Depicting Mom in Entertainment, Part 2

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I am going to be plain spoken this morning, but I pray that I may be sensitive to what is happening to our fair daughters and handsome sons. I’m picking up the wand again on the depictions of mothers in the media. This morning, however I turn my attentions to teenage pregnancy.

I am going to be plain spoken this morning, but I pray that I may be sensitive to what is happening to our fair daughters and handsome sons. I’m picking up the wand again on the depictions of mothers in the media. This morning, however I turn my attentions to teenage pregnancy.

My wife and I (both who became parents at a young age, though a year and three months after we were married) were discussing a new mom that she had the night before in the hospital. My wife works as a nurse in the mother/baby unit of the nearby hospital in Provo, UT. The particular new mom was young, not even old enough to drive a car. The father was not even old enough to hold a minimum wage job. If in high school, that would only make them sophomores, and just barely at that. The child would have been conceived in their freshman year.

That teenage pregnancy now occurs with increased frequency across the U.S. , from Alaska to New England, and right here in Utah Valley, clearly points to our national media. The media is what unifies our country, and it is also what is destroying the fabric of moral decency that has, in times past, made the United States distinct from the rest of the world. Not any more.1

I would continue to discuss the plague and its effects if I felt that was the answer. But it is not and this is why: teaching and modeling righteousness is more effective than treating the malady and depicting its consequences. Pres. Boyd K. Packer, an apostle of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has said that behaviors change when we teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, instead of teaching how to change behaviors. In our media, we’re not going to change a youth’s perspective on teenage pregnancy by making movies about teens getting pregnant and showing the consequences (and God forbid that we would do it for entertainment value).

Only by showing the right way (which at same time can have tremendous entertainment value) will a young woman think to herself, “I want that. That is what I am going to wait for.” Then she has something to strive for. Then she is empowered. The young man that is given the higher ideal to embrace, when he sees it in media, becomes a pillar of strength, and will reference that media depiction frequently in his mind as a point of departure onto a better road.

As a youth that grew up in metropolitan Phoenix, I have a wealth of memories of happy associations with young ladies through dates and dances and an array of activities that we enjoyed together. How grateful I am that those teenage years are filled with happy memories of pleasant and beautiful friendships with young women. This is what our media needs, this is what our audiences are craving: virtuous, happy, genuine friendships depicted on screen. It is not done nearly enough.

This type of media can be produced. It can be done, dare I say, by anyone that will gratefully embrace the goodness that comes out of their own lives and makes that the driving focus of their media projects. Gratitude for lives well lived is the substance that will begin to change the ways in which we produce media that will be worthy of attention of all the world. May God make it so.

1 It is an interesting side note that foreign opinion of the United States is profoundly influenced by the media that we export to other countries. Because most of it is filth, there is a seriously skewed, amoral perception of our national values depicted in the media that we export. Is it any wonder that most of the Muslim world shuns Western values? In their eyes, there is no greater evil than that great whore that is depicted in the media that is exported from the United States. This also undermines our claims to moral leadership, earning us the well deserved title of “hypocrites”.

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Brent is married to a very supportive woman, is father of a large family, and went into business for himself in 2006.

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