Tip for living: Author shares 10 guidelines in 'Helping Others Avoid and Overcome Pornography'

By Michael Augsburger

For the Deseret News

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 6 2013 5:00 a.m. MST

One of the problems facing society is pornography. For many years now, general authorities of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have addressed the topic and the problems it can cause.

In his book "Helping Others Avoid and Overcome Pornography: 10 Tips for Leaders, Spouses and Parents" (Covenant Communications, $7.99), G. Sheldon Martin provides helpful guidelines for family members who have a loved one dealing with pornography. In each chapter of the 76-page book, he uses experiences from his counseling practice along with scriptures and teachings from leaders of the LDS Church. He also includes practical applications for spouses, parents and leaders.

Some of the tips Martin discusses include:

Discuss the problem, encourage and avoid shaming.

Sheldon points out that in the story of the woman who was accused of adultery, the Savior focused on helping the woman move forward (see John 8:10-11). Also, any type of change is difficult, so setbacks happen. When they do, it's important to encourage the postive changes.

Do not look back.

Those affected by this addiction have to look forward to recovery and leave the past behind, and doing so can help as they rebuild trust in relationships.

Also, Sheldon encourages those with family members who are trying to recover to "know that they can change" and allow them to change for the better.

Reinforce over and over again that an individual can be forgiven.

Through the power of the Atonement particularly comes into play and is real and available to all. Go through the process of repentance is how anyone can be forgiven by Heavenly Father.

Other tips that Martin discusses are learn to deal with sexual thoughts in a healthy manner; teach and understand sacred sexuality;if necessary, seek counsel from caring professionals; learn to do good and to serve God with all your heart, might, mind and strength — don't just stop doing evil; remove the source of the pornography; pornography is not just a "boy problem" and learn to develop healthy relationships.

Michael Augsburger was the football and basketball play-by-play announcer for KVEL-AM 920 doing primarily Uintah High School sports. His email is mpaugsburger@yahoo.com.

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