UPDATE: Feb. 5 -- Brigham Young University–Idaho says its viral video addresses pornography addiction, not masturbation. A statement from the school, obtained by the Idaho Statesman, reads:
Brigham Young University-Idaho adheres to the doctrines and practices of its sponsoring institution, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As such, we regard addiction to pornography as a harmful and destructive vice. We also regard each other as brothers and sisters and believe we have a Christian obligation to watch out for the spiritual and physical well-being of those around us. The sole purpose of the video is to illustrate those principles for BYU-Idaho students as well as to encourage them to reach out in a spirit of love and concern if someone they know is struggling with any form of addiction. Any other interpretation of the video is inaccurate and unwarranted.
The position of the LDS church on the subject of masturbation, however, does hold that the "prophets have condemned [masturbation] as a sin throughout the ages," according to a handbook for parents.
A war is being waged on the age-old act of masturbation.
A PSA by Brigham Young University–Idaho's Housing and Student Living Office compares masturbation to the battlefield and those who pleasure themselves to wounded soldiers. The takeaway seems to be something along the lines of "friends don’t let friends masturbate."
The video begins with a young male who appears to be watching porn with his door open (as is the de facto way), but the spot then takes a decidedly strange turn.
"The young man is spiritually wounded on the battlefield of the Great War," university President Kim B. Clark says in a voiceover before the scene transitions into a grim battlefield. "In our modern society, the enemy has spread fear of getting involved when someone’s in trouble and has fostered a social stigma against people who speak up in the face of evil."
Clark finally puts out a call to action: “Don’t be silent. Don’t leave the wounded on the battlefield.”
Perhaps unsurprisingly, there's already a parody of the video making the rounds online. As Raw Story points out, the comments on the anti-masturbation video's YouTube posting have been disabled.
BYU-Idaho is a "private, four-year university affiliated with the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints," the school's website notes. "Guided by that affiliation, BYU-Idaho seeks to create a wholesome learning environment in which students can strengthen their commitment to their faith and receive a quality education that prepares them for leadership in the home, the community, and the workplace," the description continues.
What do you think of the BYU-Idaho ad? Leave your thoughts below.