18) POPULARITY: Since everyone listens to rock music does that make it OK?


Prophetic Statements

Spencer W. Kimball

We are different. We are a peculiar people. We hope we shall always be unusual and peculiar. . . . We need not follow the world in thought or action. We need not bow to pressures which restrain and limit and coerce. Our programs-music, drama, etc.-need not be the type that others produce. . . . Our standards need not be set by men of selfish minds. We may live in the outskirts of the world yet be not of the world. Why must people ape in every field the stupid and silly actions and plans and programs of the world? . . . Let us keep it an island of beauty and cleanness in an ocean of filth and destruction and disease. Let us keep it as a spring of pure, cool water though surrounded by sloughs and stagnant swamps of rebellion and corruption and worldliness outside. Let us keep it a place of peace in a world of confusion, frustration, mental aberrations, and emotional disturbances. Let us keep it a place of safety in a world of violence where laws are ignored, criminals coddled, enforcement curtailed, buildings burned, stores looted, lives endangered. [1]

Ezra Taft Benson

Give more than lip service to the Thirteenth Article of Faith, and actually seek after that “which is lovely and of good report.” Enlist your parents in a project to replace your record library with music of the masters, of your heritage. Peter pictured the times so evident today when in the last days he saw “scoffers walking after their own lusts” [2]. The scoffers are “in” and your will must be strong to stay a “square.” [3] [4] We tend to associate with those of like ideals. Only the wholesome have the capacity to lift and encourage one another to greater service, to greater achievement, to greater strength. Those who follow an opposite course serve only to intensify those unwholesome actions and desires which are the breeding ground for regrets and disillusionment. You, as our great youth, are surrounded and bombarded from all sides by the atrocious, destructive evils of the devil, which are revealed in modern music . . . . [5] Now hear this test proposed by President George Q. Cannon: If the breach is daily widening between ourselves and the world . . . we may be assured that our progress is certain, however slow. On the opposite hand, if our feeling and affections, our appetites and desires, are in unison with the world around us and freely fraternize with them . . . we should do well to examine ourselves. Individuals in such a condition might possess a nominal position in the Church but would be lacking the life of the work, and, like the foolish virgins who slumbered while the bridegroom tarried, they would be unprepared for his coming. . . . [6] To repeat again from the Book of Mormon, “. . . they have all gone astray save it be a few, who are the humble followers of Christ; nevertheless, they are led, that in many instances they do err because they are taught by the precepts of men.” [7] May we cherish God’s revelations more than man’s reasoning and choose to follow the prophets of the Lord rather than the precepts of men. [8] For young people to be in the world but not of the world has never been more difficult than today. But this burden must be shared by the parents. The family home evening is an important barrier to the works of Satan. Our church youth program must protect our youth against every evil influence and should fill a vacuum left by rejecting worldly enticements. And, of course, a great panacea for all problems and personal doubts: prayer—private and family prayer, night and morning. The critical and complaining adult will be less effective than the interested and understanding. Love and understanding are only effective when they are genuine, and to be genuine, they must be motivated by love. We must love our young people, whether they are in righteousness or in error. In this way we can give them a chance to discern and to learn. But we must also give them a fair choice. Today many are not succeeding. Yes, “There comes a time when the general defilement of a society becomes so great that the rising generation is put under undue pressure and cannot be said to have a fair choice between the Way of Light and the Way of Darkness.” God grant that we as parents and leaders of youth may have the power and the good common sense to give them “a fair choice.” [9]


Rock Artists

Supporting Statements

President J. Rueben Clark Jr

“. . . a tremendous amount of the modern . . . music . . . that we have today is utterly demoralizing—utterly.” [10]

Gene R. Cook

We determined to maintain our family music standard of Church music, classical music, or other good general music, but no light or hard rock or anything like unto it. [11]

  1. Spencer W. Kimball, The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, edited by Edward L. Kimball [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1982], 399.
  2. 2 Peter 3:3
  3. BYU Ten-Stake Fireside, Provo, Utah, 7 May 1972.
  4. Ezra Taft Benson, The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1988], 327.
  5. Ezra Taft Benson, The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1988], 392.
  6. Millennial Star, October 5, 1861 [vol. 23], pp. 645-46.
  7. 2 Nephi 28:14
  8. Ezra Taft Benson, God, Family, Country: Our Three Great Loyalties [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1974], 262.
  9. Ezra Taft Benson, God, Family, Country: Our Three Great Loyalties [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1974], 251.
  10. Relief Society Magazine, December 1952, p. 792
  11. Gene R. Cook, Raising Up a Family to the Lord, p. 157
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