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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Mormons and Honesty: Part 6: Conclusion

It is difficult to admit we might be a liar, cheat and/or thief. But, do we deserve the label? Probably. We deserve it for most of the reasons I've discussed in this series.  We ought to admit we are liars at the very least.
To repent, we must admit to ourselves that we have sinned. If we do not admit this, we cannot repent.
I always wondered why wicked people had to be TOLD they were wicked. Didn't they know? Didn't they guess? How can people NOT know they are sinning? From the scriptures we have to conclude that either they didn't know or they resisted the information.
. . . I perceive that it cuts you to your hearts because I tell you the truth concerning your iniquities.
So often it is simply the classic reaction:  Shoot the messenger! or burn him or her to death or whatever. I wonder what fate is in store for me? I can only guess.


Many years ago I heard the best rationale for why people absolve themselves of their sins while condemning others. This is supported by research. The answer is simple. We judge others by their actions. We judge ourselves by our intentions.


I don't think Heavenly Father looks kindly on this tactic:
Do not endeavor to excuse yourself in the least point because of your sins,
One of the best talks on this subject is by D. Todd Christofferson entitled, "As Many as I Love, I Rebuke" from April 2011 Conference. I'll extract some of my favorite quotes:
Though it is often difficult to endure, truly we ought to rejoice that God considers us worth the time and trouble to correct.
Divine chastening has at least three purposes: (1) to persuade us to repent, (2) to refine and sanctify us, and (3) at times to redirect our course in life to what God knows is a better path.
If we are open to it, needed correction will come in many forms and from many sources.
Even when we encounter mean-spirited criticism from persons who have little regard or love for us, it can be helpful to exercise enough meekness to weigh it and sift out anything that might benefit us.
Remember that if we resist correction, others may discontinue offering it altogether, despite their love for us. If we repeatedly fail to act on the chastening of a loving God, then He too will desist.

In one of my classes at BYU, my professor suggested the concept of "measured honesty." What he meant by that is that we don't use honesty as an excuse to destroy people and relationships.


People who pride themselves on being brutally frank generally get more satisfaction out of their brutality than their honesty.


Think about the times Jesus was silent. Think about the times where He could have said much more than He did. Think about the times where He obviously avoided being cutting or harsh.


Jesus was honest, but he wasn't unkind. It was just how people reacted to his honesty. Some were chastened and repented. Others, well, they didn't react so well . . .


But, their reactions didn't change what He said they were.



Mormons and Honesty: Part 1: Introduction

Mormons and Honesty: Part 2: Honesty and the Church

Mormons and Honesty: Part 3: Honesty and Society

Mormons and Honesty: Part 4: Honesty and Others

Mormons and Honesty: Part 5: Honesty and Ourselves

Mormons and Honesty: Part 6: Conclusion

1 comment:

  1. My husband and I have been discussing "honesty" for a while now--while walking the dogs in the morning. It started when I said that I thought of all sins, being dishonest is (maybe) the worst. Because we can be forgiven of almost any sin--if we admit it. Then confess it. And then change. But if we never admit it, or lie to ourselves about it. We can't "fix" it. And Christ's atonement for that sin goes wanting.

    I very much enjoyed your six part blog on honesty.

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