“R” means really good.

19 03 2011

I just got home from watching the Jimmer Show. (aka – BYU beating Gonzaga).

I want to watch a movie.
I flipped through my collection and here’s how my thought process went:

“I want to watch The Town.
It’s Rated R.
But I’ve watched plenty of Rated R movies and R usually means really good!
Yeah, but you haven’t watched one since you’ve been married.
Good point.
Yeah, but watching one won’t be so bad – plus Leah is out of town.
Also a good point.
Actually that’s not so good.
You’re now in charge of the Teachers quorum. You need to be better.
UGH! I hate when you’re right.”

Yes, as I sit here writing, I WANT to watch The Town. I really, really want to watch it.

BUT I cannot bring myself to do it.

I know, you are probably all split on your thoughts regarding whether “Rated R” movies are ok or not. I’m not judging either way. I have been on both sides. It just so happens that right now I’m in the “I wouldn’t feel good about watching an R-rated movie” phase. Even though I want to.


It sounds terrible, I know.
Probably pretty lame as well.

Have you ever wanted to do something you didn’t feel good about?

“Our prophet teaches that if we decide now not to watch inappropriate media but instead to walk away, “the challenge is behind us.” (David E. Sorensen, May Ensign 2001)

? What are your thoughts on the whole Rated R movie thing?

This is your brain on…

10 06 2010


Dad heard about the media fast I attempted (with so-so results) and in typical fatherly fashion when he feels strongly about something, sent the kids an email with some thoughts/advice. (I’ve always appreciated these emails- even though they often say things I don’t want to hear)

The email had a link to a wonderful New York Times article: Your Brain on Computers – Hooked on Gadgets and Paying a Mental Price

Go read it. Now.

How many of you are multi-taskers?

I know I consider myself a multi-tasker, capable of accomplishing many things at once:
Eating candy
Talking to someone
Texting someone else
Watching a video on YouTube
Watching a TV show in the background

It turns out that my multi-tasking skills aren’t quite as good as I thought.
Odds are, yours aren’t either. (Sorry!)

In fact according to scientists at the University of Utah, only 3% of multi-taskers actually have the mental capacity to truly FOCUS on multiple things at once.

The rest of us are pretending.

And our pretending has actually rewired our brains. (And not in a good way)

We have basically programmed our brains to constantly be searching for stimulation.
New Emails.
Facebook notifications.
YouTube videos.
Twitter updates.
Etc. etc. etc.

The problem is that when you decide to stop multi-tasking your brain doesn’t understand that you’ve stopped and continues operating as if you are still in multi-task mode.

This leads to the inability to truly focus on ANYTHING. Instead, your mind simply wanders in search of stimulus.

“We are exposing our brains to an environment and asking them to do things we weren’t necessarily evolved to do,” he said. “We know already there are consequences.”

I wonder if Heavenly Father ever meant for us to become multi-taskers?

The scriptures don’t talk about people who did 12 projects at the same time.

Instead, we often hear about those individuals who focused, pondered and meditated.

“As I pondered over these things which are written, the eyes of my understanding were opened, and the Spirit of the Lord rested upon me.” (D&C 138:11)

Think about how your mind works. Are you constantly in search of the next stimulus, or do you find it simple to focus on one topic before moving on to the next?

? Are you a multi-tasker?

Things as They Really Are.

8 06 2010

My friend Angela sent me the link to Elder Bednar’s latest article in this month’s Ensign, Things as They Really Are. It’s a wonderful talk with some interesting points that caused me to do a quick spiritual check-up.

From the beginning of the article, Elder Bednar makes clear the importance of our bodies:

A truth that really is and always will be is that the body and the spirit constitute our reality and identity. When body and spirit are inseparably connected, we can receive a fulness of joy; when they are separated, we cannot receive a fulness of joy.”

Elder Bednar then talks about several ways Satan tempts us to misuse our bodies. The typical Sunday School answers include; breaking the law of chastity and word of wisdom. However, he includes several other ways we misuse our bodies that don’t always get included in our standard answers.

1. “We diminish the importance of our bodies and jeopardize our physical well-being by going to unusual and dangerous extremes searching for an ever-greater and more exhilarating adrenaline “rush.

All of you adrenaline junkies out there beware!

