"Young men of the Aaronic Priesthood, remember the scriptural injunction "Be ye clean who bear the vessels of the Lord" (3 Nephi 20:41; D&C 38:42; see also Isaiah 52:11). Remember the story of Joseph in Egypt, who hearkened not to the wife of Potiphar and maintained his purity and virtue (see Genesis 39:6-20)."
"Consider carefully the words of the prophet Alma to his errant son, Corianton, "Forsake your sins, and go no more after the lusts of your eyes" (Alma 39:9). "The lusts of your eyes" — in our day what does that expression mean? Movies, television programs, and video recordings that are both suggestive and lewd. Magazines and books that are obscene and pornographic."
"We counsel you, young men, not to pollute your minds with such degrading matter, for the mind through which this filth passes is never the same afterwards. Don't see R-rated movies or vulgar videos or participate in any entertainment that is immoral, suggestive, or pornographic. Don't listen to music that is degrading." (CR April 1986, Ensign 16 [May 1986]: 45.)
"Live up to your godly potential. Remember who you are and the priesthood that you bear. Be modern-day sons of Helaman. Put on the whole armor of God." (CR April 1986, Ensign 16 [May 1986]: 46.)
Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 222-223
"Pornographic literature! It has been a shock, I am sure, to all of us to read the report of the commission that has been studying obscenity reports, and the recommendation that there should be a repeal of all laws prohibiting the distribution of explicit, sexual materials to consenting adults. Shocking!
Now brethren, this is a thing that we must, as a priesthood, take a firm stand against, and do everything within our communities to see to it that by every means within our power we are going to play down the showing of or the distribution of any kind of pornographic literature, films, or advertisements.
It has been a delight to us to have our Deseret News announce that, shortly, there will be no advertising of "R" and "X" rated films. We would wish it would be so in every community.
If you brethren, in all of your communities, would now take a firm stand, I think there would be a time shortly when somebody would wake up to the fact that we are no longer going to tolerate these kinds of things that are placed before our people to tear down their morals."
Harold B. Lee, Improvement Era, December 1970, p. 105
"The destructive forces of Satan are becoming increasingly more effective in their relentless pursuit of the hearts and minds of men and women everywhere.
"Many of the very elite in the army of the Lord quite innocently have been led into habits that are gaining a stranglehold on them. I fear that there are members who are far less effective and far less satisfied with themselves than they could be or would be if they weren't so afflicted. Many of you may be victims and not even realize it."
"The devil is a shrewd fighter, and we must be aware of his tactics. He tempts us with the transitory pleasures of the world so that we will not focus our minds and efforts on the things that bring eternal joy."
M. Russell Ballard
"If the Holy Ghost leaves you at the door of the theater, you shouldn't expect him to be waiting for you when you come out."
A Seminary Teacher
"Again I say, leave it alone. Turn it off, walk away from it, burn it, erase it, destroy it. 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. Our standards should not be dictated by the rating system. I repeat, because of what they really represent, these types of movies, music, tapes, etc. serve the purposes of the author of all darkness."
Elder H. Burke Peterson
"Touch Not The Evil Gift, Nor The Unclean Thing"
General Conference, October 1993
"The wonder of television causes me to believe that Philo T. Farnsworth, back in 1927, must surely have been inspired of the Lord to develop this remarkable medium of communication. As you know, Brother Farnsworth was a member of the Church. Applying his scientific skills, he brought to the world this marvelous invention, which I believe is to be used for the primary purpose of furthering the work of the Lord."
Elder M. Russell Ballard
The Effects Of Television, General Conference, April 1989
In the Jan. 1998 New Era, Elder Joe J. Christensen of the Presidency of the Seventy speaks about resolving to make changes in our lives. He says:
"In addition to making a resolution that we will read only the best in print, it would be very beneficial if now we resolved not to watch even one R-rated or NC-17 movie, or television shows with questionable content. That may sound extreme, but I assure you that much of our future happiness and success depends on it."
