Honesty and Integrity

Honesty and integrity “require a person always to do or say the right thing no matter the circumstances or what others may think,” says Elder Christoffel Golden Jr. of the Seventy in an article on pages 48–49 of this month’s issue.

The article tells about an event in the life of Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin (1917–2008) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. When he was a college student, Elder Wirthlin played in a championship game of American football. He was handed the ball, plunged forward, but ended up two inches (5 cm) short of the goal line. At the bottom of a pile of players, rather than pushing the ball ahead, he remembered the words of his mother that he should always do what is right. He left the ball where it was.

The following suggestions, along with your own example, can help you teach your children about these gospel principles.

Suggestions for Teaching Youth

  • Read with your teen the section on honesty and integrity in For the Strength of Youth. Discuss the blessings of honesty and integrity.

  • Consider asking your teen to help prepare a “What Would You Do?” quiz for family home evening. Use For the Strength of Youth as a guide and list situations that would give someone the opportunity to demonstrate honesty and integrity. Take the quiz as a family and discuss the results.

  • President Thomas S. Monson has repeatedly spoken about honesty. Find one of his messages and share it with your family. Below are some possibilities:

    “The Prophet Joseph Smith: Teacher by Example,” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2005, 67.

    “Happiness—the Universal Quest,” Liahona, Mar. 1996, 2; Ensign, Oct. 1993, 2.

    “In Quest of the Abundant Life,” Ensign, Mar. 1988, 2; “In Search of an Abundant Life,” Tambuli, Aug. 1988, 2.

Suggestions for Teaching Children

  • Integrity includes being honest with yourself. To demonstrate this, consider having a family home evening lesson where a treat is placed before the children. Tell them they cannot partake until you say so. Then close your eyes or blindfold yourself and ask, “Is it all right for you to eat the treat now, just because I can’t see?” Talk about righteous things they can do when no one is watching, such as personal prayer. Remind them that Heavenly Father can always see them.

  • Consider using the quiz created with your teen (see above) or create a quiz adapted to young children that helps them recognize what is honest or dishonest. Let them discuss their responses. If you have both teens and younger children, consider having the teens help the younger children with the quiz.