“First Presidency Urges Members to Let Their Light Shine through Cleanliness and Beauty,” Ensign, Nov. 1974, 125
In a statement issued prior to October general conference, the First Presidency urged all members throughout the Church to “clean up and beautify their homes, surroundings, farms, and places of business” to reflect “the high standards of the Church which we embrace.”
The statement to the members of the Church was followed by letters of special emphasis to all General Authorities, the Presiding Bishopric, the managing director of the Melchizedek Priesthood MIA, and the general presidencies of the Relief Society, the Sunday School, and the Primary, as well as to all stake and mission presidents, bishops, branch presidents, and district presidents.
In these special letters, the First Presidency sought the aid of the Church leadership in providing “specific suggestions and encouragement” in implementing the cleanup program.
In their statement addressed to all members of the Church, the First Presidency said:
“We earnestly call upon members of the Church everywhere to clean up and beautify their homes, surroundings, farms, and places of business.
“Our homes and our buildings are showcases of what we believe. They should be attractive and give every indication of cleanliness, orderliness, and self-esteem.
“‘Let all things be done in order,’ the Lord has counseled us. (D&C 58:55.) His words spoken in the Sermon on the Mount have important meaning today:
“‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt. 5:16.)
“We suggest that priesthood quorums, Young Adult, and other Church groups organize themselves to assist the elderly, the fatherless, and the needy in improving the appearance of their homes and surroundings and in properly maintaining them.
“Parents and Sunday School and Primary teachers are asked to instruct class members in orderliness, in respecting buildings and property generally, in taking care of their belongings, and in keeping them in their proper places.
“We urge that this improvement begin immediately and that procedures be established for maintaining our homes, buildings, and surroundings so that they always bespeak the high standards of the Church which we embrace.”
In their letter to stake and mission presidents, bishops, and branch and district presidents, the First Presidency made some specific, though not all-inclusive, suggestions to implement “cleanup and beautification effort.”
Encouraging the Church leadership to use other methods “which you feel will be effective,” the First Presidency made the following suggestions:
1. Home teachers could stress in their messages to families the need to clean up and beautify their homes and surroundings.
2. Elders quorums, with emphasis on involving prospective elders, could clean up and beautify meetinghouse buildings and grounds. Arrangements should be made for the upkeep of meetinghouse and grounds so that they are always neat and attractive. Aaronic Priesthood quorum members may be asked to assist in this effort where desired.
Aaronic Priesthood and Young Women also may be assigned special projects in assisting the Special Interest and Young Adult groups in helping the elderly, the fatherless, and the needy in improving and maintaining the appearance of their homes.
3. Sunday School and Primary teachers, in the course of their lesson presentations, could instruct class members in the aims and goals of the cleanup effort.
4. The Relief Society could provide “how to” suggestions in keeping with the spirit of the effort.
(In future issues the Ensign will report on how families and Church organizations have rallied to this challenge from the First Presidency.)