Doctrine behind PM

Fight the Good Fight

  1. I thought it might be worthwhile to take a look at the doctrinal basis behind porn and masturbation (especially masturbation as this is not often discussed).
    Looking for quotes, scriptures and personal opinions. Please reference and link all quotes and scriptures where possible.

    “True doctrine, understood, changes attitudes and behavior. The study of the [doctrine] of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior.”
    Boyd K. Packer "Little Children", Ensign, Nov. 1986
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  2. Dante's Shadow

    Dante's Shadow Fapstronaut

    There have been numerous conference talks on these subjects, but I'm going to limit this post to the standard works.
    I think the scriptural canon does not mention M or P at all by name.
    I thought this page was useful:

    As far as P, Christ's declaration in Matthew 5:27-28 "whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart" seems to address why we would want to avoid P. However, I also found this website: which seems to be saying that Jesus used identical verbage for lusting after a woman as he used for coveting your neighbor's wife in the ten commandments. Essentially meaning he was reiterating a commandment he had already given. He also notes that neither covet or lust mean to desire, but actually take actions to obtain.
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  3. Something that I think is often mistaught is the seriousness of 'sexual sins'. I recall many lessons as a youth and even now as a young adult where PM are compared as equivalent to adultery and fornication (usually quoting Alma 39 for good measure). The reality is this is false doctrine and creates significant feelings of shame in young people who struggle with PMO and means they often wait a long time before seeking help because of the stigma surrounding PMO.
  4. Dante's Shadow

    Dante's Shadow Fapstronaut

    I agree. I think too many people take Alma's talk with his son (who seems to have publicly fornicated with a ***** while on a mission) and throw all sexual sins in the same bucket. P & M are sins, to be sure. But they cannot be reasonably justified to be on the same level as what Corianton did.
  5. VivreLibre

    VivreLibre Fapstronaut

    Did you ever read that talk given by Boyd K. Packer back in the 1970s titled "to young men only" or "message to young men" where he uses the analogy of a factory.

    I was having a difficult time a while back and I wanted to read that talk on the gospel library app. It wasn't there. The only place I could find it was on a third-party-not-affiliated-with-the-church-website. I pulled up my laptop and googled it and was only able to find a recording of it on the website, but no transcription.

    It makes me wonder why the church decided to remove that talk....

    I've always been confused on the point of masturbation. I know Pornography is evil, that is no doubt.
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  6. Dante's Shadow

    Dante's Shadow Fapstronaut

    I think part of the problem is the squeamishness that general authorities have had when talking about sexual sins. With a lack of clear direction from the top, it leaves individuals a lot of room for interpretation. Which can be good or bad. If your bishop feels like it is not a big deal, great. That might be OK, or it might make you feel complacent and reduce your willingness to change for the better. Alternatively, if your bishop feels it is more serious and is considering disfellowship or excommunication, that could also be a problem.

    I think that the fact that the "little factory" pamphlet material is hard to find is demonstrative that the top doesn't want to take a hard stand against it. I don't think it means that M is OK, but more that they don't want to encourage witch hunts, or force people that are struggling with M away from the church.

    The For the Strength of Youth pamphlet is pretty clear that we shouldn't be Ming without actually using the term.
  7. Interesting to see some updates to the churches site about pornography.

    Haven't had a chance to look through everything yet but from what I've seen I like the approach (though still a little frustrated with the lack of talk about masturbation)
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  8. Hi guys,
    Interesting thread. Here's a few of my thoughts. Warning: there may be some triggers in the content.

    Chances are the word 'masturbation' didn't originate until after the canon of scripture we know as 'the Bible' was written. Perhaps Father Adam and Mother Eve never used the word when they talked to their family about the 'law of Chasity.' I wonder how exactly they did talk to their children. 'Hey Cain and Able, we're going to talk about the .... ahhh, birds and bees ...' Hmmm, I think not. I mean, there are words that my wife and I don't know exist in the current world. And there's many that we do know exist. When her and I taught our children about their bodies, and about procreation and the law of chastity, we used proper terms as found in our culture and language. As you know, there are many terms used to name a boy's penis or a girl's vagina. We were selective in which names we used. For us, we choose to use mainly cultural (non-English) words, as well as words from Human Anatomy books and not the common slang or childish names often used by parents i.e. ding-dong, little willy, or girly-bits. Some English words are actually quite, how do I say it, blunt, whereas some various cultural terms are more 'holistic' in my opinion, and some words can mean more than just one thing.

    Anyways, I digress ... I found this online page interesting which seems to suggest the word 'masturbation' evolved from Latin. Link.

    My point to all this, sorry for the taking the scenic route, is that there are many references to 'sexual sin' and how 'offensive' it is to Heavenly Father through-out scripture. Many latter-day prophets and apostles have spoken about 'sexual sin'. As parents it is our responsibility to teach our children/families the finer points of such themes.

    I remember being interviewed by my Bishop when I was going to receive the Aaronic Priesthood. He glossed over if I lived the law of chastity and of course I said yes. However, in my 11 year old mind I knew I was masturbating and lusting after the female body and looking at any porn when ever it crossed my path. I really wish my Bishop had slowed that interview down and tried harder to connect with me, and, with love, asked me to explain to him what my understanding of 'keeping the law of Chasity' meant. I had never really had a good discussion with my dad about such things either, or my mum for that matter. So basically I learned about 'sex' from porn.

