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The Mormon Point of View       « 1·2·3
  sexual healing · masturbation · mormon point of view

From Steps in Overcoming Masturbation by Mark E. Petersen, Council of the 12 Apostles

The attitude a person has toward his problem has an effect on how easily it is overcome. It is essential that a firm commitment be made to control the habit. As aperson understands his reasons for the behavior, and is sensitive to the conditions or situations that may trigger a desire for the act, he develops the power to controlit.

We are taught that our bodies are temples of God, and are to be clean so that the Holy Ghost may dwell within us. Masturbation is a sinful habit that robs one ofthe Spirit and creates guilt and emotional stress. It is not physically harmful unless practiced in the extreme. It is a habit that is totally self-centered, and secretive, andin no way expresses the proper use of the procreative power given to man to fulfill eternal purposes. It therefore separates a person from God, and defeats thegospel plan.

This self-gratifying activity will cause one to lose his self-respect and feel guilty and depressed, which can in the extreme lead to further sinning. As a person feelsspiritually unclean, he loses interest in prayer, his testimony becomes weak, and missionary work and other Church callings become burdensome, offering no joy andlimited success.

To help in planning an effective program to overcome the problem, a brief explanation is given of how the reproductive organs in a young man function.

The testes in your body are continuously producing hundreds of millions of reproductive cells called spermatozoa. These are moved up a tube called the vasdeferens to a place called the ampulla where they are mixed with fluids from two membranous pouches called seminal vesicles and the prostate gland. The resultantfluid is called semen. When the seminal vesicles are full a signal is sent to the central nervous system indicating they are ready to be emptied. The rate at which thisfilling takes place varies greatly from one person to another, depending on such things as diet, exercise, state of health, etc. For some it may be several times a week,for others twice a month, and for others hardly ever.

It is normal for the vesicles to be emptied occasionally at night during sleep. This is called a "wet dream". The impulses that cause the emptying come from thecentral nervous system. Often an erotic dream is experienced at the same time, and is part of the normal process. If a young man has constantly masturbated insteadof letting nature take its course, the reproductive system is operating at a more rapid pace, trying to keep up with the loss of semen. When he stops the habit, thebody will continue to produce at this increased rate for an indefinite period of time, creating sexual tensions and pressure. These are not harmful and are to beendured until the normal central nervous system's pathway of release is once again established.

During this period of control several things can be done to make the process easier and more effective. As one meets with his priesthood leader, a program forovercoming masturbation can be implemented using some of the suggestions which follow. Remember it is essential that a regular report program be agreed on, soprogress can be recognized and failures understood and eliminated.

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