I started masturbating when I was 12. I didn’t know what it was until I found the definition in a health book. It explained that masturbation was a natural thing that most people did, it was normal and even healthy. That definition SAVED ME.
Later on I learned that it was a sin that needed to be discussed with the bishop in order to be forgiven. I was TERRIFIED at the thought of having to tell my 50 year old next door neighbor that I had been masturbating. I absolutely hated myself for what I had done. I contemplated killing myself so that I wouldn’t have to go through the embarrassment of confessing.
In my next bishops interview he asked me if I masturbated and I lied and said no. I felt so worthless, and it haunted me every time I had to go to the temple, I never felt worthy. The one thing that saved me was the definition in the health book, knowing that it was possibly a normal/natural thing kept me from ending my life. I’m so grateful that I found that definition when I did because it kept me from telling my bishop something that should have NEVER been asked about.