Steps to overcoming masturbation.

I Find Karma (
Sun, 11 Feb 96 20:10:30 PST

OPINION: Why do we WANT to overcome masturbation?
:p Adam

The following "informational packet" was distributed to students
at Christ the King grade and middle school in Lombard, Illinois last


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 wish, 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 guidelines:

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
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

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
YOURSELF A 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

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 mind. 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]. 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
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 offerings.


1. Pray daily, ask for the gifts of the Spirit, that which
will strengthen you against temptation. Pray fervently
and not loud 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

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

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

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 cases.

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 asleep.

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 progress.

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!