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 true to the gospel themselves.
The Book of Mormon describes 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.” 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 on the following page. Remove the page from the magazine and mount it on heavy paper. Retell the story of the Anti-Nephi-Lehies, using this picture and the scriptures in the story.
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). Using realistic situations with which the children can relate, have them identify the best solution, then dramatize the incident being discussed. For example: (1) If you found a wallet at the side of the road, what would you do? (2) If you went to the store for your mother and the clerk gave you too much change, what would you do? (3) If you could reach some of the apples on your neighbor’s tree from your yard, what would you do?
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.