“They Began to Dance and to Sing, and to Speak with Much Rudeness”

K. Douglas Bassett

3 Ne. 4:31; Moro. 7:16-17; D&C 88:121; 25:12; 50:23; Eph. 5:19; Psalm 114:1-4; 1 Sam. 16:23; Mark 14:26; Companion to Your Study of the Book of Mormon, Ludlow, pp. 115-116; Kisses at the Window, Bassett, pp. 75-76; Benson, Ensign, May 1986, p. 45; refer in this text to Ether 6:9

“In our day music itself has been corrupted. Music can, by its tempo, by its beat, by its intensity, dull the spiritual sensitivity of [people]… . Our youth have been brought up on a diet of music that is loud and fast, more intended to agitate than to pacify, more intended to excite than to calm… . Be selective in what you consume and what you produce. It becomes a part of you… . Young people, you cannot afford to fill your mind with the unworthy hard music of our day. It is not harmless.’” (Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, Jan. 1974, pp. 25-28)
“And so we urge parents in the Church to show as much interest in the records and tapes their children purchase as they would the books and magazines they bring into the home. There are many parents who would not for one moment tolerate a pornographic magazine in their homes who unwittingly provide money for music, some of which in its influence can be quite as damaging… . Keep that in mind when you have a problem with young people and their music. To change it may take some time and require inspiration… . Our people ought to be surrounded by good music of all kinds. Parents ought to foster good music in the home and cultivate a desire to have their children learn the hymns of inspiration… . We encourage parents to include musical training in the lives of their children… . How wonderful is the music instructor who will teach children and youth to play and will acquaint them with good music in their formative years, including the music of worship.” (Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, Jan 1974, pp. 25-28)
“It was pleasing unto Satan when Lehi’s children and the ‘Sons of Ishmael and also their wives began to make themselves merry, insomuch that they began to dance, and to sing, and to speak with much rudeness.” (Ezra Taft Benson, God, Family, Country, pp. 248-249)
“Should you have any reservations whether … a style of dancing or tempo of music is in accord with Church standards, may I suggest this guide: Does it uplift and inspire one to higher ideals? Does it develop wholesome relationships between young men and women, or appeal to and arouse their baser instincts? Will it cause one to be a better Latter-day Saint and lead one closer to the Savior?” (Ezra Taft Benson, Finglas Ireland Branch Dedication, Sept. 10, 1980)
“A loving stake presidency helped their youth have a better understanding of the pitfalls of being continually bombarded by the degrading lyrics of many of today’s popular songs and the indecent images portrayed in some movies and videos. They were taught these mediums can produce much that is positive, inspiring, uplifting, and attractive; or they can also desensitize the mind and make what is wrong and evil look normal, exciting, and acceptable. Many of the young people hearkened to their stake presidency and courageously destroyed their tapes, discs, and videos which were not ‘virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy’ (A of F 1:13) Young people, please don’t listen to music that contains ideas that contradict principles of the gospel. ‘Don’t listen to music that promotes Satanism or other evil practices, encourages immorality, uses foul and offensive language, or drives away the Spirit’’ (For the Strength of Youth, Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1990, p. 14). (H. David Burton, Ensign, May 1994, p. 68)
“The Pied Piper of Hamelin? You will recall that he entered Hamelin and offered, for a specified sum of money, to rid the town of the vermin with which it was plagued. When the contract was agreed upon, he played his pipe and the rats came swarming from the buildings and followed him to the river, where they drowned. When the town leaders refused to pay him for his services, he returned to play his pipe and led the precious children away from the safety of their families and their homes, never to return. Are there Pied Pipers even today? Are they playing alluring music to lead, to their own destruction, those who listen and follow?” (Thomas S. Monson, Ensign, May 1995, p. 49)

Latter-Day Commentary on the Book of Mormon