by Richard Keys
Gospel Doctrine Lesson 33: “Ye Are the Temple of God”
Approximate Scheduled Teaching Date: Sunday, August 30, 2015
This lesson contains the following questions:
“What can we do to treat our bodies as temples? What are the blessings of being morally clean?” (p. 19)
Moral cleanliness is an area that can be full of personal attitudes that may or may not reflect accurate and current Church teachings. Although both of these questions are positively stated, people’s answers may be more of a list of “don’ts.” This may bring out individual comments that are based more on one’s attitudes than on scripture or current and accurate church policies and teachings.
For example, many members still believe the R rating is the Church’s standard for what movies are inappropriate. (“The church teaches us not to go to R-rated movies.”) However, that has not been the Church’s standard since the last century! The R rating appears nowhere in the current 2011 edition of “For the Strength of Youth,” nor does it appear in the previous 2001 edition. Even the term “R rating” or “R-rated” has not been mentioned in a general conference talk since 2004–over 10 years ago. The current standard is to seek movies that elevate, and go by the Spirit.
The reason for this change may have been the world-wide growth of the Church into countries that have their own movie ratings system. In addition, a man-made system can be manipulated by movie studios who “push the envelope” to new limits of a ratings category. Anyone who’s tried to manipulate the Spirit knows how futile that is. The current standard is much more personal, placing a much higher standard directly on the individual, holding him responsible to live so as to be worthy of the Spirit’s guidance. It’s also more in line with Joseph Smith’s guideline to teach the members correct principles, and they govern themselves.
Citing this as an example may teach the principle of searching current teachings and standards, such as at mormonsandgays.org and from the January 2015 press conference regarding LGBT issues.