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Sunday, November 24, 2013

My "our son is on porn" Rant

We found porn on our son's iPod - again.

Dad calls me with the intent on solving the son's porn problem.
...This is my plan. First, I'm going to confront him, take his iPod again and let him know it's wrong. Second, I'm setting up an appointment for him to go talk with the Bishop. And third, I'm finding a counselor for him to talk to by Monday....

Mom calls me a few minutes later with a broken heart.
... I've been searching the internet (listing various websites) and the first thing we're suppose to do is get him to a professional...

Isn't that what we do, dr rick?
My answer is one big fat NO! 
Not if you really want to help your son.

FIRST MYTH:  He's only 17 he can't to do this on his own. The Lord held him accountable at age 8. Its time you do the same.  He knows its wrong. Of course confront him... Obviously it is your house and you as parents have rights to have and enforce various rules. Certainly share your disappointment. Let him see your broken heart and tears -but not hysteria! -not doom and gloom! Take the iPod for now - you bought it anyway. Then very soon give the iPod back! There is NO way you can keep him away from explicit sexual content (aka: Porn) ... too many hot spots, too many devices, too many friends, too many tv channels, ... He will have to "grow into" staying away from it with desire, education, specific skills, and a miracle wouldn't hurt either.  He's not an idiot, psychotic, etc etc he can figure it out... when he's ready and has the right tools. Good grief he's valedictorian at the high school!  But for YOU to rush him off to a therapist before you even tried personal resources is absolutely stupid. It sends the message- You're inferior- you can't figure this out. You're only 17 and 17 year olds can't figure out things like this. What will help is love, patience and confidence --- "That he (your son) may know that thy faithfulness (in him-your son to overcome porn) is stronger than the cords of death" D&C 121:44 (See: You get what you faith for). Maybe start with something like this:
"Son, as your parents we have complete confidence in your ability to do hard things ....You can figure out how to control your sexual feelings and thoughts... What ideas do you have about dealing with this porn issue?... (Son: I don't know.)...That's fine lets kneel in prayer as a family and ask God to help you and we'll visit again about your ideas tomorrow..."

SECOND MYTH: Pornography is more powerful than what an "average" person can handle. Bologny! (Did I spell that right?)  There is another dangerous message sent by words like: "You can't do this on your own you need professional help!" This attributes way too much power to "Pornography" and way too little power to "God."  Porn "addiction" is a word we professionals came up with to describe a strong habit. Do you really think God is up in heaven saying "Oh my there's another one of my sons with a 'porn addiction.'" The word "Addiction" is not even in the scriptures! (I bet the word "addiction" doesn't even exist in the Heaven Edition of Wikipedia.) Don't you think if "Porn Addiction" was that unique and that powerful in and of itself, God would have given us specific guidance - more specific scripture perhaps like D & C 139: -Overcoming Porn Addiction  or something? The "Process" of addiction is all over the scriptures but referred to as "SIN." (See the addiction process: Pleasures of Sin; Successful Sinners; I Can't Stop. Help!; and Viewing Leads to Doing.)  Keep a gospel perspective.... TRUE-Porn addiction is a bad habit - a very powerful one .... when the "flesh/natural man" becomes enslaved to "appetites and passions" we have a problem.  (This process is as old as Adam and Eve.) If you react like it's the end of the world WHEN you find out your son has been looking at porn you are adding to the problem. Millions of youth and adults /men and women successfully manage their sexual thoughts and feelings every day. So can your son.  God is supreme, having power over ALL things including "porn addiction". No one or no force or happening can frustrate or prevent Him from accomplishing His designs. (See: D&C 3:1-3) Part of His design is your son's salvation! (See: Cosmically Competent)
CALM DOWN dr rick - take three deep breaths.
THIRD MYTH:  Professional counselors are miracle workers. Let me remind you, as a professional counselor we are NOT likely to get "personal revelation" about you or your loved one. You and your condition is NOT a matter of our personal prayers. We do NOT care as much as you care about you and your loved one. You're paying me remember. This is my "JOB".  We get tired of listening to problems all day long every day. We are humans to ... Sometimes at the end of the day we simply go through the motion ... and can't wait to get home to our families. Some of us are idiots. Some of us are going to make problems in your life worse. Some of us should have never been licensed in the first place. Some of us are useless and won't help you and won't hurt you. However, a few of us have a "gift" of healing and truly have a capacity to help.   Having said that, I believe 100% there is a time and place for visiting with a "good" professional... . We as mental health professionals can be one great resource for listening, encouraging, teaching specific skills like "Arousal Surfing" (Topic for another blog).... NEVER go to outside resources first --- See Counselitis. I've worked in and around treatment programs for 35 years. I've NEVER seen one program cure ONE addiction. EVER! We are ONE resource. We can teach skills, introduce you to other resources like a higher power, and we certainly offer encouragement and support.  The individual has to make the changes between their left and right ear. Treatment programs are only a resource...just a resource - one of several your son may have. We are imperfect in our profession-just like you are in yours. "Cursed is he that putteth his trust in man, or maketh flesh his arm, or shall hearken unto the precepts of men, save their precepts shall be given by the power of the Holy Ghost." (2 Nephi 28:31) Consider using "uncommon sense"  (it's not common anymore) when you deal with us, mental health professionals.

