Clean Reads for Mormon Teenagers discussion

New Group Members > How Do We Define Clean?

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message 1: by Jayda, Future NYT Bestseller! © (new)

Jayda | 2310 comments Mod
To me, clean means that there's nothing graphic. This means no sexuality, no serious cussing, and no graphic violence.

Now, we can't necessarily get away from cussing all of the time. Look at Stephenie Meyer, for instance. She's a Mormon stay-at-home mother and her books have some cusswords in them and they sell these books in the Church Bookstores. Surely the editors did most of that, but let's face it: cussing is hard to get away from. So, in my point of view, if it doesn't go past the d-word than it's basically clean.

There's no need for sexuality in a book. There never is and never will be. It's just like in the movies - there's never been a movie where we just HAVE to see all of that. So if there's anything past kissing in there (getting close to that barrier, basically) than it's not clean.

If something that needs to be added to define "clean" then go ahead and post it! :)

message 2: by Ellen (new)

Ellen (EllenJ) | 143 comments what kind of clean do you mean??

message 3: by Lindsey (new)

Lindsey | 774 comments The books we read. You know like, CLEAN reads for mormon teenagers is the name of the group. Thats what they were talking about, check out the first post.

message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

Well... I think we define clean as anything we'd read with the Savior reading over our shoulder. Honestly, if we're doing anything he wouldn't approve of, we shouldn't do it right? I have a bit of a hard time with this one in terms of cussing as well... there's almost no fiction book on Earth with no cussing. But if we'd honestly feel comfortable in God's presence reading it, it's OK.

message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

Wow! Thats a great way of putting it!

message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

Thanks! I guess that's just how I try to view anything media-wise. It does make sense. I have loads of stuff I'd love to say on the topic, but... maybe I'll save it; some people think it's a bit extreme. If ya really wanna know, I've got LOADS of stuff to say about Twilight. I almost explode every time I see it at Generations. (Let's put this candidly; I'm of the same school of thought as my old seminary teacher, who wanted to stick a match under the display at Costco.) o.o But there you have it...

message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

Man! So many Twilight-supporters... What's happened to all of the non-Twilight people?

Rachel (aka. Kaiserin Sisi) (looney-lovegood) | 68 comments I'm a neutral-Twilight person. I don't like Edward and Bella, but I love every other character! I think that there's way too much romance, but that makes sense, considering that it is a romance.

message 9: by Jayda, Future NYT Bestseller! © (new)

Jayda | 2310 comments Mod
Yeah... Bella's only decent in the first book. After that, she really gets on my nerves. Edward gets on my nerves during some parts of the books, but otherwise, I love every character other than Bella, basically! xD

message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

In the second book, Bella like falls apart! Its so lame! Bella and Edward annoy me alot. But I love the rest.

message 11: by Lindsey (new)

Lindsey | 774 comments alyssa- I totally agree with you but I dont see how anybody could say thats too extreme, its definitly not for me. I read fiction all the time and have read like maybe 5 books ever that have swearing in them. And I love the fiction i read its not like its all boring or anything... so yeah I am really strict with myself about media too.

message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

Hey Lindsey! Thanks... I dunno, I guess Twilight, to me (Twilight fans, put away the pitchforks)is a book I think Satan uses to pull people, including members away from the right path very subtly. Not to say that anyone who reads it is wicked, just that Satan uses the "It's written by a Mormon author" to justify it, and in my thoughts, the books slowly pull you in with the first one, and then gradually get worse, in terms of appropriateness. Especially with the fourth book, from what I've been told. We had a debate about this in seminary (and I guess we probably shouldn't have)... one person't argument was "It's ok, because the characters are married!" And I have a lot of respect and love for that person even though I strongly disagree in this instance. It's not stimulating ideas or feelings we need to be having. (I think I said something to the effect of "Yes, but are you?")

And Edward, in my opinion, is a total creep. He watches her from outside her window (creepy? Seriously, how is that not...?)And he follows her around EVERYWHERE. There's no semblance of real love: Christ-like love. It's all sort of lustful to me, and without much of a point. Someone wants a good romance? Read Pride and Prejudice. (or, actually, better yet, watch the Keira Knightly movie adaptation! ^^)

Whew... crazy... sorry...

