Integrity involves honesty, moral soundness, and freedom from corrupting influences and evil practices
Integrity or the lack of it touches almost every facet of our lives. Everything we say, every thought and desire. As long ago as 1666, Jean Baptise Moliere, a famous French dramatist, wrote, "If everyone were clothed with integrity, if every heart were just, frank, kindly, the other virtues would be well nigh useless, since their chief purpose is to make us bear with patience the injustices of our fellows".
We can define integrity as a strict adherence to a code of behaviour. A person with integrity remains true to his beliefs in circumstances that test steadfastness to truth, purpose, responsibility, or trust. Integrity involves honesty, moral soundness and freedom from corrupting influences and evil practices. In essence, integrity is being true to what we know is right under all circumstances.
The Lord has said, "I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say, but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise" Our Heavenly Father keeps and will continue to keep the promises he makes to us. He has complete integrity. To become like him, then, we must keep our promises to Him. The highest manifestation of integrity is exhibited by those who conform their conduct to the terms of the gospel covenants and promises which they have made. Throughout the scriptures we find examples of righteous men and women who have faced all manner of adversity, even death, rather than compromise what they knew to be true. Consider the examples of Daniel, Job, The Anti-Nephi-Lehis, Linker, Zinon and even closer to our day, the prophet Joseph Smith.
After the First Vision, young Joseph tried to share his experience with some of the most learned religious people of his day. He was surprised to meet resentment and bitter persecution from those who claimed to be representatives of the very God he had seen and communicated with. Such persecution led the young man to reflect, "How very strange it was that an obscure boy, of little over fourteen years of age, should be thought a character of sufficient importance to attract the attention of the great ones of the most popular sects of the day, and in a manner to create in them a spirit of the most bitter persecution and reviling"
Joseph smith wrote that "after a person had faith in Christ, repents of his sins, and is baptised for the remission of sins and receives the Holy Ghost, which is the first Comforter, the let him continue to humble himself before God, hungering and thirsting after righteousness, and living by every word of God, and the Lord will soon say unto him, Son, thou shalt be exalted. In essence the Prophet taught that absolute integrity must precede the promise of eternal life. Our individual exhalation depends upon our proving to the Lord that we will at all hazards and under all circumstances faithfully discharge the trust he has places upon us.
Integrity requires us to make commitments to truth and honour and then develop the discipline to keep those commitments. As members of The Restored Branch of Jesus Christ we have each made commitments to the Lord to obey his commandments and follow him. It is important that we develop discipline of self so that more and more, we do not have to decide and re-decide what we will do when we are confronted with the same temptation time and time again. We only need to decide some things once. Other wise each reconsideration is risky, and each equivocation may result in error. There are some things we do, and other things we just don't do. The sooner you take such stands, the taller you will be. To develop discipline we must first decide what we will do and what we will not do. Then we must abide by these decisions.
Our world presents conflicting values and objectives. We are confronted almost daily with decisions that are not clear and that may be confusing. To develop personal integrity we must respond with exactness in all that we do. Integrity is a small word, yet an all encompassing virtue, a virtue that will help us obtain eternal glory if we learn to cultivate and nurture it.
In The Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.