Monday, March 23, 2009

Integrity-Tenth Stripling Warrior Character Trait

"And they were all young men, and they were exceedingly valiant for courage, and also for strength and activity; but behold, this was not all—they were men who were true at all times in whatsoever thing they were entrusted. Yea, they were men of truth and soberness, for they had been taught to keep the commandments of God and to walk uprightly before him.”

Alma 53:20-21

The stripling warriors embodied integrity. They were young men who could be counted on to make the right decisions, young men who would have your back. A stripling warrior would never lie or cheat, he would never press a girl to have sex, he would never dishonor his parents, he would never steal, he would never bare false witness against his neighbor, he would never kill (unless in war), in fact, he would withstand all of Satan’s four temptations.
A stripling warrior was able to do this because of his integrity and faith in God.

I want to share an incident when I witnessed great integrity. It happened ten years ago while I was attending the University of Utah. I'd put off earning my degree until all my children were out of high school, so in many classes I would be the oldest student. My major was English. Most of the time we'd have to read at least a book a week and be prepared to report on the assignment the following Monday.

There was one book I found especially disturbing on many levels. I knew I had to say something about how offensive I found the reading material, and yes, I was worried. I was the old lady in the class, and I was pretty certain the others would think me old-fashioned in my values, but I didn't care. I knew I had to say something. I prayed a lot about it and asked the Lord to guide me.

Monday morning came, and the class was packed. The professor started by asking what everyone thought about the book he'd assigned. Every hand shot up, which surprised me because he usually had to beg for participation. The professor called on a young man. It seemed as though the enter room held its breath waiting...and finally the student answered by stating he thought that book was the most vile novel he'd ever read, and he wondered why the professor would make us report on it. The entire class agreed. I was thrilled to see that our youth had high values and were unafraid to let the university professor know he had offended them. This old lady didn't have to say a word, for the youth in that class were filled with integrity taught to them by goodly parents. They were stripling warriors! Young men and young women who chose to make a stand for what they knew was right.

Is there an incident in your life when you witnessed great integrity? Please feel free to share.

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