Overcoming an Addiction

Help and Support for Leaders

How Bishops Can Help

When counseling those who are involved with pornography, you can refer to the booklet Helping Those Who Struggle with Pornography. You can also refer members to the booklet Let Virtue Garnish Thy Thoughts. Both booklets are available from Church distribution centers. The other suggestions listed in these articles may also be helpful to you.

  1. Meet Regularly and Encourage Repentance
    When Church members meet with you to discuss a problem with pornography use, carefully interview them to assess the extent of the problem. Provide counsel, offer love and encouragement, and help them through the repentance process.
  2. Enable a Support System
    By affiliating with a strong support system, people who are struggling are less likely to feel isolated and alone. The value of a strong support system cannot be overestimated.
  3. Remember the Family Members
    Remember that spouses of recovering individuals may also need assistance from leaders, professionals, and support groups.
  4. Speak Openly
    Talk openly about the problem in special meetings for the Melchizedek Priesthood, Relief Society, and older youth. Your openness and concern will encourage those who need help to seek your counsel.
  5. Consider Professional Assistance
    Refer members to a trusted professional when needed. Participation in professional counseling, including individual and group therapy, has been helpful for a majority of those who recover.
  6. Break Addictive Cycles
    Assess the context or environment of their addictive behavior. What are the triggers and temptations to the behavior? Help develop a plan to avoid and resist triggers and temptations. This is a key issue in relapse prevention.

Related Video

Elder L. Whitney Clayton

Elder L. Whitney Clayton counsels those already caught in the pornography trap (see also Ensign, November 2007, 51–53).

President Gordon B. Hinckley

President Gordon B. Hinckley asks pornography users to seek help from the Lord, the bishop, and, if necessary, caring professionals (see also Ensign, November 2004, 59–62).

Elder Dallin H. Oaks

Elder Dallin H. Oaks outlines the way out of a pornography addiction (see also Ensign, May 2005, 87–90).