Helping others avoid and overcome pornography: tips for leaders, spouses and parents

By G. Sheldon Martin

For the Deseret News

Published: Sunday, Feb. 12 2012 5:00 a.m. MST

I have quite a few young ladies who have come in for counseling — and their pornography addiction began with texting and sending inappropriate pictures on their phones. Parents, be aware of what your daughters (and sons) are texting. Be aware of what they are posting on chat rooms and Facebook. Know the passwords to their Facebook pages.

Leaders, don’t assume that young women don’t have challenges with pornographic materials. Reiterate the contents in the “For the Strength of Youth” pamphlet to them.

Develop healthy relationships.

Parents and leaders need to encourage healthy dating situations and human relationships. Forming healthy and appropriate relationships will actually decrease the risk of pornography. Why? Because the human interaction is real, pornography is not.

Parents, review the guidelines in the “For the Strength of Youth” pamphlet with your teens. Encourage group dating for your children after they turn 16.

Spouses, go on dates, watch movies together, hold hands. Rekindle that human connection. Look at photos of your wedding, your children’s births and other good family times to help reconnect.

Reinforce over and over to your child or spouse that they can be forgiven.

People can change. I do not believe one can fully overcome this addiction without the atonement of Jesus Christ. Parents, leaders and spouses can greatly help those who want to overcome the addiction.

G. Sheldon Martin is a seminary teacher and a licensed professional counselor and is currently serving as bishop of his ward. His new audio CD, "Helping Others Avoid and Overcome Pornography," is available at Deseret Book and Seagull Book stores.

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