Last spring break my children and I were going to a movie at our local theater. I bought the tickets while they were watching an animated movie preview on a screen nearby. When I headed over to get them, the screen switched to a different preview, one with very inappropriate images and themes. My kids stopped watching and I was grateful that we had taught them to look away or shut down anything that makes them feel uncomfortable or was inappropriate. However, I started thinking about other kids and people who would be subjected to that preview and how I felt that this was not right. It bothered me throughout the whole movie and I felt angry by the end. We try hard to filter what comes into our home and keep out anything destructive or damaging to our kids’ minds and hearts. Yet, here was this preview, available to anyone early in the morning, when mostly children were in the theatre.
When we got home, I emailed the theatre about the problem and explained that I thought it was inappropriate. They claimed to be a family friendly theatre but this preview proved otherwise. I told them we wouldn’t be attending their theatre anymore unless they could change the previews. This was hard to do because we live in a pretty small town with little theatre options but I was determined to stick with what I had said. A few days later, I heard back from the theatre. They apologized for the preview and that it was so readily available for anyone to see it, whether they wanted to or not. They said that they wouldn’t play those types of previews until after 9:00 PM, when there were likely to be less children. Though I don’t think anyone should be watching these types of previews, I did appreciate that they took me seriously. Further, that they cared enough about other children seeing something damaging. I’m not saying I am a movie preview hero, but it only took a simple email to make a change. I don’t know if anybody else had been bothered by that preview but I hope I could take away the awkwardness for other people.
It is our duty and privilege to stand up for values and morals and respect. We have been taught to raise upright children and help them to see evil as it is and turn away from it. I feel like that is my work as a mother. We live in a world of bad being called good and good being called bad. If I don’t teach my kids at home what is right and what is wrong, then the world will teach them. Elder L. Tom Perry said, “The most powerful teaching a child will ever receive, will come from concerned and righteous fathers and mothers.” When we stand up for right, we teach our children that they too have a voice. My kids and I talked about what had happened. I told them I was going to email the theatre. When the theatre responded, I told my kids what they had said. They were all happy about it. My older daughter still remembers this event. I would like to think that by taking a stand, they will be able to take a stand as well. I want them to feel like their morals and values are important and need to be shared to combat whatever the world teaches. It is well worth our time to ensure our kids know why morals are important. It is well worth our time to teach them how to stand up for their morals, even if they are the only ones doing so. It is well worth our time for them to understand their worth as children of God and the sacred power that comes with that.
In conclusion, Jeffrey R. Holland said, “Defend your beliefs with courtesy and compassion but defend them.” We don’t need to be combative or mean when we defend what we believe in but we do need to share our beliefs and why we believe them. Even more, we need to live our beliefs and be an example and stand up, for what we believe. Our example speaks louder than any sermon or lesson. Our example is what is consistently watched by our children, friends and acquaintances. I hope I am given more opportunities to stand up for right. I hope I have the courage to do it when it’s more difficult than just sending an email to a movie theatre.
Author Heather Bell is a wife, mother, writer, baker and runner. She is a Las Vegas native and Iowa transplant. She graduated with my degree in English Education and recently started writing again for ten minutes a day. It has given her a lot of direction and inspiration. You can find her blog at https://writeitout2017.