The LDS Daily WOOL© Archive - Honesty

"We are all familiar with the statement 'Honesty is the best policy.' For members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, honesty is the only policy. We must be honest with our fellowmen. We must be honest with our God. We are honest with God when we honor the covenants we make with Him." — Sheldon F. Child,  "As Good As Our Bond," General Conference, April 1997

"Never in the history of mankind or the Church has there been a greater need for honesty in personal lives--honesty with neighbors and integrity in discussions and total commitment on the basis of full trust and respect from those who are about us. Certainly we have reason to be disappointed and concerned when we see too many business and professional associates not adopting honesty as the best policy, but instead asking, What can I get away with without being caught? Or what is expedient? What will be the most profitable? What will be the most rewarding for me without regard to permanence or other people? Integrity must be the foundation of moral life.  In school and in daily associations we must teach students and children, as well as adults, that honesty must be 100 percent and not treated as a convenience or escape in some situations. We must fight corruption and graft and return people to the basics of integrity, honesty, and fair play.  Achievement and talent without character are hollow." — Marvin J. Ashton, "He Loveth That Which Is Right," BYU Speeches of the Year, 5 March 1989

"Act with integrity. Be honest.  Righteous character is based on integrity." — Richard G. Scott, "Trust In The Lord," General Conference, April 1989

"If we can get men to practise honesty, virtue, and holiness, I am fully of the faith that they will become righteous in their intentions,--that the time will come when the Lord will bless them, and make them in reality righteous men and women." — Brigham Young, "Journal of Discourses," 2:281

"To be without guile is to be free of deceit, cunning, hypocrisy, and dishonesty in thought or action.  To beguile is to deceive or lead astray, as Lucifer beguiled Eve in the Garden of Eden.  A person without guile is a person of innocence, honest intent, and pure motives, whose life reflects the simple practice of conforming his daily actions to principles of integrity." — Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Without Guile," General Conference, April 1988

"...we do not believe in honesty merely as a matter of policy.  It is far more important than that.  Honesty is a principle of salvation in the kingdom of God.  Without it there can be no salvation.  Just as no man or woman can be saved without baptism, so no one can be saved without honesty. As we cannot advance in the kingdom of heaven without a resurrection, so we cannot move into celestial realms without honesty." — Mark E. Peterson, "General Conference Reports,", p. 63, October 1971

"I want to say to you that the punishment that is meted out to those who are dishonest in our day, when they are apprehended and haled before the courts of the land and punished for their crimes, is insignificant when compared with the spiritual punishment that befalls us when we transgress the law of honesty and violate that commandment of God." — George Albert Smith, "Law of Honesty," Deseret News, Jan. 7, 1933

"You may talk about religion and speak about the Gospel, and say we have got the truth and the plan of salvation, and we have got the authority of the Priesthood; but if we are not honest, it does not amount to anything; for neither God nor honorable men love dishonesty.  We must, therefore, be an honest people." — George Q. Cannon, "Collected Discourses 1888 - 1898," Vol. 4

"Now, if you want the land to become more blessed, if you want to enjoy in greater abundance the good things of the earth, do better, be more righteous, be more honest before the Lord, honor His laws and keep His commandments more faithfully than you have done in the past, and the Lord will pour out more and greater blessings." — Joseph F. Smith, "Collected Discourses," Vol.3, January 8th, 1893

"We must be like the people of Ammon, who were 'distinguished for their zeal towards God, and also towards men; for they were perfectly honest and upright in all things; and they were firm in the faith of Christ, even unto the end.' (Alma 27:27.)" — J. Richard Clarke, "The Practice of Truth," "Ensign," May 1984, p. 62

"Honesty is the foundation of a sound character and the keystone of all other virtues. It is the cement without which all other redeeming features are fractured and without anchor. A dishonest person may be kind, witty, and very capable, but the strength of character simply isn't there. Honesty does not come by degrees. A person is either all honest or he is dishonest. You can be true or you can be false, but you can't be both at the same time." — William Grant Bangerter, "Whose Help Would You Rather Have?" "New Era," Sept. 1979, p. 4

