It isn’t what happens; it’s how you deal with it that’s important.
It’s easy to dodge responsibility, but you can’t dodge the trouble it causes.
We become what we are thinking and feeling.
Walk your talk.
You are what you think -- not what you think you are.
The values they you hold, help to determine what you will do and what you will not do.
Live so that your memories will be part of your happiness.
The easiest thing to get, but the most difficult thing to get rid of is a bad reputation.
Try not to become a person of success but rather a person of value.
Wealth is not what we have but what we are.
"Life is a competition not with others, but with ourselves. We should seek each day to live stronger, better, truer lives; each day to master some weakness of yesterday; each day to repair a mistake; each day to surpass ourselves."
David B. Haight (May 1981 Ensign, page 42)
Stand for Something
Don’t quest for popularity at the expense of morality and ethics and honesty. Daniel Webster taught this country that what is popular is not always right, and that what is right is not always popular.
Christ's Ideals for Living, p. 118
The ideal of integrity is defined as "a state or quality of being complete undivided, or unbroken; moral soundness, honesty, uprightness." Psychologists describe this ideal as a condition of one's personality being integrated, whole, or one. Negatively, we say a man lacks integrity who is divided, impaired, scattered, is disintegrated, and lacks unity in his life.
In the final analysis, one's life stands for God or the opposite --not both. The sum total of life is on one side or the other, and the more on the side of the divine, the greater the inner peace and joy and love. This is the Gospel: not what we possess of goods, nor honors, nor learning, but what we are as persons, our characters, our response to life from the ideals we deeply believe.
He who would live the Gospel knows these moral and spiritual laws give harmony and integrity to him who seeks them out and lives by them.
Christ has given us the timeless declaration concerning the ideal of integrity: "No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love the other, or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon." (Matthew 6:24) The point of this teaching is that we cannot live a divided life and be happy; we cannot serve God and mammon. One or the other must come first. There must be a hierarchy, a scale of values, with one value at the top: God's will to be done on earth with our lives.
This gives the unity and integrity that life must have for happiness. Jesus exemplified it with this dedication of His life: " . . . As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you." (John 20:21)
Christ's Ideals for Living, p.120
The following are quotations of great men on the ideal of integrity; they show how to live a life that is happy because they put the highest for their unifying and dedicating purpose:
1. Shakespeare gave the well-known admonition for those who would achieve a sound and healthy life of genuine integrity:
2. Job gave this timeless expression of loyalty to the ideal of integrity: "...till I die will not remove mine integrity from me." (Job 27:5)
3. Abraham Lincoln's words have been an ideal of integrity for men in public office: "I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true; I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have."
4. James Russell Lowell gave a religious summation of integrity in these few words: "He is true to God who is true to man."
6. Joseph Smith gave this promise of understanding to those who keep their integrity: "Be virtuous and pure; be men of integrity and truth; keep the commandments of God and then you will be able to understand.between the things of God and the things of man."
Contrast such a description with the original one from which the
above was taken. Here is a program for the achievement of lasting integrity:
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places].
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; We believe in no man's infallibility, but it is restful to feel sure of one
Be fair. As you move onward in your lives, in your university studies and beyond, avoid shady and unfair practices. Clean competition is wholesome; but immoral, dishonest, or unfair practices are reprehensible, and particularly on the part of a Latter-day Saint. Be fair. The best rule ever given concerning standards of fairness was spoken by the Lord when he said, "Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them." (Matt. 7: 12.)
(Gordon B Hinckley CR Oct 1981)
Be strong, my brethren, with the strength of simple honesty. How easy it is to "lie a little, take the advantage of one because of his words, dig a pit for thy neighbor" (2 Nephi 28:8). Nephi so describes the people of his day, as he also describes so many of our day. How easy it is for us to say, "We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent" (Articles of Faith 1: 13). But how difficult for so many to resist the temptation to lie a little, cheat a little, steal a little, bear false witness in speaking gossipy words about
others. Rise above it, brethren. Be strong in the simple virtue of honesty.
Gordon B Hinckley (CR Apr 1992)
"When at times on life's journey it becomes our lot to travel with the criticism of skeptics, the hate of some, the reaction of others, the impatience of many, or the betrayal of a friend, we must be able to pray in such a manner that an abiding faith and a strong testimony that the Lord will be with us to the end will compel us to say, 'Nevertheless, Father, Thy will be done, and with Thy help, in patience I will follow firmly on the path
that takes me back to Thee.'"
