BYU Devotionals, the Friend Magazine, and Internet Safety

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Yesterday my 6 year old and I were watching a recent BYU Devotional address by Parris Egbert, a BYU professor. I was surprised my daughter wanted to watch the devotional (“This seems interesting; I want to watch it.”). During the talk he spoke about technology and how it can further the work of the Lord. Near the end of the address my daughter started looking bored so I asked if she understood what he was talking about.

“Not really.”

So I explained that part of what the speaker was saying was that technology is a blessing from the Lord so that His work might be better accomplished. So technology can be used for good. Then my daughter chimed up and said, “It can also be bad. There are some bad websites with bad pictures.”

“Yes, there are. Where did you learn about that?”

She then showed me the most recent Friend magazine, which had an article about what one boy did when he came across a bad website. She had just read that article earlier. I was happy that she remembered and understood what she read.

This led to a nice teaching moment where I taught her how to turn off the computer screen, or the computer if necessary, if she couldn’t close the bad website. Then I made sure that she knew what the most important thing to do was: tell Mom or Dad.

I thought that this was a great teaching experience for me, thanks to a BYU Devotional and an article in the Friend magazine. It was more powerful because she brought the issue of bad websites up as a counter to some of the positive uses of technology I was teaching her about.

I have to echo Bro. Egbert’s most important point from his BYU Devotional address – that as great as technology is, the best thing is reliance on the Spirit of the Lord. We need to live so that we are sensitive to His promptings. I’m grateful for a sweet daughter who is learning to listen to what the Spirit teaches.