Be selective about what you read, watch and what you listen to.
I recently started following a popular group on Instagram. I’d heard nothing but great things and they had 2.7 million followers! At first I was pretty impressed with great pictures, real people and true stories. But then there would be a slightly crude quote or less than inspiring caption. I just thought, there are 2.7 million people following, it can’t be THAT bad. I also thought there are enough good posts that its worth scrolling through the not so great ones. So I kept following them. But something still didn’t settle with me.
When I was a teenager, my parents put together a family mission statement that the whole family memorized. One of the lines says, “We exercise wisdom in what we eat, read, and what we do with our time.” I also grew up with a mother who was VERY selective about the kind of movies, music and books we had in our home. If we were all sitting in the family room watching a movie, she would stand up and leave after the first offensive word. Sometimes it made the rest of us uncomfortable that she had no tolerance for anything offensive. If my siblings and I were jamming to some popular song on the radio she’d peek her head in and say, “Have you listened to the lyrics of that song?” We just rolled our eyes and said, “MOM! Its not THAT bad!” If we still didn’t get the picture she would even print off the lyrics for us, or repeat the lines we were so enthusiastically singing.
I highly value my time and energy. I desperately need the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost in my life. President Ballard boldly reminded us that, “Because of its sheer size, media today presents vast and sharply contrasting options. Opposite from its harmful and permissive side, media offers much that is positive and productive. Television offers history channels, discovery channels, education channels. One can still find movies and TV comedies and dramas that entertain and uplift and accurately depict the consequences of right and wrong. The Internet can be a fabulous tool of information and communication, and there is an unlimited supply of good music in the world. Thus our biggest challenge is to choose wisely what we listen to and what we watch.
Having already decided to be more selective with the music that I listen to, I decided to unfollow this particular Insta group. I felt this little surge of triumph inside! Making small decisions in our daily lives that will bring a greater light will always have lasting positive affects.
As the prophet Lehi said, because of Christ and His Atonement, we are “free forever, knowing good from evil,” able to act for ourselves rather than be acted upon, “free to choose liberty and eternal life … or to choose captivity and death” (2 Ne. 2:26–27).