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Without guile: the very heart of righteousness

After their miraculous conversion, the sons of Mosiah were each offered the throne of their father to rule over the Nephite kingdom, this being the will of both the king and the people. But, in turn, each son turned down the kingship. Why? Because they sought instead the desires of their hearts - to teach the word of God to their brethren, the Lamanites.

"Therefore, this was the cause for which the sons of Mosiah had undertaken the work, that perhaps they might bring them unto repentance; that perhaps they might bring them to know of the plan of redemption." (Alma 17:16.)These righteous young men could be likened to such early Church members as George Miller, to whom Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin referred to in the April 1988 general conference. Elder Wirthlin of the Quorum of the Twelve quoted D&C 124:20: "My servant George Miller is without guile; he may be trusted because of the integrity of his heart; and for the love which he has to my testimony I, the Lord, love him."

Elder Wirthlin continued: "When He

the LordT spoke of being without guile, he referred to something far deeper than outward appearance. He was reaching into the soul, to the very heart of righteousness. He was touching the key to goodness and to the Christlike life. To be without guile is to be pure in heart - an essential virtue of those who would be counted among true followers of Christ."

The apostle asked: "What are the Latter-day Saints to do? The answer is plain. The Saints are to be absolutely without guile in every aspect of their lives: in their homes and families, Church callings, all business dealings, and, especially, the private and personal parts of their lives into which only they and the Lord see."

Elder Wirthlin then suggested a few questions members could ask themselves "to see whether our motives and actions are pure and above reproach and to see whether we are free of deceit and fraud."

  • "Are we totally free of guile in our conversations and associations with our spouses and children so they always know what to expect and always have unquestioning trust and confidence in us?
  • "Are we forthright in our interviews with our bishops and other priesthood leaders?
  • "Are we true to ourselves, our classmates, and our teachers in our schoolwork, even if a little cheating might improve our grades?
  • "Do we do more work than our employers expect or require, and are we always alert for ways to do our work better?
  • "Do we pay our employees fairly for their labors?
  • "Do we file accurate tax returns?
  • "Are we scrupulous in all business transactions to the extent that our associates always know they are being treated fairly and would feel secure if they had no contract?
  • "Are we satisfied with our personal standards of integrity, morality and honesty? Can we say of ourselves, as Jesus said of Nathanael, that we are without guile?

"Yes, the Saints can be free of guile - and must be, to be prepared for the Savior's second coming. The Saints can provide a leavening influence and can demonstrate the value of guileless living. As we develop this divine attribute, we can become a shining light to the world. Certainly, we can teach the principles of the gospel and bless the families of the earth by following the perfect example of the Savior as one who is without guile."

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