Ah, my computer curfew's up, and I have a temple trip tomorrow!


message 13: by Jayda, Future NYT Bestseller! © (new)

Jayda | 2310 comments Mod
I found your post and point of view very intriguing. I haven't heard the idea that it's a tool that Satan uses, before. How interesting...

Forgive my rebuttal - I couldn't resist.

I'm POSITIVE that Stephenie Meyer didn't want to put any of that into the books. Editors, publishers, and so on have a say in what goes into books. We were lucky we didn't get a full-blown sex scene, honestly. We were lucky we didn't get s-words and f-bombs, because surely they asked for that. Stephenie Meyer put her foot down, and this is what can happen when you use a normal publishing company.

The characters ARE married. Stephenie Meyer never ONCE describes what happens, never once goes into detail. She left it to our imagination, if we wanted to let our minds wander, istead of writing it out for us. If we're like we should be, we won't let our minds wander. It's like in movies - it fades to black. We don't actually know what happens, since she never clearly states it (as far as I remember?) - we piece the puzzle together and add what can fit.

I don't agree with you on there being no semblance of real love: Christ-like love. Edward is willing to die for Bella, to protect her, to leave her (though it's the last thing he wants, though he suffers because of it) because he loves her that much. Is that not Christ-like? Also, in a relationship there IS Christ-like love, but is there not passion, romance, love, attraction? Edward never once allows them to act on the attraction that they have for each other before they're married. That's a good example set for young readers all over the world.

Also - it's fiction, and it's a paranormal romance. It's not bound to be the average romance novel like Pride and Prejudice :)

message 14: by Halley (new)

Halley (Jacketgirl) | 103 comments Edward is kind of stalker-ish to Bella. I think that is why I like Jacob.

message 15: by Jayda, Future NYT Bestseller! © (new)

Jayda | 2310 comments Mod
Edward is stalker-ish, I agree xD But Bella doesn't mind, apparently.

Rachel (aka. Kaiserin Sisi) (looney-lovegood) | 68 comments Alyssa wrote: "Hey Lindsey! Thanks... I dunno, I guess Twilight, to me (Twilight fans, put away the pitchforks)is a book I think Satan uses to pull people, including members away from the right path very subtly. ..."

About that Pride and Prejudice the book first! Always, always, always read the book first.

message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

I think Twilight was a good book. I agree with both of you, Edward was very good but very, well, annoying. He didn't watch her through her window, he climbed in, and watched her sleep.The right thing to do is to call the cops. Bella wanted to be innapropriate before they got married and Edward wouldn't let her. I know that editors and publishers add stuff, and I know they were married. Personally, I think the first book was the second worst, because he was coming into her room and stuff. The fourth was the worst though, cause they got married. But I enjoyed reading the books. And I want to see the next movie. So I agree and disagree with both of you.

message 18: by Jayda, Future NYT Bestseller! © (last edited Oct 09, 2009 08:01AM) (new)

Jayda | 2310 comments Mod
I thought that Twilight was the cleanest out of all of the books, honestly.

And I'm going to the midnight premiere of New Moon! =D

message 19: by Lindsey (new)

Lindsey | 774 comments I havnt read them so i cant really comment on this dicussion much. My mom read them and she really liked them but would not see the movie (we dont do pg-13) her thing was she thought they were good books just not for teens, only adults, (18& up?). I think she would have let me read the first one except she dosnt really like scary and she thought the whole stalking thing in the woods was a little much. the only other thing im goning to say is yeah, it may have been the publisher who wanted to put that stuff in there, but if it had been me I would have chosen not to print it at all, found a publisher that would publish it the way i wanted or done it myself. that may be totally naive cause i dont know anything about publishers but i think that would have been my decision.

message 20: by [deleted user] (new)

I saw the midnightt premiere of harry potter!!! It was great as a regular movie but HORRIBLE at following the book! I really was disappointed. They need a new director. URGH!!!!

message 21: by Jayda, Future NYT Bestseller! © (last edited Oct 09, 2009 10:59AM) (new)

Jayda | 2310 comments Mod
Lindsey - you don't watch PG-13? That's not a bad thing! Very intriguing! I wish that I was up to doing that :) But sadly, there are so many movies out there that are PG-13 that I love and want to see xD Haha. You are awesome!