Elder Angel Abrea
"Patience In Affliction"
General Conference, April 1992
I know that frequently it is not easy to face up to that which is expected of us. Many think they cannot do it. We need a little more faith. We should know that the Lord will not give us commandments beyond our power to observe. He will not ask us to do things for which we lack the capacity. Our problem lies in our fears and in our appetites.
Gordon B. Hinckley: (CR Oct 1985)
It is not a sacrifice to live the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is never a sacrifice when you get back more than you give. It is an investment. And the living of the gospel of Jesus Christ becomes a greater investment than any of which we know because its dividends are eternal and everlasting.
Gordon B. Hinckley: (Aug 1995, Tacoma Washington Regional Conference)
The Church needs your strength. It needs your love and loyalty and devotion. It needs a little more of your time and energy. I am not asking anyone to give more at the expense of his or her employer. We have an obligation to be men and women of absolute honesty and integrity in the service of those who employ us. I am not asking anyone to do so at the expense of your families. The Lord will hold you responsible for your children. But I am suggesting that we spend a little less time in idleness, in the fruitless pursuit of watching some inane and empty television programs. Time so utilized can be put to
better advantage, and the consequences will be wonderful. Of that I do not hesitate to assure you.
Gordon B. Hinckley: (CR Apr 1995)
Commitment is what transforms a promise into reality. It is the words that speak
boldly of intentions. And the actions which speak louder than words. It is making the time when there is none. Coming through time after time after time, year after year after year after year. Commitment is the stuff character is made of; the power to change the face of things. It is the daily triumph of integrity over skepticism.
Do Not Despair
Our values, our road signs that keep us on course and on schedule, are not to be tucked away in a drawer for safekeeping but carried daily, used continuously, tested against our performance regularly, and literally worn out as a constant measuring device that keeps us accountable. The powers and plans of Satan are cunning and subtle and very real. You are not unfamiliar with the pirates that would attempt to board your ship almost daily, who would rob you of your treasures, your peace of mind, your self-discipline,
your clear conscience, your commitment, your integrity, your morality, even your eternal destiny if possible, and leave you shipwrecked, washed up on shore. I believe the most destructive threats of our day are not nuclear war, not famine, not economic disaster, but rather the despair, the discouragement, the despondency, the defeat caused by the discrepancy between what we believe to be right and how we live our lives. We are on a stormy sea. These are threatening times and we may be ignoring or even cutting ourselves loose from the very signals that would save us.
Pres. Ardeth G. Kapp, BYU Speeches of the Year, 29 January 1985
I believe in the beauty of personal virtue. Be happy. Be alive. Be alert. Enjoy life and have a lot of fun. But there is a line, which you should never cross. It is the line that pertains to morality, to integrity, and the crossing of which is expressed in coarse language, in sloppy dress and manners and in immoral behavior. Each of you can and must stand above these destructive evils. May God bless you as you strive to do so.-- President Gordon B. Hinckley.
"No matter how good an excuse may be, no reason for failure or defection is ever so satisfying to ourselves or to anyone else as is actually doing what we should do, or delivering on the date that something is due. Excuses are at best a second-choice substitute.
"It is a surpassing quality in life to follow through, to keep commitments, to keep the commandments, and no matter how ingenious our excuses are, they don't cancel commitments, or justify our failures, or relieve us from answering before the highest bar, unless they are founded on real, valid reasons--and not merely on our comfort or convenience."
(Richard L. Evans, From the Crossroads , 20)
"We live in the world. We work in the world. But we must rise above the world as we pursue the work of the Lord and seek to build His kingdom in the earth."
(Gordon B. Hinckley, "The State of the Church," Ensign, Nov. 2003, 7)
"No man loses credit by being true to his principles." —George Q. Cannon
"Danger lurks when we divide ourselves with expressions such as 'my private life,' 'my professional life,' or even 'my best behavior.' Living life in separate compartments can lead to internal conflict and exhausting tension. To escape that tension, may people unwisely resort to addicting substances, pleasure seeking, or self-indulgence, which in turn produce more tension, thus creating a vicious cycle.
