First off I am a female, addicted to porn for around 10 years. It all started when I was 11 I got an email that had porn in it. I had already been a sexually curious kid and that email just started an addiction. I told my mom and friend about it within a few days because I knew it was wrong, I was still curious but I knew I needed to tell someone.
Well my mom said a prayer with me and my friend and that was it. Years passed and porn was so accessible in the early ages of the internet and I was apparently very sneaky. I never was caught and I even figured out masturbation and it became a HUGE part of my life. As the years passed of course I had the chastity classes in church, in conference, in any fireside, and at mutual. How to be worthy, what is okay and what is going to get you a one way ticket to the telestial kingdom which might as well be hell. Anything that wasn’t top tier celestial. I felt like the most awful person in human existence. I was starting to just accept the fact that I wasn’t going to make it and stopped trying to kick the habit.
When I was 14 I somehow got brave and went to my bishop and said I needed to confess. (Yes, I completely lied when they had asked all the chastity questions before. I had even gone to the temple and done baptisms for the dead.) I told him I had been looking at porn and I had been touching myself. I will never forget the way my bishop looked at me and said: “It is pleasurable, isn’t it?” He then wanted to know more details about how and when and what it felt like and I was SO uncomfortable. I stopped responding and he just gave me a blessing and I left. Went right back to my addiction.
I did not feel like I had gone through the whole repentance process the right way.. You confess, you pray and ask god for forgiveness, you NEVER do it again or else you have to start completely over from square one and god takes back any forgiveness. I was NOT going to go back to the bishop and tell him anything else. I went to my mom and she told me she tried masturbating once but it wasn’t really her thing, she then checked on me that night and reprimanded me for having the door closed and then we never spoke of it again. By age 17 I had my own cell phone that could go on the internet and my addiction was the worst it had ever been. I read back in my journal about how awful of a person I thought I was. How no one could ever love me. How if maybe I could just fix myself life would be better.
I joined the army and while at basic I was clean for 4 months! I also met people that gave me a different perspective on life and thought maybe I wasn’t all that bad.. Well when I got home I had a boyfriend and we had sex. This was even worse than porn in my mind and I just couldn’t handle the stress of being such a terrible sinner I had to go to the bishop. It was a new bishop, maybe it would be better this go around.. well me and my boyfriend were sitting there confessing and first words out of the bishops mouth was “Gosh dang it you guys!” He was incredibly disappointed. I remember sobbing and wishing we would have never told. He threatened my return missionary boyfriend with a dis-fellowship from the church and had to go to a disciplinary hearing that was scheduled that night. Our punishment for the time being was; no taking the sacrament for a year, no praying in public for a year, no temple recommend until further notice and we had to get married. So we did! Married.
I was 19 he was 23. We had been “dating” for 3 months. I had known him and his family for 6 years though thank goodness. I met him at church. The truly sad part is I was just so ready to do anything to save my salvation.. We got married 5 days later on Sunday after church in that bishops office. We had a reception a month later. It was not my dream wedding and there was family drama from his side. Later after my shotgun wedding my boyfriend wasn’t dis-fellowshipped, but we still had our year of public humiliation to wait out. We then had to go through the bishop and stake president to get cleared to go through the temple to be sealed, I had to re-live my awful sin and tell everyone what I had done. I worked so hard for acceptance. Now looking back I Just want to protect my children with every part of me. They will NEVER go into a bishop’s office. I will educated them on what is okay before the church does. I will be there for them when they have a life problem. This is such a scary thing and my life would have been so very different if this cause would have been around when I was a child.