CALM DOWN dr rick -Use your resources. Go for a run.
FOURTH MYTH: You are way too young to be thinking about sex. I understand he just started dating a few months ago, but he started puberty 5 years ago... If you have forgotten, that means he has had the capacity for sexual arousal and feelings for FIVE YEARS!!!! (See: Puberty: The Second Fire). Sexual thoughts and feelings are NOT EVIL! God created them not Satan! (See: God's Love Chemicals).  My goodness... how soon you've forgotten your own early years of puberty.  You do NOT want to extinguish your son's sexual response, you want him to recognize this wonderful power and how to harness it.  Yes.... its past time for you to have several two-way discussions with your son about sex. Here are some ideas for discussions: God's Plan For Sex; Fifth Sunday And Another Lesson About Porn; You Can't Say That In A Chapel; etc etc

Blah Blah Blah

Okay I'm done.

I guess I'm suppose to tear this up delete this now that I got it all out, right?

This catharsis thing really works. :)
I feel a lot better, now.

dr rick
dr rick's blog index 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Stuck On An Escalator

Read this: What Satan Doesn't Want You To Know About The War 

Read this:
Joe's Story
Joe, had been unemployed for several years now. He didn't have any disabilities-just
didn't feel the need to work. Joe kept busy driving the children to dance, soccer, basketball, piano lessons etc etc. He was a counselor in the Elder's Quorum presidency.  His wife was working part time at a local restaurant and attending counseling at LDS Family Services for depression. The bishop was paying for her counseling. They just had their 6th kid. She was breastfeeding so they qualified for WIC. They had an EBT payment card, like a credit card, so the WIC monies along with their SNAP, cash and food stamp benefits were automatically deposited onto their card for use at their convenience. The bishop and extended family from time-to-time also helped the family with money and food. Nevertheless, Joe's family seemed to have all the necessities of life-cell phones, a place to live, etc etc

From the outside appearance Joe's family seemed to have everything their neighbors had next door -where the father worked two jobs and the wife worked part time. (Satan and his Special Forces have successfully engineered our society to "temporarily" remove consequences from certain choices.) 

Ask this:
Does Joe have "Agency?"

You thought "agency" just meant "choice." But its much more...
Victor Ludlow says: "the seven essential elements of agency: identity, knowledge, freedom, action, law, efficacy, and preservation." (Principles of Practices of the Gospel Restored, pg. 157). 
LDS psychologist Allen E. Bergin in "Toward a Theory of Human Agency" wrote: "The concept of agency may be subdivided into numerous dimensions such as: The initiation of behavior or the originating of ideas. This may be termed the domain of creation. The processes of decision-making or choosing, that is, the domain of reason. The processes of self-regulation or the domain of will. These and related topics provide enough substance for several books." (BYU Studies, vol. 16, 1975-1976).  
Adam and Eve an example
God told Adam and Eve they had a "choice" (an essential element of agency). He followed up by saying they could freely eat of every tree in the garden except one, the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Of that tree God said, thou shalt not eat of it, nevertheless, thou mayest choose for thyself, for it is given unto thee; but, remember that I forbid it, for in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” (Moses 3:17). After giving Adam and Eve choice he gave them "knowledge about consequences" of their choice a "choice between good and evil" (another essential element of agency). Finally, he held them accountable for the choice they made. You can read about the consequences for their choice in Genesis 3:16-17. It was here in the Garden of Eden God gave Adam and Eve "Agency" (Moses 7:32). Accountability was an essential element.  
(The single best LDS source for agency can be found here: What the Church Teaches About Agency. )
I'm getting old so let's keep "agency" plain and simple. Personal accountability consistently shows up in definitions of agency.

