2007 Mutual Theme – Let Virtue Garnish Thy Thoughts

2007 Mutual Theme

The new theme was released early this year so that units can implement a new method of introducing the theme:

“The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve have approved the following as the Mutual theme for 2007: ‘Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God’ (D&C 121:45).

We encourage you to introduce the theme in a sacrament meeting or in other meetings prior to January 2007. We also ask that you encourage Young Men and Young Women leaders to emphasize the theme in Mutual opening exercises and other youth activities. Additional resource material regarding this theme will be available in the New Era and Liahona magazines at the beginning of 2007.”

Etymology of the word Garnish

Okay, so how many of you are trying to come up with camp themes that deal with parsley? That’s what first comes to my mind when I hear garnish. The origins of the word could give an additional meaning to this scripture, however.

According to Merriam-Webster, the word is Middle English, from an Anglo-French word garniss meaning to warn or equip. It’s akin to an Old High German word warnOn meaning to take heed.

A synonym of garnish is adorn. One meaning of adorn to enhance the appearance of, especially with beautiful objects.

If we think of the thme in terms of using virtue to defend or warn, and even enhance our thoughts, we gain new understanding of the theme.

Lesson Materials

  • LDS.org’s Let Virtue Garnish Thy Thoughts Page – from the Gospel Library’s Study Topics section. Has good material for talks and FHE.
  • Let Virtue Garnish thy Thoughts – a talk by Susan W. Tanner of the YW General Presidency presented at the 2006 Fall Open House. Excellent material for understanding what to focus on relating to the theme. (PDF – you need the free Acrobat Reader to open it)

Virtue Music

  • Let Virtue Garnish All My Thoughts Unceasingly – by Sally DeFord. Has an interesting description of the origins of the word garnish, which used to mean to defend or arm oneself. Understanding the term garnish as defend or arm brings a new meaning to this year’s theme, and can also give you a lot of ideas for camp and youth conference themes, imho.
  • Joan Sowards YW Music – Joan has several free songs for the YW program, including a new song for the 2007 mutual theme.
  • Jenny Phillips’ Daughter of a King: Music for the 2007 Mutual Theme – This CD includes the “Keepers of His Light” track for performance with Young Men. Great for Youth Conference. $9.98
  • Jenny Phillips’ Daughter of a King SONGBOOK: Music for the 2007 Mutual Theme – Has the piano accompaniment for the above CD. There’s a song, “Keepers of His Light” in this songbook for a combined YW/YM choir that would be perfect for Youth Conference in this songbook! $9.98

Skits / Programs

  • Follow the Yellow Brick Road – The author of this play, Brenda H., submitted her script in January 2007 that uses the format of the movie The Wizard of Oz to teach the virtues that one must have in order to go to the temple.
  • Youth Fireside DVD – Popular LDS Speaker JoAnn Hamilton has recorded her talk “Listening to the Promptings of the Spirit” for use in firesides or other activities. The DVD is specifically targeted at youth, and teaches how important it is to avoid things that the Spirit warns us against. Has a special emphasis on avoiding inappropriate media, including on the internet. (I met JoAnn, a former Seminary teacher, when she came to speak at our unit in 2005 for a 5th Sunday activity. The talk on this DVD is the same one I heard. This speech can be performed live for free for audiences in Utah. Call 1-801-295-7590 for more information. ~Jenny)
  • Jenny Phillips is available for many youth events. Every year she creates or arranges music that relates to the annual youth mutal theme.
  • Kryptonite Dating Standards – Kim A. compiled several ideas to create this activity idea. It uses a kryptonite object lesson to teach dating standards: run, don’t resist. It also includes a list of celestial dating rules said to have been passed out at BYU by Gordon Hinckley by ywconnection.com. (I have no way of verifying this claim, but I have no special reason to doubt it either.) Sounds like a good activity.

Virtue Handouts

Virtue Products

  • Virtue Wristbands – Our bestselling wristbands are $1.50 each, and bulk pricing discounts are available! These wristbands are very popular for Stake Youth Conference or Camp.
  • Let Virtue Garnish thy Thoughts – Bookmarks – Just 30 cents each. An inexpensive handout for introducing the theme.
  • Let Virtue Garnish thy Thoughts – Poster – $3.99; 12 x 18 inch classroom size.
  • 12 Virtue Posters Set – Focus on a virtue each month with this beautiful poster set..
  • President Hinckley’s 10 neglected Virtues – President Hinckley’s bestselling book Standing for Something will give you lots of thoughts for talks and themes for planning activities.
  • Jenny Phillips’ Daughter of a King: Music for the 2007 Mutual Theme – Use the music on the CD and then download the free script, invitations, and poster for a super easy New Beginnings or Young Women in Excellence activity! CD includes the “Keepers of His Light” track for Young Men. $9.98
  • Jenny Phillips’ Daughter of a King SONGBOOK: Music for the 2007 Mutual Theme – Has the piano accompaniment, script, and instructions. There’s a song, “Keepers of His Light” in this songbook for a combined YW/YM choir that would be perfect for Youth Conference in this songbook! $9.98