Monday, January 26, 2009

Turn Off the Video Games: Message from the Stake Presidency

Last night our Stake had it's bi-annual Stake Priesthood meeting at the Hurst Texas Stake Center. There were many good talks, including a slide that showed the growth of the LDS church since it's restoration in 1830 and the rapid growth in the last 3 decades to it's current population of over 13 million members world wide. One talk, no one comment, stood out from the rest of the messages (and it wasn't the story by Elder Worthlin about the blind date that was taught in Sacrament meeting, my son's Sunday School class and again in the Priesthood meeting). The message was almost an after thought but the delivery was strong and pointed and I feel I must declare it again to anyone that may be reading this entry and may be struggling with the concept.

"TURN OFF THE VIDEO GAMES!" was the message by a member of our Stake Presidency. He didn't state we should ban video games. In context it was more of a chastisement for those that sacrifice time, especially time with their family, for the thrill of a video game. I know several individuals that are wrapped up in games and I myself have experienced seasons of OCD on a game. The message is simple: TURN OFF THE VIDEO GAMES.

If you're obsessed with a game, find yourself communicating more with online individuals through avatars, chat, video or voice than your own family, or just find yourself lacking time to accomplish responsibilities with which you've been tasked, TURN OFF THE VIDEO GAMES.

Easy message. It's not anti-gaming as I enjoy a good game now and then. It's about personal time management, self worth and value, and balancing value with frivolity. Take a step back, evaluate and then look again. Is the time you spend on a game excessive? Is it causing you to neglect your family? Do you tend to deprive yourself of sleep so as to conquer just one more level? TURN OFF THE VIDEO GAMES.

Now if you were present at the meeting, you'll also note that video games were not the only mark of chastisement and just so you sports lovers don't think you're off the hook, the evaluation of time spent on sports, whether viewed or played, should likewise be evaluated and so it is with this final line I change my prose: BACK AWAY FROM THE GAME.
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