Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Doctrine according to C. Johnson - MEDIA

Isn't the power of the media amazing?
No really... it is.
Just think about it.  Let's think of some examples:
You can quote almost every part of your favorite movie... probably a chick flick if you're a girl and an action film if your a guy.
When your favorite song come on the radio you can't help but sing it out loud... unless of course there are other people in the car... because then you don't want to look "weird"... or maybe your friends are like you and love the same song, so you all sing it REALLY loud together!

My point is that media can be engraved into our minds... for good... or bad.
The other day my dad was asked by my nephew to help him beat the last level on Super Mario Bros. on Super Nintendo.  I told my dad, with specific detail, exactly how to do it... and guess what?  I probably haven't played that game in 10 years!  Oh and that same day I heard a song... it's a pretty fast song... and I sang every single lyric to the tee.  I hadn't heard that song in years as well.

So do you see my point?  Media can have a lasting impression on our minds and our souls.
I am not saying that all media is bad.  A lot of media can be very uplifting and inspiring... but then there is media that, dare I say, "could blast a crater in their minds forever." (Jeffrey R. Holland)

When many people make the judgements of what movies to see, music to listen too, or video games to play, many think that "bad" is ONLY that which deals with sex and pornography.  While this is a major thing to look for, let me remind you of a few commandments.

"Sex outside of marriage is a serious sin.  In fact, Alma taught that it was among the most grievous of sins.  But what did Alma rank as the two most serious sins?  Denying the Holy Ghost and 'shedding... innocent blood,' or committing murder." (Alma 39:5-6)

So let us take a look at these commandments in comparison to media today.
1) Denying the Holy Ghost
"For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world come,  If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame." (Hebrews 6:4-6)
Now most of us don't really have to worry about this since we haven't "seen" God... so we don't have a perfect knowledge of Him; however, there can be small instances where we may not deny but are putting aside the Holy Ghost.  You know... like when you choose to go somewhere or do something that you KNOW will not have the influence of the Holy Spirit.
With media think for example... Does this contain vulgar language, gore and excessive violence, darkness, evil spirits, etc?
Just remember... "Wherefore, all things which are good, cometh of God; and that which is evil cometh of the devil; for the devil is an enemy unto God, and fighteth against him continually, and inviteth and enticeth to sin, and to do that which is evil continually." (Moroni 7:12)
Does this invite evil?  to fight against God? Does this media "scare", "disturb", or "offend" the Spirit of God?

2) Murder
Blood, gore, death, etc.  Similar questions should be asked here.  Yes I do know that the Book of Mormon talks about a man cutting off arms to DEFEND himself... and countless others who fought out of DEFENSE.  Every situation is different.  Many courageous men and women are fighting for our country right now.  However... do we need to introduce into our minds the kinds of images that others HAVE had too because they were fighting "In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children."  We must be careful what we let into the stage of our minds.  Let us not justify ourselves in committing a little sin.

3) Breaking the Law of Chastity
Pornography, explicit images, crude and other inappropriate language... you know what's "bad."  I don't have to tell you.

Ultimately... YOU are the judge... and a big part of life is learning for ourself.  But let us also remember that we don't always have to learn by making the mistake first.  We don't want to regret the decision we made.  If you have to question whether or not you should have certain media in your life... is it really worth taking the risk?... Is some short term gratification really worth corrupting your mind and soul?... and compromising your salvation?

Let us not give up our "birthright" in exchange for some "pottage."

Pray about it...

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