40 Day Media Fast

Last Monday my family, and other members of our ward, began a 40 day media fast.

So, what is a media fast? Well, it is exactly what it sounds like….40 days with no Television, radio, internet, or video games.
 My hubby is the Young Men’s president and a few months ago he had the idea of having a media fast. At first he thought maybe a couple weeks, but then one morning while studying his scriptures he read about Christ fasting for 40 days. As he read and pondered he decided that that is how long the media fast should be.
Sunday we had a fireside to begin the fast. It was a great Fireside.
The first speaker compared our media with mushrooms. She used a talk by Elder Spencer Condie titled, “Mushrooms, Music, Movies, & Magazines”
“There are hundreds of species of mushrooms, and many of them are not only edible but delicious. Mushroom hunting is a favorite family activity in many parts of the world, but mushroom hunters must be aware that between 70 and 80 varieties of mushrooms are poisonous. Some of them are fatal.”
Elder Condie continues by discussing different species of various mushrooms. He talks about the meadow mushroom which is the type that we will find in our grocery stores. Then he discusses two different poisonous mushrooms and the effect they have if eaten. He then compares the mushrooms to the media in today’s world.
Music, movies, and magazines have a lot in common with mushrooms. For example, they come in countless varieties. Just as some mushrooms are edible and desirable and nutritious, certain kinds of music, movies, and magazines provide nutrition for the soul as they edify, entertain, and uplift.
And just as there are different kinds of poisonous mushrooms, so are there different kinds of music, movies, and magazines that poison the spirits of men and women. Some of these poisons are very much like jack-o’-lantern mushrooms because their impact is so repulsive and objectionable that we immediately reject them.
But there are other kinds of music, movies, and magazines that work very much like the “destroying angel”; that is, at first we have no idea that what we are listening to or watching or reading is slowly and surely poisoning our very souls.
Often we hear people comment on different entertainments, and we will hear something like, “This tape by the Dirty Gym Sox has ten good songs and only two bad ones.” Or, “It was a great movie (or video), with only two or three bad scenes.” Or, “Most of the articles in this magazine are very interesting and insightful.
But in 1988, only a few toxic mushrooms in a whole dishful put five Oregon people in the hospital on the verge of death.” 

Are we on the verge of death…spiritually? Have we been eating too many ‘bad’ mushrooms?
My husband spoke next and explained why 40 days. Why not 2 weeks, a week, or a few days?
In the scriptures we read of many people fasting. And there are many of those that fasted for 40 days.
First we’ll talk about when it rained for 40 days and 40 nights. After it had rained the earth was cleansed.
Then we read of Moses. He fasted for 40 days, and after that received the 10 commandments. He came to know God’s will for him.
Then we read of Elijah who fasted for 40 days and nights.
We read in 1 Kings 19:11-12:  
And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake:
And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.
Elijah had fasted and after, he recognized the Spirit.
Last we hear of when Christ fasted for 40 days and after he fasted he began His ministry. He was building a spiritual foundation to go and preach.
After my husband talked about each of the scripture stories he compared them to the media fast. He said as we fast he hopes that we all will:
·        Be cleansed
·        Come to know God’s will for us
·        Come to know how the Lord speaks to us
·        And build a spiritual foundation for ourselves.
So far, it has been wonderful. I didn’t think my children could do it. I thought that they would whine and ask to watch T.V. But they have surprised me.
My son has asked me to watch movies, but I told him he would have to watch it on our portable DVD player in his room. He asked my why he couldn’t watch it in the living room, and I said because Dad has asked us not to watch any T.V., so I don’t want to. He then said, “Oh, then I don’t want to either.”
Our family scripture study has changed for the better. Before, our children were distracted by other things and wouldn’t sit still or listen. Scripture study was more stressful than spiritual.
Now this is their only form of entertainment. When we sit down to read the scripture (the illustrated Book Of Mormon), they quickly run over and snuggle up to us. They are quiet as we read. They ask questions, and they get mad when we say it’s time to stop.
 Yesterday at church several people shared their experience with the 40 day media fast. Every experience I heard sounded similar to mine. They could see a huge change in the Spirit in their home and family, the kids were fighting less, scriptures were being read, journals written. People are beginning to see the blessings of holding a media fast.
I want to share one last thing with all of you. I’ve been waking up and studying my scriptures. I’m reading in 2 Nephi right now and I have been using the ‘Verse By Verse; The Book of Mormon’ book by D Kelly Ogden & Andrew C Skinner.
I read 2 Nephi 9:50-51. I then turned to the ‘Verse By Verse’ to see what they had said about these two verses. Here is what it said:
Thirsty? Come to the waters of life. Hungry? Feast upon that which perisheth not.
Here is the lesson in spiritual economics, which you can apply to your everyday life: do not spend your money, your labor, or your time for that which has no value, that which cannot satisfy. Examples could be Internet surfing, television watching, video gaming, chatting, blogging, and on and on, including many things that are not evil but could distract from the things that matter most. As John Bytheway wrote, “Satan works more by distraction than confrontation.”
“Let your souls delight in fatness”—that is, the Lord’s kind of fatness. He encourages the righteous to consume “a feast of fat things” (Isaiah 25:6, D&C 58:8), the fat things referring to the good things of the earth and of heaven.”
Are we becoming distracted? I didn’t think we were. We don’t have cable, we don’t listen to the radio….but what we were doing was still distracting us.
I am so excited for this opportunity. Although it will be hard at times, I know it will be a great spiritual experience for me and my family.
I’m hoping, for myself, that I will gain a stronger testimony and work on the more important things that I have been neglecting.
Would you like to have your very own 40 day fast? Join me!
And get started!

{You’re probably wondering why I’m posting on my blog….since my blog is church related, my dear hubby has O.K.’d it. yeah!} 🙂


Hi! I’m Sheena, the blogger behind Little LDS Ideas. I love sharing LDS Ideas and printables to help make your life and calling a little bit easier. I am a mother to 4 and a wife to one amazing guy. In addition to being busy with blogging and being a wife/mother, I am also in school. Studying and homework keeps me busy, but I love it. Thanks so much for stopping by! ♥


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  1. Oh, I was getting worried as I read through your post that we(your followers) would soon be participating in a “Little LDS Ideas” fast, too. I didn’t think you were going to be allowed to post during your 40 days media fast. Whew! I would feel lost to not have my #1 ST inspiration resource. (Tell your hubby thank you!)

  2. I’m glad you’ll still be posting on your blog, I agree that it’s appropriate to not stop. 🙂

    I love this idea, I think that it’s important to not get so stuck in the world. I don’t watch tv or listen to the radio, so this would only hurt so far that the internet is involved… I do a very minor form of this every Sunday and it has helped tons!

  3. Great idea – except if you are teaching online Seminary and are expect to be on the computer 3-4 hours a day!

  4. Great idea- except if you have to teach online Seminary and need to be on the computer for 3-4 hours a day.