Monday, February 20, 2006

Clean Hands

To all my friends and those who read my articles I pass along this wise council. It is not my intention to point a finger accusingly, only to consider the paths which lie before us and to choose with great care knowing that all paths have a destination.

I heard one my local church leaders, Dennis Larsen of the Stake Presidency, explain how important it was to have clean hands. He used the example of an old television show, “What’s My Line”. Some of you may not be old enough to remember the black and white television game show.

“There was a regular panel of “star celebrities” who would each get to ask 10 questions of the person, one who had some unusual form of making a living while attempting to discern, “What’s My Line?”. One of them, Kitty Carlyle ( hope I got that right ), would always ask to have a good look at the person’s hands as one of her questions.” . (paraphrased)

I immediately gave my hands a quick perusal; being a locksmith, I have to work particularly hard to clean away oily dirt that gets embedded in the small cracks or fissures in my hands and under my fingernails. Yes, my hands were cracked and rough from being exposed to the elements; but they were clean.

“What would your hands say about your habits, your lifestyle; are they clean? In Psalms 23:3-4, David says, “Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart…”

President Larsen was talking about a different kind of “clean hands” as he directed most of his comments toward the youth attending the meeting. I’m still younger than my father so I must be one of the youth he was addressing.

“You young men are not only going to have to account to your fathers and Church leaders here but most importantly one day to Heavenly Father. None of us knows how long we are going to live. In the Book of Mormon, Alma asked the question, “Can ye look up to God at that day with a pure heart and clean hands?” (Alma 5:19)”

President Larsen then quoted from an address given to the Priesthood Session of General Conference in October 2000. Elder Jeffery R. Holland, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, gave the young men and even their fathers some wonderful counsel on keeping clean today and standing in holy places. I would like to share this with you:

“Now, we live in an age when that cleanliness is more and more difficult to preserve. With modern technology even your youngest brothers and sisters can be carried virtually around the world before they are old enough to ride a tricycle safely across the street. What were in my generation carefree moments of movie going, TV watching, and magazine reading have now, with the additional availability of VCRs, the Internet, and personal computers, become amusements fraught with genuine moral danger. I put the word amusements in italics. Did you know that the original Latin meaning of the word amusement is “a diversion of the mind intended to deceive”? Unfortunately that is largely what “amusements” in our day have again become in the hands of the arch deceiver."

"Recently I read an author who said: “Our leisure, even our play, is a matter of serious concern. [That is because] there is no neutral ground in the universe: every square inch, every split second, is claimed by God and counterclaimed by Satan.” I believe that to be absolutely true, and no such claiming and counterclaiming anywhere is more crucial and conspicuous than that being waged for the minds and morals, the personal purity of the young.”

Consider the information available in plain sight as you go about your daily information travels through the internet. I generally start with my local newspaper’s web site, then CNN and Fox to get an idea of what happened during the past several hours. How many of you would enjoy a field trip to visit the red light district in Amsterdam? At CNN they’re having an open house this week for curious tourists, complete with video of those brothels. All you have to do is click on the link provided, no parental controls because it’s a news story, right? If you’re looking for the link here; sorry, you’ll have to go over to CNN.

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