Tag Archives: pornography

Our Youth/Young Single Adults and the sexualized world we live in

Over the last 2 1/2 years I’ve worked with both the Young Single Adults in my stake and the YM in my ward. With my new calling, I have responsibility over Young Single Adults. Over this time, I’ve had plenty of opportunity to ponder on  what can be done to help the 12-30 age groups. On the one hand, that is a huge range, and needs obviously vary depending on the exact age of a person. On the other hand, there is indeed at least one common thing that they all have in common. There is great pressure to accept and experience sexual-related things.

I know that there has been temptation from the beginning. Whenever/wherever there is righteousness, there is going to be opposition. But it seems that one of the great vices of this generation is pornography, and the acceptance of almost any kind of sexual behaviour. I’ve read a couple of articles recently that really made me think. I don’t want to comment too much, but here are the articles along with some selected quotes:

Globe and Mail – Why won’t guys grow up? Sexual economics
Published Saturday, November 10, 2012

In economic terms, our unequal desire for sex means that, in the sexual marketplace, men are the buyers and women are the sellers. Until recently, the price was steep, up to and including a wedding ring and a promise of lifetime commitment. In my parents’ generation, the only way for a 22-year-old guy to have a lot of sex was to get married. Today, plenty of 22-year-olds can get all the sex they want for the cost of a pack of condoms…

The changes in gender politics since the 1960s have been good for both sexes. Women got something they really wanted (access to careers and money) and men got something they really wanted (more sex). But this bargain is having some unexpected consequences. Young men are in no hurry to get married. Why should they be? As my dear old dad used to say when I waltzed out the door in my miniskirt, “Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?” I hated it when he said that. But he’d grasped the central principle of sexual economics…

Dr. Baumeister’s argument is that “men will do whatever is required in order to obtain sex” – and that, historically, society has made them do quite a lot. To qualify as good marriage material, a young man used to have to show he could work hard, compete successfully, commit to family life, be a good provider and gain respect in the community. “The fact that men became useful members of society as a result of their efforts to obtain sex is not trivial,” he says.

But now, young men don’t have to do those things. Sex is readily available. According to Mark Regnerus, another expert on sexual economics, 30 per cent of young men’s sexual relationships today involve no romance at all – no hearts, no flowers, not even “Hey, what’s your name again?”

Toronto Star – Is pornography changing how teens view sex?
Published Monday, Aprril 22, 2013

“You have to ask yourself, what 15-year-old boy thinks there is a girl who wants to have sex with four boys and to what extent he thinks this is expected or normal? And you have to ask, where do they get these ideas from?” said Peter Jaffe, a professor at the Centre for Research and Education on Violence Against Women and Children at Western University. “It’s not from sex education they are getting in school.”

One hypothesis: exposure to pornography. At no other time has pornography — including violent pornography — been so easily accessible for children of all ages. In one U.S. survey, 70 per cent of 15- to 17-year-olds said they had watched porn, while a Canadian study found boys as young as 10 have experienced pornography. By the time they reached 20, the same study found it was almost impossible to find men who hadn’t viewed X-rated material.

Pornography can’t be solely blamed for what appears to be an increase in rape or sexual violence. However, academics, researchers and scientists say there is little doubt that the use of porn among teenagers is having a profound impact on their notions of normal sexual behaviour, their views on women and their ability to even identify what constitutes sexual violence…

Brain scans have also found the teenage brain is dominated by areas associated with pleasure and reward, and emotional response, perhaps explaining the emotional roller-coaster years associated with puberty.

This volatile situation taking place within the teenage brain may make it more susceptible to the lure and long-term effects of pornography, scientists believe…

As for the other side effects of pornography on society, most experts say we will have to wait and see.
“We are running a massive experiment on an entire generation of people,” Jensen said. “We are exposing them to incredible levels of this hypersexualized media with no idea of the effect. Some of what we are seeing now (with these gang-rape cases) is hinting at this.”

I know there are lots of angles from which  this can be looked at, but it seems to me that we have our impressionable youth and young adults growing up in an “anything goes” society. There is evidence that this is leading to problems, but society isn’t doing anything about it. Also, the move to gender equality (which certainly seems to be a good thing in most situations), is possibly leading to less of a need for marriage and monogamy.

