The Flexing of Instincts

Flexing of Instincts

Music, Art, and Media Series

A of F 13

We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.

Ezra Taft Benson:

Remember Elder Boyd K. Packer’s statement: “Music, once … innocent, now is often used for wicked purposes. …
“In our day music itself has been corrupted. Music can, by its tempo, by its beat, by its intensity [and I would add by its lyrics], dull the spiritual sensitivity of men. …
“Young people,” Elder Packer goes on to say, “you cannot afford to fill your mind with the unworthy hard music of our day.” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1973, pp. 21, 25; or Ensign, Jan. 1974, pp. 25, 28.)
Instead, we encourage you to listen to uplifting music, both popular and classical, that builds the spirit. Learn some favorite hymns from our new hymnbook that build faith and spirituality. Attend dances where the music and the lighting and the dance movements are conducive to the Spirit. Watch those shows and entertainment that lift the spirit and promote clean thoughts and actions. Read books and magazines that do the same.
Ezra Taft Benson, “To the ‘Youth of the Noble Birthright’,” Ensign, May 1986,  43

Elder Neal A. Maxwell:

“Ever wonder why the sensual scene so often features flashing but fading lights? Or why all the reinforcing glitz? Or why all the loudness masquerading as music? Because, fearful of the dawn, evil cannot stand the steady scrutiny of bright truth, nor can it endure the quiet reflections of soul-searching!”
Ensign, Nov 2001

D&C 88:28-40

28 They who are of a celestial spirit shall receive the same body which was a natural body; even ye shall receive your bodies, and your glory shall be that glory by which your bodies are quickened.
29 Ye who are quickened by a portion of the celestial glory shall then receive of the same, even a fulness.
30 And they who are quickened by a portion of the terrestrial glory shall then receive of the same, even a fulness.
31 And also they who are quickened by a portion of the telestial glory shall then receive of the same, even a fulness.
32 And they who remain shall also be quickened; nevertheless, they shall return again to their own place, to enjoy that which they are willing to receive, because they were not willing to enjoy that which they might have received.
33 For what doth it profit a man if a gift is bestowed upon him, and he receive not the gift? Behold, he rejoices not in that which is given unto him, neither rejoices in him who is the giver of the gift.
34 And again, verily I say unto you, that which is governed by law is also preserved by law and perfected and sanctified by the same.
35 That which breaketh a law, and abideth not by law, but seeketh to become a law unto itself, and willeth to abide in sin, and altogether abideth in sin, cannot be sanctified by law, neither by mercy, justice, nor judgment. Therefore, they must remain filthy still.
36 All kingdoms have a law given;
37 And there are many kingdoms; for there is no space in the which there is no kingdom; and there is no kingdom in which there is no space, either a greater or a lesser kingdom.
38 And unto every kingdom is given a law; and unto every law there are certain bounds also and conditions.
39 All beings who abide not in those conditions are not justified.
40 For intelligence cleaveth unto intelligence; wisdom receiveth wisdom; truth embraceth truth; virtue loveth virtue; light cleaveth unto light; mercy hath compassion on mercy and claimeth her own; justice continueth its course and claimeth its own; judgment goeth before the face of him who sitteth upon the throne and governeth and executeth all things.

Boyd K. Packer:

The Church and individual members of it have always been, are now, and ever will be under siege from the adversary. He will cover, even erase the still, small voice through loud and dissonant music awash with lyrics that cannot be understood—or worse, by lyrics that can be understood. He will carefully lead us astray with every other temptation he could devise.
Ensign, May 2007

Joseph B. Wirthlin:

“…some of the world’s music is degrading, vulgar, and inappropriate and will drown out the promptings of the Holy Ghost.”
Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Growing into the Priesthood,” Ensign, Nov 1999,  38

D&C 121:45-46

45 Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven.
46 The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion, and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth; and thy dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever.

M Russell Ballard:

Because of its sheer size, media today presents vast and sharply contrasting options. Opposite from its harmful and permissive side, media offers much that is positive and productive. Television offers history channels, discovery channels, education channels. One can still find movies and TV comedies and dramas that entertain and uplift and accurately depict the consequences of right and wrong. The Internet can be a fabulous tool of information and communication, and there is an unlimited supply of good music in the world. Thus our biggest challenge is to choose wisely what we listen to and what we watch.
Ensign, November 2003

Neal A. Maxwell:

Alma faced an awful and anguished moment when he felt that he might actually “become extinct both soul and body.” (Alma 36:15.) Then he remembered his father’s prophecies “concerning the coming of one Jesus Christ, a Son of God, to atone for the sins of the world.” (Alma 36:17.) In a moment of deep intellectual humility, his “mind caught hold upon this thought.” Out came Alma’s great soul cry: “O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me”! (Alma 36:18.)
Purpose replaced pain. Joy swallowed up despair as Alma apparently viewed God upon His throne, and he longed to join God! (See Alma 36:22.)
Such longing for a heavenly home is real, especially in view of how this life is designed. After all, brothers and sisters, when we rejoice in beautiful scenery, great art, and great music, it is but the flexing of instincts acquired in another place and another time.
Ensign, May 1984

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Chas Hathaway is the author of the books Scripture Study Made Awesome, Marriage is Ordained of God, but WHO Came Up with Dating? and Giraffe Tracks. Learn more at Please participate in the conversation by adding comments and sharing with friends on the web!

Gospel Living Made Awesome is not an official work of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. If Chas says something stupid, it's his own fault.

4 thoughts on “The Flexing of Instincts

  1. Just wanted to let you know I still subscribe to your podcast, although I listen to them a few weeks after you record them. What will your next topic be?

  2. Hey Alan!

    We’re glad you’re still listening! We are planning on doing the Second Coming next, unless listeners want something else, after all, you guys are the one’s we’re doing this for! 🙂

  3. I was just thinking – don’t stop podcasting, even if you think no one’s listening. It seems to me that more than anything, it’s a time for you two to bond, and to bring the Spirit into your home. 🙂

  4. Thanks Keighley! You’re right about it being a good bonding time for us. It’s become our favorite date activity for that very reason. Plus it’s one of the dates we can do after the munchkins are in bed!


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