See also: Mormon 8:31
If religious-minded people can’t use the media effectively, then a-religious and anti-religious factions will form the value systems of the world. — James Fleck
Only the morally great are worthy to speak to their fellow men for two hours in the dark. — Frank Capra
It is a concern that some of our young Latter-day Saints as well as their parents regularly watch R-rated and other inappropriate movies and videos. One more reason why the “devil laugheth and his angels rejoice.” (See 3 Nephi 9:2.)
President Gordon B. Hinckley said: “. . . Be clean. I cannot emphasize that enough. Be clean. It is so very, very important and you at your age are in such temptation all the time. It is thrown at you on television. It is thrown at you in books and magazines and videos. You do not have to rent them. Don’t do it. Just don’t do it. Don’t look at them. If somebody proposes that you sit around all night watching some of that sleazy stuff, you say, ‘It’s not for me.’ Stay away from it.” (Denver Colorado Youth Meeting, April 14, 1996)
The Lord and his living prophets are counting on you to avoid the trash that surrounds you in the media. When anyone chooses to ignore or defiantly go against the counsel of the living prophet, he is on very shaky ground. Remember that when Joseph was tempted by Potiphar’s wife to be immoral with her, he “fled, and got himself out” (Genesis 39:12).
Temptations are all around us, and today with the advent of the Internet, they are increasing. There is much that is positive in the world of the media, but there is so much that is negative. If we permit ourselves to become involved with the negative, there will be much more cause for the devil to laugh and his angels to rejoice. — Elder Joe J. Christensen, Ensign, November 1996
I believe that a noble priesthood bearer should have balance in his life. I have observed that some fathers spend too much time watching sports on television. This practice has almost become an addiction in today’s world. It should never cause us to neglect family and Church duties.
Television is out of control in some homes; the set is rarely turned off, regardless of the programming. Some programs are filthy and evil and are poisoning the minds of God’s children today. Likewise, many movies and videotapes are blatantly corrupt and evil, making their viewers insensible to the promptings of the Spirit (see Helaman 4:24).
Satan has made the television and film media among his most effective tools to destroy minds and souls. A good example of satanic influence is in television advertising for alcoholic beverages. Its underlying message seems to be that the sole object of life is to have a good time. This so-called fun-loving time comes to those who drink a certain brand of alcoholic beverage, they say. That advertising message is false; it is an absolute lie fostered by the father of lies. Especially insidious, in my view, is the advertising for wine coolers, which are represented falsely as little more than delicious, fruit-flavored soft drinks. Beer consumption is represented as the thing to do in order to have a good time. Drinking alcoholic beverages does not bring the good things of life. Evidence mounts each passing day to prove the damaging, even disastrous effects of these substances on the human body and on society. The Word of Wisdom was valid when it was given in 1833. Through the years some have not accepted it, but scientific discoveries in our day have validated this treat revelation.
Despite the concerns I have expressed, many uplifting and inspiring programs are available at little or no cost on television, film, and videotape. I speak for wisdom and balance in accepting the good and rejecting the evil. — Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, Ensign, November 1988, pp. 35-36
Fiction has an imitative effect. And it is a foolish fiction writer who denies that. It especially happens with television and movies. We who tell stories do have a responsibility for what we depict. — Orson Scott Card, Harold B. Lee Library Annual Author Lecture, November 27, 2001, BYU Magazine, Winter 2002, p. 15
Often media’s most devastating attacks on family are not direct or frontal or openly immoral. Intelligent evil is too cunning for that, knowing that most people still profess belief in family and in traditional values. Rather the attacks are subtle and amoral – issues of right and wrong don’t even come up. Immorality and sexual innuendo are everywhere, causing some to believe that because everyone is doing it, it must be all right. This pernicious evil is not out in the street somewhere; ti is coming right into our homes, right into the heart of our families.
To be strong and happy, families need to be nourished by the truths depicted in the 13th article of faith – by a belief “in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men.” Gratefully, there are many like-minded men and women of all cultures and faiths who also seek that which is “virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy.” — Elder M. Russell Ballard, “Let Our Voices Be Heard,” Ensign, November 2003, p. 17
Whatever you read, listen to, or look at has an effect on you. Therefore, choose only entertainment and media that uplift you. Good entertainment will help you to have good thoughts and make righteous choices. It will allow you to enjoy yourself without losing the Spirit of the Lord.
While much entertainment is good, some of it can lead you away from righteous living. Offensive material is often found in web sites, concerts, movies, music, videocassettes, DVDs, books, magazines, pictures, and other media. Satan uses such entertainment to deceive you by making what is wrong and evil look normal and exciting. It can mislead you into thinking that everyone is doing things that are wrong.
Do not attend, view, or participate in entertainment that is vulgar, immoral, violent, or pornographic in any way. Do not participate in entertainment that in any way presents immorality or violent behavior as acceptable.
Pornography in all its forms is especially dangerous and addictive. What may begin as a curious indulgence can become a destructive habit that takes control of your life. It can lead you to sexual transgression and even criminal behavior. Pornography is a poison that weakens your self-control, changes the way you see others, causes you to lose the guidance of the Spirit, and can even affect your ability to have a normal relationship with your future spouse. If you encounter pornography, turn away from it immediately.
Depictions of violence often glamorize vicious behavior. They offend the Spirit and make you less able to respond to others in a sensitive, caring way. They contradict the Savior’s message of love for one another.
Have the courage to walk out of a movie or video party, turn off a computer or television, change a radio station, or put down a magazine if what is being presented does not meet Heavenly Father’s standards. Do these things even if others do not. Let your friends and family know that you are committed to keeping God’s standards. You have the gift of the Holy Ghost, which will give you strength and help you make good choices. (Moroni 7:12-19) — “Entertainment and the Media,” For the Strength of Youth, pp. 17-19
“As we test the moral environment, we find the pollution index is spiraling upward” (Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, May 1992, p. 66). The Apostle Paul foresaw “that in the last days perilous times shall come” (2 Timothy 3:1). And speaking of the last days, the prophet Moroni declared, “Yea, it shall come in a day when there shall be great pollutions upon the face of the earth” (Mormon 8:31).
Sadly, the effects of this great pollution are perhaps most evident in the mass media, films, television, and popular music. Of this, Senator Robert D. Byrd said, “If we in this nation continue to sow the images of murder, violence, drug abuse, . . . perversion and pornography. . . before the eyes of millions of children, year after year and day after day, we should not be surprised if the foundations of our society rot away as if from leprosy” (Michael Medved, Hollywood vs. America, New York: Harper Perennial, 1992, p. 194).
Although there are some uplifting exceptions, in most areas of the mass media there seems to be a declaration of war against almost everything the majority treasures most. — Elder Joe J. Christensen, “Rearing Children in a Polluted Environment,” Ensign, November 1993
I believe the entertainment industry cannot portray on film people gunned down in cold blood, in living color, and not have it affect the attitudes and thoughts of some of the people who see it. I believe human sexuality cannot be continually portrayed as just another physical appetite that has to be satisfied – whenever and with whomever the urge strikes – without diminishing respect for God and His commandments. And I believe that the desensitizing effect of such media abuses on the hearts and souls of those who are exposed to them results in a partial fulfillment of the Savior’s statement that “because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” — Elder M. Russell Ballard, Ensign, December 1996