I know this is a simplistic summary, but it is the way I see it. It is indeed a scary world out there! The need for parents and leaders to stay close to their children and young adults is greater than it has ever been. I think about this often and pray daily that my children will be protected from these influences.

Canada-wide Stake Conference

I was going through some drafts that I had, and this one stuck out. Apparently 2 years ago we had a Canada-wide Stake Conference that was broadcast from Salt Lake City. Well, here we are 2 years later, and we have one this coming Sunday. I figured that I might as well post the notes that I typed up (but never posted) from the conference from 2 years ago, and then I’ll post the current notes next week. Obviously I paid a lot more attention to the Saturday broadcast than the Sunday one. I was still the bishop of the ward at that time, and the Saturday session essentially took the place of the local Priesthood Leadership session.

Saturday

Elder Pace

  • We can’t receive too much counsel
  • Melchizedek Priesthood quorums are lacking because they are failing to tap into the power of the quorum
  • our leaders try to prime the pump of revelation, but we need to receive the revelation from deity

Elder Ballard

  • Q) how we do combat pornography
  • A) we draw a line in our minds over which we will never step
  • stop, repent, quit, draw the line
  • make a resolve and commitment with the Lord that you will not step over into the devil’s playground
  • pornography will destroy your spirituality
  • if this is an issue, stop it today
  • be careful on other sites as well (like Facebook)
  • stay on the Lord’s side
  • Matthew 25 – do not be a goat

President Uchtdorf

  • he has lived more of his life in districts than in stakes
  • don’t wait to make an impact in the lives of our children
  • in today’s world, don’t trust the compass the world is offering
  • trust the Holy Ghost
  • spoke of compass ambiguity as he traveled in northern Canada (has been to Frobisher Lake and Goose Lake)
  • use the time you have in your calling
  • don’t dare say “if only I was the…”
  • 1 Samuel 10 – the Lord will turn us into another man
  • there is no small calling in the Church

Sunday

  • 111 downlink sites
  • 10 + languages
  • my son asked if there was another episode
  • Elder Pace on both days called Elder Ballard by the name Russell M Ballard
  • President Uchtdorf was very fidgety
  • Truly a united nation of the Church
  • 800+ missionaries
  • President Uchtdorf said that sometimes we have to look for something different to see the true identity. Bald Eagle, golf balls

180th Annual General Conference – Saturday Afternoon Session

I made it home from work to watch this session at home (4 PM start where I am). It was much easier to pay attention at work. Saturdays are always slow, so I could just watch the session. However, at home, there were 3 small children running around, talking, and being generally distracting. It’s hard to be mad at them for being themselves, but it was also a little frustrating. We still managed to get through it 🙂


President Dieter F Uchtdorf conducted

A choir from the Orem Institute of Religion sang Come, Listen to a Prophet’s Voice

The invocation was offered by Lynn G Robbins

President Dieter F Uchtdorf presented the sustaining of church officers. There is a new Primary Presidency as well as a few new members of the First Quorum of the Seventy and Second Quorum of the Seventy. There were also loads of Area Seventies released and called.

Robert W Cantwell, Managing Director of the Church Auditing Department, presented the Church audit report. It’s all good.

Brook P Hales, Secretary to the First Presidency, presented the Church 2009 Statistical Report.

  • Stakes 2,865
  • Missions 344
  • Districts 616
  • Wards and Branches 28,424
  • Members 13,824,854
  • Child of record baptism 119,722
  • Convert baptism 280,106
  • Full-time Missionaries 51,736
  • Temples dedicated 2
  • Total temples in operation 130

Elder L Tom Perry

  • Mother’s best teaching occurred at home, not with the sisters at church
  • His mother thought a mind would become weak if it was not constantly being exercised
  • Though times change, a parent’s teachings should never be devalued
  • One of the most important activities is parents teaching the children in their home

