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Lesson 37: I Can Be Honest

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“Lesson 37: I Can Be Honest,” Primary 1 (2000), 122–24

“Lesson 37,” Primary 1, 122–24

Lesson 37

I Can Be Honest


To strengthen each child’s desire to be honest.


  1. Prayerfully study Exodus 20:15–16; Alma 53:16–22; 56:44–57; and Articles of Faith 1:13. See also Gospel Principles (31110), chapter 31.

  2. Make a simple headband for each child out of a strip of paper or cloth. Write on each headband I can be honest.

  3. Materials needed:

    1. A Bible and a Book of Mormon.

    2. A button or other small object.

    3. Picture 1-13, Joseph Smith (Gospel Art Picture Kit 400; 62449); picture 1-65, Two Thousand Young Warriors (Gospel Art Picture Kit 313; 62050).

  4. Make the necessary preparations for any Enrichment Activities you want to use.

Learning Activities

Invite a child to give the opening prayer.

Attention Activity

Have a child come to the front of the class. Press your hands together with a button or other small object inside. Have the other children press their hands together. Go from child to child, passing your hands between theirs. Drop the button into one child’s hands. Have the children keep pressing their hands together, pretending they have the button. Say, “Button, button, who has the button?” Have the child at the front try to guess which child has the button by asking, “(Name), do you have the button?” Tell the children that they should answer truthfully, “No, I do not have the button” or “Yes, I have the button.”

Play the game several times, choosing other children to guess and to pass the button. Compliment the children for being honest.

Heavenly Father and Jesus want us to be honest

Show picture 1-13, Joseph Smith. Tell the children that the Prophet Joseph Smith wrote, “We believe in being honest” in the thirteenth article of faith. Help the children memorize these words.

  • What does it mean to be honest?

Explain that being honest includes telling the truth, not taking things that belong to someone else, and treating other people fairly.

Show the Bible and tell the children that Moses brought the Ten Commandments to his people (see Exodus 20). Explain that Heavenly Father and Jesus gave Moses two commandments on honesty: “Thou shalt not steal” and “Thou shalt not bear false witness.” Read Exodus 20:15–16 aloud.

  • What does it mean to steal?

Explain that to bear false witness means to say something that is not true.


Sing or say the words to the first part of “I Believe in Being Honest” (Children’s Songbook, p. 149).

I believe in being honest;

I believe in being true,

That honesty should start with me

In all I say, in all I do.


Describe some actions to the children. Have the children stand when the action is honest and sit down when the action is dishonest. Use the examples below or create some of your own:

  • Taking a treat when your mother has asked you not to do it.

  • Telling the truth about what you do.

  • Taking something that doesn’t belong to you.

  • Admitting to doing something wrong.

  • Saying that someone else did something wrong when you really did it.

  • Finding some money or something that belongs to someone else and returning it to the owner.

Ask the children to share experiences of when they have been honest.

  • How do you feel when you are honest?

  • How do you feel when you are not honest?

  • Why might you sometimes be afraid to be honest? (You might be punished or make someone unhappy.)

Help the children understand that we can feel better when we are honest, even though it is sometimes hard to do.

We are blessed when we are honest


Show picture 1-65, Two Thousand Young Warriors. Tell the story of the two thousand stripling warriors, as found in Alma 53:16–22 and Alma 56:44–57, especially Alma 53:20–21. Explain that one reason these young men were so outstanding was that they were honest. Read aloud the last part of Alma 53:20 (from they were men who were true). Explain that being true means being honest. Because these young warriors were honest, they were protected in battle. They were blessed for their honesty, faith, and courage. We will also be blessed if we are honest.

  • How were the two thousand young warriors blessed for being honest? (See Alma 56:54–56.)


Place the headbands on the children. Have them pretend they are the two thousand stripling warriors and march around the room as you clap a rhythm. Have them stop marching when you stop clapping, and ask a child to tell how he or she can be honest. Start clapping again, and repeat the activity until each child has had a turn to give an answer.


Bear your testimony that Heavenly Father and Jesus want us to be honest and that we can feel happy when we are honest.

Enrichment Activities

Choose some of these activities to use during the lesson.

  1. Tell the following story of Jacob Hamblin and his son in your own words:

    Jacob Hamblin was one of the first pioneers to go to southern Utah. He loved the Indians who lived there and learned to speak their language. He was always honest with the Indians, and they learned to trust him. One day Jacob sent his son to trade a pony to an Indian for some blankets. The Indian carefully looked over the pony and set out a pile of blankets. Jacob’s son said, “Not enough.” The Indian kept adding blankets to the pile. When Jacob’s son thought he had enough blankets, he rode home, proud that he had received so many blankets for the pony. When Jacob saw how many blankets his son had brought home, he was not pleased. The pony was not worth that many blankets. Jacob made his son take half the blankets back to the Indian. When the boy went back, the Indian laughed and said, “I knew that Jacob would send them back” (see Jacob Hamblin, Jr., as told to Louise Lee Udall, in A Story to Tell [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1945], 359–60).

    Explain that the Indian knew that Jacob Hamblin was an honest man and would send back the extra blankets. The Indian could trust Jacob because he was always honest. Let the children act out or retell the story.

  2. Sing or say the words to both verses of “Jesus Loved the Little Children” (Children’s Songbook, p. 59) or “Jesus Once Was a Little Child” (Children’s Songbook, p. 55).

  3. Use simple puppets, such as sock or paper bag puppets, to act out situations where someone has a choice between being honest and being dishonest. Use the examples below or create some of your own:

    • You broke a dish and your mother asks who did it.

    • You are helping pick up some money that has spilled, and you are tempted to take some.

    • You ate two cookies after your father told you not to. Your father asks if you ate the cookies.

    Have the children take turns using the puppets and telling what they should do in each situation.

Additional Activities for Younger Children

  1. Ask the children if there is a horse in the room. Tell them that even if they looked very carefully, they could not find a horse in the room because there isn’t one. It would not be honest to say there is a horse in the room. Ask if they can see (name something that the children can easily see). Explain that it would be honest to say that this item is in the room. Tell the children that when they say something that is true or real, they are being honest.

  2. Ask the children to raise both hands when you say something that is true and lower both hands when you say something that is not true. Make simple but obvious statements, such as “I have a flower in my hair,” “I am wearing a dress,” “John’s pants are red,” or “You are sitting on a chair.”

  3. Sing or say the words to “A Prayer” (Children’s Songbook, p. 22) or “Dare to Do Right” (Children’s Songbook, p. 158).