly you can hardly keep from being tempted about it. (As an aside, I’ve seen many child psychologists say it’s better to scold a child by telling them what they should be doing instead of telling them what not to do. The point is to fill their minds with positive, good imagery instead of negative, bad imagery.)

Romans 7 then goes on to talk about how difficult it is to do right since the flesh persists on doing evil even when your only desire is to serve God and do good. Sort of a “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is week” kind of situation. Paul finished by exclaiming in verse 24, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?”

Paul’s answer is in chapter 8. In essence he talks about the importance of the Holy Ghost in sanctifying us—of its miraculous power in delivering us from the power that sin has over our flesh. It’s only in losing ourselves to the power of the Spirit can we find our true selves (see for example, Matt. 10:39—He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.)

Sorry for the sermon, but this is my way in saying I agree with knb. Making our bodies taboo only serves to make them more desirable. Once you have fallen into that trap, the only way out is the redemptive power of the atonement. Naturism helps since it make the body less taboo, but the real answer lies in the Holy Ghost. He will replace the sinful desire with something more powerful than any sin: charity.

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