Letter to the Editor: R-rated movies dissected

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    Dear Editor,

    I’m writing to clear up once and for all the myth that no prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ever explicitly told members not to watch R-rated movies.

    In the April 1986 general conference, President Ezra Taft Benson said, “Don’t see R-rated movies or vulgar videos or participate in any entertainment that is immoral, suggestive, or pornographic.”

    If that isn’t recent enough for you, President Gordon B. Hinckley said in the October 1993 conference to “stay away from any movie … regardless of its rating, where illicit behavior and expressions are a part of the action.”

    In the same talk, he continues, “Again I say, leave it alone … I know it is hard counsel we give when we say movies that are R-rated, and many with PG-13 ratings, are produced by satanic influences.”

    Notice he included all R-rated movies and “many” PG-13 movies in this statement. As a believer in the light of Christ, I know we have the ability to judge for ourselves between good and evil. The light of Christ will lead us to truth.

    Truth in this situation is that good movies are uplifting and enriching and bad movies are degrading and destructive. The prophets’ have considered the value of R-rated movies and found them degrading and destructive enough to warn us about them.

    If they have reached this conclusion and we have not, perhaps we should question whether our judgment is based on a quest for truth or on some other reason.

    John Shirts

    Bountiful, Utah

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