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David O. Mckay Lectures

Integrity the Key to Trust, in Business and in Life

David O. McKay Lecture 2018 | Integrity: "The Key to Trust (in Business and in Life)" | Jim Lee

President Tanner, Vice President Bell, my fellow Deans, Faculty, Staff, Students, Friends and Family: Aloha! I am truly humbled to have been selected as the David O. McKay Lecturer for 2018 and pray that what I say will honor the name of David O. McKay and the 54 other women and men who have previously had this privilege.

David O. McKay was the prophet of my youth. Though I was not alive when he dedicated this great institution of learning, I do remember learning of him at home and in Primary. I also remember going to church on Sunday morning, 18 January 1970, and hearing that President McKay had passed away. I was only ten years old at the time, but I remember feeling sorrow at the loss of the beloved prophet of God, who had served so faithfully in the highest levels of the Church for 64 of his 96 years.

Sixty-three years ago, on 12 February 1955, ground was broken for the Church College of Hawaii. At the groundbreaking ceremony, President McKay delivered an address and offered the dedicatory prayer. In his address, he spoke of the purposes for which the College was being built. With regard to these purposes, he said:

"First, the things pertaining to God and His kingdom, a testimony of the existence of Deity. Know that He lives and that He is our Father, the Father of all mankind and ruler of brothers. What that means toward peace, establishing peace in the world. Secondly, that those noble men and women, the world needs them. One man said the world needs men [and women] who cannot be bought or sold, [those] who will scorn to violate truth, genuine gold. That is what this school is going to produce. More than that, they’ll be leaders. Not leaders only in this island, but everywhere. All the world is hungering for them and best of all the world is recognizing them." 1

What President McKay said on that day in 1955 is still true and so needed today. The world is hungering for the men and women who graduate from this institution. In a society with declining moral values, there is a desperate need for men and women of integrity who will do that which is right and good, regardless of the immediate consequences. Our Father in Heaven needs us and is counting on us to be persons of integrity, whom He can trust to do the great work leading up to the second coming of His Son, Jesus Christ.

We live in exciting times. One of the really exciting things in my lifetime has been the advancement of technology, which has been truly amazing. To give you an idea of how old I am, the first television I remember watching only showed programs in black and white. I think I was about six years old when my family got its first color television. It was a BIG deal, even though much of the programming on TV was still in black and white. The children in the neighborhood were anxious to stop by and see the latest advancement in home entertainment and I remember how cool it was to watch Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color in color for the first time.

It was about this time that Gordon Moore, the co-founder of Fairchild Semiconductor and Intel, made "the observation that that the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit chip doubles about every two years." When he made this observation in 1965, he projected that this rate of growth would continue for at least another ten years. This observation is now known as Moore's Law.

As you can see on this chart 2, it has actually held true for much longer than ten years, growing from just over 1000 transistors per chip to over 7.2 billion in 2016. 3

Many of the technological advancements of the past 50 years, including those involving digital electronics, are linked to the fact the Moore's Law has held true for so long. One of the factors related to this is that technology has become faster, smaller and less expensive. For example, I purchased my first personal computer in 1986, an IBM compatible PC system (I could not afford a real IBM PC), for $2,100. It had an 8088 Intel processor, 640K of memory, a 12 inch monochrome monitor, a 40 MB hard disk, and a dot-matrix printer.

Image 4

The 40 MB hard drive weighed about ten pounds and cost $400 of the total, a rate of $10 per MB. To contrast this, a recent check on Amazon showed a 4 TB hard drive could be purchased for $110, which is 100,000 times more capacity for $290 less than I paid in 1986.

Technology is all around us every day. It would be difficult to go a single day without some interaction with technology. Virtually all businesses use information systems and technology in some way and, for many of these businesses, it is the only way they can survive in our increasingly competitive global environment. For example, they have systems to record all of their purchasing and sales transactions, to track their inventory, and to record salary and payroll information. Even in our little community, information systems play a key role in local businesses. Here at BYUH, information systems are used for many purposes including to schedule classes, to manage the use of facilities, to keep track of each student's academic progress, to record all financial transactions, and to manage human resources. At the local Foodland, their point-of-sale system records every sales transaction, manages their inventory, and if you use their Maika'i Card, keeps track of everything that YOU purchase from them.

