No Rated R Movies?

000Just the other week I was forced to make a difficult choice on whether or not to watch an R-rated movie. In most cases, staying true to the standards I’ve set for myself isn’t too difficult, but in this particular case doing what I knew to be right was harder than usual. My psychology class was finishing a long unit, and to review for our upcoming test, the teacher decided to show us a movie that helped capture a lot of the curriculum we had recently learned. I was excited to watch this movie until my teacher announced that the film we were about to watch was rated R. After I heard this I immediately cringed: how was I supposed to  review the material I learned in class and keep my moral standards at the same time? This had me stumped for a while before I made my decision.

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are asked not to watch any movie that is rated R. We try to watch movies that would only motivate us to do good and keep our standards; most rated R movies don’t help  accomplish that. Instead, they are spiritually damaging and can lead us down a path we’re trying to avoid. When I explain this to my friends, I usually get the response, “what makes an R-rated movie any different from a borderline PG-13 movie? To answer honestly, I don’t know if there is a difference. But what I do know is that we are invited not to watch, “anything that is vulgar, immoral, violent, or pornographic in any way”. Its possible that some PG-13 movies could deter us from that goal as well! Because of this, members of my church have to use their judgment and choose whether or not its appropriate to view the movie they’re planning on watching. But discouraging members not to view R-Rated movies makes it easier to attain the goal of keeping good thoughts, actions and language.

At the end of the day, I think it comes down to obedience. It’s easy for me to justify doing the wrong thing because I often feel like my particular circumstance is different and is the exception to the rule. It isn’t easy making decisions without knowing all the details or understanding the whole picture. But that’s what religion is all about! Religion believing in something without knowing everything. Having to trust that God is leading you where you want to be even if it’s difficult at first. Although I don’t know exactly what my church’s thought process or reasoning for this rule was, I do know that my church, led by Christ, is trying to steer me into the right direction in life. And I’ve learned from experience that if  I continue to follow their guidelines I’ll be much better off. I’ve come to know that my church is true and as I trust in God by simply obeying I will be rewarded.

While in my dilemma of what to do, the words of one of my church’s children’s songs came to mind. The song goes, “If the Savior stood beside me would I do the things I do? Would I think of his commandments and try harder to be true?” . After picturing Christ next to me as I made my decision, how could I just sit back and disregard a standard I’ve set for myself? When I heard those words come to mind, I got out of my seat and walked up to my teacher’s desk and asked to leave in front of my whole class.  After a brief conversation, my teacher was so impressed with my courage to stand up that I didn’t have to do any make-up assignment, and was excused from class for the rest of the week. This experience taught me that by simply doing what is right, even when its hard, God will bless you.

6 Responses to “No Rated R Movies?”

  1. melissa says:

    Wow! I am so impressed with your courage. You will always be grateful for that decision you made. Others will See your courage and where it leads you and the will want to band with you.

  2. Krysten says:

    I did too.Alot of people are asking why.

  3. Amanda says:

    My brother had the same problem every time his teacher brought in a movie.his teacher ended up getting in the habit of letting him go to the library during movies.

  4. krysten says:

    WOW! Wow! I know what you feel.

  5. Makenna North says:

    I have faced problems like that at school many times, and in my freshman and sophomore years I just told my teachers that I chose not to watch PG-13 movies and they let me go to the library while they watched the film. But my junior year I chose to watch some PG-13 movies, and with the help of my parents, I decided whether or not to watch the films. Some of the decisions were really hard, because the films always related to what we were learning in class and would really help us in our understanding, but there was usually something that I couldn’t decide whether or not the movie was worth it to watch, and the teacher and my classmates always made the film sound so good. In the end I am really grateful for the decisions I made not to watch the movies, and I didn’t feel like I missed out on anything.

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