Niche: Those who use pornography.
Find out more about Zach HERE!
Find this Interview on YouTube, HERE.
Whenever we discuss pornography use in the Church we often refer to it as an “addiction” but coach Zach Spafford thinks this is an inaccurate description of what is happening and one that needs to change.
Zach feels the narrative around pornography use needs to change so that we can allow for agency and mistakes. When we can come to accept that all of us were sent to earth to use our agency and that mistakes are part of that agency, then we can come to view those who look at pornography in a much better way that can actually allow them to choose to not view it instead of being forced by fear to not view it. Which by the way, never works.
If you or someone you know is viewing pornography and wants to stop, this is a great episode to listen to.
*When it comes to pornography, we often want to position ourselves around a certain narrative in the Church.
*Instead of talking about how to run away from pornography, we need to change the discussion to one of how do you want to act, be, how do you want to live with this reality being in the world.
*Almost universally people who view pornography have an arousal. So when we tell our youth that it is disgusting it is hard for an individual to believe that when they see it.
*When we talk about the consequences of pornography viewing, we need to acknowledge that not all of them are negative. Things like arousal, orgasm, and ejaculation are in their own right are fun. Where are agency comes in is, is asking ourselves if pornography is the way that we want to experience these things.
*In order for agency to be in full effect, we have to be willing to allow for a “yes” just as much as we allow a “no” when it comes to pornography use. We have to allow ourselves and others to make a choice but often in the Church we shut the freedom of choice right down.
*A misstep we often make in the Church is that we don’t allow for people to make choices that are contrary to the teachings of the gospel. We deny them the chance to learn from their mistakes.
*Often what we do when someone is struggling with pornography is we “manufacture” a consequence by not allowing a young man to bless and pass the sacrament, go to the temple, not take the sacrament. When we do this it creates shame.
*When you have a good boss that you love, you want to work harder for that boss. The same is true for us when it comes to how we show up in the gospel and how we feel God views us.
*Most pornography use is actually not an addiction. It is not a valuable idea to believe in it as an addiction because you then become a victim instead of someone who can change and make different choices that help solve for a behavior that you don’t want in your life anymore.
*Addiction recovery rate percentage of success is 5%. The reason is because there is a lot of shame that comes along with that program. What they need is different and better tools.
*When we pray to have an addiction, problem, or difficulty taken away, it normally doesn’t happen because we are praying for the wrong thing. But God wants you to learn and grow and that has to be done by us learning to choose for ourselves and get the tools necessary to change through our choice.
- What is your current narrative/story when it comes to pornography and those who view pornography?
- If you were to allow space for people to choose whether or not they want to view pornography or not, how would that change your own relationship with pornography or with someone who does view it?
- Do you feel that the Church has created a culture of dishonesty when it comes to disclosing pornography use? Why or why not?