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Thread: Read This Now

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    ziggyjuarez's Avatar Poster
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Portland, Oregon
    A friend a mine who had been a Mormon missionary came across this
    "guide," circa 1970, on tattered photocopy.  In fact, the pages
    were stuck together.

    Anyway, we were so amused by it (esp. "Suggestion 19"), I thought
    it deserved a wider audience.

    ---------cut here---------


                              Mark E. Petersen
                          Council of the 12 Apostles

            Be assured that you can be cured of your difficulty.  Many have been,
    both male and female, and you can be also if you determine that it must be so.

            This determination is the first step.  That is where we begin.  You
    must decide that you will end this practice, and when you make that decision,
    the problem will be greatly reduced at once.

            But it must be more than a hope or a whish, more than knowing that it
    is good for you.  It must be actually a DECISION.  If you truly make up your
    mind that you will be cured, then you will have the strength to resist any
    tendencies which you may have and any temptations which may come to you.

            After you have made this decision, then observe the following specific

                          A Guide to Self-Control:

        1.  Never touch the intimate parts of your body except during
            normal toilet processes.

        2.  Avoid being alone as much as possible.  Find good company
            and stay in this good company.

        3.  If you are associated with other persons having this same
            problem, YOU MUST BREAK OFF THEIR FRIENDSHIP.  Never
            associate with other people having the same weakness.  Don't
            suppose that two of you will quit together, you never will.
            You must get away from people of that kind.  Just to be in
            their presence will keep your problem foremost in your mind.
            The problem must be taken OUT OF YOUR MIND for that is where
            it really exists.  Your mind must be on other and more
            wholesome things.

        4.  When you bathe, do not admire yourself in a mirror.  Never
            stay in the bath more than five or six minutes -- just long
            enough to bathe and dry and dress AND THEN GET OUT OF THE
            BATHROOM into a room where you will have some member of your
            family present.

        5.  When in bed, if that is where you have your problem for the
            most part, dress yourself for the night so securely that you
            cannot easily touch your vital parts, and so that it would
            be difficult and time consuming for you to remove those
            clothes.  By the time you started to remove protective
            clothing you would have sufficiently controlled your
            thinking that the temptation would leave you.

        6.  If the temptation seems overpowering while you are in bed,
            SNACK, even if it is in the middle of the night, and even if
            you are not hungry, and despite your fears of gaining
            weight.  The purpose behind this suggestion is that you GET
            YOUR MIND ON SOMETHING ELSE.  You are the subject of your
            thoughts, so to speak.

        7.  Never read pornographic material.  Never read about your
            problem.  Keep it out of mind.  Remember -- "First a
            thought, then an act."
                    The thought pattern must be changed.  You must not
            allow this problem to remain in your mid.  When you
            accomplish that, you soon will be free of the act.

        8.  Put wholesome thoughts into your mind at all times.  Read
            good books -- Church books -- Scriptures -- Sermons of the
            Brethern [sic, Cistern too?].  Make a daily habit of reading
            at least one chapter of Scripture, preferably from one of the
            four Gospels in the New Testament, or the Book of Mormon.  The
            four Gospels -- Matthew, Mark, Luke and John -- above
            anything else in the Bible can be helpful because of their
            uplifting qualities.

        9.  Pray.  But when you pray, don't pray about this problem, for
            that will tend to keep [it] in your mind more than ever.  Pray
            for faith, pray for understanding of the Scriptures, pray
            for the Missionaries, the General Authorities, your friends,
            your families, BUT KEEP THE PROBLEM OUT OF YOUR MIND BY NOT
            IN YOUR PRAYERS.  KEEP IT _OUT_ of your mind!

            The attitude of a person toward his problem has an affect [sic] on how
    easy it is to overcome.  It is essential that a firm commitment be made to
    control the habit.  As a person 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 control it.

            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 of the 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, and in 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 the gospel plan.

            This self-gratifying activity will cause one to lose his self-respect
    testimony becomes weak, and missionary work and other Church callings become
    burdensome, offerins.

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

            The testes in your body are continually producing hundreds of millions
    of reproductive cells call _spermatozoa_.  These are moved up a tube called the
    _vas deferens_ to a place called the _ampulla_ where they are mixed with fluids
    from two membranous pouches called _seminal vesicles_ and the _prostate gland_.
    The resultant fluid is calleeminal vesicles are full a signa to the _central
    nervous system_ indicating they are ready to benother, depending on such
    thingsexercise, state of health, etc. everal times a week, for others
            It is normal for the vesicles to be emptied occasionally at night
    durise the emptying come from the cetral nervous system. Often an erotic dream
    is experienced at the same time, and is a part of this normal process. nstead
    ourse, the reproductive system is operating at a more rapid pace, trying to
    keep up with the loss of semen.  When he stops the habit, the body will
    continue to produce ahis increased rate, for an indefese are not harmful and
    are to be endured until the normal central nervous system pathway of rel
            During this period of control several things can be done to make the pr
          As one meets with his Priesthood Leader, a program for overcoming
    masturbation can be implemented using some of t Remember it is essential that a
    regur report program be agreed on, so progress can be recognized and failures
    understood and eliminated.


