Are You Going to Follow the Prophets?
July 2001

“Are You Going to Follow the Prophets?” Ensign, July 2001, 64

Are You Going to Follow the Prophets?

“Because of the Restoration of the gospel, we live in a time when so many of the teachings of God have been made known—when the gifts and blessings of the priesthood and the doctrines of all previous dispensations have been given to us. There never has been a greater time than this to be living on the earth. But we also must never forget that Satan knows our Heavenly Father’s plan. He and his fallen followers are active and doing all they can to thwart God’s plan and destroy the faith of His children. I need to caution you about some important ways that Satan is carrying on his destructive crusade.

“Please be very careful in your choice of entertainment. Far too much that is being shown in theaters, on television, on videos, and over the Internet is insidious, sleazy, and dangerous. Do not ever watch the filth of pornography, which is a powerful tool of the devil designed to destroy spiritual sensitivity and kill the desire to know the will and the teachings of the Lord. Strive always for those things that are ‘virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy’ (A of F 1:13). The prophet Mormon taught that ‘whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do evil, and believe not in Christ, and deny him, and serve not God … is of the devil’ (Moro. 7:17).

“Now, I’m aware there may be a few of you who think that you know better than the leaders of the Church about this subject. You may even argue that there is artistic merit or that ‘everyone is doing it.’ You may believe that you are not one of those people who will be influenced by on-screen sex or violence. To you I have only one question: are you going to follow the true and living prophets or not? It really isn’t any more complicated than that. The standard of the Church with regard to morality is clear. If you choose to read anything that contains material that is contrary to the moral standards of the Church, then you are placing yourself and your own wisdom above the counsel of God and His prophets—a course of action that would indeed be very unwise. As soon as you begin to think that you know better than the leaders of the Church, that our counsel doesn’t apply to you, you are stepping onto a slippery slope that has claimed far too many victims already. It takes real desire and unequivocal, unreserved faith to accept and to live prophetic counsel even when you may not completely understand it. Such sincere desire and simple faith has the power to guide you safely through every challenge you may face in your life.”

Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “That We Might Know,” devotional address, BYU—Hawaii, 25 Jan. 2001.