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Carole Mikita reportingWords of warning about the media... came from leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the 173rd Semiannual General Conference... which began today.
A number of speakers expressed concerns about the violent or overtly sexual images in television programs, films, music videos and on the internet.
Pres. James E. Faust, Second Counselor, First Presidency: "THE GAP BETWEEN WHAT IS POPULAR AND WHAT IS RIGHTEOUS IS WIDENING... AS PROPHESIED BY ISAIAH... 'MANY TODAY CALL EVIL GOOD AND GOOD EVIL...' "
Church leaders called them attacks on the family through the media... desensitizing violence, gender confusion... crude language.
Elder Russell M. Ballard: "WE NEED TO RAISE OUR VOICES WITH OTHER CONCERNED CITIZENS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD... IN OPPOSITION TO THE CURRENT TRENDS... WE NEED TO TELL THE SPONSORS OF OFFENSIVE MEDIA, THAT WE'VE HAD ENOUGH...
With worldwide membership, they said some cultural traditions... Elder Dallin Oaks, assigned to the Philippines, said sexual relations outside marriage are advocated.
Elder Dallin H. Oaks, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: "SO IS THE RAPIDLY EXPANDING CULTURE OF PORNOGRAPHY. ALL WHO HAVE BELONGED TO THESE CULTURES OF SIN MUST REPENT AND CHANGE IF THEY ARE TO BECOME THE PEOPLE OF GOD..."
Speaking to young people, one apostle told them it is difficult to escape degrading forms of entertainment... he also warned them about alternative lifestyles...
Pres. Boyd K. Packer, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: "SOME WORK THROUGH POLITICAL, SOCIAL, AND LEGAL CHANNELS TO REDEFINE MORALITY AND MARRIAGE INTO SOMETHING UNRESTRAINED, UNNATURAL, AND FORBIDDEN..."
Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley talked of the success of church programs... the Perpetual Education Fund has now given 10- thousand poor Latter-day Saints loans for schooling... and a donation to the Red Cross....
Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: "WE WERE RECENTLY APPLAUDED IN THE PUBLIC PRESS FOR GIVING THREE-MILLION DOLLARS TO VACCINATE CHILDREN AGAINST MEASLES IN AFRICA...."
A touching moment came when Pres. Hinckley greeted his long-time friend and associate, Elder David B. Haight, recently hospitalized.
Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:"DO YOU WANNA WAVE TO THESE PEOPLE?
Elder David B. Haight: "YES... I MUST.... I'M WAVING (everyone laughs)... THANK YOU..."
Elder Haight recently celebrated his 97th birthday... making him the oldest apostle in the church's history... he is said to be grateful to still enjoy the company of family and friends...
Conference sessions continue tonight with the priesthood meeting for the men, then tomorrow at 10am and 2pm.