Anywho, I think more like 14-15+. That seems like it would be more appropriate than 18+, considering they're YA novels, anyway. Also, if you go and read other books that you buy in the YA section, Twilight is one of the few without premarital sex, or just the decent-hint of it happening.

However, I can see a flaw in how you would've published it :) Sorry - I know too much. I've just looked into publishing, and the whole Ttwilight being published deal, that I have to have some input =P

Twilight is the cleanest of all of the books. Now, Stephenie Meyer signed a 3-book contract when she first published Twilight. She didn't expect them to want to put in all of that extra stuff that they did. She HAD to write 3-books and have them published by that publishing house, or there were bound to be lawsuits, money-issues (they paid her $300,000 up-front I think is the number), publishing issues, and eventually she probably wouldn't have been published at all because of all of the problems that would have ensued because of that. I see what you mean, and it's a good idea, but Stephenie Meyer was bound. She pretty much had no easy way out.

message 22: by [deleted user] (last edited Oct 09, 2009 11:55AM) (new)

Okay, I was just trying to change the subject to Harry Potter, but NO, keep debating Twilight! LOL JK You see, I was just trying to bring some peace to this topic. Harry Potter brings peace. But Twilight is the kind of book that gets everyone (sorry to say but mostly girls) all wrapped up in fighting and debating and arguing about it. Harry Potter is just awesome. Everyone (especially Mormons) don't have to worry about sex or anything bad like that. Swearing, however, is far worse. But J.K. Rowling skipped all of that and went to "19 Years Later". She didn't say "and they got married and blah, blah, blah! Ginny gave birth to her first child! Hooplah!" Harry Potter is cleaner than Twilight. We also didn't get s-words or f-bombs. We got the bad witch, the d-word, and H.E.-double hocky sticks. But there is no saying or hint at all about anything inappropriate. Rarely there was kissing. The Harry Potter books are just better. Way better. Twilight is way too chick-flicky. Harry Potter doesn't make some guys look weird when they read it. It makes them look totally awesome. Also, in the first book in Twilight I've heard there wasn't much of a plot other than, "is Edward a vampire?". Harry Potter actually has a plot other than "is Hogwarts a magical school where they teach people to do magical stuff?" Obviously! I really don't like debating with other Mormons, especially about something that goes with our religous beleifs, but I could go on and on about how Harry Potter is better and cleaner. Just ask me. I'm all ears. :) Well, eyes. :-/

message 23: by Jayda, Future NYT Bestseller! © (new)

Jayda | 2310 comments Mod
So much for trying to bring peace, Lexi, huh? ;)

message 24: by [deleted user] (new)

I know! I just get sucked into these kinds of debates... shame on my soul!!! Lol

message 25: by Jayda, Future NYT Bestseller! © (new)

Jayda | 2310 comments Mod
Yes, shame on your soul! Tsk tsk tsk ;)

Anywho, Twilight is SUPPOSED to be a paranormal romance novel. Harry Potter is written for children 8+. There are going to be major differences, in style, genre, writing, etcetera because they're so unique. So honestly, there's no point in debating such a thing :)

message 26: by Lindsey (new)

Lindsey | 774 comments yeah well its a rule that has always been at our house, so I grew up with it and i think it is best for our family (with rare exceptions) since we havnt watched those kind of movies now we are especially sensitive to things that are in those movies. I think the rule is because before there was a PG-13 rating some of the movies that are rated PG-13 now would have fallen into the R rating.

Thats why i usually read the kind of books like harry potter because I dont want to happen on anything bad on accident. And I enjoy them as much as the young adult ones so most of the time i stick to them but I do love some YA books too!. So I see how Twilight could be better than other YA books but I dont know that some of them are the best anyway, if that makes sense at all. I know thats kind of wierd for a girl my age but hey its what i like and i think its best for me.

lol i know you know alot about that stuff so i thought you might be able to answer me. Thanks for teaching me about that. Yeah I see now it would have been really hard, Im still not sure I would have made that decision but I didnt she did! I know someone on here said one time we shouldnt judge her cause its not our place its heavenly fathers and we dont know what the right decision for her was, but I cant find it. Anyway I agree with that.

message 27: by [deleted user] (new)

Woo! Go Lindsey!

message 28: by Jayda, Future NYT Bestseller! © (new)

Jayda | 2310 comments Mod
That's very cool about the PG-13 movies! Yeah, there used to be no PG-13 rating, but they added that in during the 70's I think? Maybe?