Elder D Todd Christofferson

  • William Tyndale translate the bible into English and was put in jail
  • His work became the foundation for almost all future English translations of the bible
  • Through the scriptures God shows His power to save His children
  • We have the scriptural record to enlarge our memory
  • We are becoming illiterate because we aren’t opening books. We are forgetting things our grandparents knew.
  • His commandments are the voice of reality
  • The central purpose of scriptures is to fill us with faith in God the Father and Jesus Christ
  • Scriptures are revelation and will bring added revelation

The choir and congregation sang We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet

Elder Koichi Aoyagi

  • Hands that help
  • Shared story of conversion
  • “I realized that I was not praying with all of my heart, and decided to do so. One morning I woke up early and knelt in my small apartment and prayed sincerely. To my surprise, the confirmation of the Holy Ghost came upon me as promised. My heart burned, my body shook…”
  • Follow the prophet, he knows the way
  • Sometimes we feel we lack the experience to rescue others, but we need to do it
  • We are surrounded by those who need us

Elder Bruce A Carlson

  • Strict obedience to God’s law brings blessings
  • “The safety in the Church lies in the members keeping the commandments. As they keep the commandments, blessings will come”
  • If we don’t keep the commandments, we are headed for disaster
  • Faithful obedience, regardless of the apparent size of the task will bring the Lord’s guidance, assistance, and peace
  • “When the Lord commands, do it”

Elder David A Bednar

  • He was recently driving in the rain. A sign said standing water ahead. The road seemed safe, but this sign helped him prepare
  • Early warning signals are evident in many aspects of our lives
  • Spiritual warnings should lead to increased watching
  • An early warning signal consists of 3 parts:
    1. Reading and talking about the Book of Mormon  with your children
      Book of Mormon speaks to the spirit and heart of the reader more than any other volume of scripture
    2. Bearing testimony spontaneously to your children
      A naturally occurring family conversation is a great way to testify of blessings received during the day
    3. Inviting children to act, not merely to be act upon
      Be doers of the word.
  • A child is never to young to take part in this pattern of learning
  • We are not in the business of distributing fish. We are teaching people to fish
  • The best Family Home Evenings are not necessarily from purchased or downloaded packets. Search the scriptures together
  • Are we teaching our children to be anxiously engaged?

Elder Jeffrey R Holland

  • Why is there so much moral decay around us?
  • The Internet can blast a hole in your brain
  • The problems are no respecter of persons
  • Lust is  a deadly sin. It defiles the holiest relationship God gives us in mortality
  • True love we’re giddy about, but lust is characterized by shame and stealth
  • Love makes us reach out to Go, lust is anything but Godly
  • Start by separating yourself from people, material and circumstances that will hurt you
  • When fleeing temptation, do not leave a forwarding address
  • Ask for angels to help you
  • The only real control in life is self-control
  • A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, so watch your step
  • Remember the symbols you take with you from the temple, never to be set aside or forgotten
  • We can reject the evil one

The choir sang Nearer, My God, To Thee

The benediction was offered by Elder Craig C Christensen

Read the recaps and other notes from the 180th Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

179th Semiannual General Conference – Saturday Morning Session

179th_semiannual_general_conference

As mentioned in my pre-conference post, I watched this session at work. I pulled up the web site about 20 minutes early, and the transmission was flawless all the way through.

President Henry B. Eyring conducted.

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang “Glory to God on High” to start the conference. Following President Eyring’s introduction, the choir sang “Rejoice, the Lord Is King!” and then Elder John M. Madsen offered the invocation.

President Monson opened the conference

  • Oquirrh Utah temple was dedicated in August
  • 14,000 youth participated in 2-night cultural celebration
  • 83% of members live within 200 miles of a temple
  • There are 130 operating temples
  • 16 have been announced or are under construction
  • 5 new temples announced
    • Brigham City, Utah
    • Concepción, Chile
    • Fortaleza, Brazil
    • Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
    • Sapporo, Japan
  • President Joseph F Smith said that through our efforts in their behalf, their chains of bondage will fall
  • All members should befriend new converts
  • Continue to pray that ares of the world will be opened

The choir sang “Choose the Right”

