- Be an example
- Meet obligations- Keep pledges
- Honor commitments
In his first general conference address since he was called to the Seventy last April, Elder Sheldon F. Child related a childhood experience on his father's farm when he had been assigned to take a small broken part to the blacksmith for repairs.
"I was uncomfortable about going," Elder Child said in the Saturday afternoon session. "My father hadn't left any money, and I wondered what I should do. I put off going as long as I could. When all my other chores were finished, I knew I couldn't avoid it any longer. Father expected the broken part to be repaired when he came home, and it was my responsibility to see that it was done.
"I can still remember walking the mile or so to the blacksmith shop. I even remember how uncomfortable I was as I watched him weld the part. As he finished, I nervously told him that I had no money but that my father would pay him later.
"I'm sure he sensed my anxiety," Elder Child continued. "He patted me on the shoulder and said, `Son, don't worry, your father's word is as good as his bond.
"I remember running all the way home, relieved that the part had been repaired and grateful that my father was known as a man whose word was as good as his bond."
Elder Child said he didn't fully appreciate at the time what it meant to be trusted, but years later recognized "that a person `whose word is as good as his bond' is a person of honesty and integrity, a person to be trusted.
"What a blessing it is to deal with those whom we can trust," he said. "Honesty and integrity are not old-fashioned principles. They are just as viable in today's world."
Nephi was a "powerful example" of such integrity, he said, as he recounted Nephi's assignment to go with his brothers to Jerusalem to obtain the brass plates. After failing several attempts, his brothers wanted to return to their father in the wilderness. But "Nephi recognized that they had a task to perform, an assignment to fulfill," said Elder Child, and Nephi would not quit until he had "accomplished that which he had been sent to do."
Elder Child related a story told by President N. Eldon Tanner about a young man who was trying to decide if he should honor a debt or make a house payment.
"I think your wife would rather have a husband who would keep his word, meet his obligations, keep his pledges or his covenants . . . and have to rent a home than to have a home with a husband who will not keep his covenants and his pledges," Elder Child quoted President Tanner as saying.
For a member of the Church, "honesty is the only policy," Elder Child declared.
"We are a covenant-making people. Covenants with God are not to be taken lightly. In our dealings with both God and our fellowmen, let us be examples of honesty and integrity," he urged.
"The consummate reward of integrity is the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost," Elder Child said, quoting Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the Twelve.