Man’s Value

US West Point Military Academy

US West Point Military Academy

Everyone entering the United States Military Academy at West Point agrees to the following code: “A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do.” All who attend West Point are expected to live by that code. This code, however, is external. In other words, it is imposed by the institution, and those who violate it are subject to harsh discipline. Men and women of honor have an internalized code of conduct which controls their actions. Their individual codes are much stricter than anything the academy can impose. If that internal code is built on Integrityrighteous principles, a person will do the right thing, even at great personal sacrifice. Thomas Jefferson said, “In estimating every man’s value, either in private or public life, pure integrity is the quality we take first into calculation, and that learning and talents are only the second.” The Lord acknowledged this valued trait when He said, “Blessed is my servant…for I, the Lord, love him because of the integrity of his heart, and because he loveth that which is right before me” (Doctrine & Covenants 124:15). I want to live my life with honesty and integrity, both in public and in private.

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