Abu Learns Honesty


Honesty should start with me in all I say, in all I do (Children’s Songbook, 149).

Abu sat outside watching people walk by on the street in front of his house. Abu was very hungry. Marian, a woman who was selling sweet biscuits, was near him, walking back and forth in the street. The biscuits looked delicious in their brightly colored wrappers. Marian carried them in a pan on her head. Abu really wanted a package of those biscuits. He knew they would be very good.

Marian stopped and set the biscuits down right in front of Abu.

“She knows I am hungry and has put the biscuits here for me!” he thought. He quickly picked up a package of biscuits.

Just then, his father saw him. “Abu, what do you have?” he asked.

“Papa, I’m so hungry! I need some biscuits,” Abu said.

Papa gently took Abu into his arms. “Abu, I want you to have some biscuits,” he said. “But you cannot take things from other people without asking or paying for them. Did you ask Marian if you could have some of her biscuits?”

“No,” Abu said, looking at the ground.

“Let’s give Marian back this large package of biscuits, and I will buy you a small package. I want you to learn to be honest. Do you know what that means?”

“Tell me, Papa,” Abu said.

“It means to do the right thing,” Papa said. “It means to pay for things instead of stealing. It means to tell the truth instead of lying. It means to do what you say you will do. So we will pay Marian for a package of her biscuits. Marian needs the money to buy food for her children. I love you, Abu, and Heavenly Father loves you too. And He is happy when you do the right thing.”

“I love you too, Papa,” Abu said. “I want to be honest always.”