“How do I get rid of inappropriate thoughts?” New Era, Nov. 2005, 37
Protect yourself from bad thoughts by surrounding yourself with uplifting influences: friends, family, good music and entertainment, and anything that invites the Spirit into your life.
When bad thoughts do creep in, you can get rid of them by doing the following:
—Sing a hymn, focusing on the meaning of the words.
—Pray. The Lord wants to help you find the strength you need, and the very act of praying changes your thoughts.
—Turn to the scriptures to enlighten your mind with gospel truths. President James E. Faust, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, said scripture study can “clean” your thoughts: “I believe reading the scriptures is the best washing machine for unclean or uncontrolled thoughts” (“The Power of Self-Mastery,” Ensign, May 2000, 44).
—Reject bad thoughts immediately. President Ezra Taft Benson (1899–1994) compared your mind to a stage, with good and bad thoughts trying to play a part. He then said: “You are the stage manager—you are the one who decides which thought will occupy the stage” (“Think on Christ,” Ensign, Apr. 1984, 11). You can get into a habit of thinking good thoughts if they are what you choose to dwell on.
For more ideas, talk with your bishop and parents. They can teach you how to encourage appropriate thoughts.
Pure and positive thoughts improve your self-control and view of others. When you have clean thoughts, you allow the Spirit to guide you, and you will be happier. By improving your thoughts, your outward actions and appearance will reflect your inner spiritual strength. (See D&C 121:45.)