What’s in a can

Source: Doug Hoffman from Kentucky
Here’s an an awesome object lesson that I use with my kids at camp – all you need is a can of fruit or vegetables, and take the label off…add a dent or two also. It’s amazing what and how much the younger ones can come up with! Put the can in the middle of the group and let the group examine it. Ask them to describe the can. Some may say that it’s shiny, that it has dents, and that it has no label. Then ask how this relates to people. Dents of course, because we aren’t perfect and we all have some sort of short falling. The reflection…we reflect what people say about us. Some may say we’re really good at something, and others not good and often we’ll do just that. Then the label. We don’t want to label people. Only God knows whats on the inside, yet as people we know how to look on the outside. We need to train ourselves to look on the inside. On that same note, we need to get to know people and people need to open themselves up in order to really get to know what’s inside. A whole different road can be taken in discussing what labels we have had, why we don’t like them, etc. Some cans may have a pricetag on them, and one can touch on putting value on people needs to only be done if we really value them (because sometimes people don’t get high value, when they really are).

This is a really cool object lesson, something we can get from our kitchen cupboard. Great for group discussion and learning about relationships and judging.

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value of a dollar

A well-known speaker started off his seminar by holding up a $20 bill. In the room of 200, he asked, “Who would like this $20 bill?” Hands started going up. He said, “I am going to give this $20 to one of you, but first, let me do this.” He proceeded to crumple the dollar bill up. He then asked, “Who still wants it?” Still, the hands were up in the air.” “Well,” he continued, “what if I do this?” And he dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up, now crumpled and dirty. “Now, who still wants it?” Still the hands went into the air. “My friends, you have all learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20.” “Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstance that come our way.” We feel as though we are worthless. But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value: dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are still priceless to those who love you.” The worth of our lives comes not in what we do or who we know, but in WHO WE ARE. You are special. Don’t ever forget it.”

Posted in Love/charity, self-worth/talents, thought/word/deed, Uncategorized, Youth Lessons | Leave a comment

Clay or flowers

Source: Rabbi Nachum Braverman as heard on the Toni Grant radio show
This lesson can be tailored to be for the subject of parenting, or for the subject of the marriage relationship and accepting our mate, the way he/she is. You need a ball of play dough or soft clay and either a small plant or flower or seeds. Show how its possible to fashion any object or shape from the clay, but with the flower the only thing you have power to do is to help the flower be healthy and vibrant, or wilted and dying. You cannot shape it into some other object.

The lesson in this is that we have the power and opportunity to help our children or spouse or the relationship be the best it can by our love, example, service, & attention. But it is fruitless and even damaging to try to mold the flower into something different. Force is not the Lord’s plan. Providing the best circumstances for blooming is the Lord’s plan.

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Two planes

This is a talk given by 11 yr old Alex.
The idea was based on a story given in a general conference talk – Oct 99
First you make two paper airplanes. One needs to fly very straight and true. The other needs to look a little battered and fly more in loops. There are patterns out there for making the different types. Then here is the talk: Imagine a plane taking off, the plane is in perfect condition the crew is trained and they have flight plan. If you get on this plane your sure to get to your destination. Now, imagine another plane taking off it doesn’t really have a place to go. It’s not in good shape. Its crew is a bunch of high school kids who have just graduated and have not been properly trained yet. If you get on this plane your almost sure to not reach your destination.

The first plane is god’s plan of happiness. Just like in the plane the church has leaders who are called of god. Just like the flight plan, gods plan of happiness is clearly written out in the scriptures. If we get on this plane, then we will be happy, and reach our destination of living with God again.

The second plane is the world. It has no destination, no plan, no consistent direction or standards. One month the world wants pokemon, next it wants pogs. One year the world wants Harry Potter, next it wants Animorphs. (This lesson is old! Pick popular toys and media of today.) Everthing is subject to the whims of popular culture. The passengers on this plane don’t know where they are going, so they never know if they get there.

If I were a passenger with a specific destination, I would pick the one with trained pilots and a flight plan. I would feel safer and more secure the God’s plan of happiness.

Then read this scripture Eph. 4:11-14

Posted in Children's lessons, choice/accountability, commandments/obedience, good or bad habits, media, resisting evil, thought/word/deed, Youth Lessons | Leave a comment

Staying in the center

Source: New Era magazine – Nov 99, p.44
You need a lazy susan or turntables that go in your cupboard for your spices. Demonstrate in some way how the things in the center spin much slower and don’t fly off like the things on the outside. If you can’t have the demonstration then just have them picture the last time they were on a merry-go-round and have the class discuss what happens to a person in the dead center and what happens to someone on the edge when the merry-go-round is going very fast. The lesson from the New Era is this: You’ll find that when you move away from the teachings of the Savior and the prophets, you find yourself taking risks you know you shouldn’t. And then you can suddenly find yourself far away from the Church. And it can be really hard to get back on the ride again once you’re off. If we stay centered on Him, following the teachings of the Church and the prophets, we won’t be tempted to take the risks that will throw us off the path that leads home.

