Dr. Rick's Blog Moved

Dr. Rick's Blog moved to PornProofingKids.com.
Please feel free to click on any of the posts and you will automatically be redirected to the new blog.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Porn Proofing Kids - Intro

Awhile ago I was in Phoenix Arizona doing a fireside. A mom asked, "How can I porn proof my kids?" 

The thought of "Porn proofing children" has been a thorn in my soul for several years. (Particularly my own 11 grandchildren.) 

Professionally, I've been working with youth and sex problems for many many years. I've attended workshops and even taught workshops / firesides on sex.  And of course I was employed at a community mental health center providing a variety of mental health services including sex-specific. My conclusions:
Porn and inappropriate sexual behavior cause major problems. It's like a disease. We need to learn how to porn proof our youth. No way would the Lord leave us without sufficient resources to fight against one of Satan's finest tools.
Over the years, others have viewed pornography as a "disease."

"In our day the dreadful influence of pornography is like unto a plague sweeping across the world, infecting one here and one there, relentlessly trying to invade every home,...The effect of this plague can be, unfortunately often is, spiritually fatal.
Boyd K. Packer (Cleansing the Inner VesselOctober 2010)

Or how about this quote:

“Pornography, with its sleazy filth, sweeps over the earth like a horrible, engulfing tide. It is poison. ... It will destroy you if you do....Stay away from it. 
Shun it as you would a foul disease
for it is just as deadly."
Gordon B. Hinckley, (Some Thoughts on Temples, Retention of Converts, 
and Missionary Service, Ensign, Nov. 1997)

Assuming "Porn Addiction" is a "disease" then "porn proofing" children requires "inoculation". One must "inoculate" a child at a certain time in life with specific antibiotics - "skills and knowledge." (Why not? We "inoculate" and provide "boosters" for dozens of other diseases.)

Here is my definition for "inoculation" against the disease of porn addiction. 

InoculationIs the act of introducing a specific booster dose of "skills and knowledge" into a 
young soul to produce immunity 
to  "porn addiction". 
(and other inappropriate sexual behaviors.) 

I am convinced inoculating  youth with specific skills and knowledge - as needed - will immune them against our sexualized world. 

It makes perfect sense! 

After all:

“Train up a child in the way he should go and when 
he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Prov. 22:6)

Existing Resources
Over the years I've reviewed various resources attempting to understand youth and sex.
Here is a sample of some of the resources I've reviewed:
None of these resources alone seemed adequate. Each however had something to add to an effective immunization. The "perfect porn proofing process" does the following:
  • Identifies an inspired parent as the primary delivery system.
  • Relies on "God's Truth" about gender and sexuality. 
  • Includes current scientific research about sexual related topics. 
  • Is comprehensive in identifying the necessary and sufficient "skills and knowledge".
  • Provides a simple, practical, and flexible curriculum that a average parent can teach.
  • Focuses on the glory and beauty of virtue not the hell and ugliness of porn addiction. 
Oh yea, one more observation.

"Porn Proofing Kids" is a focused approach. It does not include ALL general parenting skills. For example, there are some parenting skills essential for good parenting and yet not discussed in the Porn Proofing Curriculum. Here are some examples.
Ponder and pray about your children's or grandchildren's need to begin the Porn Proofing "Booster Series." Consider your ability as a parent or grandparent to successfully inoculate them against porn and other immoral sexual behavior.

Review Porn Proofing Kids Series:
Porn Proofing Kids - Intro
Porn Proofing Booster #1: The Body
Body Booster Resources
Porn Proofing Booster #2: Gender
Gender Booster Resources
Porn Proofing Booster #3: Intimacy
Intimacy Booster Resources

dr rick
dr rick's blog index
®2014 dr rick 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Your Personal Armor

The Bishop was excommunicated.

When he was first put in as the Bishop he was overwhelmed and humbled by the calling. The first year or two he prayed intensely several times a day; routinely searched the scriptures for answers; regularly went to the temple; etc etc

After a few years, he began to suffer from "Spiritual Anorexia" -consuming a "Mormon Lite" diet. (See: Spiritual Anorexia). He failed to continually put on his Armor. He thought somehow he was immuned from Satan's influence because after all "He was the Bishop." His casual approach to spirituality eventually led to an inappropriate sexual relationship with the Ward Relief Society President.

The Bishop was excommunicated.

