Mormons believe in honesty. Some struggle with it — but in the long run it is always the best policy.
President Gordon B. Hinckley said,
“How cheaply some men and women sell their good names! I recall the widely publicized case of a prominent public figure who was arrested for taking an item costing less than five dollars. I do not know whether he was ever convicted in the courts, but his petty misdeed convicted him before the people. In a measure, his foolish act nullified much of the good he had done and was capable of yet doing.
“Each time we board a plane we pay a premium so that our persons and our baggage may be searched in the interest of security. In the aggregate, this amounts to millions of dollars, all because of the frightening dishonesty of a few who by threat and blackmail would try to obtain that to which they are not entitled.
“Padded insurance claims, padded expense accounts, bogus checks, forged documents—these are all symptomatic of an epidemic of unbelievable proportions. In most instances the amount involved individually is small, but in total it represents personal dishonesty on a huge scale.” (Gordon B. Hinckley, “We Believe in Being Honest,” Ensign, Oct 1990, 2)
A bill collector calls, sorry that person’s not home. A small item slips through without being checked out, it’s only a dollar, what does it matter. Small white lies are told as often as truth, even when the truth will serve better.
Where did this change in morality take such a sharp left from the path laid before us by Jesus Christ.
“Wo unto the liar, for he shall be thrust down to hell.” (2 Nephi 9:34)
One of the ten commandments:
“Thou shalt not bear false witness.” (Exodus 20:16)
And if that is not enough:
“These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
“A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
“An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that are swift in running to mischief,
“A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.” (Proverbs 6:16–19)
The Savior prizes honesty so much, that the liar shall be thrust, not put, but thrust down to hell. The ten commandments are not suggestions, they are commandments from God Himself. Do you think He would command something minor? No, it is critical to the salvation of our mortal souls that we be honest in our dealings with our fellowman.
The other day I was at the grocery store. I used the self-checkout, bagged my groceries and headed out to the truck. I loaded things up and saw a small item which had been missed. I was too tired to go back in so I drove home, but left it on the dashboard so that when I got in the truck the next day I’d remember to take it back. Which is exactly what I did. The cashier was amazed . . . she wouldn’t even take any money for it and told me to take it home. I tried again to pay, but she said it would mess up her drawer and that management wouldn’t care. I was a little nonplussed, but after great urging from her I left. I still feel guilty. In fact, I’m sure the only way I’ll feel any better is if I buy another one and ring it through twice. I can’t get anyone at the store to take money for the item I have.
Satan told a lie to Eve in the Garden of Eden. Cain told a lie to the Lord when asked about his brother, Abel. From that day forward, it has been a sin too often committed throughout generation upon generation, to this very day.
There is a peace that pervades the heart of an honest man or woman. Gaining the reputation of always being trusted and as an honest person is invaluable, for such a person is precious in the sight of God. For this next month I suggest trying to be honest in all your dealings, to even the slightest degree. Come back to this site then and post a comment letting me know the difference it has made in your life. I promise you, the Lord will be very pleased with your actions and blessings poured from heaven upon the honest man or woman.