Combating lust will help us develop true love and grow closer to the Spirit.
Lust isn’t something we generally like to think or talk about. It’s dark and alluring at the same time. However, talking about lust can lead to understanding it, which can lead to a greater ability to combat its temptation.
Commonly known as one of the seven deadly sins, lust is certainly dangerous. But why is it so deadly? Elder Holland gives his opinion: “I think [lust] is a sin because it defiles the highest and holiest relationship God gives us in mortality—the love that a man and a woman have for each other and the desire that couple has to bring children into a family intended to be forever.”
Ultimately, true love is the opposite of lust. Love is openhearted and enduring, but lust is self-centered and unstable. Love leads us to reach out to God and to others; lust celebrates self-indulgence.
So how can we guard against lust? Here are Elder Holland’s five tips:
- Separate yourself from “people, materials, and circumstances that will harm you.”
- Seek help from your Father in Heaven, priesthood leaders, and Church resources.
- Exercise self-control even in small moments like deciding what movie to watch or who to develop a relationship with.
- Watch your thoughts and replace lewd thoughts with uplifting ones.
- Be where the Spirit is and seek to cultivate the Spirit in your home.
As we guard against the temptation to lust and as we strive to develop true love, we will draw closer to God and experience more joy in purity.
Read or watch Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s full talk “Place No More for the Enemy of My Soul.”
—Lynne Crandall, Mormon Insights
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Find more insights
Discover more about the difference between lust and love in “Love versus Lust” by Joshua J. Perkey.
Watch this moving Mormon Message and see what true love looks like.
Read the definition of love in LDS Gospel Topics.