I was talking to a friend recently. Her marriage has been shattered by infidelity. She made the comment that, in her opinion, almost all divorces are the result of cell phones. I had to disagree. Saying that cell phones are the cause of divorce is like saying guns kill people. Guns don't kill people. People kill people by using guns. Divorce caused by infidelity happens because people choose to be unfaithful and sometimes they use cell phones to carry that out. Inanimate objects are tools. Nothing more, nothing less. To blame an inanimate object is to shift blame from the person who made the choice. It lessens the accountability and creates an environment where the offender is not adequately held accountable for the harm their choices have caused others.
My friend is struggling to understand how her marriage came to this point. It is sad and she is grieving. Her children are suffering. My heart breaks for them and I wish I could turn back the clock to a time before it all began so that her family could be saved. After she expressed her anger toward cell phones and the part they played in the downfall of her marriage I commented that if everyone would just live the standards as outlined in "The For Strength of Youth" pamphlet, there would be far fewer divorces. (You can view an online .pdf version of this pamphlet HERE. If anyone would like an actual pamphlet, I have several and would be happy to mail you one at no charge if you just email me HERE with your name and address.) If you have ever wondered exactly what the standards are that we teach our children in the Mormon church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints), now is your chance to find out. This pamphlet is specifically written for youth ages 12 to 18, but it applies to people of all ages.
I have patterned my own life after the standards in this pamphlet since I was twelve years old. I have never been compelled to live these standards, but I have been invited and encouraged to do so. I have also encouraged my own children to live by these standards. I have a testimony that the level of happiness in my life directly coincides with the level I live by these standards. It is a guide for me to pattern my life after and I am very grateful for it because I have a good life. I have a strong and happy marriage. I have strong and happy children. I am not burdened down by addiction or regret or remorse. My life has direction and it is good.
So, once again, divorce or infidelity are not caused by the internet or cell phones or magazines. It is caused by people who choose to use these tools in damaging ways. If you have a problem with any object that comes between you and your spouse, I would encourage you to get rid of it. Throw it away. Stop using it. Make your spouse more important than your addiction. Seek professional help if you need to. Don't ever let a cell phone, computer, television, magazine, or anything else be the tool you use to ruin your life. It isn't worth it. There is nothing more important than a happy family. Nothing.