Entertainment and Media
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I like watching a particular TV show, but people tell me I shouldn’t. Is there really anything wrong with it?
We have been specifically counseled, “Do not attend, view, or participate in anything that is vulgar, immoral, violent, or pornographic in any way. Do not participate in anything that presents immorality or violence as acceptable. Have the courage to walk out of a movie, change your music, or turn off a computer, television, or mobile device if what you see or hear drives away the Spirit” (For the Strength of Youth, 11). If the show you are watching does not meet this guideline, do not watch it.Close
Is it OK to seek entertainment on the Internet?
“The Internet can be used to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ and can just as easily be used to market the filth and sleaze of pornography. Computer applications like iTunes can be used to download uplifting and stirring music or the worst kind of antisocial lyrics full of profanity. Social networks on the Web can be used to expand healthy friendships as easily as they can be used by predators trying to trap the unwary. That is no different from how people choose to use television or movies or even a library. Satan is always quick to exploit the negative power of new inventions, to spoil and degrade, and to neutralize any effect for good. Make sure that the choices you make in the use of new media are choices that expand your mind, increase your opportunities, and feed your soul” (M. Russell Ballard, “Sharing the Gospel Using the Internet,” Ensign, July 2008, 60).
“We need to use Internet filters . . . to prevent . . . ‘chancing upon’ things [we] should not see. We need to have . . . computers in a much-used common room in the home, not in a bedroom or a private place” (M. Russell Ballard, “Let Our Voices Be Heard,” October 2003 general conference).Close
What should I do if I have a pornography problem?
“If you are caught in the trap of pornography, stop immediately and seek help. Through repentance, you can receive forgiveness and find hope in the gospel. Go to your bishop or branch president for counsel on how to overcome your problem, and seek healing through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Ask the Lord to give you the strength to overcome this terrible addiction” (True to the Faith, 118).Close
What can I do to make sure my use of media is uplifting?
“Have the courage to walk out of a movie, change your music, or turn off a computer, television, or mobile device if what you see or hear drives away the Spirit. …
“Take care that your use of media does not dull your sensitivity to the Spirit or interfere with your personal relationships with others. Spending long periods of time using the Internet or a mobile device, playing video games, or watching television or other media can keep you from valuable interactions with other people. Be careful that your use of social media does not replace spending time with your family and friends” (For the Strength of Youth, 11–13).Close
What’s so wrong about staying out really late?
“When I was a teenager, my curfew was 10:00 p.m. Today, that is the time some go out in order to have fun. Yet we know that it is at night that some of the worst things happen. It is during the dark hours that some youth go to places with inappropriate environments, where music and lyrics do not allow them to have the companionship of the Holy Ghost. Then, under these circumstances, they become easy prey to sin” (Jairo Mazzagardi, “Avoiding the Trap of Sin,” October 2010 general conference).Close
What kinds of entertainment should I avoid?
“Do not attend, view, or participate in anything that is vulgar, immoral, violent, or pornographic in any way. Do not participate in anything that presents immorality or violence as acceptable” (For the Strength of Youth, 11).Close
What is so bad about pornography?
“Pornography is tragically addictive. Like other addictions, it leads people to experiment and to seek more powerful stimulations. If you experiment with it and allow yourself to remain caught in its trap, it will destroy you, degrading your mind, heart, and spirit. It will rob you of self-respect and of your sense of the beauties of life. It will tear you down and lead you to evil thoughts and possibly evil actions. It will cause terrible damage to your family relationships” (True to the Faith, 118).Close
Why do my entertainment choices matter?
“You live in a day of marvelous technologies that give you easy access to a wide variety of media, including the Internet, mobile devices, video games, television, movies, music, books, and magazines. The information and entertainment provided through these media can increase your ability to learn, communicate, and become a force for good in the world. However, some information and entertainment can lead you away from righteous living. Choose wisely when using media, because whatever you read, listen to, or look at has an effect on you. Select only media that uplifts you” (For the Strength of Youth, 11).Close
What is pornography?
“Pornography is any material depicting or describing the human body or sexual conduct in a way that arouses sexual feelings” (True to the Faith, 117).Close
Why am I counseled not to spend much time playing video games as a form of entertainment?
Elder David A. Bednar has warned that devoting “an inordinate amount of time to playing video games . . . allow[s] the digital to dominate things as they really are. Initially the investment of time may seem relatively harmless, rationalized as a few minutes of needed relief from the demands of a hectic daily schedule. But important opportunities are missed for developing and improving interpersonal skills. . . . Progressively, seemingly innocent entertainment can become a form of pernicious enslavement” (“Things as They Really Are,” Ensign, June 2010, 21).
Elder M. Russell Ballard has counseled: “[Limit] the amount of time spent playing computer games. How many kills you can make in a minute with a computer game will have zero effect on your capacity to be a good missionary” (“The Greatest Generation of Missionaries,” October 2002 general conference).Close