Conference Talk: The small matters accumulate to shape the direction of our lives (Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Personal Integrity," Ensign, May 1990, 30).
Song: "Primary Colors," Children's Songbook, p. 258.
Scripture: "And again, verily I say unto you, blessed is my servant Hyrum Smith; for I, the Lord, love him because of the integrity of his heart, and because he loveth that which is right before me, saith the Lord" (Doctrine and Covenants 124:15).
Object Lesson: Materials needed: a coin and a disc the same size cut from cardboard
Procedure: Show the coin. Explain that they all know what this is. It is a coin that is genuine and can be spent anywhere in the country. Show the piece of cardboard. Ask what makes it different from the coin. It is the same shape. It is about the same weight. We could take a coloring pencil and make it the same color. What is the difference? Yes, the coin was made in a mint, having authority, and the coin is so marked as the official coin of the realm and can so act. Every day of our lives we fill with many acts. As we live our lives through, let's make sure we are genuine, and our acts are as they are intended to be (Albert L. Zobell, Jr., Talks to See, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1971], p. 118).
Integrity is often described as having the moral courage to make our actions consistent with our knowledge of right and wrong. When we have this moral courage others will know they can depend on us to always be "genuine" like the real coin rather than the false one.
Story: "We Want a Man of Character" by Hugh B. Brown
While I was in training [for the military], a young Mormon boy came into the camp. He was awkward. He was not educated very well, but he was a young Mormon boy who had been taught to live the gospel. After one parade, when he had gone through everything backward, he was called by the captain to come into his office. The captain said, "I have noticed you, young fellow. You are from Cardston, aren't you?" He said, "Yes, sir. "You are a Mormon, I suppose." "Yes, sir." "Well, I just wanted to make friends with you. Will you have a glass of beer?" "Sir, I do not drink liquor." The captain said, "The —— you don't. Maybe you will have a cigar then." He said, "Thank you, sir, but I do not smoke."
The captain seemed much annoyed by this, and he dismissed the boy from the room. When the young man went back to his quarters, some of the lesser officers accosted him angrily and said, "You fool, don't you realize the captain was trying to make a friend of you, and you insulted him to his face?" The young Mormon boy answered, "Gentlemen, if I must be untrue to my ideals and my people and do things that I have been instructed all my life I should not do, I'll quit the army." When the time came for the final examinations in that camp, the captain sent this young man down to Calgary from Sarcee Camp to do some work for him, and they were having examinations while he was gone.
When he returned the captain said, "Now you go in the other room there, and I will give you the list of questions, and you can write your examination." He went in and returned and said, "Sir, all the books we have studied are there on that desk. Surely you don't want me to write my examination there where I can turn to those books." The captain said, "That is just what I do want. I know from my knowledge of you that you will not open a one of those books. You will be honorable, you will be honest, and I trust you." Well, that young man, while overseas later on in the war, was sent for by his captain, who had then become a lieutenant colonel, in response to a call from general headquarters for the best man he had in his battalion. They had a special mission for him to perform. They said, "We don't care anything about his education or his training. We want a man who can't be broken when put under test. We want a man of character." The lieutenant colonel, his former captain, selected and assigned this young man who had the courage to stand before him and say, "I do not smoke. I do not drink" (Edited by Jay A. Parry, Jack M. Lyon, Linda Ririe Gundry, Best-Loved Stories of the LDS People, Volume 2, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1999], 181).
Activity: Play "Hunt the Ring." "It" stands in the middle of a circle of players. A piece of string long enough to go around the circle is slipped through a ring and the ends tied. All players in the circle grasp the string. "It" counts to 10 with eyes closed so as not to see the ring passed initially. The ring is concealed under a player's hand and is passed from player to player. "It" must find the player under whose hand the ring is concealed.The player caught with the ring becomes "it" (Alma Heaton, The LDS Game Book, [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1968], p. 95).