The best advice I can give is from a talk by Elder Oaks: ”Last year a church member sent me a suggestion that someone prepare a book containing all General Authority interpretations of all verses in the scriptures. I replied that I thought this was not a good idea…. What we are seeking to accomplish… is not to magnify the standing of the prophets but to elevate the spirituality of our rank and file members. Like Moses, we declare, ‘would God that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them!’ (Numbers 11:29). We encourage everyone to study the scriptures prayerfully and seek personal revelation to know the meaning for themselves.” (Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “Scripture Reading and Revelation”, BYU Studies Academy Meeting, January 29, 1993)

Object Lessons

Object Lessons

Repentance: Items needed hammer, nail, block of wood and wood patch.  Drive the nail into the wood advise this represents sin.  Remove the nail from the wood this shows the sin being stopped. but advise the effects are still there like the hole in the wood.  Apply the wood patch and smooth over.  The hole is gone.  Lesson: Through repentance we can erase all marks and effects of  sin and be like new.

Resurrection: Items a jar of water, a live fly, some salt.  Place the fly in the jar of water and drown it.  Tell all that this is death.  Place the fly (must be undamaged) on the table and cover it fully with salt.  Wait a few minutes then gently stir the salt, add more if needed.  soon the fly will move and fly away.  Explain that the salt like the resurrection allows us to live again.

Staying UnSpotted:   Items, A hand held Bell, and come play dough or clay.  Ring the bell and let the class hear the clear tone.  Then place several pieces of clay onto the bell.  Ring it again and ask the class if the tone had a difference.  Lesson:  just like the clay that dulled the sound of the bell so to does sin dull the sound of the spirit.

Being in the World but not of it:  Items needed: A glass, a cork and a container of water that will fill the glass.  Tell the class that the glass is the world, the water is how we live our life's and the sides of the glass is the evil of the world.  Fill the glass half full of water and place the cork in it.  Ask how can you avoid the sides of the glass, (by staying centered in the water) ask how can you ensure that the cork will always stay in the center.  Now slowly fill the glass so that it is slightly over the top.  The cork will remain in the center. We can remain centered by rising above the sins and evils of the world

Don't Judge a Book by it's cover.   Items needed.  A old white shirt, a jacket.  Before class add dirt, grease, colored marks to the shirt.  Be careful to only mark up the places that will be covered by the jacket when worn and done up.  You may even add a few holes, rips or tears.  Advised the class that the world looks on the outward man but the Lord looks on the inner man.  As you talk about judging others ask the class how you look today.  After they respond remove the jacket.  Lesson Only you and the Lord knows what's on the inside
Part II  Items needed.  A cover off a church book.  and a popular novel or other kind of book.  Place the cover of the church book over the other book.  Ask a class member to read a passage from the book.  When the class seems confused remove the cover and explain that You can't judge a book by it's cover.

Bearing Witness.  Items needed: one peanut.  Hold the peanut in your hand without the class seeing you place it there or being able to see it. Tell them you have a peanut in your hand and ask how many believe you.  Then ask one or two class members to come and see that you have the peanut.  Have them testify to the class that it is there.  Then ask how many believe you.  Why did they change their mind?  Show the peanut to the class and ask how many believe that there are two nuts in the peanut.  Why if they haven't seen it?   (past experience)  The same is true with testimony.  We base what we believe and know on the word of others that we trust, as well as our past experience.

Purity   Items Needed: A couple of cookies with icing.  Show the class the cookies.  Ask who would like one.  Before you hand the cookie to them take a bite from one and place it back on the tray, then lick the icing on another.  Offer the plate to the volunteer.  Ask why they chose the cookie they did.  Lesson.  Just like we don't want to have our icing licked off our cookies so to we want our mates to be pure.

Unto the Least of these.  Items needed: A dart board, a few darts, pictures of different people, some breaking the commandments and some popular "media stars", a picture of Christ.  Place the pictures one on top of the other with the picture of Christ being on the bottom.  Hook this to the dart board.  Have a volunteer throw darts at the first picture. then remove it and ask for another volunteer keep doing this as you work down to the last picture.  As you reveal the picture of Christ full of holes from the previous darts thrown read Matt 25:40

Bad Habits:  Items needed: a group of dominos,  small pieces of wood heavy enough so they wont fall over when hit by a domino.  Ask the class what are some things that help lead us to sin.  As they mention the items place a domino on the table.  Place them so that when one is tipped they will all knock into each other.  Knock down the first domino and watch the others topple.  Rest  the dominos up and then ask what are some things that help stop us from sinning.  Place the small pieces of wood between the dominos.  Now knock the first one down. Explain that like the wood our friends and pray etc. help us stop sinning.

