Before we leave this topic, I want to discuss what I refer to as “the myth of maturity.” It just makes my blood boil every time I see something that says, “For Mature Audiences Only,” or “Adult Content.” What does that attempt to imply? That dragging sacred sexuality out of context is somehow a demonstration of adulthood or maturity? Whenever possible we need to fight this myth. When we see age ratings on movies, most of the time it’s a reflection of moral content, not of maturity per se. To be fair, there is material that is morally appropriate, but actually not suitable for someone younger than a certain age. For example, I wouldn’t want my eight-year-old to witness footage of a gastro-intestinal surgery, but I’m sure glad medical students do. As another, possibly more poignant example, the blessings of the temple are, in fact, “for mature audiences only,” which is why we don’t send fifteen-year-olds to the temple to receive their endowment.
I’ve known people who seemed to live by the idea that if a movie was rated PG-13, then it was, by definition, suitable for any of their children thirteen years of age or older. The fact is that a great deal of entertainment material would be inappropriate for members of the Church, independent of the “maturity” rating that it bears.
Parents must demonstrate fidelity and consistency in their standards. If the kids all know that mom and dad have a private stash of R-rated movies, then this is what they’ll look forward to as they become adults. Such parents will find it incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to teach the doctrine of sexuality with power and with the Spirit.