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Why is it important to be honest?

Being honest means choosing not to lie, steal, cheat, or deceive in any way. When we are honest, we build strength of character that will allow us to be of great service to God and to others. We are blessed with peace of mind and self-respect and will be trusted by the Lord and others. 

Prepare yourself spiritually

Prayerfully study the following scriptures and other resources, selecting ones that best apply to the young men to teach them about honesty.

Psalm 101:7; Proverbs 12:22; 2 Corinthians 4:2; Ephesians 4:29; Alma 27:27; Articles of Faith 1:13 (Be honest and upright in all things)

Acts 5:1–10 (We cannot lie to the Lord)

2 Nephi 9:34; Alma 12:1–6 (Dishonesty is a sin with serious consequences)

Joseph Smith—History 1:21–25 (Joseph’s experience of being honest in the face of persecution)

Thomas S. Monson, “Preparation Bring Blessings,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2010, 64–67

Robert C. Gay, “What Shall a Man Give in Exchange for His Soul?Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2012, 34–36

Richard C. Edgley, “Three Towels and a 25-Cent Newspaper,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2006, 72–74

Honesty and Integrity,” For the Strength of Youth (2011), 19

Honesty,” True to the Faith (2004), 84

Video: “Honesty: You Better Believe It”

Let the young men lead

A member of the quorum presidency (or an assistant to the bishop in the priests quorum) conducts the quorum meeting. He leads the young men in counseling together about quorum business, teaches them their priesthood duties (from the scriptures and the Duty to God book), encourages them to share their experiences fulfilling their duty to God, and invites an adviser or other quorum member to teach a gospel lesson. He could prepare by filling out a quorum meeting agenda during a presidency meeting.

Begin the learning experience

Choose from these ideas or think of your own to review last week’s lesson and introduce this week’s lesson:

  • Invite the young men to share an experience they have had that relates to last week’s lesson.
  • Have the young men write on a piece of paper (anonymously) several situations in which they may be tempted to be dishonest (they could look at the standards in For the Strength of Youth for ideas). Collect their papers and share several of the situations with the quorum. What would they do in these situations? What would the consequences be for being honest or dishonest?

Learn together

Each of the activities below will help the quorum members understand why it is important to be honest. Following the inspiration of the Spirit, select one or more that will work best for your quorum:

  • Invite the young men to watch “Honesty: You Better Believe It” or read the the story about buying movie tickets in Elder Robert C. Gay’s talk “What Shall a Man Give in Exchange for His Soul?” Ask them to write down ways they can prepare now to overcome the temptation to be dishonest before the situation actually arises. Invite them to share their thoughts with the rest of the quorum.
  • As a quorum, read “Honesty and Integrity” in For the Strength of Youth. Ask the young men to identify the blessings of honesty and list them on the board. How does honesty affect their ability to do good for others and the Lord? Why is honesty important to them as a priesthood holder, a son, a brother, a friend, a leader, or an employee?
  • Read Joseph Smith—History 1:21–25 as a quorum, and ask the young men what they learn about honesty from this story. How are they blessed because Joseph was true to what he experienced and what Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ asked of him? When has being honest required the young men to be courageous? How were they blessed for being honest?  
  • Draw a line down the middle of the board. On one side write, “If I am honest…” and on the other side write, “If I am dishonest…” Ask the young men to look for ways to complete these sentences as they read the section titled “Honesty” in True to the Faith and the story about the dishonest student in President Thomas S. Monson’s talk “Preparation Bring Blessings.” What other thoughts can they add? Invite the young men to share how they have seen these things in their own lives. Ask the quorum to share some ways people sometimes justify being dishonest. How do they explain to others their reasons for being honest?
  • Assign each of the young men one of the scripture passages from this lesson. Ask each young man to write down one to four words that represent what the passage teaches about honesty. Invite the young men to share what they have written and express their feelings and experiences about being honest.

Ask the young men to share what they learned today. Do they understand the importance of being honest? What feelings or impressions do they have? Do they have any additional questions? Would it be worthwhile to spend more time on this doctrine?

Invite to act

The young man who is conducting concludes the meeting. He could:

  • Share his testimony of what he learned from the lesson today.
  • Challenge each young man to be honest in all things.