        1.  Pray daily, ask for the gifts of the Spirit, that which will
            strengthen you against temptation.  Pray fervently and out
            lout when the temptations are the strongest.

        2.  Follow a program of vigorous daily exercise.  The exercises
            reduce emotional tension and depression and are absolutely
            basic to the solution of this problem.  Double your physical
            activity when you feel stress increasing.

        3.  When the temptation to masturbate is strong, yell _STOP_ to
            those thoughts as loudly as you can in your mind and then
            recite a prechosen Scripture or sing an inspirational hymn.
            It is important to turn your thoughts away from the selfish
            need to indulge.

        4.  Set goals of abstinence, begin with a day, then a week,
            month, year and finally commit to never doing it again.
            Until you commit yourself to _never again_ you will always be
            open to temptation.

        5.  Change in behavior and attitude is most easily achieved
            through a changed self-image.  Spend time every day
            imagining yourself strong and in control, easily overcoming
            tempting situations.

        6.  Begin to work daily on a self-improvement program.  Relate
            this plan to improving your Church service, to improving your
            relationships with your family, God and others.  Strive to
            enhance your strengths and talents.

        7.  Be outgoing and friendly.  Force yourself to be with others
            and learn to enjoy working and talking to them.  Use
            principles of developing friendships found in books such as
            _How to Win Friends and Influence People_ by Dale Carnegie.

        8.  Be aware of situations that depress you or that cause you to
            feel lonely, bored, frustrated or discouraged.  These
            emotional states can trigger the desire to masturbate as a
            way of escape.  Plan in advance to counter these low periods
            through various activities, such as reading a book, visiting
            a friend, doing something athletic, etc.

        9.  Make a pocket calendar for a month on a small card.  Carry
            it with you, but show it to no one.  If you have a lapse of
            self control, color the day black.  Your goal will be to
            have _no black days_.  The calendar becomes a strong visual
            reminder of self control and should be looked at when you
            are tempted to add another black day.  Keep your calendar up
            until you have at least three clear months.

      10.  A careful study will indicate you have had the problem at
            certain times and under certain conditions.  Try and recall,
            in detail, what your particular times and conditions were.
            Now that you understand how it happens, plan to break the
            pattern through counter activities.

      11.  In the field of psychotherapy there is a very effective
            technique called _aversion therapy_.  When we associate
            or think of something very distasteful with something which has
            been pleasurable, but undesirable, the distasteful thought
            and feeling will begin to cancel out that which was
            pleasurable.  If you associate something very distasteful
            with your loss of self-control it will help you to stop the
            act.  For example, if you are tempted to masturbate, think
            of having to bathe in a tub of worms, and eat several of
            them as you do the act.

      12.  During your toileting and shower activities leave the
            bathroom door or shower curtain partly open, to discourage
            being alone in total privacy.  Take cool brief showers.

      13.  Arise immediately in the mornings.  Do not lie in bed awake,
            no matter what time of day it is.  Get up and do something.
            Start each day with an enthusiastic activity.

      14.  Keep your bladder empty.  Refrain from drinking large
            amounts of fluids before retiring.

      15.  Reduce the amount of spices and condiments in your food.
            Eat as lightly as possible at night.

      16.  Wear pajamas that are difficult to open, yet loose and
            not binding.

      17.  Avoid people, situations, pictures or reading materials that
            might create sexual excitement.

      18.  It is sometimes helpful to have a physical object to use
            in overcoming this problem.  A Book of Mormon, firmly held in
            hand, even in bed at night has proven helpful in extreme

      19.  In very severe cases it may be necessary to tie a hand to
            the bed frame with a tie in order that the habit of
            masturbating in a semi-sleep condition can be broken.  This
            can also be accomplished by wearing several layers of
            clothing which would be difficult to remove while half

      20.  Set up a reward system for your successes.  It does not have
            to be a big reward.  A quarter in a receptacle each time you
            overcome or reach a goal.  Spend it on something which
            delights you and will be a continuing reminder of your

      21.  Do not let yourself return to any past habit or attitude
            patterns which were part of your problem.  _Satan Never Gives
            Up_.  Be calmly and confidently on guard.  Keep a positive
            mental attitude.  You can win this fight!  The joy and
            strength you will feel when you do will give your whole life
            a radiant and spiritual glow of satisfaction and fulfillment.



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