Family Home Evening Lesson about Honesty

Little white lies have a way of slipping into our lives without much of a fuss.  Because they’re just tiny little lies, and they’re not really hurting anyone, right?  Wrong.  Even the littlest of lies can be damaging to ourselves and our relationships – which is what we’ll be talking about for FHE tonight.

FHE Theme: Honesty

Scripture: 13th Article of Faith, Exodus 20:16

Songs: “I Believe in Being Honest” and “Keep the Commandments” Children’s Songbook

Activity: To start off tell your family a lie, purely for teaching purposes.  Say something like “After the opening prayer I’m going to go in the kitchen and get the super special chocolatey treat I made for everyone.”  Then once the opening prayer is over go in the kitchen and retrieve broccoli…or nothing…and come back.  Hopefully your family will be good and disappointed.

Now ask them how they feel.  Betrayed?  Sad?  Severely upset?  Do they trust what you say now? 

To make up for it you can have a super special chocolatey treat waiting for everyone after the lesson.  Or you can just move on and everyone can ponder how they felt when they were lied to about chocolate – that’s a lesson that will stick.  But it’s really up to you.

Read Exodus 20:15 and the 13th Article of Faith, and discuss them as a family.  Ask questions like, “What does ‘bear false witness’ mean?” and “Do we only have to be honest sometimes, or all the time?”  Maybe relay an incident when someone told you a lie that effected your life.

This next story was adapted from Sugardoodle.net, we’ve tweaked the story and printable monster, but mad props to the original creator for such a fabulous idea.

The Lie Monster

Once there was a boy named Caleb.    One day his parents had to go to the store and left Caleb to baby-sit his little brother, Jacob.  Caleb was 11 years old and Jacob was only 2, so Caleb was great at watching his brother. 

While their parents were gone Caleb got hungry.  But they were all out of snacks, which is probably why their parents went to the store in the first place.  Then Caleb remembered that his mom kept chocolate chips on her baking shelf in the pantry.  But Caleb also remembered that his mom had always told them NOT to eat the things on her baking shelf.  But then Caleb thought he could maybe sneak just a few and his mom wouldn’t even notice.  So he did.  And he ate them while Jacob was distracted so no one would know.

When the boys’ parents returned, and started unloading groceries, their mom noticed that almost half of her chocolate chips were gone.  She had planned on making cookies later, but now there weren’t enough chocolate chips and they hadn’t bought anymore at the store.

She asked Caleb if he had gotten into the chocolate chips while they were gone.  Caleb felt really uncomfortable. He knew if he told the truth he would be punished, and he really hated being punished.  So instead he lied.

“It was Jacob. I went to the bathroom, and when I came back he was eating them!” Caleb said.

(At this point, pull out the monster printable, and put it where your family can see it.)

His mom looked sad, “Well that’s a bummer,” she said. “I was going to make cookies and now I can’t.”

Caleb felt a little bit guilty, but he was glad that he hadn’t been punished.  He hadn’t really told many lies up until then, but he had to admit – they were really handy in a pinch.

The next day Caleb ran to the gas station on the corner during recess.  It wasn’t very far and he just really wanted to buy some candy.  He knew that it was breaking the rules, but he thought he’d get back before anyone noticed.  But he ended up getting back to class a few minutes late.  When his teacher asked him where he was, he told her he was in the bathroom.

(Place a tentacle on the monster.)

A girl in Caleb’s class saw him leave the school playground, so she told the teacher that Caleb had broken the rules.  But Caleb didn’t want to get in trouble, so he told the teacher that his tummy was a little upset and he had spent most of the recess in the bathroom.  Then he asked to go to the nurses office.

(Place a tentacle on the monster.)

Caleb didn’t notice that a little monster had started following him around.  He also didn’t notice that it seemed to be getting bigger…

In the days that followed, other kids in Caleb’s class began to tell on him when he broke the rules or made a mistake.  He found lying to be the most effective way to get out of trouble, so he kept doing it more and more.

(Place a tentacle on the monster.)

After a few days he thought, “Why are the other kids getting me in trouble so often?  I wish they would just keep their mouths’ shut!”  So now Caleb was lying to himself.

(Place a tentacle on the monster.)

At home Caleb’s brother Jacob caught him sneaking more chocolate chips, and told their mom.  Caleb got angry and said that Jacob was just making things up.

(Place a tentacle on the monster.)

Caleb started feeling really yucky inside.  He wasn’t quite sure what it was, because he still hadn’t noticed the monster that was growing and following him.  He also felt really sad for himself, because it seemed like everyone else just wanted him to be in trouble.  His self-pity justified many things; he started breaking more rules, being mean to his friends and family, and telling lots and lots and lots of lies.

(Place the last 2 tentacles on the monster.)

Caleb’s friends stopped playing with him at school.  Jacob didn’t want to be around him at home.  And even his mom looked at him like she wasn’t sure she could trust him.  Then Caleb noticed the big scary monster that wouldn’t go away.  This really made him upset.  He wanted to feel better, but what could he do to be happy again?

Discuss as a family what Caleb can do to get rid of his monster.  He could admit that he was being dishonest to his friends, family, and teacher.  He could stop breaking rules.  He could try to be nicer instead of thinking of ways to get out of trouble.  Etc.  After each suggestion, take away the monster, one piece at a time.

End the story by saying that Caleb decided to never lie again!

And then go get those super special chocolatey treats.  Because you probably shouldn’t lie to your family like that.