Faith, if it hath not works, is dead. …I will shew thee my faith by my works. (James 2:17–18.)
There’s your favorite candy bar, and no one else is in the store aisle to see you take it. You might be tempted for a minute, but you CTR (Choose The Right) and leave it there.
There’s a new boy in your class, and he’s standing alone on the playground. You CTR, and soon he is playing with you and your friends.
You know some of the other children are cheating on the test at school, but you CTR and do your own work.
Your mom asks, “Who’s been eating these cookies?” and you thought that they tasted great. You could keep quiet, but you CTR and admit that you ate some.
Every time you CTR, (choose the right) you get stronger. Every time you CTR, it will be easier to choose the right the next time you are faced with a difficult choice.
CTR by being honest. Joseph Smith said, “We believe in being honest (see Articles of Faith 1:13). The Prophet Joseph was honest even when it was dangerous or made people angry at him. He knew that he had seen a vision, and even though people persecuted him for saying so, he could not and would not deny it. He was honest. Honesty means telling the truth, not taking things that are not yours, and treating others fairly.
CTR by always telling the truth. There is an old story about a boy who took sheep to the mountain to tend them. “If you have any trouble with wolves, just blow the horn and yell, ‘Wolf!’ ” said the townspeople. “We will come and help you.” The boy was bored one day and blew the horn. The townspeople came running to help, and the boy thought it was a good joke.
Two other times he needlessly called, “Wolf!” and blew the horn. Each time, the people ran to help. Then came the day when a wolf really appeared and attacked the sheep. The boy blew the horn and called and called, but the townspeople thought that he was lying again. Nobody went to help, and many sheep were killed. Lying hurts you not only because of the direct harm it may cause you and others, but also because people will hesitate to trust you again. Always tell the truth.
CTR by treating others kindly. The scriptures say, “All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them” (Matt. 7:12). This means that if you want people to be nice to you, you must be nice to them. If you want others to respect you, you must respect them.
In the years to come, you may learn to cook for a banquet, drive a truck, run a computer business, or find a cure for cancer. You will learn many things. But many of the most important things you will ever need to know, you are learning right now: to be honest, to tell the truth, to be kind and respectful to others. You can CTR. Jesus told us that if we love Him, we will keep His commandments. When we choose the right, we feel good about what we have done and we feel closer to Him. Our faith in Jesus Christ grows when we choose the right.