924 How to Practice to Be an Honest Person
1 If you wish for others to trust you, first you must be honest. To be honest, you must first lay your heart bare so that everyone can see your heart, see all that you are thinking, and see your true face; you must not pretend or try to cover yourself up. Only then will people trust you and consider you honest. This is the most fundamental practice, and the prerequisite, of being honest. You are always pretending, always feigning holiness, virtuousness, greatness, and feigning high moral qualities. You do not let people see your corruption and your failings. You present a false image to people, so that they believe you are upstanding, great, self-sacrificing, impartial, and selfless. This is deceitfulness.
2 Don’t pretend and don’t package yourself; instead, lay yourself bare and lay your heart bare for others to see. If you can lay your heart bare for others to see, that is, if you can lay bare all that you think and plan to do in your heart—regardless of whether it is positive or negative—then you are honest. If you are able to lay yourself bare for others to see, God will also see you, and He will say that before God you are surely honest, too. If you only lay yourself bare to God out of view of others, and always pretend to be great and virtuous or just and selfless before them, then God will say: “You are genuinely deceitful, you are purely hypocritical and petty, and you are not honest.” God will condemn you thus. If you wish to be honest, then regardless of what you do before God or people, you should be able to open up and lay yourself bare.
Adapted from “The Most Fundamental Practice of Being an Honest Person”
in Records of Christ’s Talks