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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Talk - Honest and Integrity

Today I have been asked to talk about honesty and integrity.

In the book “True to the Faith” it says:

“In giving the Ten Commandments, the Lord declared: "Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness." The Church's thirteenth article of faith states, "We believe in being honest." To be honest means to be sincere, truthful, and without deceit at all times.”

When we are honest, we are able to enjoy our lives more fully because our conscience isn’t bothering us, we have more self-respect and people are able to trust us.

If we are dishonest in our words or actions, we hurt ourselves and often hurt others.
If we lie, steal, or cheat, we lose our self-respect. We don’t have the spirit with us. We damage relationships with family members and friends and people may no longer trust us.

For members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, honesty is the only policy.

When we say we will do something, we do it.

When we make a commitment, we honor it.

When we are given a calling, we fulfill it.

When we borrow something, we return it.

When we have a financial obligation, we pay it.

When we enter into an agreement, we keep it.


In Alma 27 we read about the Anti-Nephi-Lehies.

Ammon and his brethren spent 14 years preaching to the Lamanite people.

Thousands of them were brought to the knowledge of the truth, and the people who were converted unto the Lord “never did fall away.” “For they were perfectly honest and upright in all things; and they were firm in the faith of Christ, even unto the end.”

They were so grateful for the mercy of God that they covenanted with Him “that rather than shed the blood of their brethren they would give up their own lives.”

You will remember that they buried their weapons of war in the ground. They were so true to that covenant that even when the armies of the Lamanites came upon them, “they went out to meet them, and prostrated themselves before them to the earth, and began to call on the name of the Lord.” They offered no resistance. Many were killed.

These people were willing to die rather than break the covenant that they had made with the Lord.


President James E. Faust shared a story about a junior high school coach:

They were having a rope climbing contest. The kids were trying to climb a 15 foot high rope as quickly as possible.

The school record for the event was 2.1 seconds. It had stood for three years.

For three years Bobby, a 14 1/2-year-old ninth-grade boy, had trained and worked to try to break this record.

In his first of three tries Bobby climbed the rope in 2.1 seconds which tied the record.

On the second try Bobby finished at 2.0 seconds flat which beat the record.

There was a slight doubt in the coach’s mind whether Bobby had touched the board at the top or if he had barely missed it. Only Bobby could tell.

The coach asked, ‘Bobby, did you touch the top?’

If he had said, ‘Yes,’ the record he had dreamed of since he was a skinny seventh-grader and had worked so hard for would be his. The coach knew he could trust Bobby to tell the truth.
Bobby shook his head and the coach witnessed a moment of greatness.

With great emotion the coach told the class: ‘This boy has not set a record in the rope climb. No, he has set a much finer record for you and everyone to strive for. He has told the truth.’
The coach gave Bobby a third chance to beat the record.

On his last try, Bobby climbed that rope in 1.9 seconds, which was close to a national record.
As the coach walked away after the contest he thought: ‘Bobby, … at 14 you are a better man than I. Thank you for climbing so very, very high today.’

All of us can climb high when we are honest and show integrity.


I would like to share another story about a person who showed integrity.

When my mom and dad were first married in 1991, my mom worked as a secretary for the president of a big company. One day at work she received a package that had a dictionary, a check and a letter in it.

Let me share part of the letter with you.

To Whom it May Concern:

Enclosed you will find a dictionary which I borrowed back when I worked for you from 1984 to 1985. I forgot to return it when I left the company. I’m not sure why it’s taken me so long to return it to you, just laziness I guess. Also enclosed you will find a check to pay for the usage of the dictionary and to pay for any pens or pencils or whatever I may have borrowed and never returned. I really don’t remember, but just in case…

You can see that I have a guilty conscience and quite possibly a slight mental problem, but I am sincere. I ask your forgiveness for having taken so long to return this. I really can be a bum sometimes.

Through the years my mom saved this letter as an example of showing honesty and integrity.
It teaches me that when I get a job that I should be honest so I don’t have to write a letter like that someday.

In closing, here are four benefits of having integrity and being honest:
· 1. We can have good feelings about ourselves and about others.
· 2. Other people will trust us, and we can trust others.
· 3. We are worthy to be guided by the Holy Ghost.
· 4. We can communicate more effectively with Heavenly Father.

I hope we can all try to be more honest throughout our lives.

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