As I was preparing to serve a mission, it was very important to me to be honest in my interviews with my bishop. I did not think I would be able to serve with a clear conscience if I had lied. Despite confessing to occasional masturbation, my bishop said he felt comfortable recommending me for service. He told me nearly all young men masturbate and he felt that it was infrequent enough that he was confident that once I arrived at the Missionary Training Center and experienced the intense spiritual atmosphere there, I would be able to put it behind me. I next met with my Stake President who was not so accommodating. He insisted that no young man be called on a mission who was not completely free from this practice. He wanted to meet with me every two weeks or so to discuss my progress. At one of these meetings he asked, “Are you viewing anything in connection with this?” I confessed to him, just as I had to my bishop previously, that I had struggled with watching erotic movies on cable television (this was before the internet). He then said to me, “If you do not overcome this, the day will come when you will not be worth a damn to anyone”. I wasn’t sure if I believed him. I was pretty certain my mother would always love me regardless of anything I might do to disappoint her, but those words have stuck with me ever since. I never suffered suicidal ideation as a result of this, but I could certainly see something like that happening in a similar situation. What an awful thing to say to a teenager!