It’s an uncomfortable feeling to wear filthy clothing, particularly on a formal occasion.
Zechariah saw in a vision the high priest Joshua standing in front of an angel, “clothed with filthy garments” (Zechariah 3:1-3). The angel commanded the people with him to take away Joshua’s filthy clothing. He said, “Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment” (Zechariah 3:4).
Alma asked the people of Zarahemla, “How will any of you feel, if ye shall stand before the bar of God, having your garments stained with blood and all manner of filthiness?” He said that we would feel out of place, when everyone there, including Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and all the holy prophets will have clothing that is “cleansed and are spotless, pure and white.” He explained:
There can no man be saved except his garments are washed white; yea, his garments must be purified until they are cleansed from all stain, through the blood of him of whom it has been spoken by our fathers, who should come to redeem his people from their sins.Alma 5:21-24
Joseph F. Smith described a dream he experienced while serving as a young missionary in Hawaii:
I dreamed [one night] that I was on a journey, and I was impressed that I ought to hurry—hurry with all my might, for fear I might be too late. I rushed on my way as fast as I possibly could, and I was only conscious of having just a little bundle, a handkerchief with a small bundle wrapped in it. I did not realize … what it was, when I was hurrying as fast as I could; but finally I came to a wonderful mansion. … I thought I knew that was my destination. As I passed towards it, as fast as I could, I saw a notice [which read B-A-T-H], “Bath.” I turned aside quickly and went into the bath and washed myself clean. I opened up this little bundle that I had, and there was [some] white, clean [clothing], a thing I had not seen for a long time, because the people I was with did not think very much of making things exceedingly clean. But my [clothing was] clean, and I put [it] on. Then I rushed to what appeared to be a great opening, or door. I knocked and the door opened, and the man who stood there was the Prophet Joseph Smith. He looked at me a little reprovingly, and the first words he said: “Joseph, you are late.” Yet I took confidence and [replied]:
“Yes, but I am clean—I am clean!”Quoted by President Gordon B. Hinckley in “‘I Am Clean,'” General Conference, April 2007
Commenting on that dream, President Hinckley counseled us, “In a world that wallows in filth, be clean—in language, in thought, in body, in dress…. Be clean and neat and orderly. Sloppy dress leads to sloppy manners. I am not so concerned about what you wear as I am that it be neat and clean.”
Today, I will be clean. I will take care of my clothing, my body, my thoughts, and my words. I will remember the vision of Zechariah and the dream of Joseph F. Smith. I will strive for cleanliness as a preparation for the day when I return to the presence of God.