The first line flowed from his mind to his fingers to his phone. The second line flowed. A sweet release came as he saw the words develop on the screen. His lips turned into a smile as the words kept coming.

Four years ago, Joshua Peters, a sophomore studying communication, began a poem that he knew held the key to change his life.

The poem is called “Eleven Years.” It dives into the deepest struggle of his life, his addiction with pornography.

 

The first line flowed from his mind to his fingers to his phone. The second line flowed. A sweet release came as he saw the words develop on the screen. His lips turned into a smile as the words kept coming.

Four years ago, Joshua Peters, a sophomore studying communication, began a poem that he knew held the key to change his life.

The poem is called “Eleven Years.” It dives into the deepest struggle of his life, his addiction with pornography.

Through the poem, Peters discloses how he first found pornography when he was 11-years-old and how it affected his relationship with his family. It taught him to lie to his family and his parents and hide it from them. Even though it led him to lie, the addiction led him to understand who God is as his Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ as his Savior.

“It was really personal at the time when I first made it,” Peters said. “I didn’t share it with people, which is the natural thing to do. It’s a personal thing.”

However, as time went on, he started thinking the poem and ultimately, his struggle with pornography, would be a good thing to share with others.

“Is it really that big of a deal to tell people that I struggle with this and that I overcame it?” he asked himself. “And that I am overcoming it? And that there’s a safe place to talk about that?”

He concluded that the best thing he could do would be to share his story of his struggles with pornography by releasing the poem as a video.

It never felt quite right until he met Cole Anderton, a sophomore studying communication, in Spring Semester 2018. After hearing the poem for himself, Anderton said he knew they had something powerful to work with.

He filmed the video over the summer and released it on Nov. 1 on Facebook and Instagram. By Nov. 3, the video reached over 10,000 views. Peters hopes more people watch the video so they can learn how to overcome pornography addiction.

Since the video’s release, Peters said he’s received dozens of messages from people reaching out to thank him and admit their own issues with pornography. He has given them words of hope.

 

Because of the video, Peters even met a family member he didn’t know existed. “She saw me on the suggestions list and she pulled me up, not knowing anything, not knowing anything about the video,” Peters said. “She pulled up the post, and she just bawled.”

Peters said the family member told him she’d been struggling with dark thoughts before watching the video. She prayed and felt prompted to get on Instagram, and that’s when she saw his post and messaged him.

Even people from high school reached out to him to thank him for his boldness, and said they want to live chaste lives as well. Peters said he felt humbled by those messages.

After his first breakup, which the poem is based on, a member in his home ward testified to him about families. Peters said he felt warmth and a spark in his heart.

At the time, he was attending a poem writing workshop and went to an Especially For Youth camp. During a testimony meeting, he wrote a poem and shared his testimony that day.

“It hit me like a fire; I knew at that moment that God was real, reaching down to my pinky toes and my fingers,” Peters said. “It was amazing because it wasn’t hearing someone else’s testimony, it was coming from me. I knew at this moment that God was real and this could be beaten.”

He hopes the video continues to spread and that those who struggle don’t stay in the dark. He said those that struggle should fall to their knees and get help by reaching out to others and even to those that struggle as well.

“I am sure that Christ saves, God is real and this can be beaten,” Peters said.