Renewing My Resolve
By Zero
5/17/2011 11:26:44 AM
My recent slip came as a result of being too okay with m~sturbation. I have the hardest time with this little demon. In the words of Nephi, this is the one sin that does "so easily beset me." I guess part of the problem is the lack of communication on the matter. The general authorities always speak out against p~rnography these days, yet they pretty much never mention its trusty companion, m~sturbation. You'd think they would, right, with how common it is? I mean, isn't this something that nearly every boy (EVERY boy, if we're being honest) and many girls do? Then why is barely anything said about it?

I'm not trying to justify it now, though I used that excuse to do so in the past. I guess I'm just confused, is all. Really...why is it not mentioned? And the leaders I've told, my bishop and stake president and even my mission president, why haven't they paid any focus on it? They say, "It can be overcome," and that's that. Never mentioned again. Is it not that important? Is it not that serious? But that's what led me into my addiction and what keeps it fueled. Without it, what need would there be for p~rnography?

I've heard all the talks from times past, about "the factory" and "the scroll," as well as the "For Young Men Only" pamphlet. But those were all given before I was even born. Was it only pertinent then and not now? P~rnography is condemned in General Conference almost out of reflex now. But, to me, that seems more like a symptom of the actual problem, which is m~sturbation. So why don't they ever address this? It confuses me. Perhaps it's Satan telling me that, "Oh, well since they never say anything, it must be no big deal so just do it because, let's face it, practically everyone else does and God can't condemn everyone to Hell for it, can He? No one would ever make it to the Celestial Kingdom, for crying out loud."

And it's so convincing. And I let myself believe that it's not that bad. And I give in because I'm bored or I feel down or, geez, sometimes for no reason at all. Just because I can. I have a very indulgent personality so I think it probably does more for me than for others, but I don't know.

Maybe I shouldn't have written this cuz, man, I've almost got myself convinced that it really isn't that bad when I was trying to state my resolve to stop doing it. It's my goal today to not m~sturbate. I can't even take it more than one day at a time now. It feels like the devil and his angels are just constantly shouting the temptation in my ears, every second of the day. And a lot of the time I just get tired of it and give in to make it stop.

But my focus is no longer going to be p~rnography. It's m~sturbation that is my real issue and the one I need to defeat in order to be free. Pray for me.


For me the issue wasnt MBing.. It was a step lower -- fantasy...    
"I hear you. I have used the same justifications for years. It would be a great thread for everyone to write in the justifications they used to slip. The insanity would be obvious.

I can't comment on you but I can comment on me.

I used the excuses.
Everyone does it..
Priesthood leaders sweep it under the rug
Its harmess to others.
It lets me release so I dont have to do worse things.
It lets me feel good when I'm anxious, scared, (put negative emotion here)

Anyways .. for me.. any this might not apply to anyone else.. I found that my true base issue was honesty. I was dishonest with myself. MB wasnt the base. I used MB to self-medicate myself: So I didnt have to approach girls. So I could feel better when I was having a crappy day. The release was a drug.. I denied that back that but its true..

How bad is that? Well.. depends..People self medicate all the time. People drink coffee all the day. It's a stimulant. People smoke pot all the time and dont go beyond that. People take anti-depressants, ADD meds, all sorts of things.

MB is bad if you have an addictive brain like me and you spiral down. you wont know if thats you until its too late.. For me the fantasy around MB was the big lie.. It led to porn. led to chatting online.. led to violating temple covenants.. not good.

I personally found the big difference in getting into recovery was letting the secret out to someone that KNOWS how bad this is. I needed my accountability team. The bishop was part of it but I have a few friends, my father, a SAA sponsor, a few SAA checkin partners, etc. I have vowed to be honest with them about my feelings. I was willing to do ANYTHING to get my free agency back. I tried to quit dozens of times and it wasnt until I was willing to do anything (going to SAA meetings was really embarrasing at first. scary) that I found serenity in my recovery.

may you find peace."
posted at 12:43:13 on May 17, 2011 by Hurtallover
Do you need a living prophet to repeat it?    
"Alma 30:44 - But Alma said unto him: Thou hast had signs enough; will ye tempt your God? Will ye say, Show unto me a sign, when ye have the testimony of all these thy brethren, and also all the holy prophets?

