Did you watch Women's Conference on Saturday? Oh, it was so great! While I'm still thinking about what I heard there, I wanted to share an article I came across on lds.org entitled, "No Neutral Ground: How Media Influences Us, by Aysia Tan.
My favorite quote is from Susanna Wesley, in 1775, to her son, John, a founder of Methodism. She so very wisely counseled, "Would you judge the lawfulness or unlawfulness of pleasure, [of the innocence of malignity of actions? Take this rule.] Whatever weakens your reason, impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures your sense of God, or takes off your relish of spiritual things; in short, whatever increases the strength and authority of your body over your mind; that thing is sin to you, however innocent it may be in itself."
Yes! That is it! That is everything! Different media affects people differently. What Susanna Wesley would say is "sin" for me, might not be for you. But if this life is about overcoming the "natural man," then we need to recognize "whatever increases the strength and authority of [our] body over [our] mind" and stay away from it.
And this: C.S. Lewis said, "Our leisure, even our play, is a matter of serious concern. There is no neutral ground in the universe: every square inch, every split second, is claimed by God and counterclaimed by Satan."
We need to actively surround ourselves with uplifting media. The article states, "Perhaps a television show or book series we once enjoyed has declined on the morality scale but we find it hard to give up, or perhaps a new movie is particularly popular or enticing and we see no harm in watching it. However, giving in just a little makes it easier to give in a little more down the road until we have given ourselves over to indulgences from which we find it difficult to bring ourselves back. But by setting standards for ourselves to allow only wholesome media into our lives, we allow ourselves to be more receptive to the Spirit."
The takeaway for me is to be better at recognizing what things (shows or blogs or instagram accounts, even) take off my "relish of spiritual things." And then I need to make better, conscious choices about what media I allow into my brain.
I am hopeful that these quotes instigate some good discussion at Family Home Evening tonight.
Read the entire article here.
I had Oliver snap that photo of me and Stella and Elliot yesterday after church. They participated in the annual Primary Program, and did such a great job saying their parts. It's my favorite Sunday of the whole year!