I am going to broach a sensitive topic here.
I read a thread on LDS.net that has really troubled me. I am going to paste the young woman's original post here. This young lady's plea breaks my heart. Her suffering is obvious and needless. I am so disturbed by this girl suffering it has me on the edge of tears. The tragedy here is her religion will likely destroy her when in reality she has done nothing that is abnormal and to call it sinful shows the depraved nature of piety.
I have a rather sensitive topic that I would like advice on. I have been looking on this site, and other people have posted similar topics. If this is not appropriate then I will remove.
I am a girl, and I have a problem with Masturbation. I have been working with my Bishop, for almost 7 months and have not made a lot of progress. He is starting to get frustrated with me.
I've had an issue for around 4 years. I have read a lot of materials that are pornographic in nature(have not looked at visual much) and that is the reason, as well as a coping method.
This is the only sin in this manner that I have committed, I have not done anything with anyone. I am not very good at self-control and that is part of it as well.
I'm home schooled and do not have siblings living at home. I live in a fairly isolated area, and besides Seminary, I don't really have a lot of interaction with people besides my parents.
My parents have major issues in their marriage, there is not a lot of respect on either party's part, and they fight a lot of the time, really ripping into each other. It's not a very healthy environment for me and I get pushed and need to escape.
My bishop is fairly new, only being in the office for 9 months or so. He is also my families home teacher. I reported to him on a daily basis for 5 months, and have now gone to a weekly basis, with an extra report if I mess up. I meet with him around every 2-3 weeks for 15 minutes generally.
Before I started working with him, I had a problem about every day, every other day. The longest I went in the 3 1/2 years was a week without doing it. I read a lot of bad books during that time period.
Now, I can go 1-3 weeks. The longest I was able to go was 4 1/2 weeks, at which point I had an issue. I was making some progress until about the end of August, and then I started messing up more, but not back to where I was. I started listening to music that was a bit suggestive as well as reading things that were as well. I started backsliding big time.
I've now cut out the suggestive material 99%. I've been pretty clean on it for 2 weeks, but there were issues during that time anyway. When I am sick, or having my period, I would use this to distract, or in the case of cramps, it did actually help. I have times of the month when I'm a lot more likely to do it, so it depends.
When I started working with him, I made a lot more of an effort and then, well, I'm not. I'm not sure quite how to get back to the point of actually wanting to stop. My problem is that I also need some other type of outlet I can do to distract myself as a replacement.
I suffer from depression, worse some times and not quite as bad others. I've been suicidal and I still consider it sometimes.
At this point I am not taking the sacrament. My dad is like "Ok, it's time, you need to be done" but what I don't think he realizes is that for me it is an addiction and it's very hard to stop or want to stop. My goal is to go to college next year, so I am limited time wise.
With my bishop as far as he is concerned. He is a really decent man, and I have a lot of respect for him. Overall he has been very patient and understanding but it's been 7 months and no difference, or not much. He wants me to see a counselor and has brought it up in email 4 times as well as 1 time in a meeting.
I've told him no and he finally stopped talking about it after I asked him to. Is it needed for me to meet with him more often? This sunday will be the 3rd week and as far as I know I'm not meeting with him. He was out of town, so that's part of it.
How much should I expect from him, and what can I do so I can make progress? I have been reading a lot of church books, fasting once a week, and also sitting in the Temple Foyer for several hours while my Dad does work. I am making an effort but it's just not good enough it seems.
The problem here is she needs professional help. She needs it from an unbiased counselor who will treat her as an individual not a member of the faith. To be fair help has been suggested by her bishop; but, she needs counseling for depression not masturbation. The girl is in an impossible situation. She has no voice of reason in her circle of influence. Her parents' marriage is not healthy. The child his home schooled and segregated from her peers. She is caught in vicious and needless cycle guilt, repentance, denial and self loathing. This cycle could be broken by on adult in her sphere telling her, 'What you are doing is normal and is nobody's business but yours.'
I know your faith is important to you; but, there is a problem when the faith is deemed more important than the child. My plea is: if you are doing this to your child... please stop. There is plenty of evidence indicating masturbation is a normal part of development. It is healthy and serves a purpose. This uninspired policy stance will destroy this young lady. It has already destroyed many children before her. To ask children to deny their humanity in this manner is equal to making using the toilet a sin. It is a normal body function that hurts no one
In this case religious leaders who interject them selves into the personal intimate lives of the youth are wrong. There are countless examples of the leaders of faith being wrong. Change in your church comes from you. That is why the LDS Church changed the policy on blacks holding the priesthood. It was politically motivated and was causing a rift in the membership. Demand they revise their stance on this matter. Demand they stay our of the sexual development of your children. Ignore advice that comes from leaders who have a degree in law or business and not child development. Most importantly let your children know that you love them and there is nothing wrong with developing normal sexual awareness. Nurture your child not the misguided policies on sexuality. Put your child before your faith.