“Filter Fail,” Friend, June 2018
Normally Kylie would rather be playing basketball or watching a cat video—or doing anything besides homework. But Saturn was Kylie’s favorite planet, and she got to do her research project about it! Her eyes scanned the computer screen until she spotted an article about Saturn’s rings. This looks like a good one! she thought.
Suddenly something unexpected popped up on the screen. It was a picture of a person not wearing clothes. Kylie felt sick and scared. This is pornography! she thought. But the computer was supposed to have a filter that screened out bad things. What happened to the filter?
Kylie turned off the computer. She ran into her bedroom and knelt by her bed. “I didn’t want to see that bad picture,” she prayed. “Please take it out of my mind.”
As the week went by, Kylie kept asking Heavenly Father to erase the picture from her mind. But sometimes when she was reading a book or hanging out with her friends, the picture would pop back into her head. She felt guilty every time that happened, and she worried that Heavenly Father might be mad at her.
Finally, one night after the other kids were in bed, Kylie walked slowly toward the kitchen, her heart beating fast.
“Mom and Dad, I have something to tell you. I saw something bad on the computer. I didn’t mean to. Please don’t be mad at me.” She started crying.
Dad put his arm around Kylie’s shoulder. “Tell us about it.”
Kylie let it all spill out—how upsetting it was to see the picture, how she’d prayed and worried. “We’re so sorry you saw that,” Dad said. “But we’re even more sorry that you’ve felt so scared and guilty.”
“I’m going to check the filter right now,” Mom said, walking over to the computer.
Kylie still wondered about something. “Has Heavenly Father forgiven me?” she asked Dad.
“Heavenly Father loves you, and He knows exactly what’s in your heart and your mind,” Dad said. “He wants us to not look at bad things because they’re not good for us. But He knows you saw it by accident. And even if you’d seen that on purpose, He loves us and He forgives us when we repent.”
“But He hasn’t taken the picture away from my mind. I can still see it!”
Dad stroked Kylie’s hair. “When you see something shocking, sometimes your brain remembers it more. But as time passes, and you fill your mind with good things, they’ll start pushing the bad things away.”
“You mean things like scriptures and Primary songs?”
“Sure,” Dad said. “And things you love, like puzzles and art and friends.”
“What about basketball and cats?” Kylie asked.
“Those are very good things!” Dad said.
Mom joined them. “I fixed the filter,” she said. “But there’s another filter that will never fail. The Holy Ghost helps us recognize when things are bad. He can always help us.”
Kylie nodded. She knew the Holy Ghost was helping her feel warm and peaceful, telling her that Heavenly Father loved her and that her parents loved her too.
“Now can I fill my mind with something good?” she asked.
“Sure,” Mom said. “What do you want?”
Kylie thought for a minute. “How about a cat video?”
Mom grinned. “Coming right up!”
What good things can you fill your life with?
How can the Holy Ghost be like a filter that helps you recognize bad things?