"Inner peace comes only as we maintain the integrity of truth in all aspects of our lives. When we covenant to follow the Lord and obey His commandments, we accept His standards in every thought, action, and deed."
(Russell M. Nelson, "Living by Scriptural Guidance," Ensign, Nov. 2000, 17)
"You have become a Young Woman of integrity when pleasing your Heavenly Father matters more to you than pleasing others."
IN HIS STEPS
For nearly six thousand years, God has held you in reserve to make your appearance in the final days before the Second Coming of the Lord. Some individuals will fall away, but the kingdom of God will remain intact to welcome the return of its head -- even Jesus Christ. While our generations will be comparable in wickedness to the days of Noah, when the Lord cleansed the earth by flood, there is a major difference this time: God has saved for the final inning some of his strongest and most valiant children, who will help bear off the kingdom triumphantly. That is where you come in, for you are the generation that must be prepared to meet your God. In all ages prophets have looked down through the corridors of time to our day. Billions of the deceased and those yet to be born have their eyes on us. Make no mistake about it - you are a marked generation. There has never been more expected of the faithful in such a short period of time than there is of us. Never before on the face of this earth have the forces of evil and the forces of good been so well organized. Now is the great day of the devil's power. But now is also the great day of the Lord's power, with the greatest number of priesthood holders on the earth. Each day the forces of evil and the forces of good enlist new recruits. Each day we personally make many decisions showing the cause we support. The final outcome is certain - the forces of righteousness will finally win. But what remains to be seen in where each of us personally, now and in the future, will stand in this battle - and how tall we will stand. Will we be true to your last days and fulfill our foreordained missions? Great battles can make great heroes and heroines. You will never have a better opportunity to be valiant in a more crucial cause than in the battles you face today and in the immediate future. Some of the greatest battles you will face will be fought within the silent chambers of your own soul. David's battles in the field against the foes were not as critical as David's battles in the palace against a lustful eye. Each of us has his or her own battlefield. The tactics which the enemy will use against us will vary from time to time. He will seek to exploit our weak spots, so we must be alert to the Devil's devious designs-the subtle sins and clever compromises as well as the obvious offenses. We must remember that the devil seeks to make all men miserable like unto himself. We must also remember that the Lord loves us and seeks for us in the fullness of joy, which He enjoys. We must choose whom we will serve.
Pres. Ezra Taft Benson
Dedication: Boise institute of Religion Building
Sunday, November 20, 1983
President Gordon B. Hinckley on Living Virtuous Lives
"Reformation of the world begins with reformation of self. It is a fundamental article of our faith that 'we believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, [and] virtuous' (Articles of Faith 1:13).
"We cannot hope to influence others in the direction of virtue unless we live lives of virtue. The example of our living will carry a greater influence than will all the preaching in which we might indulge. We cannot expect to lift others unless we stand on higher ground ourselves."
( "In Opposition to Evil," Ensign, Sept. 2004, 4)
I know that frequently it is not easy to face up to that which is expected of us. Many think they cannot do it. We need a little more faith. We should know that the Lord will not give us commandments beyond our power to observe. He will not ask us to do things for which we lack the capacity. Our problem lies in our fears and in our appetites. - - Gordon B. Hinckley
Church members commit to do many things. We agree to serve one another, to mourn with those that mourn, to comfort those that stand in need of comfort. We promise to visit each other. We make covenants. We agree to share the gospel and do vicarious work for the dead. And just like
that incident in the car so many years ago, we sometimes fail to do what we have agreed to do.
Our justifications are many. We say we will do it later. We have something more important to do right now. We don't feel well or we don't feel qualified or we don't want to be fanatical about it.
When I listen to people say they have something more important to do, I wonder what it could possibly be. What could be more important than keeping a commitment we have made with the Lord?
The Church does have many needs, and one of them is for more people who will just do what they have agreed to do. People who will show up for work and stay all day; who will quietly, patiently, and consistently do what they have agreed to for as long as it takes--and who will not
stop until they have finished. We are a covenant people. If there is a distinguishing feature about members of the Church, it is that we make covenants. We need to be known as a covenant-keeping people as well. Making promises is easy, but to follow through and do what we have promised is another matter. That involves staying the course, being constant and steadfast. It means keeping the faith and being faithful to the end despite success or failure, doubt or discouragement. It is drawing near to the Lord with all our hearts. It is doing whatever we promise to do with all our might--even when we might not feel like it. I once attended a funeral service with EIder M. Russell Ballard. A statement he made there has remained with me to this day. He said, "Life isn't over for a Latter-day Saint until he or she is safely dead, with their testimony still burning brightly." "Safely dead"--what a challenging concept. Brothers and sisters, we will not be safe until we have given our hearts to the Lord-until we have learned to do what we have promised. **- - Howard F. Burton
The definition of integrity is - I will have the moral courage to make my actions consistent with my knowledge of right and wrong.