You have words from prophets condemning masturbation as a practice which leads us into slavery of the flesh rather than mastery over it. The Lord does not change his message or his commandments to suit the times and no prophets have ever come forward to say masturbation is now known as a lesser sin. I would say those pamphlets and talks you have read are still in force and completely valid today.

D&C 1:38 - What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my aword shall not pass away

I know the temptation and rationalization that is so much a part of this problem. I fought with it for many years and still do to a much lesser extent. But the fact of the matter is, modern prophets have spoken against masturbation. There should be no room left to rationalize.

I don't mean to come off sounding harsh or holier-than-thou. I certainly can never cast any stones. But those are the thoughts that came to mind... As another note Zero, I have been strengthened by your example and many of the things you have written. Thank you."
posted at 13:57:40 on May 17, 2011 by paul
"@HurtAllOver, your comment got me thinking that maybe, yeah, there really is a deeper issue as to why I use it to self-medicate. Because that's exactly what it is. My medication of choice to make myself feel better. I'm just not sure what I need in its place. What am I missing that I'm using m~sturbation to fill in the gap? I don't know. How do you find that kind of thing out? Is that the sort of thing therapy would help with? I keep chickening out with therapy because I just don't feel comfortable sharing my dirty laundry with strangers, which seems odd because, here I am doing it with everyone here. But it's different because this tends to be rather anonymous and I'm far better at expressing myself in writing than I am in talking. I have let others know and I think it would help me to be able to talk about it openly, but my family and friends aren't the kind of people that talk about that stuff ever. This website has really helped me tremendously to talk about these things openly.

@Paul, don't worry about being harsh or anything. I was saying in a comment on someone else's post that we all need a kick in the pants sometimes. If anything can, it's each other because we're all in the same boat. You're right with everything you said too. It shouldn't matter when the prophets said it. They said it and it stays in place. I guess I just want a more modern address so that I would be flat out incapable of even possibly using that as justification. It's too easy in my mind to rationalize it away. And I hate that, but that's how it is. I'm not using this as justification at all, but wouldn't you agree that with an issue that's as common as this, there'd be more said about it? Maybe I'm expecting too much. Even if it wasn't a problem for me at all, I'd still think it should be something that's addressed more, the way they address pornography. Not to that that makes it okay. I don't think that at all. But a little more information and help wouldn't be so bad. Growing up, in all my deacon/teacher/priest lessons, it was only brought up once. And by then I was already well into the behavior. I mean...isn't that kind of where this all started for all of us here? I'm probably looking way too much into this. I tend to analyze things to death though. Sorry. Oh, and thanks for what you said at the end. That kind of made my day :)"
posted at 16:00:51 on May 17, 2011 by Zero
"I also wish something more would have been said about masturbation when I was growing up, it could have helped to destroy the seed rather than letting it become this giant twisted tree blocking out all the sunlight in life. A little more (that is... any at all) instruction would have been helpful at church and at home. But it is what it is. The best I can do now is make sure my boys know what it is before they discover it on their own, and let them know that it shouldn't be part of their lives. At the same time, if it does become part of their lives, I'd like them to be able to talk to me about it.

That being said, this quote comes to mind...

"The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior. Preoccupation with unworthy behavior can lead to unworthy behavior. That is why we stress so forcefully the study of the doctrines of the gospel." Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, Nov. 1986

Maybe the Brethren know that teaching the pure principles of the gospel is the more effective way to help future generations avoid the need to self-medicate in the first place. I don't know. What I do know is that, if I didn't before, I now KNOW that it is a practice that should not be part of my life. Not sometimes, not once-in-a-while, not ever. And I will do my best to turn this part of me over to Christ to make sure that is the way it is.


Edit: I was going to close there, but another thought came to mind...

