Here’s a hypothetical: bishop’s son and pornography confession

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DarkJedi
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Re: Here’s a hypothetical: bishop’s son and pornography confession

Post by DarkJedi » 28 Feb 2019, 06:23

mom3 wrote:
27 Feb 2019, 22:52
Yesterday I wrote a post nearly identical to DJ's. I pulled it back because I wasn't sure I had a good handle on the OP.

We don't eliminate WoW breakers from sacrament. Porn is the same. Hug him, don't scold or shame. He has enough on his heart. He needs to know he is loved- NO MATTTER WHAT.
Interestingly I had also almost responded a couple times earlier and also pulled back. I think I just came to the point where there had been ample good advice given, and I felt this needed to be said, not as an affront to the OP but for general consideration. We talk about bleeding Millennials - yet situations like this (hypothetical or not) are one of the reasons they are leaving. In this hypothetical case, it appears the mom, and probably others, have explained their point of view as to why porn is evil and destructive. He doesn't appear to see it the same way. The information has been given to him and he is making his (now) informed choice. You did your part. He doesn't need to be vilified for exercising his own agency. In a big ward, if every kid (or adult) went to confess his or her porn viewing to the bishop each time they did it there would be a line outside his door each Sunday longer than he would have time for and still be able to spend time with his family. Please understand I am not minimizing the evil or harm porn can do - I'm just saying it's not the end of the world like so many other things are not the end of the world.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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Roadrunner
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Re: Here’s a hypothetical: bishop’s son and pornography confession

Post by Roadrunner » 28 Feb 2019, 12:24

Here are a few random thoughts from a currently serving bishop and father to two teenage girls and two teenage boys.

Your son has neither a father nor a bishop, keep that in mind as you both talk to him. The perceived power distance between your husband and your son is more than you can imagine. Any punishment from a bishop and father to a young teenager is greatly magnified by most youth. I've asked youth to skip the sacrament for a couple of weeks and it's almost the end of the world to them. They are afraid everybody sees it and everybody knows exactly what the problem is. I've seen this firsthand a dozen times.

Porn and the accompanying masturbation are probably an issue for 80% of the men in the ward and maybe half of the women in the ward. If everyone who struggled, whether occasionally or frequently, old or young, there would be nobody to fulfill any callings. As the senior bishop in my stake (who conducts quarterly bishop councils) I've suggested that they never punish masturbation and don't worry about porn too much. The stake president agrees with me.

I had a daughter who dabbled in porn and my wife and I freaked out. Almost everything you can imagine to fix the problem, we did it. We almost lost my daughter because we went so overboard. Since then we install anti-porn software on our devices and computers knowing there's probably a way around it. We tell all our kids it's their responsibility to avoid pornography but that there's not much more we can do than to help them police themselves. I've had mission presidents tell me that they know many missionaries view porn on their missions - they discourage it but never send missionaries home because of it. It's a struggle that many people will have on-and-off their whole lives. The mission presidents I've talked to say it's a fact of life and they have to learn how to deal with it.

If I were you, would not force your son to meet with his bishop. Have dad take him to ice cream or just stop in his bedroom for a quick chat and say, hey pornography is mysterious and exciting and even fun. It's also bad for the participants and bad for your soul. Do your best to control it. End of conversation.

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Gerald
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Re: Here’s a hypothetical: bishop’s son and pornography confession

Post by Gerald » 03 Mar 2019, 06:11

The mission presidents I've talked to say it's a fact of life and they have to learn how to deal with it.
As the father of a son who had (and probably currently has) these struggles, I agree. It doesn't mean you don't address it, it means that you actually DISCUSS it and talk about it. The most dangerous thing you can do is overreact. Many years ago, my wife came across some evidence that one of our daughters had looked at porn. She "freaked out." Thankfully, I calmed her down before she had some kind of hysterical confrontation with said daughter. In the end, it must have been a one time thing or even a mistake as we never saw any additional evidence of her perusing such material. I remember overhearing a ward member say, "Before any young man marries my daughter, I'm going to sit down and interview him. If he's ever looked at porn, he's out!" Yeah, good luck with that. As if any young man would admit to such habits in such a context. As members of the Church, we just don't TALK ABOUT IT. All we do is FORBID it. All that does is drive the habit deeper and deeper, creating more angst and more of the behavior There needs to be frank, "nonshaming" conversations with our children regarding these issues. The LDS Church and its members have not yet, in my opinion, figured out how to do so very effectively.
So through the dusk of dead, blank-legended And unremunerative years we search to get where life begins, and still we groan because we do not find the living spark where no spark ever was; and thus we die, still searching, like poor old astronomers who totter off to bed and go to sleep, to dream of untriangulated stars.
---Edwin Arlington Robinson---

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mom3
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Re: Here’s a hypothetical: bishop’s son and pornography confession

Post by mom3 » 03 Mar 2019, 17:45

There needs to be frank, "nonshaming" conversations with our children regarding these issues. The LDS Church and its members have not yet, in my opinion, figured out how to do so very effectively.
Nor are we clear what the definition of porn is. Is oggling the Victoria Secret store that you walk past in the mall porn? Or is it naked, intimate, sexual things? And all the options in between.
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

Jaxzmin801
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Re: Here’s a hypothetical: bishop’s son and pornography confession

Post by Jaxzmin801 » 02 May 2019, 06:02

I'm not sure how much this will help because I think a lot of good advice has been given already that I agree with. I'm sharing though because I think this something that my husband does so much better than me. We have a son entering his teen years, he spends a lot of time online. As far as I know he doesn't look at porn and has no interest. That being said, my husband takes every opportunity to talk to him about it, but he always approaches it from " when I was young I struggled with x,y, and z" . For some reason hearing about his father's flaws and imperfections from his own mouth always seems to give my son a sense of confidence and perspective. I think we have a tendency to try to hide our past mistakes and struggles from our children, when in reality it may be just what they need to hear, from someone that loves them. I have just observed the immense love and respect my son has for his dad's advice and opinions, knowing that his dad is willing to be open with him, just as we hope he will be open with us.

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