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Commentary

Prophetic Statements

David O. McKay

I note you say that you enjoy what you characterize as ‘stomp dances,’ but you are willing to follow my counsel no matter what the answer. I congratulate you on this attitude. You also say that many people have no evil intentions in dancing these dances. May I give you the following guidelines in reply . . . . I admit that many of the young people of our Church do not have any evil intentions in dancing certain current fad dances. However, we do not think the test of a proper dance is whether the dancers have evil intentions, but whether the dance is of such dignity and propriety that, even to an onlooker, it suggests nothing but style and good grace.

AFTER ALL, young men and women of our Church should shun even the appearance of evil, and that is why we would very much prefer that you and others avoid the current trend of what, to many of us, appears to be vulgar dancing. There are too many fine things in this world for the young people to engage in without resorting to dances that are questionable. [1]

Ezra Taft Benson

The philosophy of relativism attacks the eternal principles of truth. The relativist will say, “If one sees filthy implications in a popular song, it is because he has a dirty mind.” The logic of this philosophy finds its fallacy in the word implications. No filth is implied in many of the lyrics. It is proclaimed.

If there are any doubts as to the insidious evil of rock, you can judge by its fruits. The well-publicized perversions of its practitioners alone are enough to condemn its influence. Its ultimate achievement is that contemporary phenomenon, the mammoth rock music festival. As these diseased celebrations mount into the hundreds, they infect youth by the hundreds of thousands. And where is there today a rock festival that is not also a drug festival, a sex festival, and a rebellion festival? (Richard Nibley.) [2]

Scriptures

Rock Artists

Supporting Statements

Some people think their minds are unconquerable fortresses into which they can allow all sorts of evil and destructive thoughts. One fifteen-year old girl told me, “I don’t see any harm in listening to just one bad song. I don’t notice the album covers, and I don’t really listen to the lyrics. I don’t do anything bad because of the songs. I just like the music.”Many young people have told me much the same thing, and they all ask a valid question: Can just one “bad” song really hurt me? The answer is yes, it can! . . . Spiritually speaking, we are what we feed our minds. We would be more healthy spiritually if we never consumed any evil. Every bit harms us. We are living in a telestial world, complete with telestial arts and entertainment which can fill our minds with telestial images. Telestial images stimulate telestial thoughts which result in telestial behavior. The natural product of a telestial environment is a telestial person. We do not reach either the telestial or the celestial kingdom in a single leap. We inch our way toward our final destination by thousands of seemingly insignificant decisions throughout our lives. Each telestial idea we feed upon stimulates a telestial desire–each celestial idea a celestial desire. [3]


  1. David O. McKay, as printed in the Daily Universe, Dec. 3 1965, pp. 1-2; and Living Prophets for a Living Churchm>, Church Educational System college student manual, 1974
  2. Ezra Taft Benson quoting Richard Nibley, God, Family, Country: Our Three Great Loyalties [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1974], 248
  3. Lex De Azevedo, Pop Music & Morality, p. 114

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