Moroni 7:48 - Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, ... that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen.

A severe understatement would be to say that masturbation is not part of Christ's character. If our goal is to be like him (and it surely should be our primary goal) then there is no room for it in our lives, regardless of how wrong it is or isn't, regardless of the what the world says. It shouldn't be part of us.

PS - I meant it when I said I appreciate your writings. I hope you'll continue to stick around and strengthen the rest of us. :)"
posted at 16:29:34 on May 20, 2011 by paul
MB is a drug    
"MB is a drug! Your body releases all the endorphins into your frontal lobe that drugs do but to more parts. Every time you give into the urge to “self medicate” you continue the drug cycle you have created for your brain. You are actually just giving your withdrawals medication; just like an alcoholic taking a drink to alleviate withdrawal symptoms. Your brain can only recover when you abstain and ride out the symptoms every time! "He Restoreth My Soul" by Dr Hilton talks about this in one of his chapters. I have struggled with this same problem for 30 years. I couldn’t quit until I realized this is a drug! It was my brother who is a recovering druggy that showed me what the symptoms are. He went through withdrawals while staying with me a few years back. Once I recognized all the symptoms of withdrawals I realized I could ride it out just like he did. Once my brain had enough time to heal the symptoms could go away! I have been clean from MB for a year now, and I no longer have the urges to do it. I used to think it was self medicating too until I realized the symptoms I was medicating were Caused by the MB. Abstinence is the only sure way to let your brain heal! Read the book and decide for yourself. If you really want the symptoms to go away you have to quit cold turkey and let your brain heal. The withdrawals are terrible, but you can do it!"
posted at 22:14:18 on May 20, 2011 by 30years
Masturbation is the gateway to becoming the Man you've always wanted to be    
"yeah... it's kinda lame how we still are super prudish about talking about sex in church.. I mean after all.. a bunch of older white guys talk about it EVERY conference.. so why can't we at the local level.

whatever happens at the ecclesiastical level doesn't negate my own responsibility/privilege (Step 11) to have personal revelation from GOD.. and the personal revelation that he gives me.

I have had to go 'off road' in learning specifically what god wants me to do and how to think about sex.

It;s been AWESOME... I can now say that I'm not really that affected by a particular wierd bit of advice from a Bishop/stk pres, etc...
(they all mean well)

I'm open to truth whereever it comes from... and I have been making a lot of progress... by not really worrying about what the 'authorities' think of me... but what God thinks of me.

so, I try to let God live within me... and let him take me where I need to go... Living by the 'spirit of the law' I BELIEVE is actually STRICTER than the 'letter of the law' but I totally ENJOY living this way.

sometimes I will just pray for 20 mins in the middle of the day.. because I want to.. not because anyone tells me I need to.
I gave up TV, because that's what I NEEDED to do.

It's my belief that we live in a pornographic world.

really, really like the stuff in chapter 11 of think and grow rich and think it doesn' just relate to MB.. but to sex life within our future marriages. />
Also...a good book around this is WILLPOWER is NOT ENOUGH (chamberlain) talks about this energy... that exists... that needs to be routed somewhere... if you don't have a lot gong on in life...this energy gets routed to MB... .so finding ways to route this energy to something positive...helps

Basically, my question to you ZERO is...

what is it that you are avoiding in your life?
(Moving somewhere you need to, taking a new job, ending a relationship, starting a new hobby?)

I'm not saying you should do this... but I found a lot of strength in just taking ACTION.
the more action you take.. the more alive you will feel.. and the more alive you feel.. means the less you to seek out LIFE in MB

A scripture I don't understand fully yet.. is the one that Jesus promises that he didn't come to earth to take away life... but to bring it more abundantly.

in my life... only GOD himself provides the miracle of recovery. and I never wanted the miracle of recovery... until I realized how DEAD my life was."
"@Gracefull, not really sure what you mean by going "off road" to learn what God wants from you, but I'm curious. I know I tend to get hung up on what others think of me more than what God thinks of me and I'm always trying to fit into the persona that I think the world wants me to fit. It's a little claustrophobic, to say the least. I wish I could be more open and free, but, as much as I love the Church, it does tend to stifle anything that veers too much from the expected norm (which, in my opinion, isn't necessarily the "perfect" path, just the unspoken one that everyone's agreed is most acceptable). In other words, we tend to be prudes in the Church, like you said.

