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Question

 

Gramps,

I used to go to my brother’s plays and he would have to swear in them.  Is that bad and will he get punished? Also what about in school and you are reading a book out loud.  What should I do when I come upon a swear word? Should I just skip it? 

Sara

 

Answer

 

Sara,

I would ask the following in response: Why would it be okay to drop our standards for being in a play? What about doing so would draw us closer to our Heavenly Father or bring the Spirit into our lives in greater measure? What benefit would come from staining our tongues with filthy language for the sake of entertainment? And if it is acceptable to drop some standards for this end, where do we draw the line? Is it okay to drop other standards? What about the Word of Wisdom? Would it be okay to smoke on stage for a play? What about sex and nudity? Should we disrobe and crawl into bed with someone if the script calls for it?

I don’t have a hard answer for you on this one. But I don’t think it’s a very difficult thing for us to make personal decisions on our own. We won’t all come to the exact same decision, of course. The line might vary somewhat depending on our personal experience and interpretations of things. But I also feel confident that when making these decisions, if we feel we are compromising our standards, let’s take a stand. Losing a part in a play won’t have much meaning in the eternal scheme of things. Perhaps losing our souls because of a path taken that could have been avoided, however… Well, that clearly is not worth it.

My personal take. I wouldn’t do it. If I wouldn’t use the language myself, I wouldn’t use it in a play, and I wouldn’t use it when reading aloud. That’s me. But it is up to you to get on your knees when and if such a situation arises, and to make a decision about it according to the dictates of your conscience and the guidance you feel you are given by the Holy Ghost.

As far as your brother’s repentance goes, that’s between him and the Lord. Let’s not presume guilt or pass judgment.

I wish you the best as you make these decisions in life, and I know that if and when you make the hard decisions in favor of the Lord’s will, it will be to your good.

Gramps

 

 

 

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