The Articles of Faith come from a letter written by the Prophet Joseph Smith in 1842 to an editor named John Wentworth. They were first published in the Church’s Times and Seasons newspaper in Nauvoo and have since become part of latter-day scripture.
13 We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.
“[This] article of our faith is one of the basic declarations of our theology. We ought to reflect on it again and again. Then, whenever we might be tempted to do anything shoddy or dishonest or immoral, there would come into our minds with some force this great, all-encompassing statement of the ethics of our behavior.”
President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008), “Fear Not to Do Good,” Ensign, Jan. 2000, 2.
“Human sexuality is more than a physical matter. Chastity and fidelity begin in the spirit, not in the body. They are an expression of the condition of our spirit. When our spirit is in tune with godly thinking and gospel truths, we want to live high standards, and our actions reflect that desire. Thus, chastity and fidelity are more than sexual abstinence before marriage and sexual fidelity after marriage. They express the quality of our spiritual life.”
Terrance D. Olson, “Truths of Moral Purity,” Ensign, Oct. 1998, 43.
To be benevolent is to be kind and giving, in a word—to do good. During His ministry Jesus Christ “went about doing good, … for God was with him” (Acts 10:38). As you live your life with benevolence, God will strengthen and uplift you.
Admonition of Paul
See Philippians 4:8, which is part of a letter from the Apostle Paul to the Saints in Philippi.
Seek after These Things
Read the “Entertainment and Media” section in For the Strength of Youth (page 17). Is the entertainment you choose consistent with these standards and with the thirteenth article of faith? Consider writing in your journal about how you have been blessed by making good media choices.
Photograph of Sister Dalton by Busath Photography
“Virtue ‘is a pattern of thought and behavior based on high moral standards’ (Preach My Gospel, 118). It encompasses chastity and moral purity. Virtue begins in the heart and in the mind. … It is the accumulation of thousands of small decisions and actions. … Virtuous women and men possess a quiet dignity and inner strength. They are confident because they are worthy to receive and be guided by the Holy Ghost.”
Elaine S. Dalton, Young Women general president, “A Return to Virtue,” Ensign, Nov. 2008, 78–80.
Editors’ note: This page is not meant to be a comprehensive explanation of the selected scripture verse, only a starting point for your own study.
Painting by Robert T. Barrett © 1984