“Tempted to Lie,” Liahona, Feb. 2013, 36
The chapel I worship at in Nigeria is close to a school whose principal wants nothing to do with the Church. On one occasion the principal told a teacher never to return to the school after learning that the teacher was a Latter-day Saint. A Church member who volunteered to visit and explain the mission of the Church was rebuffed.
As a salesman for laboratory and medical equipment, I often visit schools and hospitals to make sales. After one unsuccessful month, I had no choice but to visit this school. My plan was to sell my product and leave, hoping the principal would not find out I was a member of the Church. The Spirit, however, told me that she would want to know about my religion.
My business with the head of the school’s science department went smoothly, and he took me to the principal for payment. After filling out the check, she started asking questions to get to know me better. When her questions became personal, I began to feel uncomfortable. Then she asked the question I had been praying she would not ask: “Which denomination are you a member of?”
I was tempted to lie, collect my check, and go because I badly needed the sale. But I felt I should tell her the truth. After all, the early Saints had experienced worse than this minor test of my faith.
With renewed courage, I looked her straight in the eye and said, “I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” Then I bore my testimony. To my surprise she smiled, said we all worship the same God, and handed me the check.
As I left, a scripture came to my mind: “Now this was a great trial to those that did stand fast in the faith; nevertheless, they were steadfast and immovable in keeping the commandments of God, and they bore with patience the persecution which was heaped upon them” (Alma 1:25).
I was happy not to have disappointed Heavenly Father or myself. Because of this experience, I made a commitment to always be a good sales representative. More important, I committed to always be a good representative of the gospel of Jesus Christ.