Mormons believe strongly in being honest – so much that when we are interviewed for our temple recommends (a card that gives you access to the temple), we are asked if we are honest in our dealings with others.
As with other Christian denominations, we believe it is a commandment not to bear false witness. Uncountable lives have been ruined by rumors, false accusations, slander, theft, embezzlement, etc. Widows have been taken for everything they have, identity theft plagues our society, spouses rack up debt in secret, mechanics overstate the repairs needed on vehicles, infidelity breaks the hearts of many, clients are overcharged, and students manage to cheat their way through school.
The reasons we believe in honesty is rather obvious. We don’t want to add to the many hurts in our society and few things are as valuable as being trusted and having trust in someone else. As people who strive to follow Jesus Christ, we believe we must follow His example.
We believe God only tells the truth and as we strive to be like our Father in Heaven, we must learn to be honest like Him. Little lies grow into big lies. As lying is accepted, one will justify their lies more and more. At the slightest twinge of discomfort, one will resort to lying to avoid a situation they find unpleasant or consequences they think are impossible to handle. In our Gospel Principles manual, we are taught that we should never make excuses for lying:
People use many excuses for being dishonest. People lie to protect themselves and to have others think well of them. Some excuse themselves for stealing, thinking they deserve what they took, intend to return it, or need it more than the owner. Some cheat to get better grades in school or because “everyone else does it” or to get even.
These excuses and many more are given as reasons for dishonesty. To the Lord, there are no acceptable reasons. President Kimball taught that when we excuse ourselves, we cheat ourselves and the Spirit of God ceases to be with us. We become more and more unrighteous.
We believe Satan is the father of all lies and we should make it our goal to resist making dishonesty a part of our lives, no matter how difficult it is to be truthful at times. But we feel we will be blessed for being honest in all things.