Q&A: Questions and Answers


Responses are intended for help and perspective, not as pronouncements of Church doctrine.

Why does my room need to be clean? Does a messy room make me a bad person?

New Era

  • The Lord asks us to be clean and organized, physically and spiritually.

  • A clean room is more likely to invite the peaceful influence of the Holy Ghost.

  • Clean surroundings can renew your spirit and improve your attitude.

  • You and others will be more comfortable in a clean room; you will be better able to concentrate there; and you will know where your things are.

  • If your parents are asking you to clean your room and you are hesitating, this is a good opportunity to try your faith by doing what they say.

If your parents ask you to keep your room clean, it’s probably because they know that a clean room is more likely to invite the influence of the Spirit. Plus, you’ll probably enjoy being in your room more; you’ll learn good habits of being clean and organized; and you’ll be able to find things more easily.

President Gordon B. Hinckley tells of cleaning his house when he was a youth: “Most homes were heated with coal stoves. … As winter came to a close, black soot and grime were everywhere, both inside and outside of the house. There was a ritual through which we passed each year. … It was known as spring cleaning. …

“When all of it was done, and everything was back in place, the result was wonderful. The house was clean, our spirits renewed. The whole world looked better” (“Be Ye Clean,” Ensign, May 1996, 47).

Notice President Hinckley said that cleaning the house renewed his spirit and attitude. You may feel the same way when you clean your room.

Learning to keep your room clean will help you later. One day you’ll be a missionary or married, and your companion or spouse will appreciate your cleanliness. A clean room is more comfortable to you, your family, and your guests.

A clean room is an organized room, and being organized is a godlike trait. The Lord created the earth by organizing it: “They, that is the Gods, organized and formed the heavens and the earth” (Abr. 4:1). The Lord asks us to do things in order, to organize ourselves, and to be clean in body, mind, and spirit. By keeping your room clean, you will develop a divine quality.

As with any gospel principle, you can test the truth of this one. Clean your room, then keep it that way for a few months. See how you feel in a clean room. See if it’s more peaceful and inviting to the Spirit. See if you and your friends are more comfortable there. If you find that you really do like having a clean room better than a messy one, then keep it up.

Having a messy room doesn’t make you a bad person, but keeping your room clean can make you a better person. Even more important than a clean or dirty room, however, is whether you obey your parents and the prophet. You might at first question some of the things they ask you to do. But as you follow their counsel in faith, you will know why they have asked you to do it.

President Spencer W. Kimball

“We ask you to clean up your homes. … We urge each of you to dress and keep in a beautiful state the property that is in your hands.” —President Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985), “God Will Not Be Mocked,” Ensign, Nov. 1974, 4.

Readers

Having a clean room reflects your personality. When you have a clean room, it invites the Spirit to be there with you. You won’t need to be worried about it. It’s a good feeling when your room is clean all the time. The Lord likes clean places, so we need to keep our rooms clean. Johanna Schuerch, 12, Nome Branch, Anchorage Alaska Bush District

My room is not always clean, but when I decide to sort through my things, I find the same feeling every time. It’s always a calm and peaceful feeling. After cleaning, it makes me want to listen to Church music or read my scriptures or Church magazines. Even though cleaning your room may be a tiny effort, it brings the Spirit into your daily activities. Mallory Jesperson, 14, El Cajon First Ward, Santee California Stake

The temple is always clean. When I am married, I will want my home to be as much like the temple as possible. I find that having a cleaner room makes me happier, energetic, reasonable, and more likely to be kind to my brothers and sisters. I always feel safe and comforted in the temple and want my room to have that same spiritual feeling. Stephanie Crandall, 14, Chesterfield Ward, Grace Idaho Stake

A clean room helps you to remember to have clean thoughts and a clean spirit. Mosiah 4:27 says, “All things must be done in order.” If you keep your room in order, then you will be blessed. Kristi Walston, 14, Zionsville Ward, Indianapolis Indiana North Stake

The Spirit dwells in the temples because they are clean physically and spiritually. When my room is clean, I can study the scriptures and focus on the principles taught instead of on my room full of clutter. When things are organized, there is a lot less stress, which helps me focus more on the Spirit. Elder Todd Cook, 21, Pennsylvania Harrisburg Mission

I had the same problem with keeping my room clean. I thought, “Since it’s my room, I can keep it looking any way I want.” But we were instructed by the prophet to be clean in our actions. Having a messy room doesn’t make you a bad person, but we should strive to follow the prophet’s teachings. Sarah Gill, 14, Whitby Ward, Oshawa Ontario Stake

What’s around you sets the tone for the whole room. When your room is cluttered, your thoughts may also be cluttered when you’re trying to concentrate on something important. When my room is messy, it’s hard for me to do my homework. But after I clean it, I feel so much better. I can feel the Spirit strongly, and I can finish my homework with ease. Brittany Acree, 15, Hylebos Ward, Federal Way Washington Stake

When I clean my room, I feel good about myself. Having a place for everything and everything in its place isn’t easy, but it pays off. When you need something, you can find it. Having a messy room can cause a lot of frustration. If you come home from a bad day, a messy room may only make you feel worse. Erin Stewart, 13, Gateway Ward, Portland Oregon East Stake

By having a clean room, you can invite the Spirit to enter your room. You’ll feel much better, and keeping a clean room helps to prepare you for when you have your own home. Your thoughts and mind will be more open and clear, especially if you’re studying in your room. Jared Fredriksen, 16, Albertson Ward, Goldsboro North Carolina Stake

[photo] Photograph by Christina Smith