Another major technological advancement in my lifetime was the creation of and the explosive growth of the Internet. In 1969, the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) of the U.S. Department of Defense established the ARPANET, a packet switching network that became the foundation of the Internet. The original ARPANET consisted of four nodes at major universities in the Western U.S.: UCLA, Stanford, UC Santa Barbara, and Utah. The ARPANET expanded from the West Coast to the East Coast of the U.S. and in 1973 the network included a node in Hawaii and the first connections in Europe, as show in this image. 5, 6, 7

In 1982, MIT, whose Artificial Intelligence research lab was connected to the network, published some rules and etiquette for its use, which now might be considered humorous:

"Sending electronic mail over the ARPANet for commercial profit or political purposes is both anti-social and illegal. By sending such messages, you can offend many people, and it is possible to get MIT in serious trouble with the Government agencies which manage the ARPANet." 9

At the same time that the growth of the ARPANET was taking place, other government funded projects were also underway. In 1981, the National Science Foundation (NSF) began work on the Computer Science Network (CSNET) project. 10, 11, 12 The success of CSNET led to the creation of the National Science Foundation Network (NSFNET), in 1985. To make a very long story short, the NSFNET was very successful. In the period from 1985 – 1995 the NSFNET created the network backbone infrastructure that eventually became what we know as the Internet. The NSFNET was decommissioned in April 1995 and superseded by the commercial Internet. 11, 13, 14

In January 1990 I began my doctoral studies at the University of Arizona and connected to the Internet for the first time. It was not the Internet experience we have now. At the time, there were no browsers available for wide-spread use and all content was simply text. It was not very exciting and Internet browsing was not yet the huge time-waster that it is today. But that would change within the next few years.

Another major development began in 1989, when English scientist Tim Berners-Lee first proposed the concept of the World Wide Web. 15, 16 Berners-Lee and others also convinced CERN to make the underlying code of the World Wide Web available on a royalty-free basis, forever. "This decision was announced in April 1993 and sparked a global wave of creativity, collaboration, and innovation never seen before." 17

One last key piece in the explosion of the Internet was the creation of the Mosaic web browser at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois. Mosaic was the first browser to display images inline with text, instead of displaying images in a separate window. It had an intuitive interface, was easy to install, and operated on multiple operating systems including Windows and the Mac OS. Here is a screen from an early version running on an Apple Macintosh.18

Mosaic is the web browser that popularized the World Wide Web and led to the Internet boom of the 1990s. In 1995, Mosaic had 53% of the market share for web browsers. 19 Having a 53% market share was a big deal, but not quite as big a deal as one might think. In December 1995, the Internet had 16 million users (I was one of them!), which was .4 % of the world population. That number jumped to 36 million one year later and surpassed 100 million users in early 1998 and topped 1 billion by the end of 2005. The most recent statistics available, from December 2017, show that there are now 4.05 billion users, 53.1 % of the world population. 20, 22

As shown in this chart, the largest number of users, over 1.9 billion, are from Asia, but they also have 55.1% of the total worldwide population and nearly 50% of the world's Internet users. North American has the highest penetration rate, with 95% of the population having Internet access, followed closely by Europe with 84.6%. 21

The Internet has changed the way that we live and the way that we do business. In the last 25 years, we have seen numerous online retailers explode such as, Zappos, and eBay. Even more traditional retailers like Walmart and Best Buy have created significant online businesses to remain competitive. With the Internet, we also have the social media phenomenon with sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest and LinkedIn. The way in which we enjoy both audio and video entertainment has also changed with things like NetFlix, YouTube, Pandora and Spotify. There is so much content on the Internet that we could spend every minute of every day seeing new content and never come close to seeing all that is there, which is a good thing as there is a lot that we should never see. The following chart shows a sampling of what happens each minute of every day on the Internet.23

