Flipping Channels

By Heather Kirby

(Based on a true story)

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The movie wasn’t so bad, so why didn’t I want Matt to see me watching it?

“The Holy Ghost … will show unto you all things what ye should do” (2 Nephi 32:5).

Flipping Channels

“Bye, kids! We’re going on our temple date,” Mom said.

“Be good and have fun,” Dad said as he pulled the door shut behind them.

“Yay!” I said. “We can do whatever we want now!”

My older brother Matt sighed. “Not me. I’ve got to do homework so I can go to the dance tomorrow.” He disappeared into his room.

I felt a little jealous. He was old enough to go to stake dances—but I still had another four years before I could go. I didn’t have much homework, so I decided to see what was on TV.

As I flipped through the channels, I saw a movie I’d really wanted to watch last year, but hadn’t because of the rating. I could finally see it now that it was edited for TV!

I settled down on the couch. This movie was going to be great. But just a few scenes in, I started to feel uncomfortable. There wasn’t anything horrible going on, but I started to wonder about the scenes and words that had been cut out.

When I heard Matt’s bedroom door open, I quickly changed the channel so he wouldn’t see what I was watching. I was a little nervous. I didn’t want him to ask about the movie and the rating. He walked by me and went into the kitchen. I flipped back to the movie. When I heard him walking back, I hurried and changed the channel again.

“What are you watching?” Matt asked.

“Nothing,” I said, flipping through more channels.

Matt shrugged and went back to his room.

I flipped back to the movie and watched for a few more minutes. But I wasn’t really focused on it anymore. What am I doing? I thought to myself. If I don’t even want Matt to know what I’m watching, and I feel uncomfortable, why am I watching it?

Finally I decided to just turn off the TV. I sat there holding the remote, trying to think of something good to do to stop thinking about the movie. I didn’t want to start watching again just because I was bored.

I wandered up to my room and looked around. I hadn’t written in my journal in awhile, and I had that drawing I’d been working on. I knew I’d feel better doing those things than watching the movie.

I turned on some good music and wrote about the experience in my journal. I had a warm, comfortable feeling. I’d been missing that feeling during the movie. Instead of that good, peaceful feeling—the Holy Ghost—I’d felt worried and kind of embarrassed.

I don’t want to do things I feel worried and embarrassed about, I wrote in my journal. I want to do things that the Holy Ghost can stick around for.

When my parents came home a couple of hours later, I showed them my finished drawing.

“Glad to see that you spent your time well,” Dad said.

I smiled. “Me too.”