I apologize for the lack of posting. School has been a bit rough this semester and I’m finally getting into the swing of things.
I would like to dedicate this post to Marianne. You are a true inspiration.
I have been thinking about integrity a lot recently. I so often see people living lives contrary to what they say they they believe. And it makes me so sad for them. Usually, they get caught in their lie, they are embarrassed, and they eventually leave any kind of association with good people due to their embarrassment and begin to live an completely immoral life.
To those who live this double life, it is not worth it. It is a complete lack of integrity. It will only serve to weaken you. Please, if you are living this secret life, speak with your bishop. He is called of God and will help you on your way top being whole. Elder David A. Bednar describes this well:
“Integrity is the quality or condition of being whole, complete, unbroken, and undivided. The word integrity is related to other words with the same root such as entire and integrate. These expressions share the notion of being intact, sound, uncorrupted, and perfect. As Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has explained: ‘Integrity means always doing what is right and good, regardless of the immediate consequences. It means being righteous from the very depth of our soul, not only in our actions but, more important, in our thoughts and in our hearts. Personal integrity implies such trustworthiness and incorruptibility that we are incapable of being false to a trust or covenant.‘ “
Many years ago I found myself in such a situation and struggled to overcome it. Luckily I had good people around me and I was able to lean on them as I came to understand the Lord better, and I have come far. Do not let yourself be found without integrity. It can and will save you much pain and sorrow.
A dear friend of mine has a love for the arts and especially loves the play”The Crucible”. She references it often. The story tells of the Salem Witch Trials, where many people were falsely accused of witchcraft and were executed. One character named Giles Corey (an actual historical figure) is accused of being a warlock by girls who hated his wife. He knew that if he went to court and was convicted (which was inevitable) he would lose his property to the government and his family would have nothing.
The punishment for not going to court and entering a plea was being pressed by large rocks. So the sheriff took him to an open field near the prison and laid a board over his body, on which heavy stones were placed. Corey knew that he could easily give a plea and save himself from the torture, but he would not betray his family. Instead, when asked again to give a plea, after two days of the torture, he cried out “More weight!” and died.
This story has affected me for some time. Here was a man who had such integrity that a true and literal pressure would not convince him to betray his morals. His will was undivided and whole. His very public death played a role in building public opposition to the witchcraft trials, and very likely saved many innocent lives.
Often it seems the heavy rocks press us. It would be so easy crack under the pressure and betray personal morals and sacred covenants. But I promise that as we seek to live life with integrity, that the pressure will be bearable. And in those moments when it seems that we are doing all we can do to resist and can take no more, the Savior will be there to take our burden. He can, in our behalf, cry for more weight. And he will take it. That is the beauty of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
If we are found with such integrity, the Lord will always be there to save us.