"Agency is...
to act with accountability and responsibility for our actions."
(Robert D. Hales, Agency, Essential to the Plan of Life, Liahona, Nov. 2010)


In addition to Accountability I view Choice and Knowledge of Consequences as essential pieces of the "Agency Puzzle."

Simple concept... Satan needs only to eliminate one of the puzzle pieces that makeup agency to remove one's agency.  Let's take accountability for example, when Satan creates an environment in which a person's accountability is minimized, agency is also minimized. The belief that I can have want I want without effort, something for nothing.... is sufficient to eliminate one's agency-freedom to act.


Deception comes into play again because Satan's plan of removing accountability for our choices is theologically impossible and could not have worked even if all of the spirit offspring of God in the pre-existence had "voted" for it -
(A topic for another blog.)
Satan's successful destruction of our agency isn't
by force or with weapons of mass destructions but
by flattering us into believing there is NO personal accountability for our choices.
See blog: Satan Exposed

Of course Satan could never really destroy God's gift of agency- That's impossible. But he can deceive us...
....by convincing us self-reliance and personal accountability are not that big of deal and have nothing to do with agency.
....by having us focus only on our right to choose (Choice being one element of agency) a partial truth and not also emphasizing the consequence of the choice (Consequence being another element of agency).
etc etc


EXAMPLE 1-Seagulls starving to death
In this story seagulls lose their ability "to fish" by Marion G. Romney:
... In our friendly neighbor city of St. Augustine, great flocks of sea gulls are starving amid plenty. Fishing is still good, but the gulls don’t know how to fish. For generations they have depended on the shrimp fleet to toss them scraps from the nets. Now the fleet has moved. … “The shrimpers had created a Welfare State for the … sea gulls. The big birds never bothered to learn how to fish for themselves and they never taught their children to fish. Instead they led their little ones to the shrimp nets.Now the sea gulls, ..., are starving to death because they gave in to the ‘something for nothing’ lure! They sacrificed their independence (agency) for a hand-out.A lot of people are like that, too. They see nothing wrong in picking delectable scraps from the tax nets of the U.S. Government’s ‘shrimp fleet.’ But what will happen when the Government runs out of goods? What about our children of generations to come? (The First Presidency Message; The Celestial Nature of Self-Reliance, Ensign June 1984)
These seagulls lost their agency to fish.

EXAMPLE 2-Stuck on an escalator
In this story two people get stuck on a broken escalator and lose their ability to "get off" on their own - shared by a popular YouTube video People Stuck On An Escalator.

These individuals stuck on the escalator have lost their agency to get off.

(How does being stuck on an escalator relate to addiction?)

EXAMPLE 3-Joe "...failing to provide..."
In this story above, "Joe" loses his ability to "provide the necessities of life(The Family: A Proclamation to the World.) by depending on others to care for him and his family.

Joe, after years of unemployment and others taking care
of him, has lost his agency to provide for his family.

If this is true-reduce personal accountability and you reduce agency-... some of us have lost or are in process of losing our agency!  

As in the war in the pre-existence, Satan's political platform has once again successfully influenced millions to surrender their agency and follow him. (Even though they go to church every Sunday.)
In the examples above there is a reduction in personal accountability for decisions as a dependency on others increases. This process reduces one's ability to choose and to do. (See: The Gift-Between God and I ; Counselitis)
 Except for the starving seagulls who are now suffering
the consequences for personal choices.  
Can you get off an escalator?

dr rick
dr rick's blog index

Sunday, November 3, 2013

What Satan Doesn't Want You To Know About The War

The judge ordered 18 year old Joe to 1-15 years in the Utah State Prison.

I completed plenty of testing and record reviewing on Joe prior to sentencing. His measured IQ was average. He had  some minor learning disabilities but qualified for an IEP during junior high and high school. He had an obvious problem with aggression and touching girls. Because of his IEP and No Child Left Behind regardless of his behavioral problems or refusal to do homework - - In 18 years Joe never received any substantial consequence for any of his disruptive or lazy behavior. The school just continued passing him on to the next grade even though he had problems with reading and writing. In a similar fashion, the parents had consistently protected Joe from experiencing failure and withheld any type of penalty for his misbehavior. (And influenced others to do the same.)  Joe had never had a job or been held accountable for any of his behavior and yet he seemed to have it all!
He had ...
a place to live,
food to eat,
an Eagle Scout (his mom did it),
a high school diploma,
a cell phone,
a car, 
spending money,
a girlfriend,
etc etc

On his 18th birthday he inappropriately touched his underage girlfriend.
Now, he was on his way to prison.

