Can you imagine the favorable living conditions if all of us were completely honest!
In today’s society the principle of honesty is so often abused. There are many honest people in the world, but dishonesty and corruption exist in government, business, education, athletics and in individual relationships. Honesty is thrown under the bus in the worldly aspiration of getting ahead at any cost.
The gulf between an honest person and the dishonesty of the world is getting wider and wider.
To lie is Dishonest
Lying is deceiving others. One form of lying is bearing false witness. “Jesus said, …Thou shalt not bear false witness,” (Matthew 19: 18 in the Bible) There are many forms of lying. When we speak untruths we are lying. We can deceive others by looks, by telling only part of the truth, even by silence. The Lord is not pleased with lying and we will be accountable to Him for our lies. The prophets have warned us, “And there shall also be many which shall say: Eat, drink, and be merry; nevertheless, fear God—he will justify in committing a little sin; yea, lie a little, take the advantage of one because of his words, dig a pit for thy neighbor; there is no harm in this; and do all these things, for tomorrow we die; and if it so be that we are guilty, God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God.” (2 Nephi 28:8 p. 107 in the Book of Mormon) According to the plan of salvation, nothing is further from the truth.
Stealing is Dishonest
“Thou shalt not steal” (Matthew 19:18) When we take something that does not belong to us, it is stealing, whether it be from our employer, retail stores, neighbors, friends, family members or copying music/movies without permission all fall into the serious category of stealing.
Cheating is Dishonest
A great deal of cheating is going on in society! Some employees cheat their employers. Some students are cheating on tests and homework preparation. Some government leaders and workers are cheating the people they serve. Some professionals over charge for their services. The list goes on and on.
We Rationalize or Excuse Our Dishonesty
We say many others are dishonest and more dishonest than ourselves. We steal because we think we deserve it or we think we are not paid enough or we think the rich will not miss what we steal, or many other situations. Unfortunately as long as we rationalize our dishonesty and find excuses for our bad behavior, we will not repent and change our ways. To the Lord there are not any acceptable excuses. Satan the father of lies will try to persuade us to continue our dishonest actions. “and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell.” (2 Nephi 28: 21 p. 108 in the Book of Mormon)
How Can We Become Completely Honest
Dishonesty is a difficult habit to break, especially if it has been part of us for many years. The first step would be a desire to become more honest. Personally, knowing that God is perfectly honest and if I want to live with him some day, I would have to also become totally honest. The apostle Paul said, “But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.”
(2 Corinthians 4: 2 in the Bible) We must carefully review our past dishonest thinking and actions and begin to change our attitudes and future actions.
What are the Benefits of Being Honest
It brings peace to our conscience and life
“…that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;” (1 Timothy 2: 2-3 in the Bible)
The Holy Spirit will be with us
The Holy Spirit will help us overcome our weaknesses and increase our joy in life. The Savior said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, I will impart unto you of my Spirit, which shall enlighten your mind, which shall fill your soul with joy;” (Doctrine & Covcnants 11: 13 p. 22)
Our confidence will increase
“…let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God;”
(Doctrine & Covenants 121: 45 p. 242)