The Best Policy

by Julius B. Caesar

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    When I made things right, the vendor was delighted. But I still had to face my teacher.

    I’m happy to be a Latter-day Saint here in the Philippines. I like to tell my friends that. My religion has taught me many things that my friends do not know, and one of those things is honesty. Honesty is one simple way to teach my friends to respect me and my religion. An experience that happened recently proved that.

    I’d gone to school without eating any breakfast, and during class my stomach kept making this funny sound, telling me I was hungry. So during recess, I hurried to a nearby barbecue stand. I took two sticks of meat, ate them, then went back to class.

    When our teacher asked us to copy something on the board, I reached into my pocket for a pencil, and found that my money for the sticks was still in my pocket! Without hesitation, I ran back to the store and paid for my snack. The vendor was so happy he gave me another stick free.

    I went back to the classroom smiling but found a very angry teacher there. I’d forgotten to ask permission to leave, and she wanted to know what I’d been doing.

    I told her everything, and to my surprise she put her arm on my shoulder and facing the class, she said, “Class, I want you to be honest like Julius.”

    Then she asked me why I returned the money when I easily could have kept it. I answered, “Because I am a deacon, and my bishop won’t let me pass the sacrament if I’m not worthy.” She didn’t quite understand what I was talking about and asked again why I hadn’t kept the money.

    I answered, “Because we believe in being honest.”

    “Why? What’s your religion?” She wanted to know.

    Without hesitation I said, “I’m a Mormon.”

    “Oh,” she responded. “No wonder.”

    My teacher made me feel like a giant that day. I’m glad I followed the 13th article of faith [A of F 1:13], which starts, “We believe in being honest, true …” Honesty really is the best policy.

    Illustrated by Steve Kropp