Second, the young men can see others’ successes and see themselves having similar triumph. We actively work on building camaraderie within the group setting. As you see each other succeed and fail, you will begin to see each other as Brothers in Arms, fighting against the Adversary. At times, the you won’t be doing it for yourself, but for others in the group.
The program externalizes the problem, where it is seen as a battle with Satan, not yourself. The Adversary is trying to tempt us and keep us from reaching our full potential. This program makes the problem the problem, not the person. These are good young men who have some behavior that is holding them back. Behavior is something they can change. If they believe they are evil or broken, it is much harder to change. One goal of the program is to help them see that they are basically good, not broken or evil.
In order to graduate from the program, a young man is required to go 12 weeks without “Losing a Battle” and 28 consecutive days doing MAN PoWeR (pages 46). A “Lost Battle” is when you do something that is against your code of ethics. MAN PoWeR is a series of smart goals.
Sons of Helaman puts porn and masturbation in a concrete framework with different degrees/lines of battle. The young men begin to define the lines, determine where the lines are, and to have ownership of those lines. This ownership develops their ability to accept responsibility and, therefore, become more able to fight their oppressor, Satan. They define what it means to see porn. For example, if something comes up on their computer or phone and they turn away, they determine if they looked or if they just saw it. This reference comes from King David looking at Bathsheba in 2nd Samuel.
Fighting porn and masturbation requires mental strength. You need discipline to do something you don’t want to do. You also need the ability to overcome something you want to do. In order to build this mental strength, the young men are required to do MAN PoWeR for 28 consecutive days. The reason to do it perfectly for 28 days is it takes 28 days practicing something to develop a habit.
The PoWeR Goals are prescribed. They include:
The other goals the young men develop for themselves. The goals focus on three areas:
After the 12 successful weeks and 28 days, the young men graduates. He is given a special ring and honored for his achievement. He can still attend sessions without paying for the additional support, unless he loses a battle, then the process starts over.
During each session, the young men are asked up to 6 questions, found on page 11 of their MAN PoWeR Journal:
Running to the flagpole is a metaphor for having an emergency plan.
When you lost, what technique did the enemy use to defeat you? Is there a pattern? If you could replay the event, what could you have done to beat him? What drills can you do to make sure you win next time if he tries something similar?
What strategy will Satan try in the next week? What do you need to do to be prepared for such an attack?
One of the keys to the young men’s success is learning about Satanic Spin.
Satanic Spin can be explained in this way. We believe in opposition in all things. We also believe that God gives us inspiration. It follows, then, that Satan deceives us by imitating this inspiration. He imitates divine inspiration by trying to convince us that his words are our own words. Satan does this with thoughts and images and makes us feel like we were the ones that put them into our mind because we are evil and bad. The Adversary also spins his lies through encouraging our minds to shut down. This parable will help explain why he does this:
Parable of the Nerdy Lamanite
Lamanites were fighting the Nephites and losing. A nerdy Lamanite came up with the idea of poisoning the Nephites’ water. The Nephites were unable to fight due to being poisoned. Satan uses similar techniques with us and porn.
He sends flashes of suggestive material to our consciousness. His goal is to release chemicals that shut down our prefrontal cortex. As our prefrontal cortex shuts down, we become less able to fight his temptations. If we do nothing, our brain goes into zombie mode, where we can no longer resist the temptations. We have to learn how to combat these chemical changes by becoming active and using, “Warrior Chemicals.”
Benefits of the Program
Call to Action
Please contact David Durtschi at Life Counseling and Wellness Center to schedule an appointment and ask questions. You can contact David through his website: www.lifecwc.com or by calling (303) 80-50495. We look forward to working with you.
Sons of Helaman is a program designed to help LDS young men deal with pornography and masturbation (P&M). It is set up as an open group, which means there are people at different levels of experience in attendance and new people are added as they join the program.
This does a few things. One of the biggest struggles with overcoming P&M is the shame; you feel like you’re unworthy of help and that you’re all alone. When you see others who are struggling with the same thing, you realize there are others. Nothing makes shame grow faster than keeping it a secret. The darkness feeds the helplessness; seeing others struggle sheds light on the subject and the light dispels the shame.
Sons of Helaman
12760 Stroh Ranch Way Suite 201
Parker, Colorado 80134