Has any general authority ever said that members of the church should not watch R rated movies?
ABSOLUTELY!! I found 91 references that spoke against the evil and immoral practice of watching R rated movies. However, even if no General Authority of the Mormon Church had said anything about the subject, it should be perfectly obvious that entertaining filthy thoughts is against the will of the Lord, and we should do all that we can to keep our minds clean and free from the contamination of evil so that the Holy Spirit may have a place in our lives. Here are a few statements by some of the General Authorities to give you an idea of what they have to say about the matter—
“Oh, brethren, please don’t sell your precious priesthood birthright for a mess of X- or R-rated pottage. Remember, the sand castles we build on the beaches of mortality, no matter how elaborate, will eventually be washed away by the tide. Only purity of hand, heart, and mind will allow us to tap into the ultimate power of the priesthood to truly bless others and eventually be able to build eternal mansions more beautiful and lasting than we can presently imagine.” (Elder John H. Groberg, Priesthood Power, Ensign, May 2001, p.43)
“It is a concern that some of our young Latter-day Saints, as well as their parents, regularly watch R-rated and other inappropriate movies and videos. One more reason why the devil laugheth, and his angels rejoice (3 Ne. 9:2).” (Elder Joe J. Christensen, The Savior Is Counting on You, Ensign, November 1996, p.39)
Again I say, leave it alone. Turn it off, walk away from it, burn it, erase it, destroy it. I know it is hard counsel we give when we say movies that are R-rated, and many with PG-13 ratings, are produced by satanic influences. Our standards should not be dictated by the rating system. I repeat, because of what they really represent, these types of movies, music, tapes, etc. serve the purposes of the author of all darkness. (Elder H. Burke Peterson, Touch Not the Evil Gift, nor the Unclean Thing, Ensign, November 1993, p.42)
“We counsel you, young women, not to pollute your minds with such degrading matter, for the mind through which this filth passes is never the same afterward. Dont see R-rated movies or vulgar videos or participate in any entertainment that is immoral, suggestive, or pornographic. And don’t accept dates from young men who would take you to such entertainment. (President Ezra Taft Benson, To the Young Women of the Church, Ensign, November 1986, p.81)
“Satan would have us believe that infractions of the moral code are acceptable because they seem to be so common. “Why worry,” he asks, “if you do not control your thoughts or if you allow pornographic or immoral entertainment to be part of your life? Everybody’s doing it. It isn’t so bad. You can handle it.” His logic leads us to rationalize in our minds and suppose that attending just a few R-rated movies or immoral PG-13 movies will not really harm us. And he teaches others to ask, “Are we so unworthy when we watch just two or three questionable programs on the cable television channel? Are the sexually explicit romance novels of the day really so bad?” (Joseph B. Wirthlin, Finding Peace in Our Lives, p.142)