My Relief Society president shared that her biggest fear is her sons viewing pornography. It is sad she has to fear this, especially since her sons are only four and five. But my former bishop shared--to my shock and dismay--that nowadays it is at this young and innocent age that many boys get trapped into the sticky web of pornography. Knowing the lifestyle of this woman and her family, I am confident she will succeed in raising young men who do not actively search for X-rated material. However, pornography is not always directly labeled so. It comes in many forms and levels; thus, it is important to learn to recognize and avoid all of them.
"Pornography is any entertainment that uses immodest or indecent images to stimulate sexual feelings," explains a New Era article featured on the new Church Web site. "So even a mainstream television program or advertisement can be pornographic. If images trigger sexual feelings in you, you should avoid them."
The Church pamphlet "Let Virtue Garnish Thy Thoughts" reads, "Some materials that are not explicitly pornographic can still fill your life with darkness and deprive you of spiritual strength. Television programs, pictures, movies, songs, and books often treat unchastity and infidelity as common, appealing, and humorous. Avoid anything that drives the Holy Ghost from your life."
With these definitions in mind, probably all of us have accidentally seen, read, or heard pornographic material, no matter how mild it was: a CD cover, a Facebook photo of a friend, a bestselling novel, a chart-topping song. Now that we recognize it, we need to be more careful of what we allow ourselves and our famililes to view, because it seems that accidents are the number one way people get drawn into pornography. They slowly desensitize the spirit and awaken curiosity. Like a spider web, they are deceptive, and once we realize we are stuck, it's too late. Protecting from these small, sneaky ways that get us on the path to worse things is the hardest part and to what we must give the most care and attention.
Challenge: Eliminate all types of pornographic material from your life, no matter how trivial they seem to be.