Disclaimer - as I have recently been misquoted on another site I am declaring here that this article nowhere claims that masturbation causes cancer. I am surprised at the amount of responses that the opposing post received, considering that not one of his followers upon reading my article noticed that flaw in the claim of the writer. _ end of Disclaimer
This is a much debated, but highly important subject. General Authorites of the church are now speaking out more than ever before against masturbation. This is good, but many remain uncertain themselves or what to say to those involved.
I only mention this subject as it is a point to keep in mind and to get it out of the way first, as it is the least important.
I remember seeing a picture of a guy with thick dark rings around his eyes from masturbation, and reading of people having to be locked up in mental institutions due to their constant need to masturbate. Of course people will say, "well that's not me." Yet on the other side it could be argued that those in the mental institutions would have originally said the same. It is true, however, that the vaste majority don't end up in institutions.
Additionally I should mention that there are those who's genitals get damaged by this at times.
Bad health can begin to occur within the body by having to restore liquids, used in the process, so often. This is also a problem for young people in the stages of growth. Long term health problems would obviously eventually derive from this taxing of resources during the growth period. It would equally cause problems for those getting older where their body is working to keep healthy in spite of deteriation. In fact there is no age at which this isn't an issue to some degree or other.
But these health issues are minor matters compared to the overall problems.
Pornography places emphasis on people as objects. One reason is because you don't communicate with the person in the photo/movie. I once asked a rapist how it was that he could treat a person that way. He said it was because at that point he saw her as an object, not as a person. Pornography and masturbation create this thinking. People masturbating will probably be unaware of the more subtle changes that this has made in relationships with others. However those changes are there. We are a product of all our actions and thinking. we can't just do or think things negative about mankind and not have some negative effect. Strong feelings are produced during masturbation and the feelings prior. Many pornographic views don't show the person's face at all. For these reasons a person masturbating is less likely to appeal to the gender they wish to create a relationship with, as there will be a deeper sense of seeing that person as an object. This will diminish the human feelings the person would otherwise demonstrate naturally. Therefore less appeal to the other person: The person won't sense good respect.
People buying pornography generally will be secretive about it. They may hide it from family and friends. There is a sneaking around when buying it, making sure that no one they know sees them. Then they hide their actions in using it. This deception shows also. Our character is effected by our actions and feelings, whether we like it or not. This deceptive part of our nature comes out in our relationships with others also. If we are honest in everything else people may find us honest overall. But it still will have a negative effect. As this shows in relationships with family and friends, and these are places where all negative effects should be disposed of, masturbation can destroy important relationships we already have.
Another problem relative to secrecy is that it can grow. Adultery is a possible outcome. Masturbation encourages having sexual feelings for anyone displaying sexual parts. People with religious feelings don't usually plan to become an adulterer. It comes as a part of having secret feelings.
Under age sex offences are another possible outcome of such secrecy. In spite of the false propaganda, most child sex offenders (at least those dealing with someone 8-years-old and above) are not habitual offenders. I also remember noting on a 60 Minutes program that there is only about a 6 % recidivism (re-offender) rate for child sex offenders. So child sex offences aren't generally performed by some strange breed of person. They can happen by secrecy and being drawn to sexual parts (a product of masturbation). There is often this feeling of a secret romantic relationship between the offender and the child.
Everyone does it?
I have often heard the joke that there are only 2 types of people, those who admit they masturbate and those who are lying. I can assure all readers that this is false. I don't, and I know many who don't. I have no problems with this. My wife died young and I haven't had any sexual action for many years. I don't miss it at all. Not because I couldn't, but I understand the spiritual aspect of this, which I will come to.
Matthew 5:28 "But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart."
Galatians 5:16 "This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh."
Galatians 5:24 "And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts."
James 1:15 "Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death."
Doctrine & Covenants 88:121 "Therefore, cease from all your light speeches, from all laughter, from all your lustful desires, from all your pride and light-mindedness, and from all your wicked doings."
By "our spirit" I'm referring to that which is otherwise referred to as our "heart". This is by far the most significant factor. This area creates the question, "lust - good or bad?"
When a person gets on to a roller-coaster they take a ride which causes fear in their spirit. Their spirit comes to life more by this fear. People confuse this and call it "exhilarating" or "exciting". They want to go and do it again for this feeling. However if they actually inteviewed their spirit it would plead with them not to do it again.
Our heads are bad when it comes to interpreting our hearts. We feel strong sensations and interpret them. But is our interpretation correct? I remember the song, "there's a fine line between pleasure and pain". The truth is that there is no line between sexual pleasure and pain. People will sometimes use pain to increase sexual "pleasure". Some will go to great lengths with this. As ridiculous as it may sound to you, that feeling a person lusting interprets as "pleasure" is your spirit in pain. Increasing physical pain increases the spirits' pain sensation. To really come to see the truth of what I am claiming a person would need to start listening to their heart properly. This requires a process. Firstly a person would have to cease all sexual fantasies. Your mind is yours - don't forget that. Every time you begin to have a sexual fantasy you can either change it to a romantic fantasy where the heart feels the romance. Or you can make it a spiritual fantasy where you do wonderful, spiritual works for others and share heart feelings with them. Or, for that matter, you can do both these, as you wish. Seek to become one with your heart. Listen to it. Eventually you will begin to have communication, and you will come to understand yourself.
Children can be produced without lust, don't let the devil con you on that one. A beautiful relationship will exist between husband and wife. Getting rid of lust will increase the love in a marriage beyond belief. Try God's way and you will see it works, no matter how crazy it may sound. That is what we call "faith".
If you feel you need further assistance, read the whole of my article in "Masturbation; giving it up" - the link is at the top of the page ("Masturbation Problems").