Some of these numbers are astounding: 3.6 million Google searches, 4.15 million YouTube videos watched, over 103 million spam emails sent (I think a big chunk of those are sent to me), and Americans use 2.65 PB of Internet data per minute. Now if you do not know what a petabyte is, that might not sound like a big deal, but it is. How big is a petabyte? A petabyte is over 1 quadrillion bytes. If you counted all the bytes in a petabyte at the rate of one per second, it would only take 35.7 million years to get to the end. The average page of printed text is about 2000 bytes, so a PB of printed text would be over 500 billion pages, which would fill 20 million 4-drawer filing cabinets. If you were to fill a petabyte of storage with DVD quality videos, it would take over 50 years of non-stop viewing to watch everything. So the figure of 2.65 PB of data used by Americans every minute of every day really is a lot of data.

Another of the implications of Moore's law holding true for so long is what is known as the Internet of Things (IoT). "The Internet of things is the network of physical devices . . . embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and network connectivity which enables these objects to connect and exchange data. Each thing is uniquely identifiable . . . and is able to inter-operate within the existing Internet infrastructure." 24 Experts estimate that the IoT will consist of about 30 billion objects by 2020. 25

These "things" refer to a wide variety of devices such as heart monitoring implants, biochip transponders on animals, cameras streaming live feeds of wild animals on land and in water,26 DNA analysis devices for environmental/food/pathogen monitoring,27 or an automobile with built-in sensors to alert the driver when tire pressure is low.28, 29

At a conference I attended a few years ago, I watched a video called The Human Face of Big Data. The video discusses how technology and the IoT are changing the world in numerous ways. One of the segments discussed how wearable technology like a Fitbit or Apple Watch can capture and track vital statistics about individuals and their patterns of behavior. This type of monitoring has allowed one company to develop an app that can tell when someone is going to be depressed, two days before they become depressed. Pretty amazing. And there are so many other ways in which these interconnected devices have the potential to help make our lives better.

If you cannot tell, I love technology and am grateful for the great good that comes from its advancement and its use. I have spent nearly my entire adult life in learning as much as I could about various technologies and nearly 30 years in teaching others about these technologies. But, as the prophet Lehi taught, "there is an opposition in all things," 30 and this is true with technology as well. Though there is much good that can come from the use of technology, there is also great potential for these technologies to be used by individuals in very negative ways.

Let me quickly discuss some of this contrast of the good and the bad: Business information systems allow companies to operate effectively in an increasingly competitive global environment, but those same information systems provided opportunities for dishonest individuals working at companies like Enron and Worldcom to hide billions of dollars in debt and to falsify their financial statements, resulting in billions of dollars lost by investors. Another example: the Church has created Internet websites to share the gospel and to help in family history and temple work, yet others use the Internet for things such as pornography or to promote hate among different races or cultures. One last example that is close to home: university students can use the Internet to research specific topics in order to write a class paper, but they can also find sources to purchase a research paper written by someone else.

In an article entitled Dark Data, included in the book The Human Face of Big Data, Marc Goodman said this about the impact of technology:

"Today, the ability of a single person to affect many, for good or evil, is now scaling exponentially. Access to data not only affects traditional forms of crime but also amplifies what one criminal can accomplish in unexpected ways. In the old days a stick-up artist used a knife or a gun to rob one person. Then criminals like Jesse James discovered robbing trains—and the ability to rob 200 people at a time.

"The Internet in turn scaled robbery to an even higher level. In the Sony PlayStation hack, more than 100 million people had their accounts compromised and their passwords stolen. Never before in human history has it been possible for one person to rob 100 million people—but our interconnectedness and mass data storage now make this possible.

