Article 13

Article 13

We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul-We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things.  If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.

Gordon B. Hinckley

That (13th) article of our faith is one of the basic declarations of our theology... We ought to reflect on it again and again. I wish that every family in the Church would write out that article of faith and put it on a mirror where every member of the family would see it every day. Then, whenever we might be tempted to do anything shoddy or dishonest or immoral, there would come into our minds with some force this great, all encompassing statement of the ethics of our behavior. There would be less rationalizing over some elements of our personal conduct which we try to justify with one excuse or another. ("Fear Not to Do Good," Ensign, May 1983, 80)

We believe in being honest

Honesty means more than not telling lies.  It means conveying the truth in word, thought, and action.  Honest people don't deceive; they don't give off the wrong impression; they don't send conflicting messages; they don't say one thing and mean another.  Honesty has never gone out of style.  Successful people know that liars eventually get caught-and it's never worth it to get caught-so it's never worth it to be dishonest.

Brigham Young

A very simple person can tell the truth, but it takes a very smart person to tell a lie and make it appear like the truth... Simple truth, simplicity, honesty, uprightness, justice, mercy, love, kindness, do good to all and evil to none, how easy it is to live by such principles! A thousand times easier than to practice deception! (Discourses of Brigham Young, selected and arranged by John A. Widtsoe [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1954], 232)

We believe in being... true

To be true means to be loyal, to be faithful, to be consistent.  People who are true are honest because you can't be true if you're false.  People who are true keep their promises, and they keep their covenants.  People who are true stand up for what they believe in.  They stick to their principles.  They do the right thing.

Gordon B. Hinckley

Be true to who you are... Be true to the family whose name you bear.  Be true to the land and country you call home.  Be true to those within your circle of friendship. And most of all, be true to yourself. ("Way to Be!" ,  68)

Heber J. Grant

The fundamental thing for a Latter-day Saint is to value his word as faithfully as his bond; to make up his mind that under no circumstances, no matter how hard it may be, by and with the help of the Lord, he will dedicate his life and his best energies to making good his promise. (Gospel Standards, 30)

We believe in being... chaste

"Chastity before marriage and fidelity after marriage" is a short phrase that captures LDS doctrine on chastity.  We believe a man and woman should be married before they consummate their relationship.  Of all the virtues on the list, chastity is the one that seems the most "old fashioned."  We claim that it is neither old fashioned nor obsolete.  The world can't believe it.  We live in a world that believes you must test drive a car before purchasing a new one.  The problem with such a philosophy is that it leaves only used cars on the lot.

Gordon B. Hinckley

We believe in chastity before marriage and total fidelity after marriage. That sums it up. That is the way to happiness in living. That is the way to satisfaction. It brings peace to the heart and peace to the home. (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1997], 49)

Spencer W. Kimball

The law of chastity requires total abstinence before marriage and full fidelity afterward. It is the same for men and women. It is the cornerstone of trust so necessary to the precious happiness of the marriage relationship and family solidarity. (Ensign, Nov. 1978, 105)

We believe in being... benevolent

To be benevolent is to be generous in the cause of humanity. The Dictionary explains it as, "having a disposition to do good, possessing or manifesting a good will toward mankind... [to be] kind, charitable" (Webster's unabridged, 1945).  Dedicating the San Diego Temple, Gordon B. Hinckley prayed, "Bless us with a spirit of benevolence toward all who are in distress, wherever they may be or whatever their circumstances." (Ensign, July 1993, 78)

James E. Talmage

Willingness to do good to all men even enemies, pure benevolence-these are some of the fruits by which the religion of Christ may be known, far exceeding in importance and value the promulgation of dogmas and... theories. (Articles of Faith, 429)

We believe in being... virtuous

The virtuous are free from sexual sin, from pornography, and from alcohol, tobacco and addictive drugs. They don't tell dirty jokes.  They don't have dirty thoughts.  They don't have dirty lives.  They don't want tattoos on their bodies.  They are clean, inside and out.

Gordon B. Hinckley

There is nothing in all this world as magnificent as virtue.  It glows without tarnish. It is precious and beautiful. It is above price. It cannot be bought or sold. It is the fruit of self-mastery. 

