How Soon Can I Go to the Temple After Viewing Pornography?

[mks_dropcap style=”letter” size=”52″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#000000″]S[/mks_dropcap]o this is it! The ward temple trip that has been your motivation for the last four, relapse-free weeks is coming up. You’re doing great, you’re making progress, then the day before the trip, the relapse happens. Let’s not talk about the guilt and depression that results from these kinds of relapses because, let’s face it, we’re well acquainted with them. The thought now is “Do we go to the temple?”.

The short, right answer is ask your bishop. I am not an ecclesiastical leader with keys to receive personal revelation for you, and I can’t tell you what the “right’ thing to do here is, but the road to a pornography free life is a very worn path in my life. I can, however, tell you what different bishops did for me and the counsel they gave me which resonated most.

[mks_pullquote align=”right” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#000000″ txt_color=”#ffffff”]Always have the temple in your sights. Do nothing which will keep you from entering its doors and partaking of the sacred and eternal blessings there – Thomas S. Monson[/mks_pullquote]

PLEASE do not use what I am about to say as justification to not see your bishop. The easiest and fastest road to recovery is seeking help and divine inspiration from divinely appointed leaders and professional counselors.

The variety of counsel was pretty vast between the five different bishops I had on my road to recovery. Most bishops I spoke to asked me to refrain from taking the sacrament for a period of time and to stay outside of the temple until I had reached an extended period of sobriety. This follows well the Lord’s counsel:

“Ye shall not suffer any one knowingly to partake of my flesh and blood unworthily, when ye shall minister it; for whoso eateth and drinketh my flesh and blood unworthily eateth and drinketh damnation to his soul” (3 Nephi 18:28–29).

“Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart” (Psalm 24:3–4).

However, let me express what my last bishop did before I finally started making progress on my road to recovery.

My stake’s bishops and its president got together and discussed that the temple is the best place for recovering addicts to be, yet is the one place that we can’t seem to get to. This particular’s bishop’s counsel to me was to attend the temple as often as I felt worthy to. What did this do for me? It gave me hope. A huge, tangible, uplifting degree of hope.

On any given day, if time permitted and I was free from relapse and felt worthy, I would attend the temple. This became a more regular occurrence than ever before. Why? Because I really didn’t know what I had until it was gone. When I was in the temple, I was infused with the spirit and given additional strength that wasn’t present before. I was reminded of who I was, what I was capable of, and who I was capable of becoming. Satan drags addicts down and resets your personal expectations of yourself; that you can’t reach your full potential. The temple reverses this and is imperative to recovery.

My fellow addicts, I beg of you, get to the temple. Bishops, I beg of you, please do everything you can to get the men and women you’re working with to the temple. The temple is not for perfect saints, but for helping saints on the path to perfection. I was starved of hope for years and the temple was where I found it again.

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