The Book of Mormon tells us about a special group of people who were honest and true to their faith. They were Lamanites who heard the gospel of Jesus Christ, had faith in Him, repented of their sins, and were baptized members of His Church. They called themselves Anti-Nephi-Lehies. Because they learned that it was wrong to fight, they buried their weapons of war in the ground and made a covenant with Heavenly Father that they “never would use weapons again” (Alma 24:18). They kept this covenant and all the commandments so faithfully that they were known for being “perfectly honest and upright in all things” (Alma 27:27).
The Anti-Nephi-Lehies taught their children to be honest. They wanted their sons and daughters to be true to the gospel and righteous in their dealings with each other and with Heavenly Father. Because the example of their parents was so great, the children wanted to be just as honest and just as true to the gospel themselves.
The Book of Mormon says this about the boys when they grew up: “And they were all young men, and they were exceedingly valiant for courage, and also for strength and activity; but behold, this was not all—they were men who were true at all times in whatsoever thing they were entrusted” (Alma 53:20).
These young Anti-Nephi-Lehies became famous as “Helaman’s stripling warriors.” (See Ensign, May 1987, page 16.) Because of their honesty and their spiritual strength, they were a great help to their people.
You can be like the army of Helaman. You can follow the example of the righteous Lamanites and be honest and true.
Color the picture, then remove the page and mount it on heavy paper. For a talk in Primary or a family home evening lesson, retell the story of the Anti-Nephi-Lehies, using the picture and the scriptures in the story above.
1. Define honesty. What is an honest person? “An honest person loves truth and justice. He is honest in his words and actions. He does not lie, steal, or cheat.” (Gospel Principles manual, page 204.) Discuss keeping promises. (See Valiant B manual, page 170, first activity, and have children dramatize the incident.) Role-play telling the truth. Younger children could use a puppet as described in the Star B manual, pages 94–95. Older children could use the beanbag activity in the Valiant A manual, page 100.
2. Write the letters H, O, N, E, S, T on separate pieces of paper and hide them in the room. Have the children find them and decide what word they spell. For each letter, share a story of someone whose name begins with that letter and who was honest and true. H—Helaman (Alma 56:1–10, 45–48), Hezekiah (2 Kgs. 18:1, 3–5), Harold B. Lee (Valiant B manual, pages 219–220); O—Obadiah (1 Kgs. 18:3–4); N—Noah (Gen. 6–8), Nephi (1 Ne. 3:7; 1 Ne. 16:18–26, 30–31); E—Enoch (Moses 7:13), Enos (Enos 1:26), Ezra Taft Benson (Valiant B supplement, page 2); S—Samuel (1 Sam. 15:1–28), Spencer W. Kimball (Valiant B manual, pages 221–224); T—Timothy (“Timotheus” in Philip. 2:19–22), Teancum (Alma 50:35; Alma 51:30–37).
3. Discuss with children that we learn to be honest and to keep promises when we are young. As we become older, we make covenants with Heavenly Father, such as at baptism and in the temple. Have the children list promises they make with family and friends, and covenants they make with Heavenly Father. Discuss how keeping promises helps them prepare for keeping sacred covenants.
4. Using “I Believe in Being Honest” (Children’s Songbook, page 149), discuss what being honest involves, and illustrate these concepts with scriptural passages and stories.
5. Invite the children to compare the words of “I Love to See the Temple” and “I Believe in Being Honest” (Children’s Songbook, pages 95 and 149). Which two lines are similar? (“I’ll prepare myself while I am young” and “I’ll form good habits in my youth.”) Tell stories of children who began early in life to tell the truth and live lives of honesty. (See 1 Sam. 1:heading; 1 Sam. 3:1–10, 19–20; Alma 56:heading, Alma 56:45–56; Valiant B manual, page 186; “Ezra Taft Benson Learned to Keep God’s Commandments,” Valiant B supplement, page 2; etc.)