The first time my mom told me liars didn’t go to heaven was when she tried to get me to confess to hitting my eight-year-old brother. I was seven. She had knelt down in front of the brown leather couch where the two of us sat at opposite ends. Micah hugged his left arm—evidence of the deed still a bright red mark an inch or so above his elbow. He whimpered for effect, while I remained stubbornly silent. After waiting for some time, my mom stood up and said very softly, “You know, liars don’t go to heaven.”
My mom used this phrase throughout my childhood, expecting it would be a deterrent...