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* All About Mormons Newsletter *

May 2000

Welcome to the All About Mormons Newsletter. If you like what you read, email this to friends and family! If you have poems, stories, object lessons, questions, answers, or good ideas to contribute that are not restricted by copyright, please send them to (If you get unusual letters mixed in with this newsletter, please let us know so we can be sure you get it in plain text next time)

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*In this newsletter:

*Book of Mormon Quote of the Month

The Book of Mormon is a volume of sacred writings comparable to the Bible. Its principal purpose is to testify of the divinity of Jesus Christ and the truthfulness of his teachings. For a free copy, call (U.S.) 1-800-528-2225.

"Now I say unto you that ye must repent, and be born again; for the Spirit saith if ye are not born again ye cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven; therefore come and be baptized unto repentance, that ye may be washed from your sins, that ye may have faith on the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, who is mighty to save and to cleanse from all unrighteousness. Yea, I say unto you come and fear not, and lay aside every sin, which easily doth beset you, which doth bind you down to destruction, yea, come and go forth, and show unto your God that ye are willing to repent of your sins and enter into a covenant with him to keep his commandments, and witness it unto him this day by going into the waters of baptism. And whosoever doeth this, and keepeth the commandments of God from thenceforth, the same will remember that I say unto him, yea, he will remember that I have said unto him, he shall have eternal life, according to the testimony of the Holy Spirit, which testifieth in me." (Alma 7:14-16)

*Focus This Month:  Rate Your Media

Imagine going to a restaurant. Your waiter suggests that you order a popular item which is pictured on the menu. It looks tempting and delicious. When the waiter brings it out, he reveals that there is something a little unsavory about the contents of the food. There is half of a cockroach in it. When you act a little surprised, the waiter informs you that it wasn’t a very big cockroach to begin with and, better yet, it was just the top half. He suggests you could just shut your eyes when you get to that part. It wasn’t even enmeshed in the surrounding food, so you could pick it out and enjoy the rest of the dish. Even if something happened to you because you ate the cockroach, what’s the worst that could happen? Food poisoning, illness, or death aren’t very likely. After all, everybody else who ordered the dish ate it and they’re just fine, so what’s the big deal?

I suspect that if this were to happen, you would reject the entire dish and refuse even tasting a little of it. You would probably feel that one cockroach (or one half) will flavor and contaminate the entire dish and feel repulsed by the idea of eating any part of it. You may be shocked at the waiter’s disregard for your welfare and surprised that so many were foolish enough to eat such a dish knowingly. You would probably question whether it was true that others suffered no ill effects. You may even walk out of the restaurant with disgust and never return. You may tell your friends never to eat at that restaurant. We would probably react this way about taking something questionable into our bodies, but how do we react when someone suggests we put something questionable into our minds? Is this how we treat movies with "only one bad scene," for example?

What is the Church’s stand on movies and other entertainment? Many people are aware that prophets and apostles have said that we are not to watch R-rated movies. Perhaps many of you heard this, even if you are not a member of the Church. You may not be aware that the guideline is not merely "no R-rated movies." In addition to prohibiting R-rated movies and worse, we are asked to avoid everything that is obscene, vulgar, degrading, or otherwise inappropriate. This includes films, television shows, radio programs, videos, music, newspapers, magazines, books, Internet sites, video games, plays, nightclubs, and other entertainment—regardless of rating! Unfortunately, this may preclude faithful Latter-day Saints from most entertainment available today, as the entertainment industry’s standards of acceptable words and behavior are becoming lower and lower.

We need to vigilant, especially within our homes. Television is becoming increasingly violent, sexualized, and blatant. In many instances, where once there was innuendo, there is now explicit language and actions. Prime time television shows images that earlier would not have been allowed on the airwaves at all. Networks are imitating cable’s permissiveness. Beyond television, there are video and computer games, Internet sites, chat rooms, and many other venues for degrading images and ideas to reach into our homes and take us prisoners. Since these things are accessible now in private, we need to be personally committed to participating in only the good and uplifting. The things we accept in private affect our lives and the lives of those closest to us.

There is a story, told from the point of view of a child, of a visitor which moved into the family’s home. The guest told inappropriate jokes and lewd stories, showed and glorified evil, and used foul language. All of these things were prohibited in the home and the parents would certainly never let their children do any of those things and they sometimes seemed embarrassed by their guest’s behavior. However, the visitor remained unchecked by the parents. Hour after hour, the visitor introduced many evil ideas into that home. The visitor’s name was unknown, but his nickname was T.V.