The dictionary defines integrity as the state of being complete, undivided or unbroken. With this definition it is easy to see when an object has integrity. But how can we tell if a person has integrity? A person is complete, undivided or unbroken when his beliefs and actions are the same. If he believes one thing BUT does another, then he is lacking integrity. How can you test yourself to see if you have integrity? Here is how.
If you are entirely alone, unseen by anyone else, would you cheat on a test or read dirty literature? Would you take anything that doesn't belong to you, break a promise or disobey your parents? On the other hand, if you were given, for example, a cleaning job to do, would you do the best you could possibly do, or would you clean only the most noticeable places and skip the hard-to-see ones.
To summarize - if your beliefs and actions are the same and if you act in the same way when you are alone as when you are with someone, then you have integrity.
Have you ever wondered why Integrity is the last value? Integrity is the results when the other six values have been developed.
The scripture reference of Integrity is: Job 27:5: "Till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me."
Reading about Job can be humbling as you come to realize how much suffering he endured. (could mention some of his sufferings) Yet he never gave up his belief that Heavenly Father knew his situation and was helping him, even though he was still allowed to suffer. Job never wavered in keeping the commandments or loving and praising God, even though it might have seemed easier to give in to hate and revenge. His actions matched his knowledge of what was right and wrong, and he consistently chose to do what was right even though it required a great deal of courage.
...'till I die will not remove mine integrity from me." (Job 27:5)
I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true; I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have.*- - Abraham Lincoln
"He is true to God who is true to man.*- - James Russell Lowell
Be virtuous and pure; be men of integrity and truth; keep the commandments of God and then you will be able to understand.between the things of God and the things of man.*
- - Joseph Smith
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places]. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; We believe in no man's infallibility, but it is restful to feel sure of one man's integrity. (Ephesians 6:10-18)
Integrity is the foundation of our character.
The question shouldn*t be: *What will people think?* but *What will I think of myself?* When pleasing Heavenly Father matters more to you than pleasing others, you have become a young woman of integrity.
I like to think of reputation as a window, clearly exhibiting the integrity of one*s soul.
*- - O. Leslie Stone
I have a very good friend whose name is Gandhi. He*s the little Indian who won the independence of India for England. Gandhi weighed 102 pounds; went around 4/5 naked. He lived in a mud hut which never had an electric light, telephone or running water. He didn*t own an automobile. He never sought or held a public office. He had no armies, no diplomats, no statesmen. He was with no political post, without academic distinction, scientific achievement or artistic gifts. Yet men with great governments and powerful armies behind them paid homage to this little man.
Gandhi started out with a very unpromising beginning. He was a coward. He was afraid of the dark. He was afraid of the serpent. He was afraid of people. He was afraid of himself. He had a very bad temper. Realizing the disadvantages these undesirable traits gave him, he deliberately started out to remake himself. And he later called himself, *A self remade man.*
Now if you would like one of the best phrases that I know anything about, there it is. I suppose that after all, all of us are self remade men.
When Gandhi was very young, he took a pledge from his mother that he would remain a vegetarian throughout his life. Many years after his mother had died, Gandhi became very ill and the doctors tried to persuade him that if he would drink a little beef broth, it may save his life. But Gandhi said, *Even for life itself we may not do certain things. There is only one course open to me - - to die - - but never to break my pledge.* Now just suppose that we could infuse ourselves with this kind of integrity.
-*- Sterling W. Sill
*He said he would do it, so I know it will be done* is too seldom heard these days. More often it is, *He said he would do it, but I don*t know whether to count on it or not.*
Where is our sense of integrity that once made a man*s word as good as his bond? Is it that we are too busy to give much consideration to some of the simple human virtues which are still fundamental? If so, we are busier that we should be. It is not the number of square miles in its area that makes a country great, but the number of square men it produces. Men who cannot be depended upon to fulfill their obligations, to keep their promises, to discharge their responsibilities are no asset to a country or community.