"Our lives are made up of thousands of everyday choices. Over the years these little choices will be bundled together and show clearly what we value. The crucial test of life....does not center in the choice between fame and obscurity, nor between wealth and poverty. The greatest decision of life is between good and evil."
Elder Boyd K. Packer, Ensign Nov. 1980, p. 21
"Satan, the very devil and the father of all lies, has slyly and slowly lowered the social norms of morality to a tragic and destructive level. In magazines and books, on CDs and tapes, on our television and theater screens is portrayed more and more often a lifestyle that might even rival the excesses of those who lived in Sodom and Gomorrah....One of the great tragedies is that too many [members] are watching and listening to this type of so-called entertainment. Some do it only casually at first.
They think they are spiritually strong and will be immune to its influence. This trash is nothing more nor less than pornography dressed in one of its many imitation robes of splendor—one of the master counterfeiter's best products....many do not recognize they are trapped or soon will be....They see this as a form of entertainment that serves as a relief from the troubles of the day.
In point of fact and in reality, it is only relieving them of their spirituality and their capacity to draw on the powers of heaven in times of need....no [one] can look at, read about, or listen to such explicit vulgarity, even in its mildest form without bringing sorrow to a loving God and a terrible injury to one's own spirit....I plead with you to leave it alone. Stay away from any movie, video, publication, or music— regardless of its rating—where illicit behavior and expressions are a part of the action."
Elder H. Burke Peterson, Ensign Nov. 1993, p. 42-43
"Although there are some uplifting exceptions, in most areas of the mass media there seems to be a declaration of war against almost everything the majority treasures most: the family, religion and patriotism. Marriage is degraded, while premarital and extramarital relations are encouraged and glamorized. Profanity and the foulest of vulgar gutter language bombard the ears of all who listen.
Reportedly, in one R-rated movie, the most common, vulgar, four-letter word was spoken 256 times! Human life itself is trivialized by the constant barrage of violence and killings. Remember that anything that is not good for children is rarely good for adults."
Elder Joe J. Christensen, Ensign Nov. 1993, p. 11
"One of the most critical challenges mankind faces today is to recognize the difference between happiness and mere pleasure. Satan and his forces have become extremely effective in their effort to convince people that pleasure should be the most sought-after objective.
He slyly promises that wherever found, pleasure will bring happiness.
Our television and movie screens are filled with not-so-subtle messages that encourage and persuade young and old alike to unbridle their passions and they will experience happiness. The results of this reckless course should be so apparent as we watch the tremendous social and psychological costs continue to mount."
Elder W. Eugene Hansen, Ensign Nov. 1993, p. 82
"Another activity that can detract us from the proper way is watching television excessively or viewing improper movies. While fine productions on these media are uplifting and entertaining, we need to be very selective in choosing what we see and how much of our time such an activity deserves.
Our precious time must not be diverted to the sideline attractions of vulgar language, immoral conduct, pornography and violence."
Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, Ensign Nov. 1990, p. 65
"Discipline is organized love, and children develop properly in an atmosphere of love, with adequate guidelines to shape their lives and their habits. More children are punished for mimicking their parents than ever for disobeying them. We should be what we want them to see."
Elder Legrand Curtis, Ensign Nov. 1990 p. 12
"Parental hypocrisy can make children cynical and unbelieving of what they are taught at home. For instance, when parents attend movies they forbid their children to see, parental credibility is diminished.
If children are expected to be honest, parents must be honest. If children are expected to be virtuous, parents must be virtuous. If you expect your children to be honorable, you must be honorable."
Elder James E. Faust, Ensign Nov. 1990, p. 33
"Any film, television show, music, or printed material unfit for youth is also unfit for parents. Those who rationalize acceptance of immoral material on grounds of maturity or sophistication are deceived."
Elder J. Richard Clarke, Ensign May 1991, p. 42
"In a day when broadcasters and publishers have rather free access into our homes, we must seek clean, uplifting entertainment, whether on television, videos, movies, magazines, books and other printed material. We should be very selective and choose only those things that meet the test of being virtuous, lovely, of good report, or praiseworthy. If it is questionable, we should avoid it."
Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, Ensign May 1992, p. 87