It makes sense. There are other ways to feel “alive” and get a “rush” besides placing yourself in potentially dangerous situations. I’m not sure Heavenly Father gave us our bodies so that we could see how far we could push the limit of losing them. I doubt when we were in the pre-existence that we were excited about trying to lose the body that we would be provided.

2. “Sadly, some young men and young women in the Church today ignore “things as they really are” and neglect eternal relationships for digital distractions, diversions, and detours that have no lasting value.”

I LOVE this. He talks about video games and social networking. Again the main point to consider is this; what is the PURPOSE of having a body? Were we sent here to become proficient in killing zombies, or even mastering a digital soccer game? When I get to the other side, will I be rewarded for having beat every Call of Duty video game?


As I read the article I had an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for the gift of my body.

I mentioned the other day that I was worried I had invested time in a hobby that was useless. When I think about the good that has come from the physical exercise and discipline I learned and the lives of the kids I have touched I am SO grateful. It was WELL worth all of the time I put into it.

Elder Bednar mentions that when we place a higher value on video games, TV, movies and online games we run the risk of becoming as Laman and Lemuel of old:

“…but ye were past feeling, that ye could not feel his words…” (1 Nephi 17:45)

“I raise an apostolic voice of warning about the potentially stifling, suffocating, suppressing, and constraining impact of some kinds of cyberspace interactions and experiences upon our souls.”

What an incredible talk. I HIGHLY recommend reading it and considering things you can do to make the most of the body you have been blessed with. (Thanks Angela for recommending it to me)

? What are some ways you have taken full advantage of the body you have been blessed with?

the media.

28 05 2010

I took Leah up to the airport this morning. It’s her birthday today – she’s 21! (Happy Birthday sweetie!) She’s going up to Portland to visit her grandparents.

She’s taking a media class in school and we talked a little bit about the influence of the media.

There’s a neverending debate – does the media influence what the public wants? – or do the wants of the public influence what the media produces?

We mainly talked about how the media constantly bombards us with sexually charged messages and images.

I believe the media litters much of it’s content with sex because they know it sells. (we want it)
*I’m NOT saying it’s right – and that’s not the debate.

How many times have you seen a commercial with a hot girl or guy and after the commercial you were left wondering what product was being advertised?

This is the natural man. We are drawn to sex.

If the majority of the public was against these images/messages then there would be people protesting etc. etc.

But when was the last time you saw a protest against the Levis for using a hot girl to advertise the jeans?
How about a protest against Budweiser for the using girls in bikinis?
Or what about a protest against Twilight movie makers for the half naked werewolves running around?

There are NONE.
This is because there is a part of each of us that enjoys these things. Right?

Right. Even though it’s wrong.

“For the natural man is an enemy to God…” (Mosiah 3:19)

We all know the scripture. It’s used OVER and OVER to remind us that when we allow our passions to reign that we are at odds with Heavenly Father.
Tough reality – because it is natural.

But that discussion is for another post. The focus here is the influence of the media…

And the question is:

? Do you think the media influences the public – or do the “needs” of the public influence what the media produces?

the testaments.

13 04 2010

Just got back from teaching seminary…

If only this could be my full time job.

We are in 3rd Nephi right now and have been talking for the past couple of weeks about the Savior’s visit to the people in the Americas. I decided that we would take a couple days to watch a video called The Testaments: Of One Fold and One Shepherd.

This is one of the best movies the Church has produced. (Although it doesn’t take much to beat some of those old 80’s seminary movies – haha) The Church is taking the production of media more seriously and as a result we are being blessed with high quality films that do a wonderful job of inviting the spirit.

If you haven’t seen this in awhile I recommend you watch it soon… And if you’re on a tight schedule, skip to the last ten minutes.

Every time I listen to this scripture quoted, I get a little misty-eyed…

“Behold my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, in whom I have glorified my name — hear ye him.” (3 Nephi 11:7)

Afterwards we talked about the two major groups in the movie:

The Believers and the Unbelievers.

I asked the kids how they could believe in Christ when they have never seen Him.

One of them just looked at me and said, “I just know. And I’ll always know.”

There were others who I got the feeling didn’t quite believe, but wanted to believe.

I told them there would come a time, when the testimony of others would not be good enough. None of us can rely on someone else to keep us afloat. At some point we must develop and nourish our own faith. Once we do, it will not matter if the entire world fell apart, our faith would remain, because it is ours.

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