    I guess what I'm thinking is that prophets and apostles don't have to teach / tell / instruct us about every aspect of the gospel. I mean, if they were to do that they might start teaching what is proper sex between a husband and wife. In my opinion there is no place in any married couples bedroom for a prophet or apostle. What a husband and wife do in the name of 'sex' is between them and the Lord, and as long as it's within the bounds the Lord has set then there is no sin. Like the 'homosexuality' issue that's been dragged through the streets, there are case by case scenarios involving legally and lawfully married couples where masturbation may be chosen that don't fit the mainstream of the church per say. Like a husband or wife who may have a disability. Masturbation may be a way that couple express their love for each other.

    Did anyone here get taught what the law of chastity was in an MTC when they served a full time mission? I remember in the MTC I attended, there was a brother that took this class and he explained aspects of the law of Chasity that I hadn't heard mentioned in any other church class prior. He referred to 'masturbation' and explained the act of masturbation, and how it was a sexual sin. He explained all forms of petting and making out, starting with noticing the opposite sex, to holding hands, to 'going all the way' and having full sexual intercourse. I remember a few missionaries booking in to talk with the MTC president after that class!!

    I also remember a young friend in his 20s telling me that he and his Bishop had an interview with and his Bishop asked him if he was masturbating. His Bishop told him that if he did three upward motions on his penis then he would need to see his Bishop. I thought that was pretty technical. I had learned to O without even touching my penis.

    I think we have started to see and will continue to see just how direct the church leaders will be in addressing 'sexual sin' in the latter days. I also see them doing this in a loving and merciful way. However, I believe it's in the home of church members that the finer points of this topic can best be taught and followed up by loving parents.

    Hmmm, not even sure now if I have even answered any of the above questions/frustrations/confusions.
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2020
  9. I think you could be right. I've just read over that pamphlet <link> and find it too 'fluffy'. For the Strength of Youth (2011) pamphlet is brilliant and very clear. And it leaves room for parents and leaders to fill in the blanks in appropriate settings such as in the home or Bishop's Youth Firesides etc without being too uncomfortable or confronting.

    "The sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife.

    “The Family: A Proclamation to the World”

    Physical intimacy between husband and wife is beautiful and sacred. It is ordained of God for the creation of children and for the expression of love between husband and wife. God has commanded that sexual intimacy be reserved for marriage.

    When you are sexually pure, you prepare yourself to make and keep sacred covenants in the temple. You prepare yourself to build a strong marriage and to bring children into the world as part of an eternal and loving family. You protect yourself from the spiritual and emotional damage that come from sharing sexual intimacy outside of marriage. You also protect yourself from harmful diseases. Remaining sexually pure helps you to be confident and truly happy and improves your ability to make good decisions now and in the future.

    The Lord’s standard regarding sexual purity is clear and unchanging. Do not have any sexual relations before marriage, and be completely faithful to your spouse after marriage. Do not allow the media, your peers, or others to persuade you that sexual intimacy before marriage is acceptable. It is not. In God’s sight, sexual sins are extremely serious. They defile the sacred power God has given us to create life. The prophet Alma taught that sexual sins are more serious than any other sins except murder or denying the Holy Ghost (see Alma 39:5).

    Never do anything that could lead to sexual transgression. Treat others with respect, not as objects used to satisfy lustful and selfish desires. Before marriage, do not participate in passionate kissing, lie on top of another person, or touch the private, sacred parts of another person’s body, with or without clothing. Do not do anything else that arouses sexual feelings. Do not arouse those emotions in your own body. Pay attention to the promptings of the Spirit so that you can be clean and virtuous. The Spirit of the Lord will withdraw from one who is in sexual transgression.

    Avoid situations that invite increased temptation, such as late-night or overnight activities away from home or activities where there is a lack of adult supervision. Do not participate in discussions or any media that arouse sexual feelings. Do not participate in any type of pornography. The Spirit can help you know when you are at risk and give you the strength to remove yourself from the situation. Have faith in and be obedient to the righteous counsel of your parents and leaders.

    Homosexual and lesbian behavior is a serious sin. If you find yourself struggling with same-gender attraction or you are being persuaded to participate in inappropriate behavior, seek counsel from your parents and bishop. They will help you.

    Victims of sexual abuse are not guilty of sin and do not need to repent. If you have been a victim of abuse, know that you are innocent and that God loves you. Talk to your parents or another trusted adult, and seek your bishop’s counsel immediately. They can support you spiritually and assist you in getting the protection and help you need. The process of healing may take time. Trust in the Savior. He will heal you and give you peace.

    If you are tempted to commit any form of sexual transgression, seek help from your parents and bishop. Pray to your Father in Heaven, who will help you resist temptation and overcome inappropriate thoughts and feelings. If you have committed sexual transgression, talk to your bishop now and begin the process of repentance so that you can find peace and have the full companionship of the Spirit.

    Make a personal commitment to be sexually pure. By your words and actions, encourage others to do the same.

    Genesis 39:1–12; Doctrine and Covenants 38:42
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