Whole Armor of God.  Items needed a nail, a heavy thick work glove.  ( hard hat may be used also)  Take the nail and poke a student in the hand with it.  Ask if it hurt.  Now have the student put on the glove and poke them again.  Did it hurt this time.  Lesson; just as the glove helped protect  from the nail so too does obeying the commandments help protect us from Satan and the pains of the world.

Choosing Good Friends.    Items needed: One or two games of "Jenga" or block stacking game.  Divide the class into two teams.  Advise them that they will be competing against each other to build the highest tower with the blocks. (You stack the blocks in a neat tower and take turns pulling a block out and placing it on top of the tower.)  If the tower falls you lose.  If you have only a few students then do one tower and the goal is to get it as high as possible.  Before class ask one of the class to be your helper.  Their goal is to make sure the team fails without getting caught.  Tell the class they have only a short time to do this task. Start the building.  After about 5-8 minutes announce that there is a saboteur in the group and that their goal is to make sure the team fails.  Have the building continue.  After about 10-15 minutes stop the game.  Then ask the following questions.  How did you feel at the start of the game?  How did you feel once you knew there was a person in the group that wanted you to fail?  Lesson:  In life and trying to get back to our Heavenly Father, it helps to have help.  The building of our "kingdom" is easier with the help of good friends.  When we surround ourselves with people that don't have the same ideals or goals we are in a sense asking them to help make sure we don't make it.

More on Friends  Items needed: a bunch of small sticks.  Have a class member come up to the front and ask them to break one of the sticks.  Now give them 3 or 4 sticks and ask them to break them.  Keep adding sticks until the class member is unable to break the pack.  Advise the class that like the sticks it is easy for Satan to wear us down and break us when we are alone, but when surrounded by friends with the same values etc. is is almost impossible.

Influence of Music  Items needed: A tape recorder and a tape of   recorded music from Beer commercials and popular songs.  Play the first few notes of a popular commercial and ask if the class can guess what song it is.  Keep playing different commercials (4-5) notice how the class will start to sing along etc.  Point out to the class even if they don't use the products described in the commercials they still have been influenced.  (you can also use theme songs from popular TV shows)  Now play several popular church songs or Hymns.  I usual end by saying that I am going to play the most influent song I have ever heard and then play "I am a Child of God". The point: Even if we don't mean for it to happen the world is always influencing us and we must be careful.

Grace of God   Items needed: A simple puzzle.  Remove one piece before the class. Have the class put the puzzle together.  when they discover that the piece is missing give it to them and point out that just as they couldn't finish the puzzle and make it complete so to can we not make our salvation complete no matter how hard we try without help.  This is what being saved by Gods grace means.  You can also have something just out of reach that the person must get hold of.  Advise them that they can ask for help from someone in the room.  THis is the same printable.

In the World not of it.  Items needed:  2 cups of sugar or salt, a few marbles or small rocks, a drainer.  Place the sugar in a bowl, advise that this represents our souls, white and delightful.  Add in the marbles or small rocks, advise that they represent the world and its influences. Stir them together, ask how can we rid ourselves of the rocks?  pour the contents of the bowl into the drainer, the sugar will go through the rocks stay behind. Lesson:  as we read the scriptures, pray, attend the temples and our meetings we are putting our souls through the drainer and getting rid of the bad.

Scripture Study  Items needed: Pencils, a few maps.  Give the maps to the class, advise them that you want them to plan a trip to a far away city.  (pick one that will take a couple of days to get there).  Ask them to use the maps and plan their trip, have them include rest stops where and when to stop to eat and sleep etc.  After the class is done relate how this trip is much like our time on earth, we all have a final destination in mind and we need to plan for it.  We wouldn't just jump in the car to head cross country without a small bit of planning.  Our lives should be the same way, we have a map, (the scriptures) we have rest stops (daily prayer) and even places to eat and fill our tanks (church meetings)

The scriptures are unchanging.  Items needed a old text book, a set of scriptures.  Advise that the knowledge of the world may not be a sure thing.  Have someone read from the old text book a fact that is no longer correct and has changed.  For example that there are only 49 states in the US.  Then take the scriptures and ask when they were written, have they changed?  Isn't their message just as revel ant and important today?