That's good. You should know what's best for you, and stick with it :)

Yeah. She didn't honestly have that big of a choice in the matter, and yes, Heavenly Father is the judge, not us!

message 29: by [deleted user] (new)

*Cheers and claps* So? Is this the end of the debate or is there more? I'd be happy to see both :)

message 30: by [deleted user] (new)

Okay, sorry I haven't been on so I might pull some stuff out from awhile ago. I am gonna see the midnight showing of New Moon too! I think that Twilight, like many other books I have read, get worse as they go, even Harry Potter gets more violent as they go. I would recomend twilght for ages 15-16, I am probably not one to talk, with the fact that I read them when I was 11 years old. There are a few books I have read that, if they made movies for I prolly wouldn't see them. If they make a fourth Twilight movie I am afreaid they might have to take stuff out to keep a good rating. But hey, you never know.

message 31: by [deleted user] (new)

Ah, well...
I'm in a bit of a dilemna in that I agree that it's really not very condusive to the Spirit to argue with other members of the church; however, I also have some very strong opinions that I just don't wanna keep quiet, although I have to say, yours all make great points (cough* ~ Jayda) ^^

Anywho, I guess that my view is that the only things worth reading are things that can bring me closer to the Savior. I know that, for me, reading Twilight definitely takes me away from that. Reading about it just makes me feel sorta guilty inside.

Granted, there are no explicit sex scenes in the books, but I've found that any scene causing me to feel things inappropriate should be axed from my list.
I've had problems with it before, because a lot of great books have two stupid horrible pages in the middle. Brave New World for instance. sigh.

But my seminary teacher taught me loads last year about being a follower of Christ. Everything we do either takes us towards or away from Him. There is no middle ground. Just like we can't ever have a day we're not working on our testimonies, right?

So even though the Twilight issue for me is often about the content and the feeling of the book, it also has to do with my spiritual status. I'm far from perfect, but I'm trying to implement this totally into my life... (It's hard... :( I even had to axe some PG stuff from my collection because it was making me doubt my beliefs.

Anyways, I can see why everyone is so enthralled with Twilight. Truthfully, when I started reading it I was too. (apart from the guilty twinges). It took my sister and my seminary teacher to snap me out of it.

I'm sorry if I caused any problems, but I sort of joined this site so I could voice my opinions, because I know some people get exasperated with me for them even at church.

What can I say? It's just what I think, I'm far from perfect, but my opinion stands.

Although, I agree that Harry Potter is pretty awesome! ^^

And if Christ wrote a book, I'm pretty sure he would rather not get his book published then have editors take it anywhere near outside appropriate boundaries.

But aside from that... wow, I just wrote a little essay... >.<

Anyways, that's it; Heavenly Father is the judge. (Thank goodness!) =D Love ya guys, and sorry if I caused a bit of... unrest... o.o

A really interesting book is "Jesus, the Christ" by James E. Talmage, btw, even if it's a bit hard to read.

message 32: by [deleted user] (new)

And this may seem a bit weird, but I'm thinking about seriously cutting back the time I spend on here. I'm getting a bit stressed out, actually.

So not sure how much I'll be on here in future... >.<
We'll see.
If anything, I think I'll just write. And read.

Thanks, though, guys!

As strong as my opinions are, I don't feel that good arguing about them unless it needs to be done...
Ah, and I'm the one who started it. The irony.


message 33: by Ellen (new)

Ellen (EllenJ) | 143 comments I like clean books. which means no swearing, no sexual stuff (at all!!!), and so on...

message 34: by Jayda, Future NYT Bestseller! © (new)

Jayda | 2310 comments Mod
Alyssa - don't worry about it! I'm always up for this kind of conversation, and your reasonings are understandable. If it's not what you want in your life, and if it takes away from your spirituality than I recommend not reading it!

Your opinion can stand. My opinion will stand as well.

