Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Be Honest With Yourself: More Precious Than Rubies

Be Honest With Yourself: More Precious Than Rubies

By: Ardis E. Parshall - May 18, 2011

(See here for background)

From 1959 —

More Precious Than Rubies

A virtuous young man pledges his love and fidelity to the girl of his dreams with a precious stone … a diamond. And the happy girl treasures the gift as she would her life, promising, in return, her own fresh, virtuous love in marriage.

The ring – with its precious gem – becomes a symbol of fidelity for the engaged couple … and a reminder of the priceless value of virtue in them both.

Solomon said it centuries ago: “A virtuous woman … her price is far above rubies …” For man it is equally true.

A latter-day hymn-writer composed these beautiful lines:

“Cherish virtue! Cherish virtue!
God will bless the pure in heart.”

Cherish – how beautiful and meaningful the word: to hold dear; to trust or keep with tenderness.

And virtue integrity of character; uprightness of conduct; chastity.

The prophet Mormon, in his last affectionate message to his son Moroni, called virtue and chastity “the most dear and precious of all things.”

Modern prophets have reaffirmed this eternal truth.

So, young people of the Church, if you would deserve the confidence of the clean young man or young woman you someday hope to marry – if you would enjoy the fullness of happiness which belongs only to the pure in heart, be clean, be chaste.




  1. Glad to know that full repentance continues to be impossible.

    Comment by David B — May 18, 2011 @ 11:18 am

  2. Nice to see the church doing De Beers commercials.

    Comment by Sgarff — May 18, 2011 @ 11:24 am

  3. I like that it emphasizes chastity in both men and women. No double standard!

    Of course full repentance is possible. However, you can’t escape all of the earthly consequences of sin both for the sinner and the innocent who are affected by the sin.

    Comment by jks — May 18, 2011 @ 12:17 pm

  4. @jks: Yeah, i know, and i recognize that i overstated my reaction. But it still annoys me whenever i hear this meme—there’s got to be a much, much better way of getting the point across.

    Comment by David B — May 18, 2011 @ 2:06 pm

  5. Two thoughts: #1 *gag*. #2 My parents-in-law had the same haircuts in their wedding picture- ha! That hairdo looks fairly straightforward compared to many of the decade before and after. I’m frankly mystified by the coiffure of the 40s-60s. Maybe you could provide how-to guides for popular styles through the ages, Ardis :-)

    Comment by Moniker Challenged — May 18, 2011 @ 2:51 pm

  6. I am curious if you have ever found documents, from that time period, relating to rape/molestation and how the church viewed that as it pertains to virtue. Has it always been as ambiguous as it is now, or was it even worse then?


    Comment by Julia — August 9, 2012 @ 7:33 pm

  7. Julia, I found a sermon today from as long ago as the 1850s teaching that the fault lay entirely with the man when a woman was drugged or forced (they didn’t use the word rape, but I thought it was interesting that drugging was on the radar) — and teaching that the victim was entirely innocent and deserved the support of the community.

    And I don’t think there is one iota of ambiguity in the Church’s view of victims today. Being a victim of rape or molestation in no way compromises virtue. That isn’t to say that you won’t find the occasional slack-jawed back-woods troglodyte who teaches otherwise, but in that case they are teaching contrary to Church belief. See the Church’s statement on abuse for a summary.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — August 9, 2012 @ 7:46 pm

  8. I started writing and realized if I included all my thoughts, it would be several posts worth.

    Basically, this is what touched off my almost visceral response in seeing this advertisement. The increase in discussions, within the survivor community, since virtue was added to the young women’s values, is part of why I see the church’s systematic dealings with sexual abuse survivors as ambiguous in some ways. Saying something should be one way, without giving practical implementation steps leaves a lot of room for Troglodytes to subject survivors to the “wrong side” of the Atonement.

    Chastity, Virtue and Purity are concepts that are hard for most survivors of incest or systematic molestation. I wish that “the full support of the community” really was given to abuse survivors, but it is not the experience that many survivors have. I have always wished that when discussing mourning with those that mourn there was some clear direction that survivors of any kind of abuse belong in the mourning category, and not in the “must need to repent of something” category.

    Comment by Julia — August 10, 2012 @ 6:24 am

  9. That’s part of the problem with people equating virtue with virginity. For most young people in typical. The two concepts may be tied together in the lives of most young unmarried Latter-day Saints, but they are *two* *different* qualities! The victim of abuse hasn’t lost his or her virtue, a married person still needs to have and develop virtue, and repentant sinners (not victims, but sinners) can regain purity and virtue in every meaningful sense along with their repentance and return to a virtuous life.

    I think we do need to talk about the Atonement in connection with having been abused, if only to help survivors realize that Christ’s sacrifice was to made to right all wrongs. We usually talk about the Atonement as righting the wrongs we all do as sinners — but it’s also meant to bring comfort and make whole the lives of people who have been wronged. A survivor has no need to repent of acts of violation, but she does need to take strength from the Savior’s sacrifice to heal her from every type of injury. IMO.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — August 10, 2012 @ 7:08 am

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