Heavenly Father wants you to be honest and truthful at all times and in all places. It is not always easy. If you do something wrong, you might be ashamed to admit it or afraid of what will happen to you if you do. When you are honest about the mistakes you make, you can repent and be forgiven.
It takes courage to stand up for what you know is true when others do not believe as you do. It is not always easy to express your testimony of Heavenly Father and his Son Jesus Christ. But when you are honest about your feelings, the Holy Ghost will strengthen you.
As a young man just 19 years old, Joseph F. Smith (who later became the sixth President of the Church) was traveling from California to Utah with a small group of Latter-day Saints. As they set up camp one evening, a group of drunken men rode into their camp on horseback. The men had guns, and they threatened to kill any Mormons who came across their path. Some of the Latter-day Saints hid in the bushes by the creek. Joseph F. Smith, who had been gathering wood, boldly approached the fire. One of the drunken men, pointing his pistol at Joseph, said that it was his duty to kill every Mormon he met. He then demanded, “Are you a ‘Mormon’?”
Joseph F. Smith looked the ruffian in the eye and answered, “Yes, siree; dyed in the wool; true blue, through and through.” The man was so surprised by Joseph’s honest answer that he grabbed Joseph’s hand and said, “Well, you are the … pleasantest man I ever met! Shake, young fellow. I am glad to see a man that stands up for his convictions.” The drunken men then rode off and did not bother the Saints again (Joseph Fielding Smith, Life of Joseph F. Smith, 188–89).
You can be like Joseph F. Smith. You can be honest and truthful at all times and in all places.
Color the camp scene and the figures of Joseph F. Smith and the ruffians. Glue or paste the colored page on a sheet of heavy paper or lightweight cardboard. Carefully cut out the scene and the figures. Accordion-fold the paper strips on the dotted lines. Attach the folded strips to the back of the figure of Joseph F. Smith and to the back of the ruffians. Attach these figures to the scene by gluing the tabs to the places indicated. When properly in place, the men can “reach out and shake hands.” Use this action scene during family home evening to tell your family the story of Joseph F. Smith.
Prepare a list of situations, such as the following: (a) David found some money on the floor at school. What should he do? (b) Mary was riding her sister’s bike and ran into a tree. Now the bike is broken. What should she do? (c) Anne wrote on the wall with a crayon. Her mother asked who did it. What should Anne say? (d) Jimmy ate all the cookies his mother made for dinner. His mother asked who did it. What should Jimmy do? (e) Susan sees some girls teasing a younger child. What should she do? Pass a beanbag around while singing “Choose the Right Way” (The Friend, June 1995, 12). When the music stops, have the child holding the beanbag suggest an honest way of dealing with one of the situations.
Explain to the children that when they are dishonest, they lose the companionship of the Holy Ghost and feel very sad. Remind them that when they make a mistake, they can repent and feel good again. Read “Candy Bar” (Tambulilit, August 1994, 6–9). Discuss how the child in the story felt.