I'm also sure that if Jesus wrote a book he wouldn't publish it when the editors would add stuff in, but Jesus also probably wouldn't write a book like Twilight, or quite like any book other than the Bible and Book of Mormon :)

Also, Stephenie Meyer didn't know that they'd ask those things of her. Just saying!

Oh! I want to read that book! But it's so long, and I have so many other books to read... but I'll get around to it eventually :)

message 35: by [deleted user] (new)

Wow! I love everyone's diverse opinions! I have to agree with both Jayda and Alyssa. But mostly Alyssa because she added that Harry Potter was awesome! I loved that part. In fact, it was my favorite. I agree- those kinds of books do make you feel guilty inside. And for not seeing PG-13 movies, you are SO AWESOME! It would be so hard for me to do that. I love how you both of you are so calm and straight-forward about your beliefs! ^^

message 36: by [deleted user] (last edited Oct 10, 2009 07:14AM) (new)

Whoa Alyssa!!! You really know how to open someones eyes!! I really felt the spirit as I was reading what you said. Thanks so much!! I know I have some things I should probably get rid of too! Thanks so much! :D

message 37: by [deleted user] (new)

Wow, Alyssa. That was awesome! And don't worry about sharing your opinion. This isn't really arguing, this is debating, there is a huge difference. Everyone is respectful to everyone elses opinions. Personally I love to debate!

message 38: by [deleted user] (new)

Me too!

message 39: by Lindsey (new)

Lindsey | 774 comments yay for debating! Yeah its fine even good to have different opinions definitly not a problem, it helps people learn and think. I understand about the time thing too...Im gonna try to do the same thing actually... Good job on your goals! what a way to aim high, put the bar high, good better best etc.!

message 40: by [deleted user] (new)

Amen, debating can be a good thing! One thing I love about this group is we can all discuss something without being offensive and we can accept that others have different opinions! Btw, Meghan, I have to say that your comment made my entire week, maybe even my month! Thank you for actually saying that! ^^ You're awesome! (as are all of you, of course!) But seriously, thank you! I'm glad you felt the spirit; I felt it as I read your response! ( I grinned all day at the recollection! :P )


message 41: by [deleted user] (new)

Alyssa wrote: "Amen, debating can be a good thing! One thing I love about this group is we can all discuss something without being offensive and we can accept that others have different opinions! Btw, Meghan, I h..."

You're welcome!

message 42: by Lindsey (new)

Lindsey If modern books don't meet your standard, try a classic.

message 43: by Lindsey (new)

Lindsey | 774 comments True dat.

message 44: by Jerusha (new)

Jerusha (LIBRA32) | 284 comments If Christ did write a book, would it be like the scriptures?

It's good to be opinionated and not be afraid to voice it, especially with the world the way it is. Our standards are being thrown out because they're not the style. We need to keep our standards strong and if we see someone struggling, we should help them. They can make a lot of mistakes and become spiritually dirty.

Staying spiritually clean is so important for us now. We need to follow the guidance of our Bishops, Leaders, and Prophets.

message 45: by Lindsey (new)

Lindsey | 774 comments Good job! Way to be strong. You are so right, I agree! Especially with the last part...

message 46: by Jayda, Future NYT Bestseller! © (new)

Jayda | 2310 comments Mod
I completely agree, Pink! :)

message 47: by Jerusha (new)

Jerusha (LIBRA32) | 284 comments Thanks guys! :)

message 48: by Jayda, Future NYT Bestseller! © (new)

Jayda | 2310 comments Mod
Sorry that I only put down Pink xD I meant Pinky but I was in a rush. Haha :D

message 49: by Emily (last edited Jan 25, 2010 03:30PM) (new)

Emily Eastman | 305 comments I think my way of defining if a book is innapropriate is how I feel inside when I'm reading it. Like if there are a lot of scenes (whether intense swearing, goriness, or kissing and sex) I get this awful feeling like I'm consciencely doing wrong and I know I won't enjoy reading the book. Another thing is everything bad you read or see gets stuck in your head and you can't forget it easily. I think you define something as clean as something that does make you feel good and uplifts you not the other way around.

message 50: by Jayda, Future NYT Bestseller! © (new)

Jayda | 2310 comments Mod
That's a good way of putting it, Emily! :)

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