Today I, ____________________, will carefully choose the music I listen to.
“Dancing can be fun and can provide an opportunity to meet new people. However, it too can be misused. When dancing, avoid full body contact with your partner. Do not use positions or moves that are suggestive of sexual or violent behavior or otherwise inappropriate.” – For the Strength of Youth
Today and until August 2, I, ____________________, will avoid violating the For the Strength of Youth standards regarding dancing.
(Sorry for the long extra content today, the story was too appropriate to not use. As always, these are optional.)
“Don’t Chance the Dance
“One night when I was 16, I remember coming back from a Church activity with three friends. We were all in the priests quorum and enjoyed being together. We parked the car in front of my house, and we were talking about the fun we had at church when one of my friends made a suggestion.
“Nearby was a club that was popular with teenagers. On Fridays and Saturdays they had dances. He said, “We should go to one of those dances.” He suggested we could even use the opportunity to preach the gospel to the youth there. The other three, myself included, tried to tell him it didn’t sound like such a great idea. The standards wouldn’t be the same as at Church activities. There would be people smoking and drinking. People would be dressed immodestly. Most of the music would be inappropriate, loud in its volume, and heavy in its beat, often filled with suggestive words.
“This was a good friend, a very active young man. But he kept insisting that we should go. “As long as we don’t participate in the bad stuff,” he said, “it will be just fine.” The three of us tried to dissuade him but couldn’t. He finally said, “Then I am going to go alone. I am going to show you that there’s nothing wrong with it. And you are going to miss out on some great fun.” He was determined to stick his hand in the cumbuca.
“On Friday he went to the dance. The next day, Saturday, he came to Church-sponsored activities bragging about how fun it had been. He invited us to go the next week. We never did go, but he ended up going on a regular basis until finally he began going to the Saturday night dances as well. Then he would be late to church on Sunday because he was tired from being out so late. Finally he began skipping church.
“Over time he stopped coming to church regularly. He ended up not going on a mission. A few years ago I contacted him over the phone. He was living in a different town far away from me. When we started talking about the Church, he was totally cold, not the same person I used to know.
“Looking back, I think of the four of us in that car. The other three all stayed active in the Church, married in the temple, and have served in priesthood leadership positions. But that one excellent friend fell away, married outside the Church, and today is totally inactive. His children do not know the blessings of the gospel. Even though he can still repent, and I hope he will, he is losing valuable time and opportunities.
“That night in the car, the four of us were at a crossroads. I didn’t know the decision was that important at the time. We simply knew that it was not appropriate to go where he wanted to go. I remember he said, “We will go there, and through our good example we will convert some of those youth.” But he was being deceived, and he ended up being the one who was converted to a different path. As I look back, I can see that something that seems small can have a huge impact over the years. I am happy that I was able to choose what was right.
“In Doctrine and Covenants 87:8 we are counseled, “Stand ye in holy places.” We should stand where the Lord expects us to stand. We must decide today that we will not jeopardize our standards for anything. We will not let Satan deceive us. We will not be trapped.” – Caught in a Cumbuca by Marcos A. Aidukaitis
Want to know what exactly you’re committing to? Read the Music and Dancing section of For the Strength of Youth: http://forthestrengthofall.com/for-the-strength-of-youth/music-and-dancing/