"I am grateful to have been taught the principles of honesty, hard work, and thrift even more by the daily example of my parents and relatives than by their words and counsel." — Helio R. Camargo, "In All Things, Give Thanks," "Ensign," Nov. 1990, p. 80

"Personal standards should honestly govern every action. The honest person needs to remember only one version of an event. Those who don't obey standards they profess are called hypocrites. While the world will always be full of them, recognize them for what they are and resolve to avoid their dishonest pattern of behavior. And remember, the payment of tithing will help discipline your mind to be an honest one." — Russell M. Nelson, "Standards of the Lord's Standard-Bearers," "Ensign," Aug. 1991, p. 10

"Honesty is not only the best policy, it is the only policy!" — David B. Haight, "Ethics and Honesty," "Ensign," Nov. 1987, p. 15

"It is impossible to associate manhood with dishonesty. To be just with one's self, one must be honest with one's self and with others. This means honesty in speech as well as in actions. It means to avoid telling half-truths as well as untruths. It means that we are honest in our dealings-in our buying as well as in our selling. It means that an honest debt can never be outlawed, and that a man's word is better than his bond. It means that we will be honest in our dealings with the Lord, for 'true honesty takes into account the claims of God as well as those of man; it renders to God the things that are God's, as well as to man the things that are man's.'" - David O. McKay, "Conference Report," April 1968, pp. 7-8

"Dishonesty is directly related to selfishness, which is its origin and source. Selfishness is at the root of nearly all the disorders that afflict us, and man's inhumanity to man continues to make countless thousands mourn.

"If all mankind were honest, we could have heaven here on earth. We would have no need for armies or navies, nor even a policeman in the smallest community, for there would be no crime, no invasion of other people's rights, no violence of one person against another.

"There would be no grounds for divorce, nor would we have errant husbands or unfaithful wives. Conflict between children and parents would disappear, and juvenile delinquency would come to an end.

"But in our society is there anything more widespread than the tendency to lie and deceive?" - Mark E. Petersen, "Honesty, a Principle of Salvation," Ensign, Dec. 1971, p. 72

"The rewards of integrity are immeasurable. One is the indescribable inner peace and serenity that come from knowing we are doing what is right; another is an absence of the guilt and anxiety that accompany sin.

"Another reward of integrity is the confidence it can give us in approaching God. When virtue garnishes our thoughts unceasingly, our confidence is strong in the presence of God. (See D&C 121:45.) When we are doing what is right, we will not feel timid and hesitant about seeking divine direction. We will know the Lord will answer our prayers and help us in our need.

"The consummate reward of integrity is the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. (See D&C 121:46.) The Holy Ghost does not attend us when we do evil. But when we do what is right, he can dwell with us and guide us in all we do." - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Personal Integrity," Ensign, May 1990, p. 33

"To be without guile is to be pure in heart—an essential virtue of those who would be counted among true followers of Christ. He taught in the Sermon on the Mount, 'Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God' (Matt. 5:8; see also 3 Ne. 12:8). He revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith that Zion is the pure in heart (see D&C 97:21) and that a house is to be built in Zion in which the pure in heart shall see God (see D&C 97:10–16).

"If we are without guile, we are honest, true, and righteous. All of these are attributes of Deity and are required of the Saints. Those who are honest are fair and truthful in their speech, straightforward in their dealings, free of deceit, and above stealing, misrepresentation, or any other fraudulent action. Honesty is of God and dishonesty of the devil; the devil was a liar from the beginning. Righteousness is living a life that is in harmony with the laws, principles, and ordinances of the gospel." - Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Without Guile,” Ensign, May 1988, 80-81

"When you say you are going to do something, then you do it. Keep your word. Don't be disappointed sometimes when you set a goal, but fail to attain it, for you can't know all of the time what the Lord's will is. Just exercise your faith in the Lord and do the best you can as to what you think his will may be. I often ask myself, 'How much is your word worth, Elder Cook? What price could you put on your word? If you tell someone that you are going to do something, do you do it, or do you come up with excuses of why you didn't do it?'" - Gene R. Cook, "Living by the Power of Faith," p.95

