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Aaronic Priesthood Manual 1

Pure Thoughts: Clean Language

"Lesson 21: Pure Thoughts: Clean Language," Aaronic Priesthood Manual 1, 73


Each young man will more fully realize the importance of having pure thoughts and using uplifting language.


Note to the adviser

Pure thoughts are a prerequisite to clean actions. The images and language in today's media can be a powerfully destructive influence in the lives of young men. Aaronic Priesthood leaders can be a powerful influence in leading young men to choose pure and righteous lives.


We Reveal Ourselves by the Language We Use

Chalkboard and discussion

Write the following statement on the chalkboard:

"Language is the dress of thought; every time you talk your mind is on parade" (author unknown, Richard Evans' Quote Book, comp. Richard L. Evans [Salt Lake City: Publishers Press, 1971], p. 194).


Distribute the previously prepared copies of the "Bible Exercise" and pencils to the young men, or display the large poster quiz you have prepared. Either do this exercise as a class and fill in the blanks together, or allow each young man to work individually. Ask the young men to use James 3:2-13 to fill in the blanks. The purpose of this exercise is to help the young men understand the chapter, not to compel them to find a precise word.

Bible Exercise

Use James 3:2-13 to assist you in filling in the following blanks:

Spend a few minutes discussing the importance of the message contained in this chapter. Suggest that the young men mark these verses.

Thought questions

Have the young men picture in their minds a member of the Church whom they greatly respect and admire-someone they would like to pattern their lives after-as you ask the following thought questions:

Explain that as we think about the person we admire, we can decide now what kind of person we want to be and then act as if we were that person. By doing this, we will become like that ideal.

Clean Thoughts Precede Clean Language

Object lesson and poster

Display the bowl of juice (or other similar liquid). Invite the young men to dye a small piece of cloth with the juice, being careful not to get any of the juice on their clothes. When they have done so, ask them to look at their hands. They will probably have gotten some of the juice on their hands. Provide damp cloths so they can clean their hands.

Display the poster that says, "Our mind, like the dyer's hand, is colored by what it holds."

Ask the young men to think about this statement as they respond to the following questions:

Reread the quotation on the poster.

Quotation and discussion

Read the following statement:

"A noble and Godlike character is ... the natural result of continued effort in right thinking" (James Allen, As a Man Thinketh [New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Company, n.d.], pp. 7-8).

Emphasize that it takes a great deal of effort to control our thoughts. But if we are to become true disciples of Christ, we must make every effort to keep our thoughts pure.

Discuss how each of these influences our lives for good or bad.

We Need to Practice Controlling Our Thoughts

Chalkboard and discussion

Let the young men respond. Record their responses on the chalkboard. Include the following ideas:


Testimony and challenge

Review the counsel about language given on pages 22-23 of For the Strength of Youth. Bear testimony of the importance of controlling our thoughts and speech. Express confidence in the young men's ability to control their minds. Challenge them to select a way to control their thoughts that will work best for them and practice using it during the coming week.

Bible Exercise

Use James 3:2-13 to assist you in filling in the following blanks:

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Next Chapter: Lesson 22: Covenants Guide Our Actions »

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