How blest you are to be where you are and doing what you are doing!!!
During this week I had an opportunity to hear a sermon that left deep impressions on my mind. The words I heard made me think even more deeply than ever before about the meaning of the word "integrity." A couple of the ideas I had heard before, but the additional details that were included in the sermon added strength to my own testimony of our need to be totally honest.
We have all heard it mentioned about Brigham Young's experience during the building of the Salt Lake Temple. During the early years of the construction, some stone was utilized in the foundation of the building. But an error was made. Some sandstone was included in that foundation, but the error was not detected until the weight of the walls caused the foundation to crack. One course of action would be just repair the damage and proceed with the construction. I am sure that Brigham Young truly agonized over what had happened. However, instead of simply settling for repairs, he decided that the whole foundation would be torn out and solid granite used in its stead. He reasoned, "This is the House of the Lord. It must be perfect." I just imagine the great sense of relief that he felt forever after that he had made the right decision. I have heard about other contractors on temples who have used inferior materials or procedures which, when discovered, were ordered to be torn out and done according to specifications.
Another incident in history that is a powerful sermon involved King Henry VIII of England. Most of us are aware that he wanted to divorce his wife (a sin in the Catholic faith) and marry Anne Boleyn. Sir Thomas More, one of his court, was asked to tell an untruth to support the king in his nefarious scheme, but Thomas repeatedly refused. Then, even though More finally lost his wife, his family and all his worldly possessions, then even lost his life, he refused to tell an untruth.
A number of years ago a young missionary, who had been discovered to be breaking mission rules, stood before his mission president and seemed to be defensive about a habit which he had practiced all his life. The mission president tried to open the young man's eyes by telling him that he was not just asking him to change his habit, tut to help him see the need to remember the sacred covenants he had made in the house of the Lord. Using this measuring stick, we all need to DESIRE to keep with exactness every covenant we have made in the sacred temple. An errant elder not only disappoints his mission president and his loved ones at home, but our Heavenly Father.
Finally, I want to relate a brief incident that some of you may have heard before. A young father had a Word of Wisdom problem. He would sneak out behind the barn to have his cigarette so none of his loved ones would see him (how could he ever hope to hide the odor that surrounds him with such a habit???) However, his young son walked around the corner of the barn one day and discovered his father in the act of lighting up. It was an awkward moment--father humiliated to have been discovered, and an adoring son who at the moment was not so adoring. The young boy broke the silence with the chastening, "You looked everywhere but UP."
I admire you for your commitment and dedication--qualities that characterize the true servant of the Lord. Oh, how I pray that we will all remember--and keep--the covenants we have made in the House of the Lord. I recently had called to my attention that a young returned missionary was letting "fun things" keep him from filling his home teaching responsibilities. Small thing? How would one feel about it when having a personal priesthood interview with the Lord? Especially when it is too late to do it over!