“Our spirit and our body are combined in such a way that our body becomes an instrument of our mind and the foundation of our character.” ~ President Boyd K. Packer, quoted by Elder Bednar, June 2010 “Ensign” article “Things As They Really Are” (on pp.17 and 18)
“The adversary attempts to influence us both to misuse our physical bodies and to minimize the importance of our bodies. These two methods of attack are important for us to recognize and to repel.” ~ Elder David A. Bednar, ibid (p.18; the article runs from p. 16 through p. 25, and I do not recall ever reading such a long article in the “Ensign” in my 35 years in the church; every blessed word of it is important.)
I would insert a link, but this is the current issue, and the link at lds.org did not work when I tried it.
Misusing our physical bodies:
Violating the law of chastity
Using drugs and addictive substances
Disfiguring or defacing ourselves
Worshiping the false idol of body image (our own or others)
Minimizing the importance of our physical bodies:
Digital distractions (video and online gaming)
Disconnecting gradually and physically from things as they really are (acting as if we were still in our premortal unembodied state.)
Substituting virtual reality for personal fidelity (role-playing games, social media, cybersex)
The illusion of anonymity (personal attacks, illegal downloads)
Questions to ask:
“1. Does the use of various technologies and media invite or impede the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost in your life?”
“2. Does the time you spend using various technologies and media enlarge or restrict your capacity to live, to love, and to serve in meaningful ways?”
This has been much on my mind. After last month’s PPI [personal priesthood interview] with Bishop, I was impressed/inspired that I needed to cease playing the one and only Facebook game that I played (your mileage may vary; I am the RS president in my ward, and it is especially important that *I* use my time wisely).
The exercise program is part of my endeavor to live the Word of Wisdom (our health code) more fully. As one of my friends said back in 1976, “How can I expect to ‘run and not be weary ... walk and not faint’ if I am not exercising appropriately?”
One of the many reasons my marriage fell apart is that he immersed himself in talk radio and video games. We needed him, and we could not get a word in edgewise. One of the reasons that NintendoMan and I did not work out, is that he spends an enormous [dare I say inordinate?] amount of time playing Facebook games. I base my opinion on his status updates that pop up on my wall.
I am also concerned about some of the games that he plays. Here comes the Gospel According to Ms. Ravelled: I think “Mafia Wars” and related games are inappropriate for anyone who is “trying to be like Jesus”. I think games which are based on “taking out” the bad guys are not much better than those where you “win” by committing rape or murder.
I am also concerned about children who have Facebook profiles before the age of 13. When I had dinner with Brother Sushi on Friday night, he mentioned that he had a friend suggestion of a child whom I know, and while *he* would be safe for her to friend, he does not know how he got that suggestion, and it might be going to others I know who are perhaps not so benevolent.
I also wonder how parents who allow their children to be on Facebook prematurely are going to insist that they not attend the youth dances until they are 14 or date until they are 16 (our church’s standards).
I am feeling particularly Old-Testament-ish today. The children’s father used to call me the Family Pharisee, much concerned with jots and tittles and less susceptible to the spirit of the law. I submit that if I do not pay attention to the letter of the law, I will not be as obedient as I should, and therefore I will risk missing the promptings of the Spirit when perhaps I need them most.
So, how to ensure that I color inside the lines? Read the scriptures, particularly the Book of Mormon, every day. Ponder what I read. Bear testimony of what I learn. Put the promptings I receive into action.
Offered in love and humility, with my testimony that the principles of which Elder Bednar speaks, are true.
- Four years into widowhood, after one year of incredible happiness and nearly 14 years of single blessedness. Have given up perfect manicures and pretty hands in order to resume playing the soprano recorder and to see if I can figure out how to play bluegrass banjo. Singing in the shower. Still really, *really* love to knit!