But I don't fit their version of "normal" or "standard" or whatever so I feel completely out of place. It's that way in every aspect of my life. With my few friends, with my family, wherever I go. I just don't fit. I can't say that I know what it is I'm avoiding, but I do believe that there's a void in my life that I don't know how to fill. So I end up filling it with carnal pleasures because those are the ones that bring the most immediate relief to my pain. Sad, right? I'm sure others can relate."
posted at 20:29:58 on May 22, 2011 by Zero
No nomal Morman    
"I hate the mold that has been set for Mormons in the Utah, Idaho. The church didn’t make this mold. It is a facade that was created by members trying to be a “Good Little Mormon”! The church has rules and standards that have to be met to be worthy of the temple. This is the only thing we need to follow. Everything else should be worked out with our heavenly father in prayer and fasting. We should follow the dictates of our own hearts and those of our spouse. The church has leeway for much diversity, and promotes such, within those rules set by the church. Many different books have been written by many different apostles on how they have found this balance, and it is clear they practice this diversity in their lives! The rules are to keep us safe from sin. The tools they provide for us are to keep us strong to avoid our weaknesses. If we are to week to stay away from sin we should seek the guidance of other that are strong and lean on them. At this time it is good to practice meekness and humility until we can stand on the strength of the Lord. The Mormon Mold is a crutch to hide people’s sin. Honesty is true strength. Eventually every Façade crumbles leaving the truth bare for all to see."
posted at 00:03:30 on May 24, 2011 by 30years
Going Off Road    
"hmm.... going off-road is different for everyone I think. It's following your heart.. it's PERSONAL REVELATION and following the adventure that God wants you to live. (WILD AT HEART) is a book that elaborates further on this. It takes serious GUTS! to go there.

It's a different way to live than most people live their lives...
think about Joseph Smith - that guy characterized going off-road. as a young guy, he had the courage to walk into churches with an open mind, make up his own opinions based on an honest heart and ask GOD.

I think that's the same basic trait.. I'm striving for... when I say off-road. It's the courage to say, do, act... because deep down you just WANT TO.. and because you backed up by GOD.

I think in many ways... you have already done this many, many times in your life..

which has led you to the point you are at now.

I guess.. my main encouragement... was to keep following those 'Golden Threads' to where they lead..

In the absence of a CLEAR DIRECT answer... I think your trusting your GUT and taking a few risks where you don't know the outcome I think can do wonders. Basically just taking action... one way or the other.

for example..

In my life.. I went to black church all by myself as white dude... had a great time, met lots of great people.
I moved to a new state and met all sorts of great new friends who helped me unlock certain things that I was stuck in
I paid $100 bucks and went to see an LDS therapist.. and basically asked him 10 questions I always wanted to ask someone... but never had the guts to do until then.
I did a personal growth weekend that cost $500 bucks.
I talked with my home teachers about porn.
I went golfing on a sunday afternoon once rather than look at porn
I told a girl I was dating on the first date I had looked at porn in my life and that I had learned a lot from it and I was unashamed about it.

anyway.. Honesty IS true strength... and women love men who are STRONG AND HONEST. I know that much about women"
posted at 02:14:17 on May 24, 2011 by gracefull

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"The excuse is given that it is hard to avoid, that it is right at our fingertips and there is no escape. Suppose a storm is raging and the winds howl and the snow swirls about you. You find yourself unable to stop it. But you can dress properly and seek shelter, and the storm will have no effect upon you. Likewise, even though the Internet is saturated with material, you do not have to watch it. You can retreat to the shelter of the gospel and its teaching of cleanliness and virtue and purity of life. "

— Gordon B. Hinckley

General Conference, October 2004