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Prophetic Statements

Ezra Taft Benson

May I quote from a musician who for many years has observed the influence of music on behavior:

Satan knows that music hath charms to sooth or the savage beast. That music has power to create atmosphere has been known before the beginning of Hollywood. Atmosphere creates environment, and environment influences behavior—the behavior of Babylon or of Enoch.

Most of these heroes who are being glamorized today are no longer noble, accomplished, humble, or righteous. From reports in books, magazines, and newspapers—especially the youth sections—we learn that they are lewd, obscene, immoral, avaricious, and in some cases even cruel. It is the very life-style we are here to avoid that is paraded before our young people by their celebrated peers. To deflect the admiration of youth from these examples of the ugly life, we must start young. The care and feeding of children must include equal concern for their emotional lives as well as their physical, spiritual, and intellectual lives. [1]

Supporting Statements

H.A. Haweis

Does the artist show that his sympathies lie with an unwholesome preponderance of horrible, degraded, or of simply pleasurable, as distinct from healthy, emotions? Is he for whipping the jaded senses to their work, or merely for rejoicing in the highest activity of their healthful exercise? Does he love what is good whilst acknowledging the existence of evil, or does he delight in what is evil and merely introduce what is good for the vicious sake of trampling upon it? . . . The highest service that art can accomplish for man is to become at once the voice of his nobler aspirations, and the steady disciplinarian of his emotions. [2]

  1. Ezra Taft Benson, God, Family, Country: Our Three Great Loyalties [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1974], 250
  2. H.A. Haweis, English theologian and musical philosopher

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