The LDS Daily WOOL© Archive - Profanity

"Profanity... takes its toll on the one who uses it. As we read in Proverbs, 'A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.' (Prov. 15:4.) The Spirit of the Lord, the Holy Ghost, testifies of God the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ. (See 2 Ne. 31:18.) When those names are dishonored, that Spirit, which 'doth not dwell in unholy temples' (Hel. 4:24), is offended and withdraws. For this reason, those who profane the name of God inevitably relinquish the companionship of his Spirit."—Elder Dallin H. Oaks, Reverent and Clean, General Conference, April 1986

"Profanity is the effort of a feeble brain to express itself forcibly."—President Spencer W. Kimball, God Will Not Be Mocked, General Conference, October 1974

"George Washington set us a good example.... When he learned that some of his officers were given to profanity, he sent a letter to them on July 1, 1776, from which we quote:
'The General is sorry to be informed that the foolish and wicked practice of profane cursing and swearing, a vice heretofore little known in our American army, is growing into fashion. He hopes the officers will, by example as well as influence, endeavor to check it and that both they and the men will reflect that we can have little hope of the blessing of heaven on our arms if we insult it by our impropriety and folly. Added to this, it is a vice so mean and low, without any temptation, that every man of sense and character detests and despises it.'"—President Spencer W. Kimball , Seeking Eternal Riches, General Conference, April 1976

"God's anger is kindled not because we have harmed him but because we have harmed ourselves. We are His children and He is a perfect Father. He does not want us, for instance, to take His name in vain, but this is because of what happens to us when we do. Our profanity cannot diminish from His Godhood, His love, His omnipotence, or His omniscience. But our profanity does damage us and can damage us profoundly."—Elder Neal A. Maxwell, Sermons Not Spoken, p.84

"Why hide it? Why protest against it? Many things that are real are not right. Disease germs are real, but must we therefore spread them? A pestilent infection may be real, but ought we to expose ourselves to it? Those who argue that so-called "real life" is license must remember that where there's an is, there's an ought. Frequently, what is and what ought to be are far apart. When is and ought come together, an ideal is formed. The reality of profanity does not argue for the toleration of it."—Elder Boyd K. Packer, Conference Report, October 1967, p.127

"Perhaps there are women in the world who exasperate their husbands, but no man is justified in resorting to physical force or in exploding his feelings in profanity. There are men, undoubtedly, in the world who are thus beastly, but no man who holds the priesthood of God should so debase himself."—David O. McKay, Gospel Ideals, p.476

Though the following quote isn't representative generally of the Church's actions today toward those who take the name of God in vain—individuals are encouraged to repent and forsake the sin—it certainly gives us an insight into the gravity of the sin.

"The same with men who blaspheme, either young or old, who take the name of God in vain, they ought not to be permitted to remain in the Church. It is a sin in the sight of God, and He will visit a people with condemnation who permit these things to exist in their midst."—George Q. Cannon, Gospel Truth, Vol. 1, p.169

"If we are not most careful with our thoughts and speech, the words we use will use us. Language has its own ethics, and one who communicates truth is like a bright light in the darkness. We must nurture language like that." - Ted E. Brewerton, "Profanity and Swearing," Ensign (CR), May 1983, p.72

"When we speak and act, we should ask whether our words and expressions are calculated to invite the powers of heaven into our lives and to invite all to come unto Christ. We must treat sacred things with reverence. We need to eliminate from our conversations the immodest and the lewd, the violent and the threatening, the demeaning and the false. As the Apostle Peter wrote, 'But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation' (1 Pet. 1:15). The expression conversation refers here not only to speech but also to our entire comportment. As Nephi, he is inviting us to so live that we may speak with the 'tongue of angels.'" - Robert S. Wood, "The Tongue of Angels," Ensign (CR), November 1999, p.83

"I know that free expression is a vital part of the eternal principle of free agency and must be preserved and protected. I also know how certain forces use the freedom of speech to degrade or debase, and this constitutes perversion and enslavement. Because I recognize that there will always be opposition in all things, I suspect that we will not soon see the day when obscenity in its various forms will be entirely eliminated. But I have faith that it can be fully eliminated in the lives of quality individuals. I firmly believe that most thinking people can be inspired to strive for the A rating by choosing wholesome, worthwhile literature, art, and habits." - Marvin J. Ashton, "
Rated A," Ensign (CR), November 1977, p.71 

“We must try to reach even those who are unconcerned. If we seek to follow the adjuration of the Lord to an ancient priesthood leader to ‘teach my people the difference between the holy and profane’ (Ezekiel 44:23), this will take leaders of both faith and skill. The definition of the word profane means not only impure but a lack of concern with spiritual things. Much of the world today is not explicitly hostile to the things of God so much as they are simply ‘unconcerned.’ They are like those John upbraided whose attitude was: ‘I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing’ (Revelation 3:17). It takes skill as well as testimony to reach people so unconcerned.” – “The Teachings of Harold B. Lee,” edited by Clyde J. Williams, p. 598

Satan seeks to discredit the sacred names of God the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ, the names through which their work is done. He succeeds in a measure whenever he is able to influence any man or woman, boy or girl, to make holy names common and to associate them with coarse thoughts and evil acts. Those who use sacred names in vain are, by that act, promoters of Satan’s purposes. - Dallin H. Oaks, "Reverent and Clean," Ensign (CR) April 1986

A speaker who employs profanity or vulgarity to catch someone’s attention with shock effect engages in a babyish device that is inexcusable as juvenile or adult behavior. Such language is morally bankrupt. It also progressively self-defeating, since shock diminishes with familiarity and the user can only maintain its effect by escalating its excess. - Dallin H. Oaks, "Reverent and Clean," Ensign (CR) May 1986

Parents, do we wonder where our families or children are hearing obscene, crude, and foul words? Certainly never in our homes, for our homes are next to the temple in sacredness. They are an uplifting refuge, in which we instruct our families as to what the Lord expects of us. - Ted E. Brewerton, "Profanity and Swearing," Ensign (CR) May 1983

Shouldn't we all have mastery over our tongues and words all of the time, and only elevate and edify? -
Ted E. Brewerton, "Profanity and Swearing," Ensign (CR), May 1983, p.72

It is very unreasonable to suppose that exposure to profanity, nudity, sex, and violence has no negative effects on us. We can't roll around in the mud without getting dirty. - Joe J. Christensen, “The Savior Is Counting on You,” Ensign (CR), November 1996, p.39

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