"Every time a new technology is introduced, criminals are there to exploit it." 31

Goodman explains that we can protect ourselves from these types of threats with a battle on two fronts. The first would be an "arms race between traditional law enforcement and the criminal world," using powerful predictive data analytical tools. Goodman states that "the second tool will have to be broader, deeper, and much more scalable than traditional police work. That tool is all of us." 32

This comment from Goodman takes me back to President McKay's remarks at the groundbreaking ceremony that "the world needs men [and women] who cannot be bought or sold, [those] who will scorn to violate truth, genuine gold. That is what this school is going to produce. . . . All the world is hungering for them and best of all the world is recognizing them." Women and men of integrity are desperately needed to battle many of the challenges in our world, including the inappropriate use of technology in business, in education, and in our personal lives.

So what does it mean to have integrity? One definition states, "Strict adherence to a moral code, reflected in transparent honesty and complete harmony in what one thinks, says, and does." 33 Another definition is "the quality of being complete or undivided." 34 Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin said this: "To me, integrity means always doing what is right and good, regardless of the immediate consequences. It means being righteous from the very depth of our soul, not only in our actions but, more importantly, in our thoughts and in our hearts. Personal integrity implies such trustworthiness and incorruptibility that we are incapable of being false to a trust or covenant. The rewards of integrity are immeasurable. One is the indescribable inner peace and serenity that come from knowing we are doing what is right; another is an absence of the guilt and anxiety that accompany sin." 35

Integrity in business is vital to long-term success. In an article in the Harvard Business Review, Ron Ashkenas said:

"Browse through the mission, vision, or value statements that corporations post on their websites, and you’ll notice that almost every company includes a statement about integrity.

"… have you ever wondered why they are needed in the first place? After all, integrity should be the basic building block for doing business: Nobody wants to get involved with a company that lies, cheats, and tricks its customers; nor do people want to work for a company (or a manager) that is dishonest and disingenuous with employees. In other words, integrity should be a given, without the need to trumpet its existence. As one senior executive said to me, 'Integrity is a threshold characteristic for our people — if they don’t have it, they aren’t here.'

"In some ways the value statements about integrity are meant to remind us that integrity is not just a corporate responsibility, but a personal one as well." 36

Warren Buffet, Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway and one of the richest people in the world, said, "In looking for people to hire, look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if they don't have the first one, the other two will kill you." 37

Amy Rees Anderson, a successful entrepreneur and graduate of the BYU Marriott School of Management said this:

"If I could teach only one value to live by, it would be this: Success will come and go, but integrity is forever. Integrity means doing the right thing at all times and in all circumstances, whether or not anyone is watching. It takes having the courage to do the right thing, no matter what the consequences will be. Building a reputation of integrity takes years, but it takes only a second to lose, so never allow yourself to ever do anything that would damage your integrity." 38

In the October 2017 General Conference, Elder Richard J. Maynes told a story from his youth "that illustrates the lasting positive impact that a father who understands and lives the principle of trust, built on integrity, can have on his family." Elder Maynes' father owned a business that engineered, fabricated, and installed automated production lines worldwide. He worked for his father's company from middle school through high school and then again after returning from a mission. Shortly after returning from his mission, he was invited by his father to accompany him on a business trip to Los Angeles. The trip was to talk with a potential new client that represented a new and very important opportunity for the company.

Upon arriving in Los Angeles, Elder Maynes and his father met an executive from the company at a hotel. The executive discussed the design and specifications of the project, the operational details, and then discussed the pricing. He informed them that their company had the lowest bid on the project and then shared with them the amount of the second lowest bid. The company executive suggested that they resubmit their bid at a higher price, but still lower than the second company, and that they split the extra profit 50-50 with him. He called it a win-win for both sides as they would make more money for supplying the equipment and the executive would take his cut for putting together such a great deal. Elder Maynes explained:

"After [discussing] this, he looked at my father and asked, 'So, do we have a deal?' Much to my surprise, my father stood up, shook his hand, and told him we would get back to him.

