There are some who may be a bit confused or lack a complete understanding of what members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (“Mormons”) believe about entertainment. Mormons believe that wholesome entertainment and recreational activities are good and important.
There is much dancing, theater, film, art, sports, and other recreation that is uplifting and good, but there is also much of it that is degrading and immoral. Mormons believe in seeking after those things that are “virtuous, ilovely, or of good report or praiseworthy” and staying away from material that is immoral and offensive to God (Articles of Faith 1:13).
In my own family, I’ve seen what a difference it can make to have wholesome and virtuous entertainment in the house. When this kind of entertainment is present, there has been much more happiness and love in my home. Wholesome recreation and entertainment can be a means of strengthening families and bring people closer to Jesus Christ. My life has been blessed with more meaningful experiences and friendships as I’ve participated in good entertainment with Mormon youth my age as well as those not my age. D. Lauritsen, a Mormon professor, gives an explanation bellow that gives further enlightenment on this subject to those not of our faith:
What Can Mormons Do For Entertainment?
Brief Answer: Latter-day Saints are allowed to dance and go to movies, rock concerts, wrestling matches, and so on, with the understanding that the Lord expects Latter-day Saints to exercise good judgment and discretion in all facets of life, including art, entertainment, and sports.
Detailed Answer: Latter-day Saints are among the world’s foremost art, entertainment, and sports enthusiasts. Their interest in these activities is rooted in the knowledge that God not only wants his children to live the gospel, but to pursue recreational activities that promote happiness and health. In this regard, Brigham young stated: “recreation and diversion are as necessary to our well-being as the more serious pursuits of life. There is not a man in the world but what, if kept at any one branch of business or study, will become like a machine. our pursuits should be so diversified as to develop every trait of character and diversity of talent.”1 While crossing the plains in 1847, Brigham encouraged the Saints to sing and dance at their evening campfires. And when he led them into the Salt Lake Valley, he saw to it that a community building for dance and theater was among the first structures to be built.
Brigham’s predecessor, Joseph Smith, was well-known for his cheerful disposition and his love of healthy recreation and entertainment. As with all pursuits, however, the Lord reminded his ancient Saints, and by association, his latter-day Saints, “I give not unto you that ye shall live after the manner of the world” (D&C 95:13). Thus, latter-day Saints are to temper their recreational pursuits with the wisdom found in this article of faith: “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.”2
1. Discourses of Brigham Young, sel. John A. Widtsoe (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1941), 238.
2. Articles of Faith 1:13.
D. Lauritsen, Mormons Under a Microscope, (Springville, Utah: Cedar Fort, Inc., 2010), 87-88.