During the BYU-Idaho Devotional on May 30, 2017, Creed Webster, a Student Honor Administrator in the Student Honor Office at BYU-Idaho spoke with students about the importance of having integrity.
"Today, I would like to address a particular topic that we often hear about and quite often assume we understand, but perhaps there are elements of it that we don't consider," said Webster. "I wish to speak about the topic of integrity."
Webster began his address with a personal story about when he was serving in the military. He enlisted when he was only 17 years old. Webster was a crewmember on an M109 Self-propelled Howitzer, which Webster described as "a large cannon on tracks." As Webster looks back on his time in the military he realized he often followed orders without much thought which troubled him.
"I have thought about that experience many times over the years," said Webster. "How often are we involved in thinking about or doing something, yet not really giving it much thought as to the consequences of our decisions or the impact that it may have on ourselves or someone else? What are the forces or who are the people in our lives that impact our thoughts and subsequent behaviors? Are the things that we think about congruent, or synonymous, with our actions?"
Webster then asked students, "Who are you, really? Can you foresee a time in the future when your children ask you pointed questions about your life as a young adult? Will you be able to answer them with honesty and gratitude for the choices that you are making now? What experiences will you tell them about?"
Webster asked these questions on the BYU-Idaho Devotional Discussion Board prior to his talk and invited a few students to share their experiences with the entire audience.
"The Lord expects us to live lives on integrity and to be obedient to his commandments," said Webster.
In an interview with Webster, he said he recently had a conversation about his military days with his youngest child, a 14-year-old daughter, which really opened his eyes.
"What aspect of that experience would I want her to know?" said Webster. "Would I want her to be proud of the things that I've experienced in my life or do I want to not be honest with her and tell her what I think she should hear versus the way that it really was? I think through dialogue with our children and other people we can explain that there's always experiences that we have and there's reasons why we do things and those discussions are very helpful and can be very healthy."
Webster said sharing some of his military experiences with his children was very hard although at the time he made the choices he made, he was very young. He encouraged students to choose to have integrity and make correct choices now.
"You can't run from yourself, you can't. At the end of the day, it went down the way it went down and there's no running from that," said Webster. "It's not just a cliché that honesty is the best policy. There's a lot of truth to that."
Click below to hear the Creed Webster's full devotional address. Click here to read the transcript or watch the video of the address.