No greater compliment can be paid than, *You can always count on his doing what he says he will do.* Would that more of us merited such commendation!
Integrity is the value we set on ourselves. It is a fulfillment of the duty we owe ourselves. An honorable man or woman will personally commit to live up to certain self-imposed expectations. They need no outside check or control. They are honorable in their inner core.
-*- Elder James E. Faust
A person of integrity will assist others to be honest. A person of integrity will ask questions and give answers that are accurate. Integrity makes it possible for us to chart a course of righteous personal conduct long before the time for action arrives.
*- - Elder Marvin J. Ashton
So live that each morning you may kneel in prayer, seeking the direction and guidance of the Holy Spirit, as well as it*s protective power, as you go about your work of the day. So live that each night, before retiring, you may come before the Lord in prayer without shame or embarrassment or the need to plead for forgiveness. I do not hesitate to say that God will bless
you if you will do so. Someday you will grow old and look back upon your life. You will be able to say: *I lived with integrity. I cheated no one, not even myself.*
- - President Hinckley
We are double minded, double hearted, double tongued and have a divided heart when who we really are, our thoughts, our speech and our behavior are different depending on who we are with.
q*A DOUBLE HEART is when a young woman wears shorter skirts to school than to church because she knows her bishop will see her.
q*A DIVIDED HEART is when a young woman says all the right answers at church and then goes home and yells at her family. Or is rude to the new girl at school. Or gossips about her friends.
q*DOUBLE MINDED is bearing your testimony or taking the Sacrament and then going too far with your boyfriend, or dating before you*re 16.
q*DOUBLE TONGUED is acting at church like you know what is right from wrong and then cussing at school or at home.
RATING MY MORAL COURAGE
1.*a. I never tell lies
b.*I almost never tell lies
c.*Sometimes I tell lies
d.*I often tell lies.
2.*a. I have never cheated on an assignment or test.
b.*I have cheated very little on assignments and tests.
c.*Now and then, I cheat on an assignment or test.
d.*I often cheat on assignments or tests.
3.*a. I never shoplift.
b.*I have shoplifted once or twice.
c.*I shoplift occasionally.
d.*I shoplift often.
4.*a. I never gossip
b.*I gossip very little.
c.*Now and then I gossip.
d.*I gossip a lot.
5.*a. I never take the Lord*s name in vain.
b.*I seldom take the Lord*s name in vain.
c.*Sometimes I take the Lord*s name in vain.
d.*I often take the Lord*s name in vain.
6.*a. I always dress modestly.
b.*I dress modestly most of the time.
c.*Sometimes I dress modestly.
d.*I never dress modestly.
7.*a. I keep the Word of Wisdom even if my friends offer me cigarettes, drugs or
b.*Most of the time I do not accept liquor, drugs or cigarettes from my friends.
c.*Sometimes I accept drugs, a drink or a cigarette.
d.*I often accept drugs, a drink or a cigarette.
8.*a. I never read, listen to music or watch anything that does not meet church
b.*I very seldom read, listen to, or watch anything that does not meet church standards.
c.*I sometimes read, listen to or watch things that do not meet church standards.
d.*I often read, listen to or watch things that do not meet church standards.
Count the number of a*s, b*s, c*s, and d*s. Give yourself four points for each a, three points for each b, two points for each c and one point for each d. What letter would my Heavenly Father have me write each time?
IS YOUR MORAL COURAGE STRONG ENOUGH TO WITHSTAND PEER PRESSURE?
IS BEING POPULAR MORE IMPORTANT TO YOU THAN DOING WHAT IS RIGHT?
work I walked those timbered mountains. I sat near those beaver dams with no other human being within miles to disturb my meditation. I had many solitary moments to think about the importance of being steady and constant.
We are all faced with challenges that test our courage and strength. Perhaps it is the awfulness of drugs. Some are caught in the web of immorality. Others struggle just to be honest. There may even be times when we feel that our parents contribute to our problems. Maybe in our eyes they don't measure up to our personal standards of righteousness. On the other hand, they might be so committed to the Lord and His church that we feel they overlook our desires and needs.