"After leaving the meeting, we got into the rental car, and my father turned to me and asked, 'Well, what do you think we should do?'

"I responded by saying I didn’t think we should accept this offer.

"My father then asked, 'Don’t you think we have a responsibility to all of our employees to maintain a good backlog of work?'

"While I was contemplating his question and before I could answer, he answered his own question. He said, 'Listen, Rick, once you take a bribe or compromise your integrity, it is very difficult to ever get it back. Don’t ever do it, not even once.'

"The fact that I’m sharing this experience means that I have never forgotten what my father taught me on that first business trip with him. I share this experience to illustrate the lasting influence we have as fathers. You can imagine the trust I had in my father due to the integrity of his heart. He lived these same principles in his private life with my mother, his children, and all with whom he associated." 39

I love that story from Elder Maynes about his father. It reminds me of two things. First, it reminds me of the example set by my parents in living lives of integrity and their teaching me to do the same. Thank you Mom and Dad. Second, it reminds me of the scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 124:15 in which the Lord says, "blessed is my servant Hyrum Smith; for I, the Lord, love him because of the integrity of his heart, and because he loveth that which is right before me, saith the Lord." How wonderful would it be to have the Lord say that about you, that He loves you because of the integrity of your heart, and that He trusts you because He knows you will do that which is right?

The faculty, staff, and students of this great university agree to live by the Honor Code at all times, both on and off campus. Whether or not we do this is really a matter of our personal integrity. One of my responsibilities as Dean is to hold an annual interview with any non-member Special Instructors who teach in the College. The non-members employed by the University are asked to keep the Honor Code at all times, in the same manner as the members. A little over a year ago, I had one of these interviews. During the interview, the person explained to me that his daughter was getting married at Christmas time. This was at the time when Christmas was in the middle of our winter semester. He explained that while he is under contract to teach here, he lives the Honor Code with exactness, including the Word of Wisdom, and he wanted to know if it would be OK for him to have one glass of champagne to toast his daughter at her wedding reception. I would never have known if he did this, yet his personal integrity would not allow him to do so without first asking. Like the Lord said of Hyrum Smith, I love this man because of the integrity of his heart and I know that I can trust him.

Living with integrity is not always easy. I wish that I could say that I always have, but even if you are striving to live with integrity, it is likely that there will be times in which you slip up. That is to be expected and you can change, you can keep trying and you can keep improving. I love this statement from President Thomas S. Monson: "Our responsibility is to rise from mediocrity to competence, from failure to achievement. Our task is to become our best selves. One of God’s greatest gifts to us is the joy of trying again, for no failure ever need be final." 40

In a recent talk in General Conference, President Henry B. Eyring talked about the ways in which technology has helped further the work of God and blesses our lives, but he emphasized that it is not the most important tool available to us. He said: "I have learned [over] many years that even the best technology can never be a substitute for revelation from heaven." 41 Related to this statement by President Eyring and our need for integrity, Elder Wirthlin said that "The consummate reward of integrity is the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. (See D&C 121:46.) … when we do what is right, he can dwell with us and guide us in all we do." 42

Choose each day to live with Integrity. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said, "Blessings will come not so much because of your abilities but because of your choices. And the God of the universe will work within and through you, magnifying your humble efforts for His purposes." 43

My dear friends, may you always desire to do what is right and may the atoning power of our Savior, Jesus Christ, help you in your journey to become what He needs you to become. All the world is hungering for you, the genuine gold of BYU-Hawaii. May you develop integrity in your use of technology, in all of your work endeavors, in your relationships with friends and especially with your family members. May you always remember that Heavenly Father knows you, He loves you and He needs you to live with integrity in such a way that He can trust you with all He needs you to do in accomplishing His great work in these last days.


[1] McKay, D. O. (1955). Church College of Hawaii Groundbreaking Services. Selected quotes compiled from transcripts of tapes and materials on file at the BYU–Hawaii Archives; (File: CCH/BYUH, Dedications).

