Doctrine & Covenants 42:41
41. And let all things be done in cleanliness before me.
It is an old saying that “Cleanliness is next to Godliness.” It is important to be clean, both physically and spiritually.
We can show that we are thankful for our bodies by keeping them clean. We take baths, avoid permanent marks like tattoos and multiple piercings, and wear clean, modest clothing. Staying clean helps our bodies to be healthy. We keep our minds clean by being careful of the things we read, watch, and listen to. We keep our language clean by using kind, polite words.
We should try to be spiritually clean by keeping the commandments. If we make a mistake and sin, we can repent, and through the atonement of Jesus Christ, we can be “washed” clean again.
“… Though we’re redeemed from mortal death,
We still can’t enter in,
Unless we’re clean, cleansed every whit,
From every mortal sin.
… What must be done to make us clean,
We cannot do alone.
The law, to be a law, require,
A pure one must atone. …”
By Boyd K. Packer, “Washed Clean”
What does it mean to be clean? (Discuss ideas. Emphasize that there is both a physical and a spiritual cleanliness.)
President Joseph F. Smith dreamed of being able to proclaim that he was clean.
How did this bring him happiness? (Discuss ideas.)
Why is it important to be clean in our language?(Discuss ideas.)
Why is it important to be clean in thought? (Discuss ideas.)
What does it mean to be clean in body? (Discuss ideas.)
“What do you want to play?” Braiden asked, searching through his toy box. “Secret Agents or Superman?”
he said pulling out his Agent Action Briefcase and his Superman cape.
Caleb had never played secret agent before, and they both couldn’t be Superman.
“We can both be secret agents,” Caleb said. “Who should we spy on?”
Braiden’s mom looked up from her book. “Remember the rules,” she said. “You can only spy on each other.”
After the boys went outside, Braiden whispered, “Let’s spy on Dirk. He’s the biker dude who lives next door.
My sister says he’s scary, but my mom and dad say he’s just colorful.”
The two boys equipped themselves with the spy scope, spy watch and toy satellite listening device and crawled across the lawn on their bellies. They quietly set up their spy headquarters behind the big oak tree in Dirk’s yard.
“Here, you can use the spy scope while I set up the satellite listening device.”
Caleb put the spy scope up to his eye and peered into the open patio door. “Wow! He is colorful. Look at all
Braiden switched on the toy satellite listening device.
“Does that thing really work?” Caleb asked.
“As long as we’re not more than thirty feet away,” Braiden answered. The boys jumped when the listening device picked up a woman screaming. “What’s going on in there?” Braiden asked.
Caleb put the spy scope up to his eye. “It’s just a movie,” Caleb answered. “Oooh, gross…” The gory scene turned Caleb’s stomach. He wanted to turn away, but he was drawn into it.
When Caleb got home he searched through his father’s desk. “Yes! I found some,” he said, picking up the black and red permanent markers. He then drew a serpent with a beady eyes and big fangs up one of his arms. “Pretty good!” he said admiring his artwork. “Looks almost as good as that biker’s.”
“What in the world is that?” Mother asked when Caleb sat down at the dinner table.
“It’s a tattoo,” Caleb innocently answered. “I’m going to be a tattoo artist when I grow up.”
Caleb’s older sister, Shelby, shook her head in disgust. “Are you forgetting about President Hinckley’s ‘B’s?”
Caleb hung his head. “Oh, yeah. No tattoos,” he said.
“How about we go wash that serpent off your arm?” Father said.
Caleb and Father scrubbed and scrubbed, but the marker only lightened slightly. “You didn’t put this on with your washable markers did you?” Father asked. “This is my permanent marker. Isn’t it?”
Tears welled up in Caleb’s eyes. “President Hinckley said tattoos were permanent and I didn’t listen,” Caleb cried. The artwork he had once been so proud of now looked uglier to him than anything he had ever seen before. “I don’t want this ugly thing on my arm for the rest of my life.”
“Well it’s not that permanent. It’ll wear off in a few days,” Father explained. “This is a good lesson though. If it were a real tattoo you would be stuck with it.”
That night Caleb was plagued with nightmares. First he dreamed that the serpent on his arm came alive. It slithered across his shoulders until it was wrapped tightly around his neck. Next Caleb dreamed about the screaming lady he had seen on Dirk’s TV. He tried to save her, but he couldn’t because his hands and body were covered with black grime and she kept slipping away. In his dream, Caleb, frantically tried to wash the grime away.
When Caleb woke, he jumped out of bed and ran to Mother and Father’s room. “I had a nightmare about my tattoo and about a bad show I saw on Dirk’s TV,” Caleb confessed.
“One of the reasons we don’t watch bad things on TV or anywhere else, Caleb, is because it is so hard to get the filth out of our minds…” Father continued explaining how Satan lures us into these things and little by little we become desensitized.
“That means that something that was once offensive no longer bothers us,” Mother clarified.
For FHE the next week they had a lesson on being clean. Shelby read the “B-be clean” section of President Hinckley’s article in the New Era, “A Prophet’s Counsel and Prayer for Youth.” Then Father read Joseph F. Smith’s account of a dream he had about being clean.
“President Joseph F. Smith said his dream helped him throughout his entire life,” Mother added.
“I wish I would of dreamed about being clean, instead of being dirty!” Caleb exclaimed. “But, I know my dream will help me for the rest of my life, too. ’Cause being dirty is no fun!”
by Margie Nauta Lee
Doughnuts are delicious, but what if they're sprinkled with dirt instead of sugar? Would you want to eat them then? Use this object lesson to demonstrate the importance of being clean every whit.
When we making doughnuts, it's important that our hands are clean. We use clean bowls and utensils, fresh ingredients and we are careful not to let them fall on the floor. They are clean, freshly made and really good.