Integrity


(From a talk given in general conference on April 2, 1977. See Ensign, May 1977, p. 15.)

A story is told of an English farmer at work one day in his fields when he saw a party of huntsmen riding about his farm. Concerned that they might ride into a field where the crop could be damaged by the tramp of horses, he sent one of his workmen to shut the gate and then keep watch over it and on no account to open it. He had scarcely arrived at his post when the hunters came up and ordered that the gate be opened. He declined to do so, stating the orders he had received, and steadfastly refused to open the gate in spite of the threats and bribes as one after another of the hunters came forward.

Then one of the riders came up and said in commanding tones, “My boy, do you know me? I am the Duke of Wellington, one not accustomed to being disobeyed, and I command you to open that gate, that I and my friends may pass through.”

The boy lifted his hat, and before the man whom all England delighted to honor, answered firmly, “I am sure the Duke of Wellington would not wish me to disobey orders. I must keep this gate shut, nor suffer anyone to pass but by my master’s express permission.”

Greatly pleased, the duke lifted his own hat and said, “I honor the man or boy who can be neither bribed or frightened into doing wrong. With an army of such soldiers, I could conquer not only the French, but the world.”

[illustration] Illustrated by Lori Anderson