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Is a lack of wickedness the same as righteousness?

The souls of men and women lack spiritual nourishment in our time.

Jeffrey R. Holland - October 1997 | “He Hath Filled the Hungry with Good Things” 

Many of us have seen the 3 monkeys that represent "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil." The origins of these 3 monkeys comes from a 17th-century carving over a door of the famous shrine in Nikkō, Japan. The carvings at the shrine were carved by Hidari Jingoro and incorporated Confucius’s code of conduct. The 3 monkeys often represent the way we approach living the gospel. We are given many commandments in the gospel. Do not kill. Do not steal. Do not commit adultery. Do not swear. Do not look at pornography. Do not… Often we look at our ticket into heaven as simply having a lack of wickedness in our lives.

What do you let in your home?

This point was driven home to me as I was watching an edited movie on VidAngel. My wife and I have made a concerted effort to monitor what we let into our home. This includes social media, movies, TV shows, and other forms of media. As part of this effort, we love using VidAngel as it helps edit out content in movies and TV shows that we do not want in our home. VidAngel is a great way to remove wickedness in movies and TV shows. However, removing the wickedness in movies and TV shows does not fill the movies and TV shows with righteousness. The movies may still have adult or dark themes, may be scary, may include teachings contrary to our beliefs, and may still bring content into our house that we do not want.

In contrast to VidAngel, we also have a subscription to Pureflix, a streaming service that provides Christian based films.

Cleaning our Home

These films not only do not have content that we do not want in our house (such as sex, violence, or profanity) but also have positive messages that bring us closer to Christ.

This article is not a promotion of VidAngel or Pureflix. Rather, it highlights the difference between a lack of wickedness in our lives and filling our lives with righteousness. D&C 88:67 teaches us that “Your whole bodies shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you.” It is not enough to simply remove the darkness in your life by no long drinking, swearing, gambling, or looking at pornography. You must also fill your life with light.

Fill your life

You fill your life with light as you pray and study the scriptures with real intent, seeking to know, understand, and follow the Lord… [a]ttending Church meetings and partaking of the sacrament, keeping the Sabbath day holy, fasting, and paying tithing will help you keep yourself free of the darkness of the world… [r]egular worship and service in the temple will also strengthen you.

"Filling Your Life with Light," Let Virtue Garnish Thy Thoughts, (2006)

A person that is trying to keep their body healthy and in shape does not simply avoid eating everything that is unhealthy in order to stay healthy and lose weight. Doing so would still result in them withering away as their body lacks food and nourishment. Equally as important as avoiding unhealthy and harmful foods is also taking into our bodies healthy and nourishing food. Similarly, with our spirit, we must not simply avoid wickedness, but must also take into our lives spiritually nourishing media and activities. As we do so, we will not only have a lack of wickedness in our lives but also fill our lives with righteousness.

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