It is an old saying that “Cleanliness is next to Godliness." The video clip of Joseph F. Smith's life changing dream, along with a fun, yet compelling activity and treat will help your family understand the importance of being clean in all things.
Joseph F. Smith said, “There was not anything in the world that I feared [after that]. I could meet any man or woman or child and look them in the face, feeling in my soul that I was a man every whit. That vision, that manifestation and witness that I enjoyed at that time has made me what I am, if I am anything that is good, or clean, or upright before the Lord, if there is anything good in me. That has helped me out in every trial
and through every difficulty.” Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed. , 542–43
What does it mean to be clean? (Discuss ideas. Emphasize that there is both a physical and a spiritual cleanliness.)
“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, besides 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 dreamt that the serpent on his arm came alive. It
slithered across his shoulders until it was wrapped tightly around his neck. Next Caleb dreamt 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!”
Mix all ingredients (except topping) together and knead for 3 minutes to form a soft dough. Roll out on lightly floured surface to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut out with a 1-1/2 inch donut cutter. Place on greased baking sheets. Cover with a slightly damp cloth or plastic wrap that has been coated with cooking spray. Let rise for about 25 minutes (until almost doubled). Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes until lightly browned. For a more traditional donut; heat 1 quart oil in a large deep skillet to 375 degrees F. and fry until golden, turning over once. Drain on paper towels.
Brush warm donuts with butter and let children roll in sugar. Omit melted butter if you used the frying method. Optional: Use your donuts for the Activity Time part of this lesson.
1 c. mashed potatoes (or substitute instant potatoes)
1 1/4 cup warm milk (70 to 80 degrees F)
2 eggs, well beaten
3/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
4 3/4 cups flour
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup melted butter or margarine
Younger children will need help from an older sibling or parent.
1. Explain: When we made these donuts our hands were clean. We used clean bowls and utensils, fresh ingredients and were careful not to let them fall on the floor. They are clean, freshly made and really good.
2. Sprinkle just a little bit of dirt on the extra donut. Go around the room with both plates and offer a donut to each family member. Point to the one with dirt and ask: Why don’t you want this one? It’s still a really good donut. It just has a little bit of dirt on it. It is still good, isn’t it?
3. Ask: Why didn’t anyone want the donut with the little bit of dirt on it? (Discuss ideas. Have your family repeat: “A little bit of dirt makes the whole donut dirty.”
4. Ask: Do we want to be clean and wholesome or just a little bit dirty?
5. How can remembering the saying; “A little bit of dirt makes the whole
donut dirty” help you make the choice to be clean? Use these examples to help your children choose by saying “clean” or “a little bit of dirt makes the whole donut dirty”
a. Christie watched an “R” rated movie because her friends said it’s really good, except for one bad scene.
b. Michael didn’t let his friend copy even one little tiny answer off his test.
c. Derek wore clothes to church that were just a little bit dirty and smelly. d. Thomas said only one little swear word when he smashed his thumb in
6. We should strive to always be clean, but remember that when we make
mistakes we can be washed clean by the atonement of Jesus Christ when
What you need:
A copy of the “A Little Bit of Dirt” activity, donuts (recipe included with this lesson) and 1 tsp. of dirt.
1. Make “'Donut”' Be Unclean" recipe or purchase sugar dhnuts or dhnut holes from a bakery.
2. Place one donut or donut hole per family member on a plate. Have one extra donut or donut hole on a separate plate.
1. Watch chapter 9 from The Modern Prophets Joseph F. Smith DVD.
2. Read: Doctrine and Covenants 42:41
“And let all things be done in cleanliness before me.”
3. President Joseph F. Smith dreamed of being able to proclaim that he was clean.
How did this bring him happiness? (Discuss ideas.)
Joseph F. Smith said, “There was not anything in the world that I feared [after that].
I could meet any man or woman or child and look them in the face, feeling in my soul
that I was a man every whit. That vision, that manifestation and witness that I enjoyed
at that time has made me what I am, if I am anything that is good, or clean, or upright before the Lord, if there is anything good in me. That has helped me out in every trial
and through every difficulty.” Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed. , 542–43
4. What does it mean to be clean? (Discuss ideas. Emphasize that there is both a physical spiritual cleanliness.)