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not_ashamed

Is it ever ok to Lie?

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I work 3rd shift at a gas station and a few nights ago this guy comes in. It is obvious he is drunk, he even mentioned he was. So he goes outside and his car won't crank. The battery is dead. So he comes inside to ask if I have jumper cables. I'm left with three options.

1. Jump off his car

2. Tell him I don't have any

3. Tell him yes I have them but that he is too drunk to drive, And put myself in the position of arguing with a drunk while all alone at 3 am.

Without much thought, I chose to tell him I didn't have any. We teach our kids it's never okay to lie. But is it sometimes necessary?

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My kneejerk reaction is that some lies are necessary, such as 'Do you like my hair?' or the like.

However, I can't deny that scripturally, I'm on shaky ground with that one. Liars are one of the groups repeatedly condemned to Hellfire and that's not really something I want to mess around with saying is okay.

However, chances are you didn't have time to sit and think 'What would be the most diplomatic way to handle this...' so I wouldn't be too hard on yourself. You were caught off guard.

I work 3rd shift at a gas station and a few nights ago this guy comes in. It is obvious he is drunk, he even mentioned he was. So he goes outside and his car won't crank. The battery is dead. So he comes inside to ask if I have jumper cables. I'm left with three options.

1. Jump off his car

2. Tell him I don't have any

3. Tell him yes I have them but that he is too drunk to drive, And put myself in the position of arguing with a drunk while all alone at 3 am.

Without much thought, I chose to tell him I didn't have any. We teach our kids it's never okay to lie. But is it sometimes necessary?

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in this context, I would say that the best choice of action would be to call the cops. plus this person is trying to get you out of the store and probably try other things.

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4. Call the local Police department. If he is drunk, we know the law prohibits drunk drivers.

I did think about that hemi, but he would already have been gone and I didnt want to take chances. My main priority was keeping him off the road and keeping myself safe. Edited by not_ashamed

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I believe the Commandmed (referring to the Ten) says, "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor." That's very different than saying, "thou shalt not lie."

Yes, I understand that there are other gospel topics we discuss that would cover the lies (integrity, honesty, etc), but in all of these, I get the impression that the principle involved is that we shouldn't be lying with the intent to cause harm to others or to get unearned gain for ourselves. I see nothing in the scriptures, or in the Gospel, that indicates we must never lie, even if doing so will protect us from harm.

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It's always okay to like to drunk people.

I didn't say I didn't like him. Though his Girlfriend got a bit irritated with him when he kept asking for my number, lol. Besides Godless, you are one of my fave ppl ever, drunk or sober.:P

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I didn't say I didn't like him. Though his Girlfriend got a bit irritated with him when he kept asking for my number, lol. Besides Godless, you are one of my fave ppl ever, drunk or sober.:P

He said "like TO drunk people" -- he meant "lie." That was my initial impression though, too: "she never said she didn't like him."

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Guest mormonmusic

We discussed this in a priesthood quorum once and everyone agreed that if you're always COMPLETELY honest you can cause a lot of unecessary harm. I think you can be honest to the point of stupidity sometimes; I've seen people do it.

I like what Hemi or someone else posted in another thread regarding the fact that we teach general principles at Church, but there are exceptions that can't be definitively answered to the satisfaction of everyone. The general rule is that "we believe in being honest". However, there will always be exceptions when the cost of lying is far less than the human costs of naked honesty.

In this particular situation, I'd also consider if this guy is a regular customer. If he is, I'd hesitate to call the police on him. He'd never come back again.

Edited by mormonmusic

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Didn't Abraham lie to Pharaoh by saying Sarah was his sister (and not his wife as she really was)? If I remember rightly, they went on to pull the same stunt on some other king as well.

I'm with Margin here - "thou shalt not bear false witness" is not the same thing as "do not lie".

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Guest mormonmusic

Didn't Abraham lie to Pharaoh by saying Sarah was his sister (and not his wife as she really was)? If I remember rightly, they went on to pull the same stunt on some other king as well.

I'm with Margin here - "thou shalt not bear false witness" is not the same thing as "do not lie".

Agreed. However, the Lord also says he doesn't like "he who loveth a lie". So, we shouldn't get to the point where we default to lying when there are other more intelligent ways out of it that allow us to achieve our objectives through honesty.

Here's a follow-up poser about just how honest a person should be....

I was once on a search for a secretary in a priesthood quorum when I was a leader. I suggested Brother X to Bishopric Counselor Y for discussion in Bishopric meeting. Bishopric Counselor Y was a bit too candid with me and said "Brother X might be a good choice, he's been very uncooperative in the Sunday School organization over a particular issue, and the Sunday School President has asked to release him, and we've agreed, so we need something for him to go. The release will be a blow to him because he loves Sunday School, and we need something meaningful for him to go to".

Well, later, Brother X accepted the calling to the priesthood quorum secretarial position. He was also released from the Sunday School.

Shortly after his call and release from SS, Brother X sat me down and said he had something important to ask me. He said "Brother Mormonmusic, I think you're a straight-shooter so I can trust you to give me an honest answer, even if you think it might hurt my feelings. This is something that's been bothering me and I need closure". Then he asked me directly, with full on eye contact "if he had done anything wrong to get himself released from the Sunday School calling". He said he suspected he did, and it was really bothering him because he loved the calling.

