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Mary N. Cook teaches the need for personal integrity

Lisa J. Fehoko | University Relations | 5 November 2009

Cook devotional"Relationships are a very important part of our mortal life," taught Mary N. Cook, the First Counselor in the Young Women General Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, at a BYU–Hawaii devotional on November 3, 2009.

She likened our eternal relationships to the intricate weaving of fabric—and using the Mongolian deel [traditional Mongolian dress], as her example, she stated, "The fabric is usually woven with a variety of beautifully colored threads. And, although there are many kinds of trims, they almost always have metallic gold threads running through them giving them strength and creating a beautiful luster." She continued, "Like this beautiful tapestry, our lives are made up of the influence, examples, teachings, and love from a variety of people. ... Life is the intertwining of a variety of relationships that help us on our path to eternal life."

Cook focused on four relationship questions based on weaving our personal tapestries into "the lives of others."

She spoke specifically of integrity and the need to remain “the same 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” stating, “One of Satan’s greatest tools that he is using as of late is to convince us that it is acceptable to live dual lives.” Citing the internet, she stated, "[It] encourages us to create a virtual world, a second life, a new, counterfeit identity, and many are becoming addicted to such deceptions."

Quoting an article titled, "How Facebook is taking over our lives," in Fortune magazine, she stated, " '[We can] present different faces to the different people in our lives: An ‘anything goes' page we share with pals might not be appropriate for [others]'—I ask you, is this integrity?"

To this she added Elder David A. Bednar's words, "Please be careful of becoming so immersed and engrossed in pixels, texting, ear buds, twittering, online social networking, and potentially addictive uses of media and the internet, that you fail to recognize the importance of your physical body and miss the richness of person-to-person communication" ("Things as They Really Are," CES Fireside for Young Adults, May 3, 2009).

She summed, "Let me point you back again to my cloth and the metallic gold threads running through it. The gold threads give it strength and light. It is through the atoning sacrifice of our Savior, Jesus Christ, that we receive the strength to remain virtuous, to live with integrity, and to serve and bless the lives of others. ... The principles I have taught today are integral to the plan of happiness. They are true."

--Photo by Monique Saenz

Click here to read the full transcript of Mary N. Cook's devotional