More on R-rated Movies and Mormons

I came across a recent article continuing the discussion of R-rated movies and LDS culture.  The comments are particularly insightful as to the reason for the discussion.  People believe that there was once a line drawn, but fail to understand the context of the comments.  In most cases it is better to love than to be right (modesty and entertainment choices particularly come to mind).  The author also makes some similar arguments that I presented in my earlier two-part post.

Some of the comments I made (visit the article if you want to better understand their context):
"You really have to take sites like kids-in-mind with a grain of salt. They just spout off anything that by itself would be considered offensive, they don't take into account the context of the "evil" being depicted in the movie. The Book of Mormon has plenty of violence that on it's own is deplorable and something I would want nothing to do with (rape, murder, cannibalism, adultery, etc.) but in context evil can teach us and drive us towards the light. That is why there must be an opposition in all things, we can't learn good without evil. Granted that doesn't mean we have to expose ourselves to evil to learn good, but media that accurately portrays evil and its consequences isn't evil in and of itself."
"I have a similar way of analyzing movies I've seen, and I think you just have to be smart with the ones you choose to watch. If it looks inspiring, it might be or might not be. If it isn't, the important part is that you recognize that it isn't (especially since you did some homework before and are OK with the content that will be presented). Even if you're partially inspired, but disgusted by something wrongly represented in the movie, it's important to recognize that and keep your discernment sharp. A healthy analysis (keeping a blog, reading reviews) will help sharpen one's ability to properly critique media in all its forms, and as a result be able to properly communicate its value to others."
"...movies aren't solely "entertainment." They are an art. The same guidelines for reading books, looking at art, listening to music goes for watching movies. Some people do just want entertainment and serious material isn't good for entertainment, so it's easy to draw a line. But for those looking for something deeper, your PG movies don't often have much to offer (there are some obvious exceptions). I think the Book of Mormon argument is somewhat valid, the "mature" content in the book is presented in context and shows proper consequences. We are supposed to learn from opposition (that includes opposition represented in media)."
"But also beware of the G and PG-rated movies that don't accurately portray evil. There's nothing to learn from movies that just share a gooey story of sunshine and rainbows. Movies and books can be great teaching sources for us as we learn to understand how to recognize evil, how certain actions produce certain consequences, etc. All media needs to be filtered or judged cautiously."
"[President Benson] was also directing this statement to the Aaronic Priesthood during a Priesthood session of conference. Don't forget the rest of the quote, "Don't see R-rated movies or vulgar videos or participate in any entertainment that is immoral, suggestive, or pornographic." Immoral, suggestive, or pornographic are what we are supposed to avoid, that is the filter we should apply to the media we entertain."


  1. So how much do you research a film before you decide to watch it? I watched Looper, because I'd heard such great things about it. But watching it revealed that it just glorifies organized crime. The moral message, if there was one at all, must be filled in by the viewer. So in the end, I didn't feel like the portrayal of evil was worth watching.

    1. I wish I could say I had a great system for finding the diamonds in the rough. I generally follow the suggestions of people who have similar tastes as I do. I really trust Orson Scott Card's reviews and really liked Lincoln Lawyer (not sure why they made that one R). Eric Snider has an interesting taste, but I can usually read his reviews and decide if it's something I think I'd like to watch. Occasionally I'll try something that's won best picture just to see why. I've had some regrets, but I've been glad I've seen some. I was really intrigued with Looper and really wanted to see it, so I'm glad I got your feedback! I can "handle" language and violence to some extent, but if commonsensemedia.org says it has a graphic sex, I'll stay away. Weird how that's more sensitive to most than violence. I guess that shows how desensitized I've become...who knows.