Over the past few weeks a friend and I have taken the challenge to rid our lives of pornography and the ill effects of its influence. Without a brother that can understand my SSA struggle, I am not sure how successful I would be. I am a justifier. I love to justify all my sins. Yes, I want to move on with my life. Yes, I want to be free from the burdens pornography offers. I want to heal. So, we took the drastic step of placing filters on each others’ iPhones. I control his phone; he controls the settings of mine. It was a bold move, but necessary. The Church’s Addiction Recovery Program encourages us to admit to ourselves that we have a problem, and acknowledge that we are incapable of overcoming it by ourselves.
Another key to overcoming the addictions in our lives is to seek help and find a healthy support system. My friend is my healthy support system. We struggle together and we know how to succor each other in our infirmities. For me, I have been 100% successful in leaving the porn on the internet and not on my screen. For me, I feel accountable. This support structure gives me an added boost of determination. I don’t want to fail my friend (and I hope he doesn’t want to fail me). Yesterday we discussed the difficulties of ridding our lives of all forms of pornography. It is a very real struggle that will not just be a commitment for a few weeks. It will take a lifetime of dedication. We both have recognized greater light and freedom in our personal lives as a reward for our efforts. I suppose this will be a line-upon-line precept-upon-precept recovery.
As we were discussing our struggles and successes I thought of the Anti-Nephi-Lehies or the people of Ammon. These Ammonites were converted by the sons of Mosiah. After their conversion, they were faithful throughout their lives. They refused to shed blood and, as you may remember, they buried their weapons of war. Even more remarkable is that they began to prepare their sons, approximately 2,000 of them, to be strong leaders and valiant sons of God.
As I thought of this story I thought of my current situation. I grabbed my Book of Mormon and began to reread their account found in Alma. I then started to replace a few words with my “weapons.”
And now, my brethren, if pornography seeks to destroy us, behold, we will hide away our iPhones, yea, even we will bury them deep in the earth, that they may be kept bright, as a testimony that we have never used them, at the last day; and if our weaknesses do destroy us, behold, we shall go to our God and shall be saved.
And now it came to pass that when the king had made an end of these sayings, and all the people were assembled together, they took their iPhones, and all the tempations which were used for the shedding of our spiritual growth, and they did bury them up deep in the earth.
Now, in what manner did they bury their weapons? Deep. They weren’t placed just under the surface, not within reach, and not accessible in panic or rage. They buried them so deep that if they were tempted they wouldn’t be able to reach them before they would be overtaken by the enemy. Without such depth, temptations will increase and we will grab our dulled shovels and begin to recover our vices.
That is where my friend and I are at today. We have taken control of each others’ weapons of war, and with shovels in hand we are digging a really deep hole. Today we are safe and are finding success because we are accountable to each other. There will come a time when we have to deposit our weapons of war. We will have to bury them and allow them to remain secured in the earth. I look forward to that day.
I am grateful for sharp shovels. Don’t get discouraged. It takes time to dig deep holes.