I interview Rick Thompson, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, on how to help full-time missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who struggle with pornography issues. These missionaries aren’t immune to the temptations and struggles of pornography, yet, they often suffer in shame and silence because of their calling as representatives of Jesus Christ to preach His gospel. In this podcast, Rick talks about ways to support missionaries who are preparing to serve, those serving, and those who come home with struggles. 


  1. Addressing Pornography: https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/addressing-pornography?lang=eng
  2. Book about emotionally preparing for a mission: “Serve Strong but Stay Sane Book” by Gary Taylor, Ph.D: http://www.servestrongbutstaysane.com/
  3. Book about healthy sexuality: “A Better Way to Teach Kids about Sex”: https://deseretbook.com/p/a-better-way-to-teach-kids-about-sex?variant_id=151579-paperback
  4. Adjusting to Missionary Life: https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/bc/content/ldsorg/languages/AdjustingMissLife_Booklet_6-7-13.pdf
  5. “Preparing Emotionally for Missionary Service,” Elder Robert K. Wagstaff   https://www.lds.org/ensign/2011/03/preparing-emotionally-for-missionaryservice?lang=eng
  6. Resilience SPIRITUAL ARMOR FOR TODAY’S YOUTH:   https://media.ldscdn.org/pdf/magazines/ensign-september-2019/18209-09-020-resilience-spiritual-armor-for-todays-youth-eng.pdf?lang=eng
  7. “This work is rigorous. It demands strength and vitality. It demands mental sharpness and capacity. … Missionary work is not a rite of passage in the Church. It is a call extended  by the President of the Church to those who are worthy and able to accomplish it. …Good physical and mental health is vital. …There are parents who say, ‘If only we can get Johnny on a mission, then the Lord will bless him with health.’ It seems not to work  out that way. Rather, whatever ailment or physical or mental shortcoming a missionary has when he comes into the field only becomes aggravated under the stress of the work.We simply must face up to the facts. President Gordon B. Hinckley speaks about physical and emotional challenges missionaries may have before serving missions. First Worldwide Leadership Training Meeting, January 11, 2003 Segment 1 (1:05)

About Rick

Rick Thompson is Utah Licensed Clinical Social Worker and has been working in the mental health field since 1997. After graduating from Ricks College in 1998, he received his Bachelors of Social Work degree from Brigham Young University-Hawaii in 2001, and received his Masters degree in Social Work from Boise State University in 2003. Rick did his training at LDS Family Services in Boise, Idaho while going through graduate school. Rick has been doing individual, marriage, group, and family counseling since 2003 with children, teens, and adults. He has worked with youth in group homes, detention centers, drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers, and residential programs. Rick has treated individuals with emotional and behavioral issues including depression, anxiety, anger, PTSD, self-mutilation, sexual abuse, drug and alcohol abuse, sexual addictions, and family problems. Rick and his family moved to St. George from Boise, Idaho in 2016 so Rick could work for LDS Family Services. Rick has been serving as Bishop in his ward since 2018 and enjoys seeing people make changes spiritually as well as personally. He married his best friend and beautiful wife Michelle in 2000 and they have three amazing children together.

The Illuminate Podcast is hosted by Geoff Steurer, MS, LMFT and founder of LifeStar of St. George, Utah, a treatment program for couples healing from the impact of pornography and sexual addiction. Learn more at www.lifestarstgeorge.com.

Geoff has also created audio and video courses to help support individuals and couples in marriage, addiction, and betrayal trauma recovery at www.geoffsteurer.com/store.