How would you answer that one? Particularly knowing the guy loved his Sunday School calling previously, and would probably be hurt if he knew the truth? And what about his "straight-shooter" complement?

That was the most uncomfortable situation for me....

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Shortly after his call and release from SS, Brother X sat me down and said he had something important to ask me. He said "Brother Mormonmusic, I think you're a straight-shooter so I can trust you to give me an honest answer, even if you think it might hurt my feelings. This is something that's been bothering me and I need closure". Then he asked me directly, with full on eye contact "if he had done anything wrong to get himself released from the Sunday School calling". He said he suspected he did, and it was really bothering him because he loved the calling.

I'd tell him that it wasn't my stewardship to discuss such things with him, even if I did know. If he had questions of that nature, he could discuss them with the bishop or counselor who issued the release.

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Guest mormonmusic

I'd tell him that it wasn't my stewardship to discuss such things with him, even if I did know. If he had questions of that nature, he could discuss them with the bishop or counselor who issued the release.

I thought of that, but I was afraid that would really hurt hiim, confirming that he'd done something wrong without necessarily giving him closure on the issue, or anywhere to discuss it further. And I think the release was a result of a personality conflict with the SS president, and not necessarily a problem on his end necessarily. I found him to be a joy to work with, highly effective, and all-around good-to-work with gentleman up to and after the release, so I had kind feelings for the man.

Also, I felt that knowing as I knew and not telling him, would upset him, and I didn't want to do that to him. He was perceptive enough to know from my answer that I knew if I said what you suggested.

It was a while ago, but I think he also prefaced his question with "I asked the Bishopric and they said "No", but I don't think they were being honest with me" or similar. His set up really painted me into a corner.

In the split-second I had to react to his question, my objectives were to preserve my integrity and honesty as much as possible, while showing some respect for his feelings after he left the conversation. I also had to preserve the confidentiality on the issue -- imagine how the Bishopric would react if they knew I shared the real reason for his release, after they had told him he did nothing wrong.

Also, he obviously trusted me to ask me a question like that. So, while that was an initial impression -- to deflect the question back to the Bishopric -- I didn't take that route.

Edited by mormonmusic

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I work 3rd shift at a gas station and a few nights ago this guy comes in. It is obvious he is drunk, he even mentioned he was. So he goes outside and his car won't crank. The battery is dead. So he comes inside to ask if I have jumper cables. I'm left with three options.

1. Jump off his car

2. Tell him I don't have any

3. Tell him yes I have them but that he is too drunk to drive, And put myself in the position of arguing with a drunk while all alone at 3 am.

Without much thought, I chose to tell him I didn't have any. We teach our kids it's never okay to lie. But is it sometimes necessary?

only when instructed by the lord. Almost always theres more options than what we see..

Altho i doubt in some cases such as this it'll matter too much.

Personally if i was in that situation I'd tell the person that I can't do that. If he asked why i'd tell him that i'd be helping him break the law, endangering others, etc... and I couldn't help someone do that... especially on while on work.

I'd then ask him if he'd like me to call someone who can help, or offer him a phone.

If he didn't know anyone to call i'd then offer to see if i could find help through the police services or something.

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Agreed. However, the Lord also says he doesn't like "he who loveth a lie". So, we shouldn't get to the point where we default to lying when there are other more intelligent ways out of it that allow us to achieve our objectives through honesty.

Here's a follow-up poser about just how honest a person should be....

I was once on a search for a secretary in a priesthood quorum when I was a leader. I suggested Brother X to Bishopric Counselor Y for discussion in Bishopric meeting. Bishopric Counselor Y was a bit too candid with me and said "Brother X might be a good choice, he's been very uncooperative in the Sunday School organization over a particular issue, and the Sunday School President has asked to release him, and we've agreed, so we need something for him to go. The release will be a blow to him because he loves Sunday School, and we need something meaningful for him to go to".

Well, later, Brother X accepted the calling to the priesthood quorum secretarial position. He was also released from the Sunday School.

Shortly after his call and release from SS, Brother X sat me down and said he had something important to ask me. He said "Brother Mormonmusic, I think you're a straight-shooter so I can trust you to give me an honest answer, even if you think it might hurt my feelings. This is something that's been bothering me and I need closure". Then he asked me directly, with full on eye contact "if he had done anything wrong to get himself released from the Sunday School calling". He said he suspected he did, and it was really bothering him because he loved the calling.

How would you answer that one? Particularly knowing the guy loved his Sunday School calling previously, and would probably be hurt if he knew the truth? And what about his "straight-shooter" complement?

That was the most uncomfortable situation for me....

I'd have lied to him. And I wouldn't have thought twice about it. It wouldn't be the first time I'd done it, nor will it be the last.

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Mormonmusic, I would be very candid with that man. First because he asked for honesty even if it hurt. And second, because he wanted honesty he would probably learn from his mistake.

To the thread, in my opinion its never ok to lie. There is always a better way out of an uncomfortable situation. I like Hemi's solution.

Nota, I understand why you answered the way you did. Your children need their mother. Your employer needs protocols in place to keep you safe and not put you in a position where you have to lie to stay safe.

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