An example of a prophet
David, clothed with the armor of God, took a stone from his bag and, with his sling, 
shot it into the forehead of Goliath, ... David after he became king because he did not 
continue to have the whole armor of God. We must put on the whole armor of God, 
or we will be vulnerable to temptation in those areas where we have weaknesses .... 
(Put on the Whole Armor of God, N. Eldon Tanner. Conference April 1979)

It's a Promise. 
Why do we need to put on armor? See: Your Personal Devil.

"Prophets speak with great plainness of speechEnos 1:23 about putting on armor. Armor is our protection from Satan and his special forces.
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. (Ephesians 6:11)
Or how about this statement:
Wherefore, lift up your hearts and rejoice, and gird up your loins, and take upon you my whole armor, that ye may be able to withstand the evil day, having done all, .... (D & C 27:15)
Definitions for what is the "armor" varies.
When most Americans think of armor, the image that usually comes to mind is the late medieval Western European "knight in shining armor." The historical reality is, of course, much more complex. There have been thousands of different types of armor used throughout history, with the Western-European style of heavy plate armor a rare, if not unique, phenomenon. .... There are eight distinct terms for armor mentioned in the Book of Mormon: breastplate (11 times), shields (10 times), armor (9 times), 8 head-plates (7 times), arm-shields (2 times), animal skins (2 times), thick clothing (2 times), and bucklers (1 time). .... (Warfare in the Book of Mormon by Stephen D. Ricks, William J. Hamblin, Chapter 19, 1990)
One of the most common definitions for "God's Armor" is provided by Harold B. Lee. He explains Ephesians 6:11 as follows:
... 1. A girdle about your loins - Truth is to be the substance of which the girdle about your loins is to be formed... 2. A breastplate over your heart - The breastplate shall be made of a stuff called righteousness.... 3. Your feet shod - Represent your goals or objectives in life, are to be shod. Shod with what? “With the preparation of the gospel of peace.” ... 4. A helmet on your head - the “helmet of salvation” means the attainment of the eternal right to live in the presence of God the Father and the Son.... (Put on the Whole Armor of God; Stand Ye in Holy Places: Selected Sermons and Writings of President Harold B. Lee, 330–39)
Interesting enough there are numerous other explanations for the "Armor" including:

Keeping All the Commandments
N. Eldon Tanner, observed that
those who are clothed in such armor, which means keeping all the commandments of God, are able to withstand the adversary.”  (“‘Put on the Whole Armor of God,’” Ensign, May 1979, 44, 46).
Understanding the Commandments and Fortifying Yourselves
Here is another example Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the Twelve warned that Satan
 “seeks to find any chink in the armor of each person. ... We can defend ourselves against his attacks and deceptions only by understanding the commandments and by fortifying ourselves each day through praying, studying the scriptures, and following the counsel of the Lord’s anointed” (The Priesthood of God, in Conference Report, Oct. 1988, 44; or Ensign, Nov. 1988, 35).
The Strength of Youth Pamphlet
In Lesson 43 "Take Upon You My Whole Armor" (Doctrine and Covenants and Church History: Gospel Doctrine Teacher’s Manual, 1999, 249–54) it suggests putting on the armor could be accomplished by striving for elements in the For the Strength of Youth Pamphlet - namely Live the Law of Chastity; Be honest; and Use Language that Reverences God and is Edifying. 

Be Faithful in the Priesthood
How about this quote from Robert D. Hales:
if we are faithful in the priesthood, this armor will be given to us as a gift from God. We need this armor! (Stand Strong in Holy Places, in Conference April 2013)
Numerous Acts
Here is one more explanation of armor by M. Russell Ballard
... True spiritual power lies in numerous smaller acts woven together in a fabric of spiritual fortification that protects and shields from all evil... Add to Your Armor Each Day -The Lord has given us specific doctrines and principles that show us how to clothe ourselves in the armor of God so that we can stand against the powers of evil. I have suggested a few ways to incorporate gospel principles into your lives. In most cases, we are not talking about massive changes of behavior. As with chain mail, you need simply to add small, individual pieces of armor each day through prayer, scripture study, focusing on things that matter, and acting in a reverent manner. . (Be Strong in the Lord, July 2004)
dr rick's definition of armor
I recommend two types of armor: Under Armor and As Needed Armor. 

