Marilyn Evans, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, unites her voice with other concerned parents in support of the recent, unanimously adopted Motion M-47 in the House of Commons. Since its adoption (Dec 8, 2016) the Standing Committee on Health has been mandated with examining the impact that easy access to online sexually explicit and violent images or videos can have on children, women and men.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints urges its members to be good citizens and to partner with people and governments to secure the common good (see “Citizenship”). Evans contributes to the well-being of the community by writing frequent updates about M-47, along with other helpful stories to assist families in the fight against pornography, on her ParentsAware.info website.
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“I want to show families that there is hope, that there is something practical each one of us can do,” says Evans. She is hopeful the mandated study will result in the creation of a government-sponsored health campaign to instruct and warn parents and educators about how easy it is for children to access sexually explicit images and videos, particularly those that are sexually violent or degrading.
The aim of ParentsAware.info is to inform parents about what they are up against and to provide them with the words and encouragement to speak openly with their children about sex, intimacy and the negative and often abusive messages associated with pornography. Evans says, “The deluge of sexually explicit material available to children through all variety of connected devices is overwhelming. I want to empower parents to be hopeful, to tell them the braver we are in addressing the subject of pornography, the less influence it will have over [their children].”
Evans is following in the footsteps of her mother, Dolina Smith, who has had a long-standing involvement with Canadians Addressing Sexual Exploitation (C.A.S.E.) and who openly addressed the subject of pornography with her own children.
Linda S. Reeves, former second counsellor in the Relief Society general presidency, said in a recent general conference address, “We as parents and leaders need to counsel with our children and youth on an ongoing basis, listening with love and understanding. They need to know the dangers of pornography and how it overtakes lives” (“Protection from Pornography — a Christ-Focused Home,” April 2014 general conference).
Evans has taken Sister Reeves’s counsel to heart. She speaks regularly with her five children about pornography. “It wasn’t easy at first. Like many parents, I felt under-qualified and very uncomfortable,” she says. “I was glad I could draw upon Church resources to help me break the ice and start meaningful conversations with my children.”
Many of those resources, designed to help families begin talking honestly and openly about pornography, can be found at overcomingpornography.org.
When parents approach this subject with genuine love and concern and with a prayer in their hearts, the Lord will direct them to find the appropriate resources that are best suited to help their families.