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LDS singers, Adventist preacher battle porn

Published February 23, 2011 3:35 pm

Recovery • Mormon musicians, Christian preacher join in message.
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Mormon musicians and a Seventh-day Adventist preacher teamed up Saturday night to share a message of hope with 75 people whose lives have been wrenched by pornography and other addictions.

"It's really powerful to see you're not the only person who is messed up," said Bernie Anderson, pastor of Wasatch Hills Adventist Church, a former pornography addict.

Anderson hosted the event — a hybrid between a concert and a 12-step meeting — at his church, where five Mormon musicians sang soulfully about turning to God for help.

"We're all Mormon girls here, and we don't get to sing like this in our churches," said Rachelle Call, who wrote most of the songs and who organized the event, dubbed "A Night of Recovery," with Anderson.

Call and her guest singers — Jen Handy, Jessie Clark Funk and Nicole Riding — belted out nearly a dozen of her songs, including a jazz rendition or two. Aaron Edson accompanied on guitar and piano, and told how God is helping him to overcome a pornography addiction.

Call, a social worker whose husband was once addicted to porn, was on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints team that developed materials for the church addiction recovery program.

She spoke about how she once lived a lie, desperately wanting people to think she was rich. And her preoccupation with appearances hasn't ended, she said, showing a hand stained orange from the tanning lotion she used before the event.

"I thought all my problems were my husband, when he was a reflection for the yuck in me," said Call before singing her song "Mirror," which is on her album titled "Recovery, The Music."

Anderson told of living "for years and years and years" with the deep, dark secret of his addiction to porn.

He only began to heal in 2003 when he told a pastor friend in Texas, where he lived at the time. "Confession was a powerful awakening for me," said Anderson, who proposes three "C's" for recovery: confession, community and consecration.

Community — whether fellow members of a 12-step program or family — is important, he said, because porn addictions "separate you from other people," each exposure to porn is like another brick in the wall.

Consecration, he said, means to associate with the sacred, to allow God to fix one's brokenness.

"Are we going to live this life in the dark, pretending, inauthentic? Or are we going to get the most out of that gift God has given us?" he asked.

Anderson wrote a book about his experience, Breaking the Silence: A Pastor Goes Public about His Battle with Pornography.







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