First we must put on our "Under" armor of the Temple Garments.
We are at war! Our enemy is not an invading army from a bordering nation or a navy of some overseas power. Bullets are not whizzing above our heads, nor are bombs exploding in and around our homes. Nevertheless, we are engaged in a life-and-death struggle with forces capable of thrashing us inside out and sending us down into the depths of spiritual defeat if we are not vigilant...The piece of armor called the temple garment not only provides the comfort and warmth of a cloth covering, it also strengthens the wearer to resist temptation, fend off evil influences, and stand firmly for the right. (The Temple Garment: “An Outward Expression of an Inward Commitment” By Carlos E. Asay, Ensign, Aug 1997)
Under Armor requires regular -daily or weekly- attention.  In addition, to wearing the temple garment examples of Under Armor include: study the scriptures, saying prayers, taking the sacrament, and attending Church meetings. The need for these specific pieces of armor never change.

Some armor depends on the enemy you have to confront that day. For example, just like we'd evaluate the weather for the day and dress accordingly- we should evaluate our spiritual demands for that day and dress accordingly.

Think about it.

  • I'm going to a work party. I know I'm going to encounter young ladies partially clothed in very tight clothes. I need to protect my eyes. What armor do I need? - A helmet with blinders!  
  • I'm going on splits with the missionaries tonight. I'll be teaching a discussion to a non-member family. I need to be particularly inspired and knowledgeable on the gospel. What armor do I need? - A sharp "word of God" sword!  
  • I'm going to have an especially stressful week. I'll be extra busy with work, church and family. I've got to go Gold's Gym every morning.  I need to exercise. What armor do I need? -Shod with running shoes! 
  • I'm a recovering addict. I've been depressed. I just can't live like this anymore. I need to get to my 12 step-meeting. I need to pray like I've never prayed before. What armor do I need?  - Extra strength Poleyns! 

etc etc

I want to wear the "As Needed Armor" that best protects me 
from that day's activity.

Watch this video The Whole Armor of God

dr rick
dr rick's blog index

Sunday, September 7, 2014

STOPPING the sin does NOT equal REPENTANCE

Why is there such a high relapse 
for individuals dealing with sexual sins? (particularly with porn addicts)

It's quite common in my experience to see porn users (and individuals with other sexual problems) to relapse AFTER they have reached some level  of  "sobriety". That level of "sobriety" is typically - they've stopped the sin / looking at porn. 


As a Mormon shrink I've learned about two reasons:

1) The individual is not following 
the plain and simple path.
See Overcoming Porn -a Plain and Simple Path
  2) The individual does not know how to repent.

I will illustrate how an individual using porn -  has "stopped viewing porn" but clearly has "not" repented.


First: Admit
... repentance can never come until one has bared his soul and admitted his actions without excuses or rationalizations. He must admit to himself that he has sinned, without the slightest minimization of the offense or rationalizing of its seriousness, or without soft-pedaling its gravity. He must admit that his sin is as big as it really is and not call a pound an ounce. Those persons who choose to meet the issue and transform their lives may find repentance the harder road at first, but they will find it the infinitely more desirable path as they taste of its fruits. The Apostle Paul wrote, “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation.” (2 Cor. 7:10.) Once we understand how we have injured ourselves and others and are deeply sorry, we are ready to follow the process that will rid us of the effects of the sin. (Spencer W. Kimball The Gospel of Repentance)
Example of NOT admitting:
After this couple had been married in the Temple 15 years and three kids ago the husband's porn problem was discovered. His wife came home from visiting her family after a few days. She was impressed to review the browser history on the family laptop. She found porn.
She confronted him.
He admitted. (Or did he?)

As I talked to the husband he said things like "I only did it on down time at work ... I hardly did it on the weekends or at home ... It wasn't hurting anybody ... "  The only "sorrow" I sensed as he talked was the "sorrow" of being caught by his wife. :(

While using excuses and rationalizations he said he had viewed porn 
AFTER he was discovered by his wife.
However, he has stopped viewing porn.

Second: Abandon
The next step in the process of repentance is to abandon the sin. The Lord revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith, “By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins—behold, he will confess them and forsake them.” (D&C 58:43.) And to the adulteress, the Master said, “Go, and sin no more.” (John 8:11.) Prayer is important throughout the entire process of repentance, but it is vital now. In the process of abandoning a sin, it is often necessary to abandon persons, places, things, and situations that are associated with the transgression. This is fundamental. Substitution of a good environment for a bad can hedge the way between the repenting person and his past sin. (Spencer W. Kimball The Gospel of Repentance)
Example of NOT abandoning:
I listened as the husband shared more of his few weeks of recovery. I learned that he continues: to carry his smart phone with internet access where he historically has viewed porn; to spend time alone at work alone with a particular peer employee who historically shared porn with him; to listen to off colored jokes and have occasional "lustful" thoughts as a result etc etc.  

