On This Test Hinges the Survival of Our Society, Constitution, and Salvation

Modern Prophets Speak, Volume I, No. 33, Haight

Excerpt from Elder David B. Haight’s October 1987 General Conference address, “Ethics and Honesty.”

David B. HaightWe declare: “There is only one cure for the evils of this world, … and that is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and … obedience to [His] commandments” (Mark E. Petersen, Improvement Era, Dec. 1963, p. 1110).

We run the risk of losing both our domestic freedom and eternal salvation if we circumvent by greed and avarice the ethical and moral strictures inherent in the Constitution of this land and the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The continued survival of a free and open society is dependent upon a high degree of divinely inspired values and moral conduct, as stated by the Founding Fathers. People must have trust in their institutions and in their leaders. A great need today is for leadership that exemplifies truth, honesty, and decency in both public and private life.

Honesty is not only the best policy, it is the only policy!

Someone said, “We have committed the Golden Rule to memory. May we now commit it to life.” The Savior’s teaching, “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them” (Matt. 7:12) should be the basis for all human relationships.

The Lord is very clear about the conduct he expects from the inhabitants of this earth. Nephi declared:

“And again, the Lord God hath commanded that men should not murder; … should not lie; … should not steal; … should not take the name of the Lord … in vain; … should not envy; … should not have malice; … should not contend one with another; … should not commit whoredoms; … for whoso doeth them shall perish.

“For none of these iniquities come of the Lord; for he doeth that which is good among the children of men; … and … inviteth … all to come unto him and partake of his goodness” (2 Ne. 26:32–33).

The time is now to rededicate our lives to eternal ideals and values, to make those changes that we may need to make in our own lives and conduct to conform to the Savior’s teachings.

From the beginning to the end of His ministry, Jesus asked His followers to adopt new, higher standards in contrast to their former ways. As believers, they were to live by a spiritual and moral code that would separate them not only from the rest of the world but also even from some of their traditions. He asks nothing less of those who follow Him today.

Do we really believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, and virtuous? On this test may hinge the survival of our society, our constitutional government, and our eternal salvation.

Elder David B. Haight (1906-2004), a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Read the full text of his address here.