United States Congressman Wally Herger (R-CA) targeted the issue of honesty in public service during remarks at the Milton A. Barlow Center in Washington D.C., on March 6. He was also on hand for the unveiling of a photography exhibit that celebrates and honors 28 Latter-day Saints who have served with distinction in the nation's capital.
The event was part of an ongoing Barlow Center Speaker Series aimed at young professionals and students who are participants in the Washington Seminar, an internship program for BYU students. The center, located in the heart of the capital, houses many of these students during their stay.
Rep. Herger, whom Congressional Quarterly has called "a forceful voice on welfare and family issues," discussed how his faith has influenced his life as well as his public service.
"I'm grateful for honest, good parents ... who taught me to be honest," the congressman said. He recalled how his father taught him that "if you're not honest, sooner or later, someone's going to find out about it. Honesty was the most important thing you could do."
Rep. Herger, who serves on the House Ways and Means Committee, stressed the importance of positive role models. He pointed to the example his friends set for him as he was growing up in California, examples that ultimately led to his joining the Church.
"(With) every action I make," he said, "I am committed to doing it the way Heavenly Father would have me do it. I'm out there trying to be the best example that I can be."
Honesty in public life is of particular importance to Rep. Herger, who believes that each person in public service has a duty to be honest. "Through our work, we can and will make a difference," he said.
Following the congressman's remarks, David B. Magleby, dean of the College of Family, Home and Social Sciences at BYU, and Robert P. Goss, assistant dean, introduced the photo exhibit, "A Legacy of Service: Latter-day Saints in our Nation's Capital." The pictures depict members of the Church who have been influential in the nation's capital. They include Elder Reed Smoot, President Ezra Taft Benson and Federal Reserve Chairman Marriner S. Eccles.