Do people who follow the standard given to us by the prophets need to feel embarrassed or sorry for themselves because they are missing out on the things their friends see and do? I would say certainly not! A person may miss out on a funny joke, a memorable line, or some other enjoyable tidbit. However enjoyable these may be, they do not constitute a valid reason to participate in inappropriate media. On the other hand, people refraining from inappropriate media also miss out on that uncomfortable or awkward feeling that comes when something is said or done which doesn’t meet their standards—particularly when that thing is glorified, portrayed as normal or good, or shown without the consequences which inevitably follow wrongdoing. Finally, they miss out on the desensitizing effect that watching or participating in such unwholesome activities produces. They remain sure of what is right and what is wrong. They keep their minds unpolluted and their language and behavior above reproach. They also remain sensitive to the promptings of the Holy Ghost.

So, what can you do for fun on a Friday night if you want to keep these standards set by the prophets and apostles of God? There are still appropriate options available—options which ultimately are more enjoyable because there is nothing which makes you feel embarrassed. By patronizing appropriate venues of entertainment, we encourage the industry to produce more appropriate entertainment. If those options are too few or far between for you, make your own entertainment. Play fun games, write clever scripts, play improvisational games without filthy language or innuendo, write your own stories, plays or books. Make your own videos, write your owns songs, have your own comedy club, or have a speech making contest. Have get-togethers, dances, game nights, or theater activities with other people who would like more wholesome entertainment. You’re sure to have lots of fun and make lasting friendships.

For more information on what we believe about media use, see Attitudes Towards the Arts and Media home page and especially R-Rated Mocies and Other Inappropriate Media

We have ideas for Good Clean Fun can be a helpful site to evaluate media choices.

*Object Lesson: God's boxes
by The Prior, O.H.C.

I have in my hands two boxes which God gave me to hold
He said, "Put all your sorrows in the black,
And all your joys in the gold."
I heeded His words, and in the two boxes,
Both my joys and sorrows I stored
But though the gold became heavier each day
The black was a light as before.
With curiosity, I opened the black I wanted to find out why
And I saw, in the base of the box, a hole
Which my sorrows had fallen out by
I showed the hole to God, and mused aloud,
"I wonder where my sorrows could be."
He smiled a gentle smile at me,
"My child, they're all here with me"
I asked, "God , why give me the boxes,
Why the gold and the black with the hole?"
"My child, the gold is for you to count your blessings,
The black is for you to let go."

Thank you for your contribution!

*What’s New on All About Mormons?

All About Mormons has information to keep you in touch with the Church, including Church related web sites and Internet services, Church phone numbers, and magazine information. Check it out on our Welcome page!

*Fun Stuff: 

Prophesies Fulfilled: Matching from Isaiah 53
by Carrie Farnes

1. Vs. 3 "rejected of men"
2. Vs. 4 "he hath borne our grief's, carried our sorrows"
3. Vs. 5 "no beauty that we should desire him"
4. Vs. 5 "he was wounded for our transgressions"
5. Vs. 5 "with his stripes we are healed"
6. Vs. 9 "made his grave with the wicked"
7. Vs. 9 "with the rich in his death"

___ Joseph of Arimethea, who was rich, gave his burial tomb to Jesus.
___ Christ hung on the cross between two wicked thieves.
___ Before Jesus was crucified, he was whipped on his back, making bloody streaks.
___ The Atonement was when Christ paid the penalty for our transgressions, thereby bleeding from every pore.
___ People were not attracted to how Christ looked.
___ Christ felt our pain, grief's and sorrows in the Garden.
___ The Apostle Peter denied knowing him.

Answers at the bottom of this page.

*Response of the Month: How do you encourage your family to develop a healthy lifestyle?

There are many ways to encourage your family to develop a healthy lifestyle. You must find one to fit you and your family. I found that the best way for me to encourage my family to develop a healthy lifestyle is to not only teach them all the good that comes of a healthy lifestyle, but to lead by example." Thank you ~Mark

See Attitudes Toward Heath, Medicine, and Fitness

For questions regarding the use of meat, Does the Word of Wisdom Require Latter-day Saints to be Vegetarians?

*Question of the Month: How do you involve your married or grown children that have moved from your home in family occasions—Christmas, Thanksgiving, vacations, weddings, birthdays, baby blessings, baptisms, etc.? How have you been included in these events by your family after getting married or moving away from home?

Thank you for your wonderful responses so far. Let us know what you think. We want your wisdom and input!

Reader responses will appear in the next newsletter. E-mail responses to

*Answers to the Fun Stuff (7,6,5,4,3,2,1) Thank you Carrie Farnes for allowing us to use this matching test.

See you later!

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