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Commentary

Prophetic Statements

Ezra Taft Benson

Attend dances where the music and the lighting and the dance movements are conducive to the Spirit. [1] [2]

Youth leaders, are you holding aloft our standards, or have you compromised them for the lowest common denominator in order to appease the deceived or vile within the Church? Are the dances and music in your cultural halls virtuous, lovely, praiseworthy, and of good report, or do they represent a modern Sodom with short skirts, loud, beat, strobe lights, and darkness? [3]

A letter from a concerned father, a well-informed teacher of youth, about the evil effects of some popular music is one of many:

Music creates atmosphere. Atmosphere creates environment. Environment influences behavior. What are the mechanics of this process?

Darkness [and dimmed lights] is another facet of the rock scene. It is a black mass that deadens the conscience in a mask of anonymity. Identity lost in darkness shrinks from the normal feelings of responsibility.

Strobe lights split the darkness in blinding shafts that reduce resistance like the lights of an interrogator’s third degree or the swinging pendulum of the hypnotist who would control your behavior. . . .

The whole psychedelic design is a swinging door to drugs, sex, rebellion, and Godlessness. Combined with the screaming obscenities of the lyrics, this mesmerizing music has borne the fruit of filth. Leaders of the rock society readily proclaim their degeneracy.

The Church must not compromise standards before popular demands. Surely tobacco, coffee, and alcohol users have been alienated by uncompromising standards as much as today’s rocking miniskirts. [4]

Scriptures

Rock Artists

Supporting Statements


  1. “To the Young Women of the Church,” Ensign 16 [November 1986]: 84
  2. Ezra Taft Benson, The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1988], 326 – 327
  3. Ezra Taft Benson, God, Family, Country: Our Three Great Loyalties [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1974], 229
  4. Ezra Taft Benson, God, Family, Country: Our Three Great Loyalties [Salt Lake City Deseret Book Co., 1974], 242

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