Our society is full of media choices. We must be careful about what images and thoughts we allow in our minds because “whatever [we] read, listen to, or look at has an effect on [us]” (For the Strength of Youth [booklet, 2011], 11). Adrián Ochoa, second counselor in the general Young Men presidency, writes about entertainment and media on pages 38–39 of this month’s New Era.
“Remember that in reality you are here in this life to develop your faith, to be tested, and to learn and be happy,” he writes. “As a member of Christ’s true Church, you have great power to help you. You have the power of the Holy Ghost to warn you when something in front of you is not right. You also have the power of agency, so you can choose what you will and will not do.”
Suggestions for Teaching Youth
- Discuss with your teens the movies you watch as a family. Listen to the music they have. Reflect together on how that media measures up against the standards in For the Strength of Youth.
- Go to youth.lds.org and click on “For the Strength of Youth” under the Youth Menu. There you will find videos, scriptural references, Mormon Channel radio programs, questions and answers, and articles (see, for example, “Getting Real”), including talks by General Authorities.
- Consider holding a family home evening on the importance of choosing good media (a good resource is David A. Bednar, “Things as They Really Are,” Ensign, June 2010, 16–25).
Suggestions for Teaching Children
In the story “The Ratings Rule,” found on pages 4–5 of this month’s Friend, Ethan knew what media was safe for him to use because his family had talked about it. You could read this article with your children and start a conversation of your own using these questions:
- Who can help us make good media and entertainment decisions?
- What media is good for us to watch, read, or listen to?
- When is it OK to use media?
- Where should we use media?
- Why is it important to be careful about entertainment?
Consider making a family media guide by folding blank papers in half and stapling them together in the crease to form a booklet. On each page, you could write a type of media used in your home, along with family standards and prophetic counsel that apply to that media.
You could also read “Crash and Tell” by Danielle Kennington (Friend, June 2011, 8–10) to help you start a conversation about appropriate media use.