Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke candidly against the harmful effects of pornography and ways to overcome it at the Utah Coalition Against Pornography Conference on Saturday Mar. 12, 2016.
The event held timely significance as a resolution to declare pornography a public health crisis in Utah was passed through the House and the Senate on March 10th.
“(Pornography) continues to rend the very moral fabric of our society whether that be the family, or the community, or the very state of the nation,” he said. “That is because in every case, it rends the moral fabric of the individual.”
Elder Holland challenged those in attendance to teach and to warn against the devastating effects of pornography on all those who come in contact with it. “We cannot simply wring our hands about this,” he said.
He also provided a four-part formula for dealing with, and overcoming pornography a addiction. That is, to take personal responsibility and hold ‘F.A.S.T.’ against temptation.
The “F” in the acronym is for flee, the “A” is for ask, the “S” for strive and the letter “T” for triumph.
Elder Holland explained that too many that are struggling are not turning to others for help. He believes that anyone remotely trustworthy could be called upon for assistance.
“Above all, I would have those struggling with pornography ask God for help. I would ask and ask until my throat was horse, I would knock and knock until my knuckles were bloody,” Elder Holland said.
Elder Holland acknowledged that pornography is not a simple problem and that overcoming it will take work, but that most problems in life require “persistent effort” and “divine assistance.”
“I know that people can win this war,” Elder Holland said. “I’ve seen them do it and so have you. I can name names and so can you. We have to believe. Surely there has never been any battle won in life, in which the victor did not believe that victory was possible. ”
Elder Holland concluded his remarks by reminding people that he believes the battle against pornography can be won, and that everyone should take their part in stopping it.
“When hope is gone and lives are shattered in a hundred different ways for a thousand different reasons, the reality of Christ’s redemptive lifting exalting power will still be there,” Elder Holland said.
The UCAP Conference has been held for the past fifteen years. This year’s event had a record attendance of 2,700 people.
Pamela Atkinson, chair of the UCAP, addressed the recent resolution that declared pornography a public health crisis in Utah. “Nowhere else in the country has this kind of a resolution, and it’s only the beginning!”
Atkinson challenged everyone in attendance to share what they learn at the event with at least five other people. Arms bolted into the air by each individual in the room as she asked who would commit to following through with her council.
UCAP executive director, Vauna Davis encouraged all to come to the event each year.
“Silence creates so much damage and isolation,” Davis said. “When people come to the conference they finally start to feel more comfortable. They learn to talk.”
Other speakers at the event included Deanna Lambson, founder of White Ribbon Week.org, taught, “How Do I say It? Talking to Kids about Pornography.” Taylor and Melony Lovvorn, a couple that divorced over the affects of pornography but were later reconciled share their experiences in their lecture, “Our Divorce did not Work out.” And Malissa Richardson BYU graduate and Miss Provo winner taught on, “The power of Young Adults: Speaking Up and Changing the Culture.”