Is looking at pornography breaking the Law of Chastity?
Pornography has become one of the most serious problems in our society and among many members of the Church and it continues to get worse. It is destroying families and is weakening our nation. It is such a serious problem that our leaders continue to counsel us to rid our lives of it. In the October 2004 Priesthood session of conference both Elder Oaks and President Hinckley spoke of the threat it is to our lives and families. President Hinckley stated:
“It is a much more serious problem now. It grows increasingly worse. It is like a raging storm, destroying individuals and families, utterly ruining what was once wholesome and beautiful. I speak of pornography in all of its manifestations.”
During the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gave us the higher law. In Matthew 5:27-28 He states,
27 “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:
28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.”
It is as though He was talking about pornography when He states: “…looketh on a woman to lust after her.” To me it is very evident that looking at pornography and involvement with pornography is not only a sin, but also against the Law of Chastity. It is addictive and destroys one’s spiritual well being. We need to avoid it at all costs. If one is already addicted to it, they need to seek help from their Priesthood Leaders immediately and/or professional counseling.
The following statement appeared in the Priesthood manual a few years ago on the subject of the law of chastity,
“The early apostles and prophets mention numerous sins that were reprehensible to them. Many of them were sexual sins—adultery, being without natural affection, lustfulness, infidelity, incontinence, filthy communications, impurity, inordinate affection, fornication. They included all sexual relations outside marriage—petting, sex perversion, masturbation, and preoccupation with sex in one’s thoughts and talking. Included are every hidden and secret sin and all unholy and impure thoughts and practices.”
Many of these, especially what is covered in the final sentence deal with what we would define as pornography.