“Flipping Channels,” Friend, Sep. 2015, 8–9
“Bye, kids! We’re going on our temple date,” Mom said.
“Be good and have fun,” Dad said as he pulled the door shut behind them.
“Yay!” I said. “We can do whatever we want now!”
My older brother Matt sighed. “Not me. I’ve got to do homework so I can go to the dance tomorrow.” He disappeared into his room.
I felt a little jealous. He was old enough to go to stake dances—but I still had another four years before I could go. I didn’t have much homework, so I decided to see what was on TV.
As I flipped through the channels, I saw a movie I’d really wanted to watch last year, but hadn’t because of the rating. I could finally see it now that it was edited for TV!
I settled down on the couch. This movie was going to be great. But just a few scenes in, I started to feel uncomfortable. There wasn’t anything horrible going on, but I started to wonder about the scenes and words that had been cut out.
When I heard Matt’s bedroom door open, I quickly changed the channel so he wouldn’t see what I was watching. I was a little nervous. I didn’t want him to ask about the movie and the rating. He walked by me and went into the kitchen. I flipped back to the movie. When I heard him walking back, I hurried and changed the channel again.
“What are you watching?” Matt asked.
“Nothing,” I said, flipping through more channels.
Matt shrugged and went back to his room.
I flipped back to the movie and watched for a few more minutes. But I wasn’t really focused on it anymore. What am I doing? I thought to myself. If I don’t even want Matt to know what I’m watching, and I feel uncomfortable, why am I watching it?
Finally I decided to just turn off the TV. I sat there holding the remote, trying to think of something good to do to stop thinking about the movie. I didn’t want to start watching again just because I was bored.
I wandered up to my room and looked around. I hadn’t written in my journal in awhile, and I had that drawing I’d been working on. I knew I’d feel better doing those things than watching the movie.
I turned on some good music and wrote about the experience in my journal. I had a warm, comfortable feeling. I’d been missing that feeling during the movie. Instead of that good, peaceful feeling—the Holy Ghost—I’d felt worried and kind of embarrassed.
I don’t want to do things I feel worried and embarrassed about, I wrote in my journal. I want to do things that the Holy Ghost can stick around for.
When my parents came home a couple of hours later, I showed them my finished drawing.
“Glad to see that you spent your time well,” Dad said.
I smiled. “Me too.”