One day my brother-in-law, Jason, and I were tearing down and rebuilding a potato planter on my father’s potato farm in Idaho. Jason would perform the welding while I held the metal in place. The light produced from arc welding is extremely bright and when looked at directly with no eye protection can cause permanent eye damage or blindness. Because I wasn’t performing the welding work, I never took the precaution of wearing a welder’s mask. I just made sure my head was turned away while Jason welded the metal together for seconds at a time. For years I’ve assisted with welding and made sure that when I wasn’t wearing a welder’s mask that my head was turned away to protect my eyes.
Later that night I was awakened by a horrible pain in my eyes and felt someone had poured sand into them. I looked at my eyes in the bathroom mirror and couldn’t see anything but very red eyes. It didn’t make sense. Earlier I went to bed without any eye pain and now I was ready to pull my eyes out of their sockets from the excruciating pain. I then replayed my day in my mind trying to figure out what would be causing this pain. It finally dawned on me.
Several times while welding earlier that day, my brother-in-law would stop welding. I assumed he was ready for a new piece of metal and I would look over at his welding work to fit the next piece. But he only stopped momentarily to inspect his work and would immediately start again thus exposing my eyes to a bright white bust of arc welding light. Each time I quickly turned my head and never worried about the exposure because it was less than a second. Less than a second. But damage was taking place during that second. And many seconds combined into minutes of exposure to damaging arc welding light. Though there was absolutely no pain from looking at this bright light, damage to my eyes was taking place and I didn’t even know it or feel it until the damage was done. Thankfully a physician was able to prescribe healing medicine to apply to my burning eyes and restore them to their working wonders. I've since learned that even a "second" of exposure to such light is too much and verify before turning my head to look.
Pornography is like that bright white burst of arc welding light. We tell ourselves that a little exposure isn't hurting us or those around us. We tell ourselves “I don’t look at pornography very often. I can go weeks or even months between mess ups.” But the spiritual and emotional and mental damage is taking place during those “less than a second” exposures. Before we know it, we wake up in the night hurting spiritually and emotionally and mentally, trying to figure out what is causing this pain. We do a personal inventory of ourselves and realize what is provoking it. "How could we have been so foolish?" we ask ourselves. The pain is too much to bear so we see a physician, our Savior. He prescribes the needed medicine of repentance and the feeling of God’s love for us. Through His atonement, He soothes the excruciating pain and restores our vision. We've since learned, that even a "second" of exposure to such filth is too much and we strive to live a virtuous life.