Monday, August 23, 2010

The Value of Integrity

This morning I have been thinking a lot about integrity. Some people have much of it, some have none. I pray everyday that I can be a part of the former group, for to possess integrity is to possess a godly trait, which is what we all want. At least, I hope we all do:-)
I found some neat little thoughts on integrity and thought I would share them with you.

"To have integrity is also to have character which is also the easiest way to run into conflict with those without either."
Byron Pulsifer

"Have the courage to say no. Have the courage to face the truth. Do the right thing because it is right. These are the magic keys to living your life with integrity."
Mark Twain
"Integrity can be difficult to maintain in a world that demands you change with the wind."
Byron Pulsifer
"Integrity is what we do, what we say, and what we say we do."
Don Galer
"Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none."
William Shakespeare
"To have integrity means that you don't agree with everyone you meet, nor do you succumb to pressure to be something that is in direct conflict with your core ethics."
Byron Pulsifer

Suggested Reading

Book: The Fourth Nephite
Author: Jeffrey S. Savage

The Book
Kaleo Steele is starting to cut seminary and hang out with some new “friends”; in fact, he’s not even sure what he believes anymore. When his seminary teacher finds him at the wrong place at the wrong time, Kaleo is in jeopardy of missing his high school team’s regional football game—a game where college scouts will be coming to see him play. But his seminary teacher realizes that much more than a game is at stake, and sends him on a soul-searching quest.
Guided by Ladan, a mysterious old blind man, Kaleo pushes through a battered wooden door only to find himself in Palmyra, New York, in the fall of 1827. Soon he is caught up in a battle between treasure seekers—led by Allaster Blackburn, a necromancer hired to steal the gold plates—and the young prophet Joseph Smith, who is sworn to keep them safe. In his quest to find a key that will send him back to his own time, Kaleo will have to decide what to believe. Before it’s too late.

This is the great young adult story that even adults will love. I love reading all of Jeff Savage's books, and I told him I don't think he can write a bad book. I love the morals the story teaches, the importance it places on integrity, having a testimony of the gospel, and choosing what's right. The youth need these kinds of books more now than ever and I'm grateful to Jeff for sharing his own testimony through the story. He's a very talented writer and an amazing guy:-)
Jeff was kind enough to answer a couple of questions for me about writing this new young adult series.

Me: I really enjoyed The Fourth Nephite. It had a great message. How did you come up with the story?
A little over a year ago, I met with Chris Schoebinger of Shadow Mountain and Deseret Book. Over lunch, he described to me a new YA series they’d really like to add. He wanted a young adult novel with fantasy and action, but that was clearly LDS from the story, to the title, to the cover. I honestly wasn’t sure I could do that. As I went back home and considered it I felt that so many authors had done a great job exploring the Book of Mormon for youth, but Church history had only been touched lightly.
Then I read about a man who was hired to steal the plate from Joseph Smith. Brigham Young described him as a “
a fortune-teller, a necromancer, an astrologer, a soothsayer, and possessed as much talent as any man that walked on the American soil, and was one of the wickedest men I ever saw.” I thought, there’s my villain. The rest of it was really doing the research and coming up with a protagonist that kids could relate to. It ended up being a lot of research, but also a lot of fun.

Me: So what's next?

Jeff: Well, I’ve already signed a contract for a second book in the series. In this book, the past has changed, and a girl Kaleo, my protagonist, met in the first book has ended up on a bad path. Kaleo and his friend Jeff Green have to go back again to fix the problem. They end up going on a mission with Parley P. Pratt, Oliver Cowdery, and others. The actual mission covered over 1500 miles on foot, met two Indian tribes, converted over 100 saints in Ohio in just over a week, had Pratt thrown in jail, and nearly killed him from measles. That, in and of itself, is pretty cool. But there’s also more action, romance, and hopefully some insights into why missions are important. I want books that are exciting and fun to read by themselves, but also teach something.

I'm grateful to Jeff for the opportunity to read
The Fourth Nephite and I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.

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