Last Sunday, our Stake Presidency hosted their semi-annual Youth Standards night. This meeting brought back quite a few memories from my own youth (only 10 or so years ago), where we’d get frequent frank talks about abstinence, the internet, drugs, and a host of other societal ills.

This was my first time attending such a meeting as an “adult”, and it was really weird being on that side of the line. As we started talking about the technological minefields of today, social networking and texting, I found myself saying “Wow… this is worse than it was when I was a youth.”

I immediately caught myself.  Have I, in a short ten years, become the old fart I used to mock in my youth who was completely out of touch with what was “now”?)

The best was saved for last when, instead of continuing the harping on TXT messaging and social networking, the topic turned to Honesty.

Though his main motivation seemed to be to encourage the youth to be honest with their Bishops and not let little problems turn into big problems by trying to cover them up, the more nuanced parts of his talk made me reflect more sincerely on the general topic of honesty.

Honesty isn’t just a religious topic.  President Ward started out talking about doing the right thing when no one is looking.  In his case, that was stopping at a four-way stop at 4am, even though 100% of the time there was no one at that intersection.  Whether he believed that God was watching or whether he’s just heeding the social contract that we make with each other as drivers, the honest thing to do is to stop at the stop sign.

Complete honesty:

  • Prevents problems from happening
  • Prevents real problems from ballooning in size and scope
  • Enables you to live a less stressful life

The key takeaway for the youth was to be honest with themselves, be honest with God, and be honest with their leaders and Bishops. A common theme – to do the right thing even when no one else is watching. However, this reminder made me think more about the subject of honesty and how truth and honesty are the antidotes to most of the troubles that surround us.

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