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"R" means don't rationalize

my three boys, 2010
Walmart had a bin filled with a mountain of DVDs.  There were older movies, newer movies, movies of all genres and of all ratings–-all for just $5 each. It wasn't why I took my children shopping there yesterday, but when I saw that good deal, I was glad I went.

I lean over the edge of the bin and dug deep into the center of the mountain to find movies that I'd love to add to our home media collection, all the while thinking about Christmas gifts for friends and family who would appreciate and enjoy five-dollar movies.

I don't remember how long I was there searching, but when I was done, I had Robin Hood (PG-13) and Pride and Prejudice (PG) in hand. I was sure the selections were okay with the Church teachings on choosing good, clean, appropriate entertainment.

As we were waiting in the long check-out line, my youngest son was going through the DVD blurbs and noticed something.
"Mom, we can't get this one," he lifted Robin Hood and said. "Look, it's rated PG-13!"

"I know," I said. "Sean is 13; Jett is 12, and you're almost 13. We'll be fine."

PG-13 is just like PG, right? Plus, in a movie like Robin Hood, it's probably the occasional fighting scenes that are a little graphic for little children. 

"But mom," Dillan wouldn't give up, "did you read this?" He pointed at the tiny box under the rating and then I saw those daunting words: some sexual content...

"Oh..." I felt awkward. "Should we put it back, Dillan?" I asked as if I purposely grabbed the movie to test and see if he’d choose the right and heed the Prophet's counsel.

"We don't want to buy it, mom," Dillan said. "We can't. It has sexual content in it. It's like...watching pornography."

With that, I knew I had to leave the DVD with the cashier. On media morality, we're counseled to watch what we watch and that the rating "R" means don't rationalize.

“It is very unreasonable to suppose that exposure to profanity, nudity, sex, and violence has no negative effects on us. We can’t roll around in the mud without getting dirty” (Ensign, Nov. 1996, 40). —Elder Joe J. Christensen Emeritus Member of the Seventy. 
“What difference does it make why it is rated R? The fact is, a prophet of God has said not to go to R-rated movies. That ought to be enough” (Ensign, July 1998, 16). —Elder Cree-L Kofford of the Seventy.

I’m grateful that my son reminded me to choose the right. As a mother, I’m pleased to know that he’s brave to say no to what’s inappropriate. I need to be more like him and always remember not to rationalize my wrong choice.

Have you ever had a similar experience? 
How did you take care of it?

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Allison is a mother to three boys. She's currently working on her memoir. You can find her at: Allison Merrill.

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