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As a theologian, physicist and senior creationist, Lambert Dolphin occasionally writes about his understanding of the Bible, and he agrees with the Mormon position on masturbation. The view that God’s approval of sexual expression occurs only within the bounds of marriage concurs with his position as well. He contends that masturbation does not comport with God’s plan for his children. If you are battling an addiction to masturbation, some gentle guidance can help you fight it successfully.

Taking Steps to Break an Addictive Habit

Assuming a determined attitude toward breaking a habit is the first step. The success of many others, male and female, offers assurance that you can do it too. When you decide to end the practice, you are on your way to reducing its addictive grip. However, succeeding at any challenging task requires more than hoping or wishing. Making a decision is essential, because it shows that you have made up your mind to resist temptation. These guidelines can help you break your addictive habit.

• Touching

Restrict the contact with your intimate body parts to toilet processes.

• Choosing Companions

Try to spend time with people who do not have the same weakness as you. Associating with them keeps your mind on your problem, and you need to focus on more wholesome subjects.

• Bathing

Limit your baths to six minutes or less, and avoid looking at yourself in a mirror when you are unclothed. Leave the bathroom as soon as possible and join family members in another area of your home.

• Lying in Bed

The problem may present challenges as you lie in bed preparing to go to sleep, but you can dress so that you cannot easily access your private parts. Empty your bladder before you retire, and avoid drinking liquids at bedtime.

If the temptation to masturbate is too great to resist, go to the kitchen for a snack. Putting your mind on a different subject can help you defeat your addiction. You may find that holding the Book of Mormon can give you the strength to resist giving in, or you may need to tie one hand to the headboard. In the morning, get out of bed promptly.

• Reading

Because acts follow thoughts, it is helpful to avoid reading about your addiction. Replace pornographic material with books that put wholesome thoughts in your mind. Read a chapter from Matthew or Mark, Luke or John to understand the uplifting qualities of the Gospels. Read church books, Holy Scriptures and Sermons of the Brethren. Avoid doing or reading anything that creates sexual excitement.

• Praying

Use daily prayer as a path to diverting your mind away from your addiction. Replace prayers about your problem with those that ask for faith and understanding of the scriptures. Ask for God’s blessings on your family and friends, the Mormon Missionaries and the General Authorities, but do not mention your addiction in prayer or anywhere else. Request strength from the Spirit, and pray in a loud voice when you feel the greatest need to resist temptation.

• Exercising

Daily exercises can reduce stress, depression and emotional tension, and they are essential in coping with your addiction. Exercise twice as much as normal when your stress level increases.

• Setting Goals

Learning to resist temptation requires setting achievable goals of a day at a time. As your resistance increases, try to reach a goal of a week or a month. Eventually, you can reach the ultimate achievement of never allowing yourself to succumb to temptation. When you feel the urge to masturbate, take defensive action such as yelling “Stop it.”

• Improving Attitudes

Imagining yourself as someone who is in control can influence your behavior. Choose to develop friendships that embody Dale Carnegie’s principles in “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”

• Keeping Track of Progress

A record of situations that make you feel powerless, alone, discouraged, bored or frustrated provides a useful reference. Keep a pocket calendar with you, and blacken any day when you lose self-control and resort to masturbation as an escape. When you have three months that are clear, you deserve a reward. Put a quarter in a piggy bank that you can use for a treat later.

• Using Your Mind

Aversion therapy offers a way to associate something unpleasant with behavior that you want to change. When self-control cannot stop you from masturbating, picture yourself sitting in a tub of worms and eating some of them.

Understanding Physiology

As a Mormon, you learn that you must respect your body as God’s temple and that masturbation is a sin. The pleasurable act causes the loss of self-respect that affects spirituality, praying, missionary work and devotion to the Church. However, your testicles continuously produce millions of sperm in your semen. When the vessels that hold them are full, they naturally empty through a wet dream while you sleep. Consistent masturbation disrupts the normal process and forces the reproductive system to work at a more rapid pace until the practice ceases.

Learning from the Scriptures

In “The Scars of Sin,” Ray Stedman notes the importance of knowing that something is wrong while continuing to do it. The Gospel speaks of cleaning the inner wellsprings that purify man in Mark 7:20-23. The author dwells on the importance of keeping the mind free from negative influences. The thoughts that you allow to occupy your consciousness affect your behavior.