I can’t begin to tell you how good it felt to say that on my original Facebook post when first sharing that I was a recovering addict. (By the way, I’ve been free of this addiction for 28 years) It was like years of pent up emotions came flying loose. Years of biting my tongue, years of seeing the hurt, I don’t know how else to explain it other than, it’s about time we have a discussion about this. Men are often ridiculed and shamed for having sexual type addictions. Woman are too. I have felt it from both men and women. It’s easier for me to get very emotional about this subject, so I have to take some deep breaths before I even attempt to talk about this. I want the spirit here as I address this. I’m still very much in the middle of processing my feelings on this subject. As a result, it’s probably going to come off a little stronger than what I would like, but it needs to be addressed now. I know the numbers are climbing and there are many of you.
Women who struggle with sexual addiction, you are beautiful, gorgeous and the atonement of Jesus Christ most definitely covers you too. Because you have committed a sexual transgression, doesn’t make you a sexual transgression. Because you make a mistake, doesn’t make you a mistake. Though your sins be as scarlet, they may become white as snow.
I know all the young women, Seminary, Relief Society and Sunday school lessons you have sat through, you have leaders that have loved you like no other, we must always teach never to go there, to resist sin, how serious sin is and how difficult the road to recovery is. I know it’s been hard to hear and it isn’t always sensitively handled. Please, please, please know you can be made whole through our Saviors atoning sacrifice. Even if you have gone as far as having a sexual relationship before marriage with another person, or perhaps it was taken from you without your permission, this doesn’t mean you’re used trash, it doesn’t mean no one else will have you now. Please, please, please, know you are of infinite worth, your chances of a good marriage have not been ruined. Oh my goodness, I just wish I could gather all of you up, hug, kiss you and release you from the onslaught of lies that the adversary is pouring into your heads! We need you among our army of women to fight for what’s right. I don’t care what you’ve done or how bad you think it is, YOU ARE SO LOVED! YOU ARE OF INFINITE WORTH! WE NEED YOUR TESTIMONIES! YOU WILL TOUCH LIVES! FUTURE GENERATIONS ARE COUNTING ON YOU!
Satan is working so hard on you. He does it through voices he places in your mind and through thoughts he places in the minds of those around you. I know I’ve heard those voices too. (The ones that say, you’re not good enough, it’s too late, no one will have you now, might as well give up, you’re bad, evil, disgusting, gross, past saving.) Don’t believe those lies. Don’t, just don’t! Lies, Lies and more Lies! That’s all they are!
My beautiful sisters, MY BEAUTIFUL SISTERS, (I want you to embrace those words with all your heart) begin the path to recovery, don’t wait one minute more, you’ve suffered long enough. You too can sing the song of our Savior’s redeeming love. Go through the steps of repentance. It’s painful, it’s supposed to be, but do it anyway. You will feel so much lighter as you feel the Savior remove the stain from your life. It won’t be easy and it won’t happen over night, but it is so worth it in the end. If you need extra help, oh my goodness, there is no shame in getting counseling or joining a support group, just do whatever is necessary to free yourself from the chains that are holding you down. I am right there with you, every step of the way. You can beat this!
Parents, leaders, teachers, men, women, young men and young women, be ever so sensitive to our women of all ages in this situation, the numbers are growing. These women need your love and support. Everything I said in Sunday’s post applies here too. (Women, be a voice of hope.)They need a voice of confidence like no other. We, as women feel the pressure that some how, because we are women, it is worse. It’s another lie and tactic from that hellish demon Lucifer himself. Man, woman, boy, girl it doesn’t matter, sin is sin. Please never shame a woman in this way. If you hear that women have sexual addicitions, and I know it can be a shock, please don’t show it. We don’t know their stories, we don’t know how they got there, but we can say, “I love you, I’m going to start praying right now for you. I have your back and I know the Saviors atonement covers that too.”
Gospel Teachers, please never use the sins, failings or transgressions of another Latter Day Saint peer to teach a principle of the gospel in a class. If one of our other precious brothers or sisters are struggling with this, it could actually make it more difficult for them to come forward and go through the repentance process because they don’t want to be used as the next example or spectacle for discussion. If I have done anything close to this, please forgive me. I have been taught to do better and how to do better. We must be so careful not to add to these individuals suffering, they are already going through so much.
My biggest hang up growing up, that was preventing me from getting help sooner than I did, was fear of what others would think of me if they found out. I felt so alone. I think that’s why it’s so important that I voice this now. I don’t want to see any more of our daughters (or sons for that matter) have to suffer with this any longer out of fear of worrying that they are alone in this and I want them to recognize where these thoughts are coming from. Hopefully, I have debunked the myth, and you can tell Satan and his lies where to go. (My Vaughn Judd blood is showing a little bit of color right now, love and miss you Grandpa. Thanks for showing me how to fight. Grandma Oranell, thanks for showing me how to temper it. I miss you both.)
I would like to share with you an experience a woman by the name of Elizabeth had that is very similar to my own.
“Elizabeth was only 11 years old when she first came across pornography. That encounter sparked a long struggle with addiction, fear, and hopelessness. It was only when she believed in Jesus Christ’s power and desire to heal her that she felt miraculous hope.
Though she spent years suffering from addiction to pornography, she never told anyone.
“I was angry all the time at my family. They didn’t know why,” she says. “Sometimes I felt like they didn’t really know me, and if they did that they wouldn’t love me.”
She secretly researched information on dealing with her addiction, but found that most of it was geared toward men.
“It just made me feel more alone. ‘Am I the only woman stuggling with this?’” she wondered.
People of all genders, ages, and faiths are currently drowning in the debilitating effects of pornography addiction. Elizabeth’s personal experience is a reminder that no matter how lost in darkness one feels, hope and light are available to anyone who chooses to believe in Jesus Christ.” -Mormon Channel
The following short clip depicts her story in her own words.
Women of all ages who ever have struggled with this or currently struggling, you are not alone, you are deeply loved and this is one of many reasons the Savior came to earth, to save all who will repent. He is our greatest source of hope.