Latter-day Saint Life

Elder Renlund’s hopeful message for those impacted by pornography

Elder Dale G. Renlund speaks during the Utah Coalition Against Pornography conference.
Megan Nielsen, Deseret News

“My message is that being impacted by pornography is not an impossible situation. There’s hope, there’s help and there’s healing,” Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said on Saturday morning at the Utah Coalition Against Pornography conference. … 

Elder Renlund used an object lesson to demonstrate how there’s always hope and healing even when it might not be apparent at first. Bringing out a block of wood with a nail hammered partway through, he asked a volunteer to balance 14 nails on top of that one nail. Every time she put a nail on top, it would roll off. Elder Renlund then arranged the nails so they would balance on top of that one nail — “the seemingly impossible is possible.”

Image from YouTube.

“You can attach symbolic meaning to each of these nails. There are two key nails and those are the horizontal ones,” Elder Renlund said. One of those nails represents a person impacted by pornography, such as a person who views pornography or a loved one of a person watching pornography.

“In other words, this bottom nail represents you and me. If we believe the situation is hopeless, well it is. We need to believe that change is possible.”

That brought Elder Renlund to the second nail, which he said was based on his faith. It represents Jesus Christ.

“He offers hope to the seemingly hopeless and help to those who feel lost. As I’ve come to know him, I’ve learned that he loves to heal wounds you cannot heal, to fix things that are irreparably broken, and compensate for any unfairness you’ve experienced,” said Elder Renlund. “And he absolutely loves to permanently mend even shattered hearts.”

The other nails in the arrangement represent those who can offer hope and healing such as friends, family members, ecclesiastical leaders, and mental health professionals.

Elder Renlund said he and the Church of Jesus Christ condemn pornography in any form. “It damages individuals, families, and societies. It draws us away from God and impairs our ability to feel the influence of the Holy Spirit. Because all forms of pornographic material are unhealthy, opposition to its production, dissemination, and use is warranted.”

To read more remarks from licensed marriage and family therapists, licensed clinical social workers, and the founder of Fight the New Drug, visit Deseret News.

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