Elder Jeffrey R. Holland spoke of a chance airport meeting he and his wife, Sister Patricia Holland, had with three young women. The women identified themselves as members and, through their tears, told the Hollands they were all recently divorced. In each case, their husbands had been unfaithful to them. The seeds of their transgression had begun with an attraction to pornography.
That encounter left Elder Holland asking why there's so much moral decay about victimizing individuals and families.
"I knew at least part of the answer to my own question," he said. "Most days we all find ourselves assaulted by immoral messages of some kind flooding in on us from every angle. The darker sides of the movies, television and music industry step farther and farther into the mire, saturating society with offensive language and sexual misconduct."
Immoral activity is not just a man's problems and husbands aren't the only ones offending. Temptations visit people of all backgrounds. If one strikes at the root of such trouble, he or she will likely find lust lurking there. Such lust "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."
Elder Holland offered wise counsel on guarding against temptation.
"Start by separating yourself from people, materials and circumstances that will harm you," he said. "As those battling something like alcoholism know, the pull of proximity can be fatal. So, too, in moral matters. Like Joseph in the presence of Potiphar's wife, just run — run as far away as you can get from whatever or whomever it is that beguiles you."
People bound by addiction's chains often need outside help, he observed. He counseled: Seek that help and welcome it. Talk to the bishop. Follow his counsel. Ask for a priesthood blessing. Use the Church's family service offerings, Pray without ceasing. Ask for the help of angels.
The only real control in life, he added, is self control. "Replace lewd thoughts with hopeful images and joyful memories, picture the faces of those who love you and would be shattered if you let them down. More than one man has been saved from sin or stupidity by remembering the face of his mother, or his wife or his child waiting for him at home."
Cultivate and be where the Spirit of the Lord is — including one's own home. Remember the weekly sacrament pledge to "always remember him."
"Surely it would guide our actions in a dramatic way if we remembered that every time we transgress we not only hurt those we love but we also hurt Him who so dearly loves us," said Elder Holland. "But if we do sin...we can be rescued by that same majestic figure, He who bears the only name given under heaven whereby any man or woman can be saved."
To watch a video of this talk go to ksl.com
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