Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Council of the Twelve examines in this book the motives, desires and attitudes preceding a person's actions. These are the attributes making up the inner man, writes Elder Oaks, and the inner man is the focus of Pure In Heart.
"The laws of God are concerned with spiritual things," he writes. "Spiritual things are affected by motives, desires and attitudes independent of actions. Gospel consequences flow from our thoughts."Through chapters on The Inner Man, Motive and Real Intent, Why We Serve, Desires Without Actions, Materialism, Pride, Spirituality and Worship, Elder Oaks supplies insight aimed at helping the reader understand the importance of having proper motives, desires and attitudes.
Then in the final chapter, Seeking A Pure Heart, he instructs readers on how to develop the right attitudes and priorities to become pure in heart. He also counsels the reader on how to control thoughts and how to acquire good motives and desires.
"We can suppress evil desires and substitute righteous ones," Elder Oaks writes. "This involves education and practice. . . . Through our divinely granted willpower we have ultimate control over our desires. But the desires of our hears are so deep-seated that it may take many years of practice for us to be sure that education and practice have perfected our desires to the point where all are entirely righteous." KS