Remember in 2011 Conference when Dieter F. Uchtdorf  said "...you could pile up the accumulated currency of the entire world and it could not buy a loaf of bread in the economy of heaven." (You Matter to Him, Conference Oct 2011) Well what about a war in heaven?

How does one fight a war with spirit beings?

I could pile up
the accumulated weapons of the entire world
all the bombs, guns, suicide bombers, terrorists 
they could not kill
one spirit
in the war in  heaven.

So with what weapons was the Greatest War- the war in the pre-existence - fought?

INFLUENCIAL WORDS - Persuasion and Deception.

Remember "Lucifer" at one point "was in authority in the presence of God" (D&C 76:25-26). He was a leader. A chosen one. Lucifer with his compelling personality and influential words, persuaded "many" to follow after him (Abr. 3:27-28). He did not use force or weapons of mass destruction ...  such weaponry would have been useless against spirits!

Millions followed after Satan....
because they wanted to go with him!
because they wanted what he had to offer!

What makes Satan's success even more impressive is the fact his campaign recruited one third of Father's children (D&C 29:36) to rebel against God - while they (we) were living with the all-powerful God and his son Jesus Christ!

Take a minute and wonder about what it must have been like for God and Jesus Christ to be promoting their Plan of Salvation to you and I - personally - and how powerful an opposite campaign
would have had to have been
to persuade us away from God while we were in His very presence.
(It makes me wonder, how powerful is Satan's political agenda here on earth while we are not in His presence?)

Satan's political party platform features Guaranteed Salvation. 

"and I will redeem ALL mankind, that

Satan promised salvation without effort, without excellence, without hard work, without individual responsibility.  Think of it Exaltation Without Effort! This shortcut to salvation obviously captivated many gullible and lazy spirits. They wanted something for nothing.

Satan's campaign consisted of telling us what we wanted to hear and giving us what we wanted. What could motivate a crowd more than promising us exactly what we wanted, with no charge or personal effort?

We learn more about Satan's Plan of Salvation by studying his followers. Here are some samples:
Samuel the Lamanite pointed out that the Gadiantons used this method with the Nephites: "If a man shall come among you and shall say ... do whatsoever your heart desireth...ye will receive him and say that he is a prophet" (Helaman 13:27). The prophet Jacob wrote that Sherem "began to preach among the people, and to declare unto them that there should be no Christ. And he preached many things which were flattering unto the people; and this he did that he might overthrow the doctrine of Christ." (Jacob 7:2) Nehor, another anti-Christ, "testified unto the people that all mankind should be saved at the last day, and that they need not fear nor tremble... for the Lord... had also redeemed all men; and, in the end, all men should have eternal life" (Alma 1:4).
And perhaps the most popular of all, Nephi's teaches:
"Yea, and there shall be many which shall say: Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die; and it shall be well with us. ..." (2 Nephi 28:7-8)
It begins to make sense how so many could be lured away when salvation is offered regardless of sin or personal effort - with freedom from accountability.  Think of it -a promise of receiving the reward -salvation- with nothing required.

Deception comes into play because Satan's plan is theologically impossible and could not have worked even if all of the spirit offspring of God had "voted" for it -
(A topic for another blog.)
Satan's successful destruction of our agency wasn't
by force or with weapons of mass destructions
 but by deceiving us about our personal responsibility in gaining Salvation-

Like in the example above, Joe appeared to have it all ....
without any personal effort or accountability...
until his Judgement Day.
See blog: Satan Exposed

Satan's easy, effortless plan is a stark contrast to the Father's plan which requires accountability, obedience, repentance, etc etc.

By Satan's eloquence and flattery he would blind us to the end result of sin and bondage. He would make it seem attractive, even though he knows that its wage is death.

The war that commenced in the premortal realm of God continues here on earth. The participants are the same. Satan's political platform remains unchanged-for he continues to seek to destroy our agency through influential words and philosophies to follow after him.

Joseph F. Smith identified several dangers that threaten the Church within - he begins First with

"… flattery of prominent men in the world...”
 (Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed., Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1939, pp. 312–13.)

This is what Satan doesn't want you to know about the war in heaven
and the war now on earth.
If we were to know the enemy's most powerful weapon
we would be more prepared to battle.

True or False- Satan's most powerful weapon of war are influential words - persuasion, flattery, and deception.
Talk to a loved one about your thoughts.

dr rick
dr rick's blog index

The next obvious question is, "How does unaccountability destroy agency?" See: Stuck on an Escalator.