"It's not spiders I dislike, just people." -Petra
Question #2031 posted on 12/17/2003 4:02 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Is it bad to lie when breaking up? I just told the lie of all lies while dumping a girl. But she seemed happy as we went our separate ways and thanked me for being so honest. Should I feel guilty, or just relieved.

- Emir.

A: Dear Emir,

Yes, it is bad. It's bad to lie ANYTIME (see the ninth commandment). Don't feel relieved, feel sorry with the sorrow that will bring you down to repentance. A lie is a lie is a lie. It's rather pointless for us to talk about gradations of sin, for God can tolerate none of it. A so-called "little white lie" is still a scarlet sin. Breaking up is hard, but lying to ease the pain is not worth damaging your relationship with God. That counsel is not just to be condemning. God asks us to be honest for our own good. Our innermost souls want to be valiant and serve Him more than anything else. Be true to that part of yourself.
If spiritual reasons (which I'm sure you already know) aren't convincing, maybe a practical one will: most lies will eventually be found out and kick you from behind in this life. It's just not worth it, from any perspective.
-Teshi
A: 2 Nephi 9:34
And don't fool yourself, she might seem happy now but as soon as she finds out you were lying she will be absolutely crushed. Honesty is ALWAYS the best policy, no matter how hard it is at the time.
-Phoenix
A: Dear Emir,

I once was totally honest in a break-up. Three weeks later her sister called me and told me that my ex forced to visit a shrink because I had destroyed her. I decided then that the truth was not the best policy in this case. The truth just about killed her. I guess we just shouldn't be so black and white about when the truth is the best policy. We lived far apart and if I had let her down with a half-truth would that have been so bad.

If she had realized the truth about a year later, I don't think it would have crushed her as much as the real truth did at the time I gave it to her. The truth almost killed her. I say if you are wise about it, you can do it.

The captain
A: Emir,
Ahhhh, sweet diversity. We already have a wonderful smattering of opinion here, I feel it only my duty to point you to a similar question we've answered in the past:
Board Question #1752
::: Latro :::
A: Thor, that was one of the baddest answers you've ever written.

§åû®μ$
A: Dear Emir,

Hmm. Technically, it's wrong to lie. Especially if she thanked you for being so honest, you should feel bad. But, there are times when telling the whole truth is not the best option. I don't think the whole truth is necessary when it's going to cause pointless pain. (Props to Thor, yours is the kind of lie of which I thoroughly approve. I hope my husband will someday tell the same kind of lies for me. :) )

For instance, when I'm discussing a relationship with a roommate or a boyfriend, if there are sixty things they've done that drive me nuts, I'm probably not going to tell them all sixty. I'll pick the top five or ten. Or however many are truly important. Ex: If I go on a date with a guy, then he drops me off at my car, which is on some random street on SL, and it's after dark, and he just drives off and leaves me, w/o waiting to make sure I don't get mugged, I'll tell him that bugs. But if I find out that the reason his girlfriend broke up with him was because she started dating my cousin or because she hates the way he parts his hair, I'm probably going to feign ignorance. If someone asks me point-blank if something bugs me, I'll tell them if it really matters. But if it's going to send them into a fit of self-deprecatory depression and cause them to think I'm the biggest jerk ever, I'll probably tell a small lie.

In short, if your lie was simply to protect her feelings, if you didn't lie to her about something you had done or something she really needs to change, it was probably a good thing. If, however, your lie was "No, I'm not seeing another girl. I just can't see us together; I'm not good enough for you" then you'd better feel like scum.

--Ambrosia, who advocates small white lies (and at the same time, advocates being as honest as possible if you want the relationship to work)
A: Dear Emir,
My eyes popped open, and a huge grin overwhelmed my face when I read your question. I stumbled upon the answer just the other day. My wife was yelling at me for some reason. If I recall correctly, my crime was having pushed up the bottom of the toothpaste tube when it was running low, rather than rolling it up, as she prefers to do. (Those of you who've lived with women know they tend to get emotional every now and then). So anyway, in the middle of her tirade, a friend called. I put on my best "fake phone voice." "So, what are you guys doing?" came the question. "Oh, we're just talking," I replied. "What are you talking about?" they asked. I felt like Adam as he was presented with the fruit in the garden. Which commandment should I break? Should I disrespect my eternal companion, and explain to this friend that my psychotic wife was screaming at me for a violation of her toothpaste law, or should I tell a little white lie? "Oh, we're talking about what movie we're going to see tonight," I responded. I'm a big believer in the little white lie. It's even justified in the scriptures (of course you can twist them to justify just about anything, so take this with a grain of salt. Rahab was justified, and even commended in the New Testament for lying in order to protect some spies. David once deceived a national priest in order to gain bread and armor, by claiming to be on the king's errand when he was in fact an outlaw. Jesus later mentions, and justifies his actions. Just remember: "If you always tell the truth, you don't have to remember a thing." (Mark Twain) and "The truth is the safest lie." (Napoleon) So in general, tell the truth, but on rare occasions, I imagine the most noble thing you can do is to lie like a dog.
-Thor (who imagines that in order to be so happily married after 70 years, President Hinckley's probably had to fib about quite a few of his wife's bad haircuts, and burnt meatloafsOH SHOOT!!! She's coming! Honey, don't read that. Please. No stop! Honey, I was only joking Aaaaahhhh!!!

Dear Emir,
Although I do agree that a white lie is often justified, I would like to announce the fact that I do not care about the freakin' toothpaste! (Gee, Thor must have been lying- should I be mad at him now?)
-Thor's wife