Elder Richard G. Scott ** might use as a 4th Sunday lesson **

  • Communication with the Spirit
  • Inspiration to know what to do
  • Power, to be able to do it
  • Sometimes truth is revealed when you are not actively seeking it
  • Pornography is one of the most damning influences on earth, and is overpoweringly addictive
  • Commit to overcome it now
  • If you pray with all your heart, you can learn to be consistent with the guidance of the Holy Spirit

Sister Vicki F Matsumori

  • The influence of the Holy Ghost
  • Help others understand
  • The Spirit will not dwell in unholy temples
  • We should find ways to feel the Spirit every day and weekly at Church
  • “Be still and know that I am God”

Elder L Whitney Clayton ** might use as a 4th Sunday lesson **

  • Life presses all kinds of burdens on us
  • Generally burdens come from 3 sources
    1. Natural product of the conditions of the world
    2. Imposed on us by the misconduct of others
    3. Imposed on us by our own mistakes and shortcomings
  • Burdens provide opportunities to practice virtues
  • Adam was told the ground would be cursed. Work is a burden but a blessing.
  • Alma observed the Zoramites had been humbled. Economic challenges help us prepare to hear the word of the Lord
  • Because of the length of their war, the Nephews and Lamanites were softened. Political and social unrest may humble and motivate us to seek heavenly shelter
  • Joseph smith was told that his sufferings would give him experience. The suffering we experience is a valuable, if painful, school for improving our behaviour
  • We need to bear one another’s burdens

The choir and congregation sang “We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet”

Brother Russell T Osguthorpe

  • A good teacher can help save lives
  • Teaching involves sharing the key doctrine, an invitation to action, and then the promised blessings
  • Teachers can inspire their students to change, to do better, to set sights higher

Elder David A Bednar ** might use as a 4th Sunday lesson **

  • “More diligent and concerned at home”
    1. Express love and show it
      When was the last time you told your spouse, your child, your parents you love them
      Testimonies that express love might be appropriate, but the public statement shouldn’t be the only time they hear it
      Feeling the constancy of love is a rich blessing
    2. Bear testimony and live it
      When was the last time you bore your testimony to your spouse, your children, or your parents
      We need to bear it, we need to mean it, and most importantly, we need to live it
    3. Be consistent
      Results don’t come each time
      The consistency of our intent and work is the great lesson
      A single paint brush stroke is not critical, but all of the strokes together create a beautiful painting
      Each family prayer, scripture study, each Family Home Evening is a brush stroke of the canvas of our souls

The choir sang “My Heavenly Father Loves Me”

The choir sang “Oh, May My Soul Commune with Thee”

President Dieter F Uchtdorf ** might use as a 4th Sunday lesson **

  • Of all the things we are known for, are there things we should seek to be known for?
  • How do we become true disciples of Jesus Christ?
  • Love God
  • God doesn’t need us to love Him, but we need to love God
  • God loves us completely and perfectly
  • Don’t get discouraged. Keep trying
  • Try to believe, learn of God, study the scriptures, follow the prophets, listen to the Father, do the things He asks of us
  • Try and keep on trying until that which seems difficult becomes possible, and that which seems possible, becomes a habit.
  • How can we hear the Father’s voice?
  • Why is love the great commandment?
  • If learn to love, all else will fall into place
  • Love is the way of the disciple
  • Let us be known as a people who love God

The choir sang “Come, Come, Ye Saints”

The benediction was offered by Elder Clate W. Mask

Read the recaps and other notes from the 179th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

Combating Pornography church web site

The other day I was skimming through the “Let Virtue Garnish Thy Thoughts” booklet. This is a booklet that is to help people who are struggling with pornography. There is a booklet for the member, and another booklet for the Bishop. I’ve flipped through it before, but didn’t notice an LDS.org sub-domain that is reference in the back.

If you visit http://combatingpornography.lds.org/, you will find a link to President Hinckley’s talk on pornography from the 2004 General Conference, a PDF version of the “Let Virtue Garnish Thy Thoughts” booklet, along with a few other resources. Very nice!

I’ve updated the Official web sites of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints page with this sub-domain.