Are Mormons Honest?

One of the lessons taught today in church was about honesty.  It came from the Gospel Principles book.  This book contains very succinct teachings, structured in lesson format, about the major doctrines of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  As I was listening to the lesson, there were several principles of honesty that stood out to me that I need to be better at, or had never thought about.

Most members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints strive to be honest in all things.  Occasionally I do hear stories of how some church members have been dishonest.  I apologize if you have been wronged or lied to by one of our church members.  No one is perfect, so please don’t let the actions of an imperfect person cloud your view of our church.

I would encourage you to read the lesson by clicking here, but here are some excerpts that really stood out to me.

Lying is intentionally deceiving others. Bearing false witness is one form of lying. The Lord gave this commandment to the children of Israel: “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour” (Exodus 20:16). Jesus also taught this when He was on earth (see Matthew 19:18). There are many other forms of lying. When we speak untruths, we are guilty of lying. We can also intentionally deceive others by a gesture or a look, by silence, or by telling only part of the truth. Whenever we lead people in any way to believe something that is not true, we are not being honest. . .

Jesus taught, “Thou shalt not steal” (Matthew 19:18). Stealing is taking something that does not belong to us. When we take what belongs to someone else or to a store or to the community without permission, we are stealing. Taking merchandise or supplies from an employer is stealing. Copying music, movies, pictures, or written text without the permission of the copyright owners is dishonest and is a form of theft. Accepting more change or goods than one should is dishonest. Taking more than our share of anything is stealing.  .  .

We cheat when we give less than we owe, or when we get something we do not deserve. Some employees cheat their employers by not working their full time; yet they accept full pay. Some employers are not fair to their employees; they pay them less than they should. Satan says, “Take the advantage of one because of his words, dig a pit for thy neighbor” (2 Nephi 28:8). Taking unfair advantage is a form of dishonesty. Providing inferior service or merchandise is cheating.  .  .

People use many excuses for being dishonest. People lie to protect themselves and to have others think well of them. Some excuse themselves for stealing, thinking they deserve what they took, intend to return it, or need it more than the owner. Some cheat to get better grades in school or because “everyone else does it” or to get even. . .

These excuses and many more are given as reasons for dishonesty. To the Lord, there are no acceptable reasons. When we excuse ourselves, we cheat ourselves and the Spirit of God ceases to be with us.

It was a good reminder to me how easy it is to be dishonest in our world today and that I need to watch myself in everything I do and say.