[2] Wikipedia: Moore's law. Retrieved from, 1/20/2018.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Image retrieved from

[5] DARPA. ARPANET and the Origins of the Internet. Retrieved from, 1/26/2018.

[6] Wikipedia: ARPANET. Retrieved from, 1/26/2018.

[7] Image retrieved from

[8] Wikipedia: ARPANET. Retrieved from, 1/26/2018.

[9] Stacy, C. C. (1982). Getting Started Computing at the AI Lab. Working Paper 235, MIT, P. 9. Retrieved from, 1/27/2018.

[10] CSNET-Computer Science Network. Retrieved from, 1/27/2018.

[11] The Role of NSF's Support of Engineering in Enabling Technological Innovation. Retrieved from, 1/27/2018.

[12] Wikipedia: CSNET. Retrieved from, 1/27/2018.[

13] Wikipedia: National Science Foundation Network. Retrieved from, 1/27/2018.

[14] NSFNET-National Science Foundation Network. Retrieved from, 1/27/2018.

[15] Tim Berners-Lee, Robert Cailliau and Invention of the World Wide Web. Retrieved from, 1/27/2018.

[16] Wikipedia: World Wide Web. Retrieved from, 1/17/2018.

[17] World Wide Web Foundation. History of the Web. Retrieved from, 1/27/2018.

[18] Image retrieved from, 1/26/2018.

[19] Wikipedia: Mosaic (web browser). Retrieved from, 1/27/2018.

[20] Internet World Stats: Internet Growth Statistics. Retrieved from, 1/17/2018.

[21] Internet World Stats: Usage and Population Statistics. Retrieved from, 1/27/2018.

[22] Chart retrieved from, 1/27/2018.

[23] Image retrieved from, 1/15/2018.

[24] Wikipedia: Internet of things. Retrieved from, 1/27/2018.

[25] Nordrum, A. (2016). Popular Internet of Things Forecast of 50 Billion Devices by 2020 Is Outdated. IEEE Spectrum, posted on 8/18/2016. Retrieved from, 1//27/2018.

[26] "Molluscan eye". Retrieved from, 1/27/2018.

[27] Erlich, Yaniv (2015). "A vision for ubiquitous sequencing". Genome Research. 25 (10): 1411–1416. Retrieved from, 1/27/2018.

[28] Wigmore, I. (June 2014). "Internet of Things (IoT)". TechTarget. Retrieved from, 1/27/2018.

[29] Noto La Diega, Guido; Walden, Ian (1 February 2016). "Contracting for the 'Internet of Things': Looking into the Nest". Queen Mary School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 219/2016. SSRN 2725913. Retrieved from, 1/27/2018.

[30] 2 Nephi 2:11

[31] Smolan, R. and Erwitt, J. (2012). The Human Face of Big Data. Sausolito, California: Against All Odds Productions (pp. 75-76).

[32] Ibid (p. 77).

[33] Retrieved from, 1/22/2018.[

34] Retrieved from, 1/29/2018.

[35] Wirthlin, J. B. April 1990 General Conference. Retrieved from, 1/22/2018.

[36] Ashkenas, R. (2011). Why Integrity is Never Easy. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from, 1/22/2018.

[37] Quoted in Anderson, A.R. (2012). Success Will Come and Go, But Integrity is Forever. Forbes. Retrieved from, 1/15/2018.

[38] Anderson, A.R. (2012). Success Will Come and Go, But Integrity is Forever. Forbes. Retrieved from, 1/15/2018.

[39] Maynes, R. J. October 2017 General Conference. Retrieved from, 1/15/2018.

[40] Monson, T. S. (2018). The Gift of Repentance. Ensign, January 2018, p. 4.

[41] Eyring, H. B. April 2017 General Conference. Retrieved from, 2/6/2018.

[42] Wirthlin, J. B. April 1990 General Conference. Retrieved from, 1/22/2018.

[43] Uchtdorf, D. F. October 2017 General Conference. Retrieved from, 2/6/2018.