House Editorial: Honestly


There’s a circuit box over the printer in The Daily Universe’s newsroom, covered in bold memos.

Yes, memos in a newsroom are about as rare as socks and sandals on BYU campus, but these memos are different.

“Wasting Daily Universe resources is not OK,” reads one.

“Do not print non-Daily Universe items here!” reads another.

The favorite — if favorite is not too insensitive for this situation — is the note. We received this note a few months ago, with $40 enclosed.

“When I was an employee at The Daily Universe several years ago, I used the office laser printer to print my wedding invitations,” it said. “I know that this was an inappropriate and dishonest use of office assets, and I am truly sorry.”

Many of you probably agree, printing off an entire wedding’s worth of invitations is definitely not an OK use of free work printers.

Many of you would say it was uncalled for, rude and, yes, dishonest.

But what if it was just one piece?

One piece wouldn’t hurt anything, right?

A little girl and her dad enjoy taking walks through Temple Square. The little girl is fascinated with the flowers and begs everyday if she could take one — just one — home.

“Sweetie,” the dad always says in his caring, patient way, “if everyone walking by the temple took just one flower home, there’d be no more flowers for everyone to enjoy.”

This little girl learned a lesson many adults already know — there’s more than one person thinking they can break the rules. However, shouldn’t there be a different reason for not picking the flowers, printing the paper or any other situation like these?

There is.

Brigham Young University has a unique opportunity where apostles of the Lord come to our campus to share their wisdom.

Elder Neil L. Andersen took time from his busy schedule to address us, because he knew the BYU students needed his guidance.

He didn’t choose his topic on a whim, he prayed for inspiration and felt he needed to speak to students about honesty.

“Why would I speak to you about honesty?” Elder Andersen said. “Honesty is at the very heart of our spiritual growth and spiritual gifts.”

He’s speaking to the students. He’s speaking to the faculty. He’s speaking to the administration and staff.

As the community of BYU, we have been told collectively, from an apostle, we should improve.

You are not the exception, no one is.

It’s safe to say that we, as the BYU community, don’t do this on purpose. We sign a syllabus or an Honor Code form and too often forget what it said before the pen even leaves the paper.

But, shouldn’t we pay more attention?

“There are times we honor commitments simply because we agreed to honor them.” Elder Andersen said. “Honesty is to be completely truthful, upright and just.”

So when you signed that syllabus saying you’d show up for class, you should.

When you start a Blackboard quiz, at home, not timed, but closed notes, keep your notes closed.

If you didn’t get the opportunity to listen to Elder Andersen’s talk, we urge you to go to and watch it.

It’s a message from an apostle, directly to each and every one of you, whether you are student, faculty, administration or staff.

He gave an inspired message to a community that should be eager to hear.

Remember Elder Andersen’s promise:

“As you humbly ponder and pray about your own desire to be honest … I promise you that you will have greater clarity come into your life.”


This viewpoint represents the opinion of The Daily Universe staff. It does not neccesarily represent the opinions of BYU, its administration or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


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