Prophets and apostles teach that trust and honesty are important in building strong families. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, stressed the importance of these principles as he taught about pressing forward with faith.
“To endure to the end, we need to trust our Father in Heaven and make wise choices,” President Uchtdorf said during an address to priesthood leaders. “It means strength of character, selflessness, and humility; it means integrity and honesty to the Lord and our fellowmen. It means making our homes strong places of defense and a refuge against worldly evils; it means loving and honoring our spouses and children.
“By doing our best to endure to the end, a beautiful refinement will come into our lives. We will learn to ‘do good to them that hate [us], and pray for them which despitefully use [us]’ (Matthew 5:44). The blessings that come to us from enduring to the end in this life are real and very significant, and for the life to come they are beyond our comprehension.”
If we constantly endeavor to instill these virtues of honesty and trust in our daily lives, President Uchtdorf said, we will come closer to Christ and the knowledge of His plan for us.
Righteous Character Leads to Trust
Other prophets and apostles also stress the importance of trust and honesty in family life. Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said that it is only by trusting in the Lord that we can overcome life’s greatest adversities. A sound sense of character, he counseled, can only come from a continual effort to make correct decisions as families and individuals.
“Righteous character provides the foundation of spiritual strength that enables you to make difficult, extremely important decisions correctly when they seem overpowering,” Elder Scott said.
“Righteous character is what you are. It is more important than what you own, what you have learned, or what you have accomplished. It allows you to be trusted. It opens the door to help from the Lord in moments of great challenge or temptation.
“Be honest. Righteous character is based on integrity.
“Never lie to yourself. A lie can give temporary advantage, but it brings with it long-term difficulties. Make no premeditated plans to do wrong, no lies to gain advantage, no falsehood to cover mistakes. When you are completely honest with yourself and measure your acts against what you know is right, you will not be dishonest with anyone. Moreover, you will make sure the Lord can bless you when you need it.”
These principles of honesty and integrity are particularly important between spouses in marriage and between parents and children in the family.
A People of Integrity
Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles pinpoints integrity and honesty as the foundation of who we are as disciples of Christ and as members of families.
“You and I must strive to become people of integrity and to be honest with God, honest with ourselves, and honest with other people,” Elder Bednar said. “Integrity and honesty with God result from knowing and understanding who He is and our relationship to and kinship with Him as our Eternal Father.
“Integrity and honesty with ourselves result from knowing and understanding who we are as sons and daughters of God. And integrity and honesty with other people result from knowing and understanding they are sons and daughters of the Eternal Father and are our brothers and sisters. All unprincipled and dishonest thoughts and actions are a betrayal of God, a betrayal of self, and a betrayal of other people.
“Becoming people of integrity and honesty does not occur quickly or all at once, nor is it merely a matter of greater personal discipline. It is a change of disposition, a change of heart. And this gradual change of heart is one that the Lord accomplishes within us, through the power of His Spirit, in a line-upon-line fashion.”
As disciples of Christ, with integrity and honesty in our hearts, marriage and family life can be built on trust and faith, centered on the strength of the Atonement.