Continuing with the Be's:
Things You'll Need: President Hinckley's Be Clean excerpt.
Lesson: Read President Hinckley's "Be Clean." Discuss it with your family.
"We live in a world that is filled with filth and sleaze, a world that reeks of evil. It is all around us. It is on the television screen. It is at the movies. It is in the popular literature. It is on the Internet. You can’t afford to watch it, my dear friends. You cannot afford to let that filthy poison touch you. Stay away from it. Avoid it. You can’t rent videos and watch them as they portray degrading things. You young men who hold the priesthood of God cannot mix this filth with the holy priesthood.
Avoid evil talk. Do not take the name of the Lord in vain. From the thunders of Sinai the finger of the Lord wrote on tablets of stone, “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain” (Ex. 20:7).
It is not a mark of manhood to carelessly use the name of the Almighty or His Beloved Son in a vain and flippant way, as many are prone to do.
Choose your friends carefully. It is they who will lead you in one direction or the other. Everybody wants friends. Everybody needs friends. No one wishes to be without them. But never lose sight of the fact that it is your friends who will lead you along the paths that you will follow.
While you should be friendly with all people, select with great care those whom you wish to have close to you. They will be your safeguards in situations where you may vacillate between choices, and you in turn may save them.
Be clean. Don’t waste your time in destructive entertainment. There was recently held in the Salt Lake Valley a show put on by a traveling band. I am told that it was filthy, that it was lascivious, that it was evil in every respect. The young people of this community had paid $25 to $35 to get in. What did they get for their money? Only a seductive voice urging them to move in the direction of the slimy things of life. I plead with you, my friends, to stay away from such. It will not help you. It can only injure you.
I recently spoke to your mothers and your fathers. Among other things, I talked with them about tattoos.
What creation is more magnificent than the human body? What a wondrous thing it is as the crowning work of the Almighty.
Paul, in writing to the Corinthians, said: “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
“If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are” (1 Cor. 3:16–17).
Did you ever think that your body is holy? You are a child of God. Your body is His creation. Would you disfigure that creation with portrayals of people, animals, and words painted into your skin?
I promise you that the time will come, if you have tattoos, that you will regret your actions. They cannot be washed off. They are permanent. Only by an expensive and painful process can they be removed. If you are tattooed, then probably for the remainder of your life you will carry it with you. I believe the time will come when it will be an embarrassment to you. Avoid it. We, as your Brethren who love you, plead with you not to become so disrespectful of the body which the Lord has given you.
May I mention earrings and rings placed in other parts of the body. These are not manly. They are not attractive. You young men look better without them, and I believe you will feel better without them. As for the young women, you do not need to drape rings up and down your ears. One modest pair of earrings is sufficient.
I mention these things because again they concern your bodies.
How truly beautiful is a well-groomed young woman who is clean in body and mind. She is a daughter of God in whom her Eternal Father can take pride. How handsome is a young man who is well groomed. He is a son of God, deemed worthy of holding the holy priesthood of God. He does not need tattoos or earrings on or in his body. The First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve are all united in counseling against these things.
And while I speak of such matters I want to give emphasis again to the matter of pornography. It has become a $10 billion industry in the United States, where a few men grow rich at the expense of thousands upon thousands who are their victims. Stay away from it. It is exciting, but it will destroy you. It will warp your senses. It will build within you an appetite that you will do anything to appease. And don’t try to create associations through the Internet and chat rooms. They can lead you down into the very abyss of sorrow and bitterness.
I must also say a word concerning illicit drugs. You know how I feel about them. I don’t care what the variety may be. They will destroy you if pursued. You will become their slave. Once in their power, you will do anything to get money to buy more.
I was amazed while watching a television program to learn that parents introduced drugs to their children in 20 percent of the cases. I cannot understand what I regard as the stupidity of these parents. What future other than slavery for their children could they see in them? Illegal drugs will utterly destroy those who become addicted to them.
My advice, my pleading to you wonderful young men and women, is to stay entirely away from them. You don’t need to experiment with them. Look about you and see the effects they have had on others. There is no need for any Latter-day Saint boy or girl, young man or young woman, to even try them. Stay clean from these mind-altering and habit-forming addictions.
And now just a word on the most common and most difficult of all problems for you young men and young women to handle. It is the relationship that you have one with another. You are dealing with the most powerful of human instincts. Only the will to live possibly exceeds it.
The Lord has made us attractive one to another for a great purpose. But this very attraction becomes as a powder keg unless it is kept under control. It is beautiful when handled in the right way. It is deadly if it gets out of hand.
It is for this reason that the Church counsels against early dating. This rule is not designed to hurt you in any way. It is designed to help you, and it will do so if you will observe it.
Steady dating at an early age leads so often to tragedy. Studies have shown that the longer a boy and girl date one another, the more likely they are to get into trouble.
It is better, my friends, to date a variety of companions until you are ready to marry. Have a wonderful time, but stay away from familiarity. Keep your hands to yourself. It may not be easy, but it is possible.
You young men who plan to go on missions must recognize that sexual sin may keep you from that opportunity. You may think that you can hide it. Long experience has shown that you cannot. To serve an effective mission you must have the Spirit of the Lord, and truth withheld does not mix with that Spirit. Sooner or later you will feel compelled to confess your earlier transgressions. Well did Sir Galahad say, “My strength is as the strength of ten, because my heart is pure” (Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Sir Galahad , st. 1).
My dear young friends, in matters of sex you know what is right. You know when you are walking on dangerous ground, when it is so easy to stumble and slide into the pit of transgression. I plead with you to be careful, to stand safely back from the cliff of sin over which it is so easy to fall. Keep yourselves clean from the dark and disappointing evil of sexual transgression. Walk in the sunlight of that peace which comes from obedience to the commandments of the Lord.
Now, if there be any who have stepped over the line, who may already have transgressed, is there any hope for you? Of course there is. Where there is true repentance, there will be forgiveness. That process begins with prayer. The Lord has said, “He who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more” (D&C 58:42). Share your burden with your parents if you can. And by all means, confess to your bishop, who stands ready to help you."
Activity: So, I thought about putting something like wash the dishes... hahaha. But then I thought about how well that would go over with my family. And decided to come up with another idea. So, here's the winner: Dig a small hole out in the yard. Or take out a bowl and fill it with some dirt. Add water. Yep, you're making mud. You WILL want to do this activity outdoors. Have each person reach in and feel the mud. If some want to use both hands and get a little more dirty, more power to them. It'll help illustrate the point. Have everyone look at the mud all over their hands. Tell them to scape the mud off. Point out the residue: they can't get all of it off. The more mud, the more that needs to be cleaned off. The more sins that have been committed. Demonstrate that you have to wash the mud off with water. Water is like the atonement. Expound as much as you'd like.
Treat: Super Simple Pudding. Click for the recipe.