Listen To Your Mother


A number of years ago, I was reading in the newspaper when I came across an article entitled “Elusive family friendly TV.” Written by Linda Chavez, it opens with this paragraph:

“Am I imagining it or is television becoming even more family unfriendly? For years now, primetime television fare has offered a steady diet of comedies that depend on sexual innuendo and situations for laughs, crime dramas that make the world seem like it’s filled with sadistic predators and perverts, often within our own homes, and cable “news” programs that spend as much time dissecting the bizarre antics of this week’s celebrity bad girl (or boy) as they do covering real news.”

She ended her commentary with this statement: “You don’t have to be a child, or even have children in your home, to find this intrusion of Hollywood values into your living room troublesome.”

It is very clear, not only to mes,  but also to other individuals, communities, and groups, that the basic values of decency are under constant attack. I was reading in the same paper the review of a new television series that will be presented as “entertainment”.  The review of the show left me wondering if a “brown paper bag” shouldn’t be placed over every TV that airs it! Such crass shows remind me of a memorable conversation with my mother shortly after returning home from my church mission to Argentina. We were at home sitting around the kitchen table talking. The television was turned on, providing background noise when our attention was drawn to a loud commercial announcing a new sitcom. From the promo, the new sitcom appeared to be rather salacious in nature. My Mom turned to me and said these prophetic words, “What is the world coming to? Soon nudity will be shown right here on our own TV’s!”

I didn’t say anything then, but inside I laughed and thought to myself, “Yea, right Mom!” At the time , which was 1977, I couldn’t have imagined what she was predicting.  Now some forty-five years later, it is clear that my Mother had great insight into the nature of sin. Extreme, unusual and sometimes even perverse images are presented daily as normal. Violent and degrading storylines are now routinely presented simply for the shock value. Its result is a coarsening of our senses and the deadening of our spiritual consciences. Like many others, my mother understood that when you tolerate unholy things, it is just a matter of time until you embrace them. Although section eighty-nine of the Doctrine and Covenants was written regarding the eating and drinking of things that will pollute our physical bodies, I think it is equally important to understand its meaning regarding our spiritual bodies. It reads:

“Behold, verily, thus saith the Lord unto you: In consequence of evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days, I have warned you, and forewarn you, by giving unto you this word of wisdom by revelation—” (Vs. 4)

The “word of wisdom” that has come from our living apostles and prophets regarding the pollution of our souls is this: ” In a world that wallows in filth, be clean—in language, in thought, in body, in dress.” (President Hinckley-“I Am Clean”, General Conference, April 2007).

My mother has since passed away but I am grateful that she had the vision to warn me of the perils ahead.  As I survey my life I am oft-times reminded that “mother knows best”. Most of us would be wise to follow the loving council of our mothers, no matter what our age! I believe God gave to most mothers a natural intuition and keen spiritual promptings so that they can protect their children from physical and spiritual harm. Let us not be fooled into participating in things that will pollute our spiritual souls. May we not fall prey to the “conspiring men” who seek to profit from the destruction of, not only us, but our families! May we follow the wise counsel of the prophets and stay clean! May we take the time to thank our mothers even if they are no longer with us. Perhaps the greatest honor we can bestow upon them is to acknowledge the great influence for good they have had in our lives. Perhaps we need to take the time on a regular basis to review what they have to say.  Most often their words wax prophetic! This week I plan on holding a private conversation with mine. I won’t be able to have a conversation face to face. For me, it will be heart to heart.  I will whisper from mine to her’s of my great love and appreciation. Then I will listen!

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