I am reminded of a group of young men. Their parents had covenanted with God that they would never take up arms, even at the expense of their own lives. Finally when freedom and life were threatened by invading armies, the young men, who had not made the same covenant, volunteered to fight in place of their parents. Led by the prophet Helaman, they fought ferociously, vanquishing every foe. Every one of them was wounded, but not one was killed.
"And they were all young men, and they were exceedingly valiant for courage, and also for strength and activity; but behold, this was not all-they were men who were true at all times in whatsoever thing they were entrusted" (Alma 53:20).
I am impressed with the words "true at all times." Helaman did not have to worry if they would show up. He was not concerned about some of them surrendering before the battle began. They did not blame their righteous parents for causing them to suffer injury and pain. Rather, they "did think more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their lives" (Alma 56:47). Although the fighting was awful and they were terribly outnumbered, those young men could be counted upon.
I know of young people today who demonstrate a similar commitment. Tara had
recently moved from the United States to a foreign land. She was petitioned by the local high school coach to come out for the basketball team. It was not likely she would get much playing time as the team was already formed, but it would give her experience for next season. Then one of the regular players was injured, and Tara was thrust into a more prominent role. The schedule of games was presented to the team. To Tara's dismay one of the most important games was scheduled on Sunday. Tara discussed the problem with her parents. They assured her of their trust and told her this was her decision.
The next day she approached the coach and explained that as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints she was counseled not to participate in school activities on Sunday. The Sabbath was a sacred day for worshiping God. Could she be excused from playing that one game? The coach was sympathetic but wondered why an exception could not be made for the good of the team.
It was an agonizing time. As the new girl, it was important to be accepted. The team knew she could make a difference. What could she do?
All night long Tara wrestled with the decision. She knew who she was and how much she loved the Savior. There was really only one decision. She would not play on the Sabbath. In the morning she told her parents. They assured her all would work out for the best-and it did. The coach accepted her decision. He understood how important her convictions were to her. Tara would be excused from playing on that Sunday, but they needed her for all the rest of the games. She was an important part of the team.
Tara had proven to herself what it means to be "true at all times."
Every mission president prays he will have missionaries who are steady and true. One such missionary anciently was a young man named Shiblon. His father Alma said to him, "And now, my son, I trust that I shall have great joy in you, because of your steadiness and your faithfulness unto God; for as you have commenced in your youth to look to the Lord your God, even so I hope that you will continue in keeping his commandments" (Alma 38:2).
This great missionary son had already brought joy to his father for his work among the Zoramites. It also appears that Shiblon never did disappoint Alma, but continued constant to the end. "And
he was a just man, and he did walk uprightly before God; and he did observe to do good continually, to keep the commandments of the Lord his God" (Alma 63:2). What a grand tribute!
John the Revelator wrote these words of the Lord, "I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth" (Rev. 3:15). To be lukewarm is to be someone on whom we cannot depend. To be hot or cold, on the other hand, is to be predictable.
In the mission field, the most dependable missionary is not the "flash" who runs hard one day and the next is too exhausted to leave the apartment. Nor is it the missionary who teaches 50 discussions one week and then coasts for the rest of the month. It is the steady, hard-working missionary who makes the difference, the one who can be counted on day after day to give his all-like Shiblon. The miracle is that nearly all of the wonderful young men and women called to serve in the mission field fit this model.
Think of the power in the Church if every member were to attend every meeting every Sunday. Think of the faith produced if every member were to worthily partake of the sacrament. Think of the knowledge obtained if every young person graduated from seminary. Think of the peace obtained if we always controlled our temper. Think of the strength generated if every young man and young woman honored the priesthood and prepared for the temple. Think what it would mean if we were the solution to the problem rather than the problem.
How important it is to make our own decisions for right, to be steady, constant, and true at all times. Not only can we make such decisions, but we will! I know we will!
Integrity is the core of our character. Without integrity we have a weak foundation upon which to build other Christ-like characteristics.
-*- L. Lionel Kendrick
You might ask, how can we be completely honest? To be completely honest, we must look carefully at our lives and have the courage to face the whole truth. If there are ways in which we are being even the least bit dishonest, we should begin at once to repent from them. When we are completely honest, we cannot be corrupted. We are true to every trust, duty, agreement, and covenant, even if it costs us money, friends, or our lives. Then we can face the Lord, ourselves, and others without shame.
-*- L. Tom Perry