“New Mutual Theme Announced for 2007,” Ensign, Nov. 2006, 127–28
In 2006 the youth of the Church shared their talents and testimonies as they centered activities on the Mutual theme “Arise and shine forth, that thy light may be a standard for the nations” (D&C 115:5).
In 2007 the theme focuses on individual spiritual strength. The new Mutual theme comes from a revelation to the Prophet Joseph Smith during his deepest hour of despair in Liberty Jail: “Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God” (D&C 121:45).
In a joint statement, the Young Women and Young Men general presidencies say youth who struggle with insecurity and doubt will find hope in the new Mutual theme. “Confidence ‘in the presence of God’ is true confidence,” the statement says. “If you are confident in God’s presence, you can feel confident around anyone else.”
Because “the Lord looketh on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7), youth whose thoughts are virtuous will be confident the Lord accepts them and will more likely live virtuous lives. The Young Women and Young Men general presidencies encourage youth to find guidance for living a virtuous life in For the Strength of Youth (item no. 36550).
How can youth garnish their thoughts with virtue? President James E. Faust, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, says that “virtue has many definitions, such as moral excellence, right action and thinking, goodness of character, or chastity” (“How Near to the Angels,” Ensign, May 1998, 95).
“Many people do not fully understand the meaning of virtue,” President Faust said. “One commonly understood meaning is to be chaste or morally clean, but virtue in its fuller sense encompasses all traits of righteousness that help us form our character” (“The Virtues of Righteous Daughters of God,” Liahona and Ensign, May 2003, 108).
Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained how righteousness affects our confidence: “When we are doing what is right, we will not feel timid and hesitant about seeking divine direction. We will know the Lord will answer our prayers and help us in our need” (“Personal Integrity,” Ensign, May 1990, 33).
Living lives of virtue brings the companionship of the Holy Ghost, which brings inspiration from the Lord and confidence in His presence.
In an August 1, 2006, letter announcing the 2007 Mutual theme, the First Presidency encouraged Young Men and Young Women leaders to emphasize the theme in Mutual opening exercises and other youth activities.
Additional resource material regarding the theme will be available in the January 2007 Liahona and New Era.