"Honesty is the basis of a true Christian life. For Latter-day Saints, honesty is an important requirement for entering the Lord's holy temple. Honesty is embedded in the covenants that we make in the temple. Each Sunday as we partake of the holy emblems of the Savior's flesh and blood, we again renew our basic and sacred covenants—which encompass honesty. As Latter-day Saints we have a sacred obligation to not only teach the principles of honesty, but also to live them,... Honesty should be among the most fundamental values that govern our everyday living." - Richard C. Edgley, "Three Towels and a 25-Cent Newspaper," Ensign, November 2006

“Good men sometimes make mistakes. A man of integrity will honestly face and correct his mistakes, and that is an example we can respect. Sometimes men try but fail. Not all worthy objectives are realized despite one's honest and best efforts. True manhood is not always measured by the fruits of one's labors but by the labors themselves—by one's striving.” - D. Todd Christofferson, “Let Us Be Men,” CR October 2006

“It has been suggested that what happens in a certain city stays in a certain city. I like the sign posted in Sevier County, Utah, which states, ‘What happens in Sevier County . . . you can share with your friends!!!’ When we realize that we are accountable to God, we see how foolish rationalizations can be. Those who rationalize remind us of little children who cover their eyes, convinced that if they can’t see us, we can’t see them. I would suggest that if we think about giving an accounting of our actions to the Savior, our rationalizations will be seen in their true light.” – Quentin L. Cook, “Stewardship—a Sacred Trust,” Ensign, November 2009

"If we want to be a person of integrity, we act as if we have integrity and we will be a person of integrity. If we want to be a person of charity and love, we act as if we have that characteristic and we will be that person.

"The Savior alluded to this principle when he asked, 'What manner of men ought ye to be?' Then he answered his own question, 'Even as I am.' (3 Ne. 27:27.)

"We should strive to become like him by acting as he would act." - Royden G. Derrick, "Valiance in the Drama of Life," Ensign (CR), May 1983, p. 23

"A consecrated life is a life of integrity. We see it in the husband and wife 'who honor marital vows with complete fidelity.' We see it in the father and mother whose demonstrated first priority is to nourish their marriage and ensure the physical and spiritual welfare of their children. We see it in those who are honest." - D. Todd Christofferson, "Reflections on a Consecrated Life," Ensign (CR) October 2010

The issue is truth, my dear brothers and sisters, and the only way to find truth is through uncompromising self-education toward self-honesty to see the original “real me,” the child of God, in its innocence and potential in contrast to the influence from the other part of me, “the flesh,” with its selfish desires and foolishness. Only in that state of pure honesty are we able to see truth in its complete dimension. Honesty may not be everything, but everything is nothing without honesty. In its final state, honesty is a gift of the Spirit through which the true disciples of Christ feel the force to bear testimony of the truth in such a powerful way that it penetrates the very core of our existence. - F. Enzio Busche, "Truth Is the Issue," Ensign (CR) November 1993

The Lord expects us to use wisdom and common sense and not quibble about what obviously isn't good for the body or mind or spirit or morals of man. And before doing or partaking of anything, stop and ask honestly, "Does this contribute to health? Does it contribute to happiness? Would this please God? Will this bless and benefit me and others, or does it drag me down? Is it good or isn't it? - Richard L. Evans, "Should the Commandments Be Rewritten?," Ensign (CR), December 1971, p. 57

Honesty is a very important part of character. We have all seen men who think they are not accountable to the laws of men or of God. They seem to feel that the rules of human conduct do not apply to them. A popular philosophy is “What can I get away with?” As someone once said, “The difference between a moral man and a man of honor is that the latter regrets a discreditable act even when it has worked.” - James E. Faust, "We Seek After These Things", Ensign (CR), May 1998, p.43)

What are the Latter-day Saints to do? The answer is plain. The Saints are to be absolutely without guile in every aspect of their lives: in their homes and families, Church callings, all business dealings, and, especially, the private and personal parts of their lives into which only they and the Lord see. – Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Without Guile,” Ensign (CR) May 1988

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