He said he had made no changes his environment.
However, he has stopped viewing porn.

Third: Confess
The next step, confession of the sin, is a very important aspect of repentance. We must confess and admit our sins to ourselves and then seriously begin the process of repentance. We must also confess our sins to our Heavenly Father. Especially grave errors such as sexual sins must be confessed to the bishop as well. One begins the process by going to the Lord in “mighty prayer” as did Enos. Then, if appropriate, one goes to the bishop. The Lord has a consistent, orderly plan to bless us in this great law of growth and development, the law of repentance. ... In these matters, the bishop is our best earthly friend. He is one who works with the Spirit of the Lord in blessing our lives ...  (Spencer W. Kimball The Gospel of Repentance)
Example of NOT confessing:
The husband talked about his recent meeting with the bishop. His wife having been devastated called and made the appointment for them to visit the bishop. On several occasions over the years this husband had the impression to tell his bishop about his porn problem-particularly during the temple recommend interview. But never did.  He simply lied.

He acknowledged to the bishop he viewed porn because his 
wife made him go with her. During the interview he mostly sat and listened.
However, he has stopped viewing porn.

After these steps of sorrowing for sin, abandoning sin, and confessing sin, comes the great principle of restitution. One seeks to restore insofar as possible that which was damaged. If he has stolen, he returns that which was stolen. If he has injured through lies or evil-speaking, he does all that is possible to establish the truth. Perhaps one of the reasons murder is so serious is that having taken a life, the murderer cannot restore it. Restitution in full is not possible. Similarly, it is not possible to give back robbed virtue. But as fully as he can, the truly repentant person will make restitution. The prophet Ezekiel taught, “If the wicked … give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live.” (Ezek. 33:15.) (Spencer W. Kimball The Gospel of Repentance)
Example of NOT doing restitution:
This husband stated several times about his viewing porn by saying "I never let it effect my marriage and family ... It didn't hurt anyone... and I've stopped." He seemed to believ no restitution is needed. He sat and stared on as his wife as she cried uncontrollably with a broken heart. I'm quite sure he had not even said "I'm sorry" to his wife. (It is my believe that ANY SEXUAL SIN always damages another's virtue- requiring serious -if not impossible- restitution.)

He showed no clue that he recognized the pain his porn use 
has caused to his wife and their eternal family.
However, he has stopped viewing porn.

The Lord’s promise is sure: “If thou wilt do good, yea, and hold out faithful to the end, thou shalt be saved in the kingdom of God.” (D&C 6:13.) When one seeks to bring his life into full conformity with our Heavenly Father’s teachings, then his life of good works is evidence of his repentance. The Savior truly said: “Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? … “A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. … “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” (Matt. 7:16, 18, 20.) When necessary, we seek a total transformation in thoughts, ideals, standards, and actions in order that we may fulfill the assignment given us by the Savior: “I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect.” (3 Ne. 12:48.) This step requires no holding back. If one neglects his tithing, misses his meetings, breaks the Sabbath, or fails in his prayers and other responsibilities, he is not completely repentant. The Lord knows, as do we, the degree of full and sufficient compliance we make with these fundamental aspects of the law of repentance, which is really God’s law of progress and fulfillment. This transformation should cause us to be more concerned about others, even to wanting others to have the blessings we enjoy. In fact, the Lord has lovingly told us that our sins are forgiven more readily as we bring souls unto him and remain diligent in bearing testimony to the world. (See D&C 31:5; D&C 84:61; James 5:20.) (Spencer W. Kimball The Gospel of Repentance)
Example of a life NOT being in conformity with God:
As I continued to visit with this husband. He talked as if in only a few weeks he had his porn addiction well under control. He explained  "I've stopped... I read my scriptures and say my prayers now."  

He showed no other change.
Just a few prayers and reading of scriptures.
However, he has stopped viewing porn.

In summary, ponder "repentance" in relationship to one of your personal sins.
Repentance is one of the first principles of the gospel and is essential to our temporal and eternal happiness. It is much more than just acknowledging wrongdoings. It is a change of mind and heart that gives us a fresh view about God, about ourselves, and about the world. It includes turning away from sin and turning to God for forgiveness. It is motivated by love for God and the sincere desire to obey His commandments.(Repentance, LDS.Org Index)
Have you repented?

dr rick
dr rick blog index