R rated movies and music  (I got the idea for this from a web site that gave a similar example)
Items needed: A plate of brownies.
Talk about popular movies that are going on, ask if they had any parts that were not suitable for church members.  With out fail comments will come back like..."every movie has it...."It was only for a very brief second"...."it's all natural and stuff we all see and hear anyway"  then ask the class if they would like a brownie.  Advise them that you followed the directions close and that you made sure they would want to eat them.  Before they start to eat say "I did take the liberty to add a new ingredient, but don't worry, it's only a very small piece and it's natural, and well, every one sees it every day every where they look."  When the class asked what you added reply "A small piece of Dog pooh from my front lawn"  Now ask if any one wants a brownie.  As they say now ask the class, "Why don't we treat the movies and music we listen to like the dog brownies?"

Letting your light Shine
Items needed:  A small table lamp and some scarfs.
Advise the class that we are all to be lights unto the world.  Turn out the class light and turn on the lamp.  As you name off  several sins place a scarf over the lamp.
Lesson: Our light can't shine if it's hidden by sin.

Serving Two Masters
Items needed: A golf ball, putter and a putting cup or glass.
Have a student come up and take the putter.  Have one student tell them that they are to try to hit the ball into the glass.  Have another student tell them that they have to hit the ball as hard as they can.
Lesson: This shows us how we can't listen to conflicting masters

Where will you be comfortable in the here after?
Items needed:  Several different size shirts.
Explain that in the here after that we will be assigned a kingdom that we deserve and that we will each feel comfortable there.  To show this have a class members try on several different shirts.  Ask how they feel.
Lesson: just as the shirt that is too small feels tight and confine so may being assigned a glory that is beneath us.  Strive daily to be worthy of the highest (and most comfortable) of glories

Working by faith (or listening to the still small voice)
Items needed: Tinker toys, you must have doubles of every piece.
Build a simple object from the tinker toys. (example a house) Place the exact same tinker toys in a bag. Have one class member be blindfolded.  The goal is for them to build the house.  They will do this by receiving instruction from another class member.  You may also assign a class ember to give false instructions, (those that oppose the correct ones given by the other student)
Lesson: Just as the student was building a house without seeing it or knowing what they were building so to are we building our mansion in heaven.  If we listen to the still small voice and trust it in faith we have a chance.  If we pay attention to the other voices it is more difficult

This can be used either for Lies, or for Heavenly Fathers Plan of Happiness and Satan's Plan of Unhappiness
All that is needed is a spool of thread. You select a volunteer and have them hold the thread between their hands. Slowly you begin
wrapping the thread around like they are little sins, "just this once wont hurt". After a while these sins and the thread even though just
thin thread will not let you go.
 You see how easily Satan deceives us will small lies and how quickly we become bound to him and his service.
(Thanks to Jeremy Jones for submitting this one)

Before Class starts place a briefcase on a table. (you can also use a box with a Video camera in it).  Come into class about 5 minutes late.  As the class settles down ask them if they have ever felt like they were being watched etc.  Have someone come to the door (If possible the Bishop works well)  When this person comes  in take out the tape and hand it to them.  They will then leave.
Lesson:  Our thoughts actions and deeds are being recorded and we will have to answer for them someday.  Are you ready?

Items needed: one small flashlight, one LARGE flashlight.  Turn out the lights. Shine the small flashlight on the ceiling.  Explain that when we pray for something it is like shining a light into the sky to catch God's attention.  Now shine the larger flashlight and explain that when we fast as well as pray for something, it is like shining a searchlight into the sky to get God's attention

Items needed:  2 walkie Talkies with different channels.  Give one of the Walkie Talkies to a class member and ask them to step out into the hall.  Turn on the talkie and try calling the person in the hall. (Before class set the channel to different ones if possible or take out the batteries on one of the talkies.
This can be used several ways, we have to be in tune, on the same wavelength, to get through.  Our batteries need to be charged up, daily prayer, scripture reading etc.  And we have to be in range for the prayers to be most effective.

All can Help
Items needed: some cupcakes, icing, a knife, napkins, water, glasses.  Tell the class that you have a great treat for them to enjoy.  Pass out one item to each of the class members.  Advise them to enjoy their treat.  Watch as the class comes together to share their "Talents" or "Skills" to make a really great treat.
Point out that with everyone's items life is better

Being Sincere
Make a batch of cookies leaving out one small ingredient.  Have the class taste the cookies and see if they can spot the trouble.
Explain that just like the cookies without all the ingredients the same is true with our church service and actions if we are not sincere.

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