Tuesday, February 17, 2015

What are Your Standards?

That’s what it come down to.

Debates fly about what’s appropriate to view on T.V. and in the theater. Are you going to subject yourself to graphic images of sex and violence and pierce your ears with f-bombs?

It all comes down to you. What are you going to do about your standards? How are you going to protect your mind? Do you want negative images IMPRINTED on your soul?

Cause it will happen. Oh, it will happen.

Every and I mean EVERY inappropriate image that I have ever seen has stayed with me. Like the plague. I walked in on that sickening Saw movie in MY family room. Horrified. That violent, disturbing scene will always stay with me. I thought, oh, Game of Thrones, what’s all the hype? Shut it off after the first sex scene. But too late. That image is completely stuck and only the humming of a child’s Sunday school song will chase the image away. But it always comes back. Always.

See. I’m telling you.

And I’m pretty desensitized. I can handle a degree of CW. But who’s to say that I should still be watching it? I probably shouldn’t.

As a rule I stay away from TV-MA and rated R and above. But maybe that’s not enough. The standards are slipping. Sadly some of my favorite PG-13 movies say too many swear words and have sexual scenarios.

While watching a movie with a friend, if you find yourself saying, “I didn’t remember all those inappropriate scenes and potty-mouths.”

You’re desensitized.

If you’re reading a modern retelling of a Jane Austen novel and you get turned on by a lingering touch, or sultry gaze, maybe you shouldn’t read that.

Okay, okay. Extreme example. I’m joking about Jane.

But ask yourself. Do I have one foot in Babylon and one foot in Zion?

I’ll admit, I’m straddling the line. D’oh!

That’s frustrating.

So think of this. Every moment of every day we exercise our God given agency. EVERY second. You’ve just made a choice. Now your path has shifted. What’s going to happen next? YOU have that control.

It’s hard to make some choices. But what if you make some choices beforehand? What if you are already decided?

BAM! It’s done!

I’m not going to watch rated R movies or TV-MA shows.

BAM! Done.

But the choices is yours. You have to decide what the next level is. How much can your ETERNAL spirit handle? And I mean, we’re talking about your soul.

Carefully assess those shows you watch that are below the rated R and TV-MA line.

Just wanted to share a few resources that I found and really like.

From Mormon Think. Thoughts on entertainment. I like this lengthy quote. So good.

Wendy L. Watson offered these warnings to the youth of the LDS Church:

Warning 1. To be stamped on the cover of his [Satan’s] magazines: "Contents highly addictive. Extremely corrosive-to-the-soul materials enclosed. Be prepared to have your mind twisted, your views of love ravaged, your spirit shrunk. Be aware that the Spirit of the Lord will not be with you during or after viewing. Be prepared that after an initial rush, you will experience feelings of depression, loneliness, despair, and guilt. Nevertheless, with repeated exposures over time, you can numb those feelings and enter into an almost total amnesia about who you really are and about truth itself."

Warning 2. For the beginning of Satan's coproduced movies: "The following scenes are brought to you in the hope that you will think of yourself as being an animal. Actually the dung from an animal is more pure and would harm you less when taken into your system. Extreme caution needed. This movie will make you believe that lust is really love and that all love really is—is lust. This movie will have its greatest effect if observed when you are feeling misunderstood, alone, blue, or just that you don't fit in. If you are not in any of these moods, viewing the movie will actually assist in getting you there. If you are in one of these moods, your spirit will be more vulnerable, and thus your ability to distinguish good from evil will be even more quickly extinguished.

Warning 3. For the devil's Internet connections: "Share the following with someone whose soul you would like to destroy. Complete success is ensured if you can offer it in the spirit of friendship and under the guise of love. By thinking and talking together about the content, all sweet pure feelings will be distorted into grand perversions. Pick a perversion, any perversion. That may be one of the very last choices you will get to make.
In fact, if you are tired of making choices just view the following several times—or keep immersing yourself in similar material—and your degree of freedom will be increasingly limited with each successive viewing. The irony is that you will be provided with a personalized illusion that your freedom is actually increasing. We've taken this way beyond the old smoke and mirrors tricks—and the illusions that will influence your heart and mind will be stunning. Virtual reality is here to replace virtuous living.

Warning 4. To announce the adversary's influence on prime-time viewing: "How many lies can you find in the following sitcom? If you can't find any . . . Gotcha! In the following, we are going to offer you ideas that you have never before entertained. But with repetition and humor we will slowly dilute the initial recoiling of your spirit, and you will begin to forget that there was ever a time when you didn't believe these lies to be true.

Warning 5. A lie-busting warning for rented videos: "Fantasy only allowed here. Only erotic illusions contained. No empathic love depicted. No consequences noted. No impact on your body, spirit, relationships with God, family and friends addressed. Please note that interactions will appear much more splendid than they really are. This is not real life. But it is a really great lie. We have left out the gory details that would only ruin the subtle appeal this movie will have for you.

Warning 6. For videos purchased: "Congratulations! You bought the movie this time instead of just renting it. In fact, you are buying this whole scheme—hook, line, and sinker. Let's just have this be our little secret. No one needs to know. No one will ever be able to tell. When people tell you that you are looking different, darker, or talking differently, or that you are more difficult to get along with, just get angry at them and go buy another movie or magazine with similar contents. Actually, you will soon be ready to advance to our total-destruction-of-the-senses line. You, too, will soon be past feeling.

- Wendy L. Watson, 1999 Women’s Conference, speech entitled “Personal Purity and Intimacy”
From For the Strength of Youth Pamphlet: This is an excellent resource to share with your teen and pre-teen.

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.
Satan uses media to deceive you by making what is wrong and evil look normal, humorous, or exciting. He tries to mislead you into thinking that breaking God’s commandments is acceptable and has no negative consequences for you or others. 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.
Pornography in all forms is especially dangerous and addictive. What may begin as an unexpected exposure or a curious exploration can become a destructive habit. Use of pornography is a serious sin and can lead to other sexual transgression. Avoid pornography at all costs. It is a poison that weakens your self-control, destroys your feelings of self-worth, and changes the way you see others. It causes you to lose the guidance of the Spirit and can damage your ability to have a normal relationship with others, especially your future spouse. It limits your ability to feel true love. If you encounter pornography, turn away from it immediately.
Curious about the Motion Picture Association of America’s ratings and what they mean? Take a look at this link.
So that’s it. You decide.