The White Lie

So I just finished reading about Truth Telling Lasagna from my girl Scabs... it's a good read, I recommend it.  Her post reminded me of a song I heard a while back that I'd forgotten but that I think brings a really important message.

But before I get to the song...

A few weeks ago at group we were on/reading/studying Step 10, Daily Accountability.  I explained during the discussion of the step how important it is to stay completely truthful in all aspects of our lives, even with white lies.  White lies are deceptive and are far from being white.  White lies eat at our soul.  They are much like a sliver in our foot; small and seemingly harmless at first but soon lead to an infected abscess if not purged.  Unlike a sliver, we cannot simply pluck out a white lie and discard it, and we can't expect our souls to expunge the lie as our bodies would expunge a sliver over time.  No, we need the Light of Christ to extract and heal that poisonous sliver.

How do we do this?  We must first show it to Him.  We must first admit we have a problem by admitting that we lied; to ourselves, to the person we lied to, and to anyone else affected.  Then, we must tell the truth.  Only then will the Light of Christ work within us and purge our souls of Satan's bindings.

I believe white lies to be the foundation of bigger lies.  They are the gateway to destructive deception that separates us from our support systems, our angels, the Holy Ghost and ultimately our Savior.

They are very dangerous...

Many times we justify and rationalize white lies and I feel this song, even though very cute, exposes our rationalizations and justifications and calls a white lie exactly what it is... a lie.


  1. hey lady! my 4 year old son calls it truth-telling buzz-agna. little's a slippery slope.

  2. So the next time my wife asks me "Am I fat?" I'm going to hug her and tell her "A little bit. But you're VERY, VERY CUTE!!" And that will be absolutely true! I loved the song. I need to figure out the chords and sing it to our youth at our next combined activity.

  3. Dan, I think you were sort of joking, but I think your example actually illustrates another element of truth-telling and truth-seeking that is often overlooked. I don't think truth-telling is about answering surface questions in a linear kind of way that just satisfies the words' demands. I think it demands discernment and reliance on the Spirit to know if whatever question we may be presented with is really the question that needs to be answered.

    In short, I am not convinced that 'responding honestly' to a question is always the right thing to do, not because honesty isn't the right thing, but because the question itself may not fully be based in truth, so any answer could be problematic if that is the case. A person has to be asking to really want to know a response *to that question* to be able to expect honesty to work.

    So using your example, which is sort of a stereotypical question a woman might ask her man, it's rarely a question that is about weight at all, but is about worth.

    Whatever the specifics, if one can discern the question behind the question, or identify at least that the question seems to be masking something deeper, than the discussion could really become more honest. But ultimately, the primary responsibility lies with each of us to not ask questions that we really don't want answers to, and instead to seek to be honest with ourselves about what is *really* going on, and how God can help us with that, rather than to expect other fallen humans to be able to perfectly decipher what's in our hearts.

    1. This really made me think! Thanks for sharing! (Though to be honest, I'm not sure I would want my husband to use any of this logic in determining whether he is honest or least not yet!)

      Although, we did have an experience just the other day when he was talking to his Mom and she asked if he was still serving on the Bishopric. He told her "yes," which was the truth. But the reason she was really asking is because she was trying to discern how deep his addiction was. She feels like it is minimal because my husband has let her believe that. Since we are meeting with the Stake President now, she was curious if things would change with his calling. He didn't mention that the Stake President took away his temple recommend or his ability to exercise his Priesthood because the SP didn't feel humility or remorse or like my husband had gone deep enough, especially after 10+ years of being active in his addiction. In some ways, he hasn't lied, but the effect is that a lie has been upheld. I'm not sure if that makes sense, but it does in my head :)

  4. You are a genius! So as it turns out, I did just what I said I would. I told her I was working on honesty. She hit me, then laughed hysterically and we had a lot of fun with it especially when I told her how cute she is and that she could trust me on that, because I only tell the truth now.

  5. I sometimes think that white lies are the most dangerous kind of lies. I think they are harder to remember and harder for even the liar to recognize as a lie. I love this post and Scabs lasagna story!


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