A Comment from the Psalms on Modern TV

After randomly opening up the Gideon Bible in my hotel room here in Chicago this morning, I found a great verse suggesting that the author may have been prophetically aware of the impact of modern television:

Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things,
And revive me in Your way. (Psalm 119: 37)

The KJV warns against “beholding vanity.” I like the phrase “looking at worthless things” better.

A footnote in the NKJV points out that the second part of the verse, “revive me in Your way,” is “revive me in Your word” in the Targum (the ancient Aramaic Old Testament). And that points to some of the wisest advice I’ve heard: cut down on TV and read something valuable instead, like the Book of Mormon or the Bible, for starters. And if time permits, it might be OK to add a blog or two to your diet.


Author: Jeff Lindsay

10 thoughts on “A Comment from the Psalms on Modern TV

  1. I was at Dafont.com last night, and where the usually annoying ad for avatar-creation software used to be, there was a church ad for a free Book of Mormon. Pretty cool! Good invitation to turn the eyes to something more edifying 🙂

  2. Do you get BYUtv out East? It is
    the only reason I have satellite.

    BYUtv carries edifying talks, lessons, sports and entertainment 24/7.

    I’m lucky to live 40 miles from Provo and BYU, so I’m blessed to have wholesome tv. I can’t imagine watching any other channel!!!

    God Bless,


  3. I stopped watching TV around 1998. I still had a TV for a while to watch movies on. VHS.

    I haven’t had a TV now in a while since I can watch BYU TV online and watch my DVDs on my computer.

    That’s a great scripture and I wish all LDS members would stop watching mainstream TV. It’s not just the shows, but the commercials that are so bad. You don’t realize it until you’ve been away from it for a while like I have. Whenever I’m in someone else’s home and the TV is on, I just can’t get over how awful the commercials are. They make me cringe and want to run out of the room.

    So for me it’s BYU TV or movies I select that I know I won’t be bombed with filth.

  4. Jayleen, a good friend of mine, who when he and his family return for their sabbatical (from their missionary work in Cambodia) is aghast by all the sexual connotations on bill-board advertisments here in the UK.

  5. While true in some cases, the same argument can be made for almost anything. Television isn’t something that’s “worthless” as many people have pointed out. It depends on what you watch. Same with the internet and video games. I think that it is absolutely wrong and unacceptable to interpret this scripture as a reference to television. I also think it’s horrible that bishops get up in front of the ward and babble on about how these things are “bad” for you. Nearly everyone I know agrees. We all know what is okay to watch and what isn’t. Just because the commercials annoy you, doesn’t mean it’s “bad” nor that these multi-billion dollar industries will be ignored. We should be PROMOTING television, video games, the radio, internet, because we are the LATTER day saints. The brigade of the younger generations in the LDS community have had a huge hand in the growth of these technologies as we know it. Not to mention the fact that if we DO ignore it, we will be the ones left behind. Unfortunately, many of the older members of the church are set in their ways, and refuse to believe that anything good will come of these things. Too bad for them. Examples? HaleStone Entertainment, BYU TV, Wahoo Studios etc… So don’t just read scriptures, don’t just read period, don’t just watch BYU TV, don’t JUST do anything. We should expose ourselves to a variety of appropriate media and material to further our knowledge, become more well-rounded, and look toward the future.

  6. In response to holyinheritance, I can say that here in beautiful Cleveland, Ohio, BYUtv is carried on our DirecTV feed. It is indeed one of the last repositories of worthwhile television available.

  7. We have BYUtv here in Jersey as well. I also have DirecTv.

    I don’t watch tv as much as I used to mainly because I’m always doing something else, but when I do I watch BYUtv especially on Mondays because I try to make up for missing out at church the day before because of work.

    I also love the food network channel because I learn so many tips on cooking and its all free…well except for the monthly DirecTv bill, but its really worth it.

    I sometimes watch the History Channel and I really, really, love the Discovery Channel.

    I can type many more channels I like, but don’t worry I won’t. My point is I love these channels because I learn something everytime I watch them.

    For example, I learn how to make simple, healthy meals in a short amount of time. And I’m not that great of a cook because I’m always forgeting to do something or getting distracted.

    I love animals and I get to watch them all the time and get a chance to learn about how they live. And just alot of them are so cute!!

    I’m sure some people can learn these things in many other ways, but for me and others who have to be home everyday after school and work it really can help us relax and still keep our minds working and away from things that can harm it.

    I used to be a major party girl, but now you’ll just catch me either with a book in my face or sleeping. And yes sometimes watching tv…and than nodding off.

    And also for many who are converts and still have a lot they don’t understand about the Church like me, I think that BYUtv can come in handy. Sometimes after a very busy and stressful day with school and babysitting and dance class all I want to do is bury my head under my pillow and not hear anything for as long as I could. But I know eventually I might fall asleep and end up feeling even more crappy when I wake up, so when I remember I either read the scriptures or watch BYUtv and almost always I watch a talk that really helps me in one way or another or read a chapter or verse that really inspires me.

    I’m sorry this ended up being long……I honestly didn’t notice until my heater started making this hissing sound it always makes when I’m doing something. It’s like its trying to tell me something..hehe. Wow, I can go on, and on. I’m out!

  8. Gold down the sinks? A 10% correction in light of strong long-term fundamentals is not what I call “the sinks” but a welcome buying opportunity. Be grateful for these and hope it goes lower. People investing for the future should welcome corrections – that’s the best time to buy, but you can’t count on them coming. We’re clearly in one now, fortunately, and it could get worse, but I think we’ll see it above 900 in short order and back to $1000 by summer.

  9. Can the older analog satellite dishes found on many homes be used to get the church channel the same way that the dishes do at the meeting houses? How many channels on that bird does the church own/rent?

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