As promised, here is a smattering of notes from the Women’s Conference class entitled “Till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me,” taught by Shelley Heiner and James L. Toone. Please excuse that this post is just a collection of my notes, and they are not particularly cohesive. Hopefully you can peacefully hop from principle to principle.
Integrity comes from the same base as words like interger, and means entire and whole. It is doing what’s right. Integrity is the difference between what you have a right to do and what is right to do.
The title of the class comes from the story of Job in the Old Testament:
1:21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.
27:5-6 God forbid that I should justify you: till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me. My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go: my heart shall not reproach me so long as I live.
People with integrity:
- Have a testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ
- Understand who God is and our relationship with Him
- Keep covenants. (She told the story of a girlfriend who was driving alone in her car and a questionable song came on the radio. There were no children in the car, just her, by herself. She wondered if she should bother turning it off and this phrase from the Sacrament prayer came into her mind, “Always remember Him.” She knew that part of her covenants meant doing what was right even when no one was watching.)
15 For behold, my brethren, it is given unto you to judge, that ye may know good from evil; and the way to judge is as plain, that ye may know with a perfect knowledge, as the daylight is from the dark night.
16 For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.
The rewards of integrity are:
- Inner peace.
- absence of guilt/anxiety from sin
- constant companionship of the Holy Ghost
Proverbs 11:3: The integrity of the upright shall guide them…
As mothers we must promote integrity and teach why
it’s important. In the Book of Mormon, there are many examples of generations that choose evil because of “the traditions of their fathers.” They can also be influenced by righteous traditions. (I thought of the young warriors in the Army of Helaman.
) We must show a model of integrity for our children. We must honor covenants and promises.
I loved a quote she shared by Elder Ballard, but I haven’t been able to find it. It basically said that in this crazy world, it is nearly impossible for children to find their way without a good example.
Bro. Toone said that integrity is “an intangible, essential gift of God.” He serves as a branch president in the Missionary Training Center with the ESL missionaries. He told several stories of the integrity of these humble servants of the Lord. He spoke about Elder Palanite who left a small island in Tonga to serve a mission and he was disowned by his family for doing so. As he pulled away in a boat, he saw his father show up on the shore. This young elder waved and waved and waved until he went over the horizon, but his father never looked up or acknowledged him. He told President Toone that he hoped his father would come to understand why he was doing what he is doing. “President,” he said, “I just want to show the Lord that I am obedient.” He told many other great stories of missionaries of integrity. He said that many of them, like the 2,000 stripling warriors learn from “mothers who knew.”
He also told the story of an elderly woman in Canada who was dying and had been lying unconscious for quite a while as her son waited by her bedside. She awoke suddenly and directed him to get her purse. She wrote out a tithing check and made her son promise to give it to the bishop tomorrow after her pension check had been deposited, since she may not be here to do it herself. She passed away that evening, a true example of “until I die, I will not remove my integrity from me.”
We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.