Media can be a very useful tool, and it can be one used for good purposes. However, it is also one of the strongest tools that Satan has. Sometimes it is easy to identify the difference, but other times it can be very difficult. Context and purpose are both important. If good is shown as bad and bad as good, if sexual immorality and violence are shown as virtues, then the media can be harmful.
As society spirals downward morally, immorality and violence run rampant through TV shows and movies as well as through the lives of celebrities. Why is it so dangerous to portray these evils as virtues? Or, if not as virtues, at least not as evils? Laxity about moral issues leads to loose morals. If we keep feeding our brains promiscuity and violence, our real values will be weakened and thrown into question.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as the Mormon Church, has counselled its members, youth and adults alike, to refrain from watching R-rated movies. Recently, this has been expanded to include avoiding explicit content, be it violent or sexual, no matter what the rating is.
Sexual immorality is possibly the biggest offender in movies now. It is so easy to get caught up in the message that the media is sending: these people are happy in their promiscuity, and there are no consequences, because it isn’t wrong. This propaganda is impossible to avoid. Media values are skewed terribly in that direction, well away from all Mormon values. All members of the Church are counselled to avoid, as best they can, media that promotes immorality and which objectifies men or women or which downplays the value of life.
One of the most dangerous ways the media can lead people is into the trap of pornography. To view it can start as simple curiosity or even an accident, but it can grow into a terrible addiction which destroys families and marriages. It is everywhere, and if you don’t take precautions, you can also get caught in its deadly web. Avoid it, avoid it, avoid it. Turn off the computer if it pops up. Don’t use the computer when you are alone. Seek help if you need to overcome this temptation. Nothing is more degrading to you.
Completely avoiding the influence of bad media is almost impossible, but each of us can take precautions to lessen the frequency with which it bombards us as well as the influence we let it have over us. Understanding our divine nature and studying the scriptures daily can help us build a wall of defense against evil influences.