Mormon Messages

Honesty: You Better Believe It!

Episode 70

4:46
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It is better to be honest than get a good score on a test.

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There are so many in the world who do not seem to know or care about right or wrong. I wish to speak to you frankly about being honest. Honesty is a moral compass to guide us in our lives. However, the tremendous push to excel in secular learning sometimes tempts us to compromise that which is more important, their integrity and honesty. 

Cheating in school as a form of self deception. We go to school to learn. We cheat ourselves when we coast on the efforts and scholarship of someone else. 

A friend related this experience while her husband who was attending medical school. My husband had worked hard on his studies, and went to attend his first examination. The honor system was expected to be a medical school. The professor passed out the examination and left the room. 

Within a short time, students started to pull the little cheat papers out from under their papers or from their pockets. My husband recalled his heart beginning to pound as he realized it's pretty hard to compete against cheaters. About that time a tall, lanky student stood up in the back of the room and stated, I left my hometown and my wife and three little babies in an upstairs apartment, and worked very hard to get into medical school. And I'll turn in the first one of you who cheats and you better believe it. They believed it. 

There were many sheepish expressions, and those cheat papers started to disappear as fast as they appeared. He set a standard for the class which eventually graduated the largest group in the school's history. 

In reality we are only in competition with ourselves. Others can challenge and motivate us, but we must reach deep down into our souls and call forth our God-given intelligence and capabilities. We cannot do this when we depend on the efforts of someone else. 

Honesty is a principal and we have our moral agency to determine how we will apply this principle. We have the agency to make choices, but ultimately we will be accountable for each choice we make. We may deceive others but there is one we will never deceive. All of us could climb high and we honor every form of truth.

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