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ANONYMOUS - Does the church have an official position on mature rated video games? Are they like R movies where, no matter the content, we are not supposed to play them? If so, I will remove all of them from my life permanently. I admit, there are a few I have fun playing (ie Borderlands)

JOEL - First of all, don't do anything just because of what I say about it. The scriptures tell us:

"For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward." (D&C 58: 26)

We have been given the spirit of God with us to help us make decisions for ourselves on such things.

Having said that, the church has not really told us what we should or should not watch with regards to movie ratings. There are PG-13 rated movies that could be considered inappropriate.

Elder H. Burke Peterson said:
"Our standards should not be dictated by the rating system." (New Era Jan. 1995).

Even though you might hear someone occaisionally say we should not watch R-rated movies, here's what church leaders have actually said on this subject:
"Do not attend, view, or participate in entertainment that is vulgar, immoral, violent, or pornographic in any way. Do not participate in entertainment that in any way presents immorality or violent behavior as acceptable. Depictions of violence often glamorize vicious behavior. They offend the Spirit and make you less able to respond to others in a sensitive, caring way. They contradict the Savior’s message of love for one another.
Have the courage to walk out of a movie or video party, turn off a computer or television, change a radio station, or put down a magazine if what is being presented does not meet Heavenly Father’s standards." (For the Strength of Youth)

Notice they said entertainment (not just movies). So I would assume that this would definately apply to video games as well.

Elder David A. Bednar said:
“The standard is clear. If something we think, see, hear, or do distances us from the Holy Ghost, then we should stop thinking, seeing, hearing, or doing that thing. If that which is intended to entertain, for example, alienates us from the Holy Spirit, then certainly that type of entertainment is not for us.” (Ensign, May 2006, 30 .)

For example (assuming you are a man), if, while playing a game containing sex and violence, you were suddenly called upon to give a priesthood blessing, could you do it with confidence that the Holy Ghost will be with you?

Not only can such entertainment remove us from the spirit it can also become an incredible waste of time and a risk to damaging family relationships, especially if one becomes addicted to it.

Elder Dallin H. Oaks said:
“Consider how we use our time in the choices we make in viewing television, playing video games, surfing the Internet, or reading books or magazines. Of course it is good to view wholesome entertainment or to obtain interesting information. But not everything of that sort is worth the portion of our life we give to obtain it. Some things are better, and others are best.” (“Good, Better, Best,” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2007, 105.)

Elder M. Russell Ballard said:
“One of the ways Satan lessens your effectiveness and weakens your spiritual strength is by encouraging you to spend large blocks of your time doing things that matter very little. I speak of such things as sitting for hours on end watching television or videos, playing video games night in and night out, surfing the Internet, or devoting huge blocks of time to sports, games, or other recreational activities. (“Be Strong in the Lord,” Ensign, July 2004, 13–14.)

Here's an August Ensign article about this subject that might be good reading called, "Just a Game?

Video games can be a fun and healthy distraction when we need a temporary diversion from the struggles and stresses in our lives; but it should be moderated according to the council given to us in the scriptures (13th Article of Faith) and by our church leaders.

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