Jun 3, 2008

Pictures of Pornography: quotes from a talk by Van. C. Gessel

Van C. Gessel was president of a BYU stake. He was also a Dean at BYU for several years. His talks have been set aside by some bishops of singles wards to use and distribute among members. He uses quotes by many general authorities to bring his message across, and so some of these will be by someone else. This isn't the talk I originally wanted to post, but it has some of the same content, and so it will do until I can find a copy of the real one.

This talk was directed to single, LDS church members attending BYU. Some of the content will seem applicable only to single people, but I think a lot of it can apply to married people as well.

Get ready for some fire and brimstone. :)

"I would propose for your consideration today that there is a kind of love that is "most sweet" and pure and "white and "Most desireable above all" other kinds of love, and that its is a love that will fill you with "exceedingly great joy," greater than any other kind of love you can ever experience. It is a love that comes only from God, and that can be obtained only through living the kind of righteous life that can lead you toward it, and that it can only be shared with a partner to whom you have been sealed for time and all eternity." --Van C. Gessel

"Sex is not the same as romance, and neither one is the same as love. It's wonderful if you can have all three gifts-- sex, romance and love-- wrapped up in one package and wearing.... whtie [clothing] in the temple .... Don't feel guilt or shame for your sexual desires any more than you feel guilt or shame for feeling hungry and thirsty when you fast. God has given us our physical desires and needs.... [But] take all honorable means of concentrating your thoughts elsewhere. You wouldn't usually go sit in a restaurant when you're fasting. So don't torment yourself by indulging in imaginations that you have no lawful or moral means of satisfying. Instead, feast on what is permitted and encouraged: the scriptures, inspiring music, noble thoughts..." --Chieko Okazaki

"Remember that all good things that come to us in mortality are given to us to help us become more like Christ. This means that our sexual desires were given to us by God to help us become more like Christ. ... Learning to properly understand, bridle, and use our sexual desires is perhaps one of the most important ways that we learn how to become like our savior.

"What is this great mortal tutorial all about? Well, for starters, one of our greatest challenges while on the earth is to learn how to conquer self. In their purest manifestation within marriage, the lawful use of our sexual desires can and must be always unselfish; their illicit use, despite the persuasive rhetoric that is inspired by the adversary, is always selfish. We are to learn how to love others more than we love ourselves, to put the needs of others ahead of those of our own. We must learn how to sacrifice for others... All these lessons, and many more, are most directly and powerfully and viscerally and profoundly taught to us as we struggle to control and bridle and ultimately to properly channel our sexual desires."

"The lawful use of these powers of procreation is the greatest force in mortality facilitating union, harmony, oneness, and total wholeness; Satan's counterfiet version invariably produces separation, loneliness, isolation, bitterness, and division."

"If you can learn to bridle your passions now, restraining the surge of passions within you, you will gain a moral strength that will set the pattern for a happy marriage and a confidence that will help you prevail in all of life's challenges. This tutorial, if you learn your lessons properly, will equip you with all the knowledge and strength of character you will need for the rest of your mortal existence. You will learn how to place the calm whisperings of the spirit before the impatient shouts of the body."

"Similarly, self-abuse is an addictive practice that focuses your mind upon carnal things, and drives out teh spiritual; it leads to feelings of guilt that come from the Lord, because He wants us to be in control of our thoughts and actions. When we fail to achieve this measure of control over the body, we fail to teach ourselves an important lesson in the dominant power of the spirit, and the body begins to think that it's the boss and demands more and more solitary satisfaction."

"ANd now, what if you are human, and have made some mistakes regarding the Law of Chastity? Well, for starters, it is absolutely vital that you engrave upon your soul this comforting counsel from President Boyd K.Packer: "There is no habit, no addiction, no rebellion, no transgression, no offense exempted from the promise of complete forgiveness." There is not a single sinful action we have discussed here today, including a complete violation of the Law of Chsitty, that will not yield to sincere repentance and be blotted out through total reliance upon the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It doesn't make the slightest difference to me what you have done up to this point in your life. My concern is the choices you make today, tomorrow, and for the rest of your life."

"Chasitity is the human manifestation of the love that comes only from God, and only from obeying His plan for us can we know all the joys that mortality and imortality can bring us."

--Van C. Gessel, The Love that Comes From God,
Nov. 7, 1999


NoSurfGirl said...

tried to edit the errors, but for some reason it ain't editing... sorry...

Barb @ getupandplay said...

What an incredibly powerful talk! I loved reading it, thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

That was so depressing. As I've mentioned, my husband uses porn and won't talk to me about it. I hate talks about how special sex is. I'm dirty too, because of what my husband does, and there's nothing I can do about it. And no, I won't believe anyone who says I'm not dirty. Sex takes two people, and if it's dirty for one, it can't be holy and special for the other one.

I love my DH, but when I hear talks like this, I'm angry with him. Then there's nowhere for my anger to go except inward and I get very sad. I hate those talks. I wish someone would give a talk for me. But they can't, because Church people can only talk about the ideal.


Anonymous said...

Actually, I guess it would be more honest to say I hate my husband's use of porn. I hate those talks because they remind me of what's wrong with my marriage, and the fact that there's nothing I can do about it but learn to live with it. I live with it much easier when I don't have to listen to people talk about how special and sacred sex is.


NoSurfGirl said...


I am so sorry.

If it makes you feel any better (and I'm sure it won't), this talk makes me think over my own intimate relationship and find areas that need lots of improvement. It's a good thing I'm still young and can improve.

Mindy, please don't feel like if your life/intimacy/relationship isn't perfect that it doesn't have some good, too. Just like anything else, there is good and bad... things to improve upon.

I'm so sorry about your husband's porn use.

If he read a talk like this, what do you think his reaction would be?

NoSurfGirl said...

and... you told me not to say it. But what am I supposed to do? The assumption that you are dirty because your husband uses porn and also is intimate with you is just as far-fetched as saying that you are promiscuous because you have a teenage daughter that sleeps around and then comes home and gives you a kiss on the cheek.

You are not dirty. Your relationship with your husband is not dirty just because he looks at pornography. He's the one who has some stuff to work on... and I'm sure it's affecting your relationship... but you are NOT dirty. Hug from me.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, nosurfgirl. I've sat next to my husband through sacrament meeting talks about porn. He pulls out his PDA and reads a novel. He'd ignore a talk like this.

And you're right, there are good things about our relationship. It's just hard to be reminded about how much better it ought to be.