1. What article did you choose to read for your fourth article?
I read An Ensign to the Nations, a Light to the World by Gordon B. Hinckley Ensign, November 2003.
2. What were the most important things you learned from the readings?
Media does present many positive and uplifting options, but at the same time media has the power to destroy individuals and families. Media has more influence and power over us than we realize. This is a scary thought that cautions me to be careful of the music, television programs, and literature that I listen to, watch, and read. I learned that I need to stand up against degrading programs and let my voice be heard about how I disagree with the evil that is coming into the homes and influencing the families of today. “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing” (Ballard, M. Russell). If I sit idly by and let negative media influence the ones I love then negative media will win. I must not sit idle and let evil triumph.
I also learned that the media we view shouldn’t be what is up to our standards, but what is up to Heavenly Father’s standards. I really like the thought of only viewing media that is worthy enough to be in the presence of Heavenly Father. If we have the power of the spirit with us at all times and in all things and in all places then I believe we will never fall short and become victims of the harmful effects of media. I have learned that if we hold to the gospel of Jesus Christ we will be wise in the media we choose to view and listen to. Only if we are aware of the dangers then can we resist them. We must be wise.
3. How will what you have read influence your actions as a parent and/or teacher of children and youth?
As a parent I will sit down with my children and discuss what our home standards will be regarding media. We will make the standards and stick to them. Teach my children what dangers can come from technology (addiction, risk of safety, idleness). By informing my children of the dangers they will be more receptive to staying away from them. I do not want any evil or degrading thoughts or feelings to enter my home on the account of media. I want my home to be a place of refuge and safety where the media’s affects will never enter. As a parent I will only allow media that uplifts and inspires into my home. I will protect my family from the potential dangers that come from the internet by placing filter systems on my computer and putting the computer in an open public area. As a parent I will also teach myself about the technology my children are using; I must become familiar with the technology they are using in order to determine whether it is safe or not.
As a teacher of youth I will warn the youth of the dangers that come when the media uses them. I will teach them that media can uplift and inspire, but they must avoid and dispel media that is negative or evil. Ultimately, it is an individual choice each person must make of whether or not they are going to choose media that is “virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy” (Articles of Faith 1:13).
For both my future children and the youth I will preside over, the most important thing in protecting them from the evils of technology is to let them know I love them. When they know I love them they will more fully trust my teachings regarding technology. They will heed my counsel better. Showing them I love them will prove to them that I only want what is best for them.
4. How can you use what you have learned from the reading to have a positive influence on family and friends?
Having read the readings, I will have a positive influence on family and friends by sharing the positive things that can come from media (uplifting music, books, movies), but I will also share with them what dangers can come from the media. I will warn family and friends of possible dangers and encourage them to set their standards right now regarding what they will allow and will not allow when it comes to media. There must be a clear line that people recognize what is safe and what is not safe. Pick where your line is and stick to the standards that you set for yourself.
I have learned that men are weak, but through Christ men can become strong. Through living the gospel and keeping our eyes on eternal things we will be able to stand strong against the negative effects of media and rather choose media that only inspires and uplifts us and brings us closer to the Spirit, Savior, and Heavenly Father. We must be strong and stick to the standards that we know are expected of us as members of the Lord’s church. I will express my feelings to my family and friends that when they choose uplifting and positive media they will be uplifted and inspired as well. They will find joy in their lives because they have the inner knowledge that they are doing what Heavenly Father would want them to do.
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