When my car broke down beyond repair, I knew it was time to buy a new one. After months of searching for a used car I could afford, I finally settled on a conservative four-door sedan.
When I got the car, a thought occurred to me: “This is a nice car. Maybe I should only play nice music in it.” So at that point I made a new rule for myself: no hard rock music in the car.
This was difficult for me at first because I had become used to hard rock music. But I started listening to big band music, LDS and other Christian music, and talks by Church leaders and speakers. Before I knew it, I had gone without listening to hard rock music in my car for a year and a half.
With these new kinds of music in my car, I can see some great changes in my life. My challenges with morality and sin have become much easier to conquer. I realized how much rock music had influenced my past decisions. I used to jump in my old car, turn on my music as loud as I could, and then drive to places that I knew I shouldn’t go.
But now, as I listen to good and sacred music in my car, I find that music protects me from temptations. I find myself more able to listen to the promptings of the Spirit.
It’s now an automatic choice for me to listen to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir or to learn about Joseph Smith as I drive, rather than choosing to listen to my old music. I find myself wondering why I listened to that kind of music in the first place.
I now understand why modern-day prophets encourage us to listen to good music. The difference in my life before and after my decision proves to me that hard rock music has a negative effect on those who listen to it. Believe me, I know from experience.
“Young people, you cannot afford to fill your mind with the unworthy hard music of our day. It is not harmless. It can welcome onto the stage of your mind unworthy thoughts and set the tempo to which they dance and to which you may act.
“You degrade yourself when you identify with all of those things which seem now to surround such extremes in music: the shabbiness, the irreverence, the immorality, and the addictions. Such music as that is not worthy of you. You should have self-respect.
“You are a son or a daughter of Almighty God. He has inspired a world full of wonderful things to learn and to do, uplifting music of many kinds that you may enjoy.”
—President Boyd K. Packer, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Inspiring Music—Worthy Thoughts,” Ensign, Jan. 1974, 28.