The following article is interesting and asks a fascinating question.
Coincidently, the following is excerpted from a post I wrote independent of the above article on my own blog two weeks ago (September 6), entitled “Becoming More Chaste in Thought and Deed“.
“Become more chaste in thought and deed” is taken from Matthew 5:27-28, which read thus:
Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery. But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
As I contemplate these verses, the first thing that jumps out at me is that Jesus appears to be doing two things in this statement. First, he is reinforcing the general prohibition against adultery included in the ancient Ten Commandments. Second, however, he is laying out the concept that we (as “living souls” – Genesis 2:7, 1 Thess. 5:23) truly are a combination of body and spirit – that something that affects one has a corresponding effect on the other. For those who think of our spirit as something incorporeal and formless, this might be confusing, but for those who envision our spirits as possessing real form and substance (of being “material” in some way) it makes sense to speak of influences on our spirits in the same manner that we understand influences on our physical bodies. It makes sense to speak of addictions to our spirit in the same way we speak of addictions to our physical bodies. Likewise, it makes sense to think of there being a real effect of “visualizing sexual activity”, just as there is a real effect of being involved “physically” with sexual activity.
In fact, I believe these verses go beyond a simple “analogy” or “comparison” between the two. I believe that Jesus is teaching in this passage the core concept that “spiritual activity” is actual “physical activity” – again, since our spirits are comprised of “real, actual” matter that simply is too “fine” to be discerned by our mortal eyes. (See D&C 131:7) I believe that Jesus is doing more than merely saying, “Don’t even look with lust, because that might lead to adultery in the flesh.” Rather, he is saying, “There is adultery of the flesh, and there is adultery of the spirit. BOTH are adultery in a truly “physical” way; both have real, physical effects; don’t commit either.”
What do you think? Is pornography adultery? If so, why? If not, why not – and what is it in relation to “sexual activity”?