Laying hold upon every good thing: why we got rid of TV

12 Dec

My wife and I have built up a DVD collection of movies and TV series (about 240) that we feel are appropriate for all ages, and which we feel would be appropriate to show at a Church social function. Every once in a while we go through the list, and tag some of them as “on the edge”, and decide to get rid of them. Our criteria for judging don’t just include nudity, swearing and violence, but also the usefulness of the movie/series. We don’t believe in entertainment for its own sake, but believe that it should always be instructional, uplifting or inspirational as well as fun.

About 4 months ago we decided to stop watching TV altogether. We evaluated the types of “good” programs that were available on the TV, and realised that we could get equal or better quality programs from our own collection or from the Internet, without being bombarded with the thick treacle of worldliness that oozes from national TV. Since we have made this decision, we have found it much easier to study our scriptures, read good books (recently finished “Faith precedes the Miracle” by Spencer Kimball), listen to the Mormon Channel, exercise our talents (music, cooking, gardening, writing, sport) and participate in a host of other activities that were simply not available to us before, because of the huge chunk of daily time we allowed TV to steal from us.

This shifting of priorities has made a massive impact on our spirituality. We find it easier to ponder about the simple doctrines such as faith, repentance, charity etc. We find it easier to pray, to discern the answers to our prayers, and we have noticed a difference in the “atmosphere” in our home. It’s easier to relax and to communicate with each other. I don’t think I can even begin to describe all the benefits we have seen from getting rid of our television (we watch our programs on the computer now, although we do so very rarely, less than once a week). To me, this is a great way to better “lay hold upon every good thing” (Moroni 7:16-22).


Posted by on December 12, 2009 in Life, Musings, Religion


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5 responses to “Laying hold upon every good thing: why we got rid of TV

  1. Mimi

    December 12, 2009 at 10:52 pm

    Thanks for sharing your experience!
    We recently had a teaching at Church about a similar subject : our stake President invited us to count the time we spend for family, work, rest, Church, entertainment, etc… each week. He personnaly found out that he had 20 hours left each week that could be used more properly. To develop spirituality and serve his brothers and sisters for example. We should ask ourselves : what does polute our time? TV would surely be one answer for many of us!

  2. Nicolas Connault

    December 13, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    Thanks Mimi 🙂 This is a good way to make a personal accounting, I think we should do that a couple of times a year, if not more often.

    When I was diagnosed with diabetes, I decided to keep a very accurate record of everything I ate for a week, including calories, fat, carbohydrates and protein, and see how it compared with a “healthy” diet. I was shocked to see how many calories I was eating, most of which were useless to me because I was not spending them on exercise. I found that by reducing my fat intake (which provides heaps of calories for little food mass) and increasing my carbs intake (especially with fruits), I could have larger meals that gave me less calories.

    Obviously I can’t keep this type of record continously, it’s just something I’d do once in a while to see how I’m doing. This sort of record-keeping is similar to what you describe, and I think it can help us balance our time better 🙂

  3. Morningstar

    January 30, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    Good for you, Nicolas! We have been without TV too and when we watch it as other houses now, it just feels weird. I don’t miss commercials at all especially. We have just been using Netflix and love it!

  4. Brian Hoover

    March 28, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    Do you still have no TV?

    • nicolasconnault

      March 28, 2011 at 11:15 pm

      We have had a TV for a long time, it just hasn’t been plugged into the antenna, so we only use it to watch DVDs or home videos from our hard drive. With the recent natural disasters in Australia and the rest of the world though, we have plugged it back in to stay informed, and it’s still plugged in to this day.

      We’ve found it very easy to fall back into TV-watching, although we stick to documentaries and educational kids’ programs. I still can’t stand the ads, and we often talk about unplugging it again. Once Anne-Marie’s anaemia is gone she will certainly find it easier to go about normal day activities, her energy is just too low at the moment.


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