Delight in Being Clean. Relish the challenge of standing above and beyond the base trends of the world. You will never regret it. ("Way to Be!",  61)

S. Dilworth Young

I testify that he who obeys the commandments and thus seeks the virtuous, righteous life will find the pearl of great price of knowledge of the Son of God who is our Savior, and, finding this, will have joy. If in addition he loves and serves his fellowmen, he will add a chain of pearls and will find eternal life in the presence of his Heavenly Father and that Savior. ("News of the Church," Ensign, Sept. 1981, 74)

We believe in... doing good to all men

Rex D. Pinegar

In the book of Acts, chapter 10, verse 38, it is said of Jesus that He "went about doing good." Jesus taught us how to do good: love our neighbors, forgive others, care for the poor, the needy, the afflicted, the lonely. It is inspiring to see that the Lord has organized His church to also do these same things-to care for the needs of others through various assignments.

These planned acts of service generated through church programs are important and commendable. They are the mark of a Christian people. (Ensign, Nov. 1991, 39-40)

We follow the admonition of Paul

Paul admonished the Philippian saints:

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Phil. 4:8)

Essentially, we should be open minded enough to accept all that is good in the world, because all that is good comes from God. As Mormon taught, "all things which are good cometh of God... that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God." (Moro. 7:12-13)

This truth broadens our view of all that is around us, for we begin to realize that the Lord has his hand in a lot of things for which we do not give him credit. Furthermore, we find that good can come from unexpected places or people.

What if the teachings of Buddhism and Confucianism teach a man to be honest, upright, and to treat all guests with respect and dignity? Is that teaching from God? What if Islam teaches a man to pray regularly and adhere to a strict moral code? Is that teaching from God? What if a Christian denomination which has rejected the Book of Mormon teaches its congregation that they will be saved through faith on the name of Jesus Christ? Is that teaching from God? The Book of Mormon teaches us that the Lord has inspired all good throughout the world. If we are to believe that, then we must broaden our understanding of how the Lord works among the children of men. Certainly, he has not limited his inspiration and revelation to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Nor has the Lord limited the power of his inspiration to religious leaders and teachers. His almighty hand has touched the works of artists, musicians, poets, authors, inventors, and even politicians. The life of Mozart was anything but inspired, but some of his music certainly is. Beethoven may not have given all the credit for his work to God, but who gave Beethoven his ability? The works of countless artists amaze us and inspire us because we recognize something divine in their work. It is that divine touch which seems to touch us the most.

As Paul says, we think on these things; as Joseph Smith says, we seek after these things. 

Gordon B. Hinckley

"If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things." (A of F 1:13.) This embraces the truth of science, the truth of philosophy, the truth of history, the truth of art. (Ensign, May 1986, 48)

If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report, we seek after these things

Joseph B. Wirthlin

The word seek means to go in search of, try to discover, try to acquire. It requires an active, assertive approach to life. For example, Abraham "sought for the blessings of the fathers ... and to be a greater follower of righteousness." (Abr. 1:2.) It is the opposite of passively waiting for something good to come to us, with no effort on our part.

We can fill our lives with good, leaving no room for anything else. We have so much good from which to choose that we need never partake of evil... If we seek things that are virtuous and lovely, we surely will find them. (Ensign, May 1992, 86)

James E. Faust

Members of the Church are to seek after loveliness. We do not seek a veneer painted on by a worldly brush but the pure, innate beauty that God has planted in our souls. We should seek after those things that endow higher thoughts and finer impulses. Man, as President John Taylor once said, "is destined, if he improves his opportunities, to higher and greater blessings and glory than are associated with this earth in its present state: ... he may stand pure, virtuous, intelligent, and honourable, as a son of God, and seek for, and be guided and governed by his Father's counsels."  Indeed we may say with President Brigham Young that we hope "to be gentle and kind, modest and truthful, to be full of faith and integrity, ... [for] goodness sheds a halo of loveliness around every person who possesses it, making their countenances beam with light, and their society desirable because of its excellency."  (Ensign, May 1998, 45-46)