June Sharing Time: Experiment Upon the Word

Preparation: Gather the items needed to perform the science experiment described below (clear 12 oz. glass, water, baking soda, vinegar, raisins).

Obtain a picture of Alma (such as Gospel Art Kit #321). Make word strips of the following words: WANT TO BELIEVE, READ THE SCRIPTURES, OBEY THE COMMANDMENTS, =FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST. Familiarize yourself with Alma's teachings about experimenting on the word (see Alma 32:27-43).

Presentation: Explain to the children that scientists learn how things work by doing experiments. They usually have an idea, but have to try it out before they can know for sure. Tell them that you are going to try an experiment. Explain that you can tell them what will happen in the experiment, but by performing the experiment they will know if it works or not. Tell them that you will try to make some raisins "dance" in a glass of water.

Show a glass three-fourths full of water. Add a tablespoon of baking soda and stir until clear. Drop a handful of raisins into the glass. Pour vinegar into the glass. Use as much vinegar as it takes to make the raisins come to the top of the water. Bubbles will appear, and the raisins will "dance." Mixing vinegar and baking soda together forms a gas called carbon dioxide. Bubbles of carbon dioxide stick to the sides of the raisins, act like air bags, and float the heavy raisins to the surface. At the surface the bubbles break and the raisins sink. Then the process starts all over again.

Show a picture of Alma. Explain that he was a great prophet in the Book of Mormon. Tell the children that he taught his followers about a different kind of experiment. His experiment teaches us how to have faith in Jesus Christ. Just like combining ingredients in the glass creates a reaction, if we combine the parts of Alma's experiment we will have the reaction of a testimony.

Post the word strip WANT TO BELIEVE. Explain that the first ingredient in our faith experiment is wanting to believe in Jesus Christ. Even when we don't know, we need to have a desire to believe.

Post the word strip READ THE SCRIPTURES. When we combine wanting to believe with regular scripture study a reaction starts to take place in our hearts. The scriptures contain many testimonies of Jesus Christ. The prophet Alma called the scriptures "the word." They are inspired by our Heavenly Father, and when we read them we can learn many things.

Post the word strip OBEY THE COMMANDMENTS. Explain that when we do the things that Heavenly Father wants us to it is like adding another ingredient in our experiment. Alma called this "nourishing" our faith, which means feeding it good things.

Post the word strip =FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST. Help the children understand that faith in our Savior is the result of the first three steps. Just like the "dancing" raisins are the result of the science experiment, when we perform an experiment of faith we are blessed with a testimony of Jesus. The more we perform the experiment, the greater our faith will become. Testify that you know these steps work because you have performed the experiment yourself. Challenge the children to try the experiment in their own lives and with their families.

Sing songs about faith to help the children further gain an understanding of this principle. Songs could include, "I'll Follow Him in Faith" (Friend, Jan. 2003, 24), "I Pray in Faith" (Children's Songbook, 120), "The Fourth Article of Faith" (CS, 124), and "Faith" (CS, 96).

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