Latter-day Saint Life

What We Wish We Had Known Sooner: Thoughts from Those Recovering from Pornography Addiction


Whether or not you are currently struggling with a sexual addiction, these insights from recovering pornography addicts will help you know dangers to avoid for yourself and your family.

Our post this week goes hand in hand with last week’s installment.  Last week we posted“What We Wish We Had Known When We Were Dating” from spouses of those with sexual addiction.  This week, we feature the same “What We Wish We Had Known,” but from the perspective of those who have struggled with, and are working to overcome, pornography use.

(The following are statements from men in recovery, but we acknowledge that many women also struggle with pornography and sexual addiction, and these statements can apply to and help anyone).

I wish I would have accepted sooner the fact that, despite all of my mistakes, I was still worth saving.  Christ’s Atonement was still available to me even in the awful state that I was in.  It is not only for those who look righteous.

I wish I would have known that I could not flirt with R or even many PG-13 rated movies, any degree of impure thoughts, spending large amounts of time on my computer or phone, or any other common and accepted but borderline activity or material, and NOT be desensitized.  Once some desensitization begins, the many forms of pornography look more enticing and acceptable. A high level of daily spirituality must be practiced to rise totally above the world’s smut.

I wish I would have known that having an addiction or any degree of involvement with pornography does NOT make you or your friends evil. Rally around one another, invite those who struggle into your circles, put your arms around them, and look for the very best in yourself and each other. This kind of support removes the stigma and makes it 100 times easier to change. Addiction feeds on isolation and shame. Remove those and you’re on your way to a complete and healthy life.   

I wish I would have known that there is a TREMENDOUS amount of hope for anyone struggling with any form of sexual sin. Christ tells us that He will take our old heart, as we willingly and submissively offer it to Him, and give us a new heart. That is a prerequisite for anyone desiring eternal life. Turning FULLY to the Savior brings progress. Lay down any and all forms of pride and come brokenhearted.  From the moment you do so, Christ will begin to change your heart, at first, in almost imperceptible ways, then more and more evidently until, with time, your mind and heart are new and refreshed.  It is an enduring process with series of emotional peaks and valleys, but it is very literal….you will lose any desire for that which is impure. Take the Savior at His word.

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