Posted in commandments/obedience, God/Jesus Christ/Holy Spirit, good or bad habits, leadership, Uncategorized, Youth Lessons | Leave a comment

Old Shoes

Submitted by Teri Latimer
I take an old well worn shoe and talk about how useful and comfortable the shoe is. It’s a good shoe. I Have worked and jogged many miles in this shoe. They protect my feet from thorns and rocks and glass. The commandments are like this shoe. They may not always seem fashionable to the world but they protect me against sin and heartache. The commandments may seem at times “out of style” but they are there to protect us an enable us to live our lives and progress to the fullest.. In all my walking and working these shoes have also never hurt my feet and neither will the commandments.Another variation of this is to have each person in the room describe their own shoes and how it relates to the lesson

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Eggs and Testimony

Submitted by: Peggy Sherman-Daniels
I found a good way to show differences in your testimony and/or faith was to use eggs. I make Jello Jiggler eggs, then also use a raw egg, a soft boiled egg, and a hard boiled egg. Each of the 4 eggs are placed in separate zip-lock bags. The children then got to feel of the eggs and test the firmness of each one. It make the point that all of our testimonies can sometimes be concealed within an outer shell, and they still need work. The favorite is always the Jello egg. It is a great example of testimony or faith that is based on the continuous changes in life. It is solid. It is firm. It retains it’s shape and identity. Yet it gives a bit and adjusts to changes around it, which may include guidance from a parent, teacher, or church authority; experiences with others; revelation; inspiration; etc.

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Brownies with a difference

Many parents are hard pressed to explain to their youth why some music, movies, books, and magazines are not acceptable material for them to bring into the home or to listen to or see. One parent came up with an original idea that is hard to refute. The father listened to all the reasons his children gave for wanting to see a particular PG-13 movie. It had their favorite actors. Everyone else was seeing it. Even church members said it was great. It was only rated PG-13 because of the suggestion of sex–they never really showed it. The language was pretty good–the Lord’s name was only used in vain three times in the whole movie.

The teens did admit there was a scene where a building and a bunch of people were blown up, but the violence was just the normal stuff. It wasn’t too bad. And, even if there were a few minor things, the special effects were fabulous and the plot was action packed.

However, even with all the justifications the teens made for the 13′ rating, the father still wouldn’t give in. He didn’t even give his children a satisfactory explanation for saying, “No.” He just said, “No!”

A little later on that evening the father asked his teens if they would like some brownies he had baked. He explained that he’d taken the family’s favorite recipe and added a little something new. The children asked what it was.

The father calmly replied that he had added dog poop. However, he quickly assured them, it was only a little bit. All other ingredients were gourmet quality and he had taken great care to bake the brownies at the precise temperature for the exact time. He was sure the brownies would be superb.

Even with their father’s promise that the brownies were of almost perfect quality, the teens would not take any. The father acted surprised. After all, it was only one small part that was causing them to be so stubborn. He was certain they would hardly notice it. Still the teens held firm and would not try the brownies.

The father then told his children how the movie they wanted to see was just like the brownies. Our minds are us into believing that just a little bit of evil won’t matter. But, the truth is even a little bit of poop makes the difference between a great treat and something disgusting and totally unacceptable.

The father went on to explain that even though the movie industry would have us believe that most of today’s movies are acceptable fare for adults and youth, they are not.

Now, when this father’s children want to see something that is of questionable material, the father merely asks them if they would like some of his special dog poop brownies. That closes the subject.

Posted in Effects of Sin, media, parenting, Youth Lessons | Leave a comment

Watermelon seed

From Diane Hollinger
A story taken from an old diary….
Needed….a watermelon seed (a picture of a watermelon) The Bible, or another book of scripture at my father’s place at meal times, was the order of the day in our home. He would read a chapter aloud and lead the discussion.

But one day as we assembled for our meal, there was no book of scripture but a single watermelon seed. He appeared not to notice the missing book but recalled something he had discussed concerning faith several days ago. We all joined in on the lively discussion.

Then very carefully he picked up the watermelon seed and held it so we could all see it.

“Boys,” he said, still studying the seed. “Do you believe that there is the possibility of several watermelons here in my hand?” We all agreed there was.

“Do you believe that I have the beginnings of a whole wagon load of watermelons here?”

One of the older brothers said that he couldn’t say that, but he’d like to plant the watermelon seed and see. We all agreed with him.

“Boys,” Father said with a twinkle in his brown eyes, “you have the right idea. You have faith that watermelons will come from this seed but with out your work of planting and caring for this seed you will never know for sure. James 2:17 “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.”

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Bag of Rocks

From Angela Spencer
A Story out of the Friend called Bag of Rocks. This boy named Malcolm collected rocks everytime someone or something made him mad. I brought a bunch of rocks and made a boy stand in front of the room and as I read the story, we loaded him down with rocks, adding suspenders, a coat with many pockets and a backpack. We then discussed at the close of the story, how to unburden ourselves from bad feelings we harbor for others. We took rocks out at every suggestion and this kept the kids completely entertained!!!!


Posted in atonement/grace, Children's lessons, Effects of Sin, forgive/repent, good or bad habits, Love/charity, Youth Lessons | Leave a comment