Before dances, dating, and driving occupied my weekends, I often spent Saturday nights babysitting. I remember thinking that I was prepared for any challenge. I had already dealt with overflowing toilets, policemen at the front door, minor illnesses and injuries, and even a leaking ceiling. But I was about to face my biggest babysitting challenge, and it would happen while the kids were sleeping happily and safely down the hall.
Mrs. Porter* left in a hurry, handing me her usual list of instructions and emergency phone numbers with a note at the bottom that read, “I grabbed a movie for you to watch after the kids go to bed. It’s supposed to be good. Thanks again.”
With the exception of an entire bottle of bubbles being spilled on the closet floor, the night went without major upsets. Five rounds of Mother May I later, bedtime came and I had a chance to see what Mrs. Porter had picked out.
I popped the movie into the VCR and read the description on the back of the box. The opening credits started rolling as I noticed the letter R in the bottom corner. With a sigh of exasperation, I pushed eject and put the movie back in the box. I didn’t watch R-rated movies.
But sitting there on top of the TV, the movie seemed to stare at me, calling my name. The minutes seemed like hours as thoughts started to invade my mind, forcing me to question my standards.
No one will know if you watch this, it seemed to say to me. When you’re done, you can just hit rewind. You don’t have to tell anyone. Besides, it’s just a little bad language. It’s not like you don’t hear worse language every day in the hallways of school. How bad could it be? No one will know.
The movie won. My heart started to pound as I opened the box. It’s just a movie, I reassured myself. Just as I reached to put the movie into the machine, I paused. What was I doing?
Then it hit me. Even if no one else in the world ever found out what I had done, I would know, and my Heavenly Father would know. I shut the box with a snap, amazed that I had come so close to doing something I knew in my heart was wrong. The movie lost.
Standing there with the box in my hands, I made a promise to myself to keep my mind clean of things that did not meet Heavenly Father’s standards. I promised to do what was right, even when no one was watching.