For more information on this topic read “A Witness,” by President Henry B. Eyring, Ensign, Nov 2011, 68.
You can take courage as I do from the example . . . given us by Moroni. He was alone in his ministry. He knew the end of life was near for him. And yet . . . he wrote for the sake of people not yet born and the descendants of his mortal enemies
(President Henry B. Eyring, “A Witness,” Ensign, Nov 2011, 68.)
Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.
(2 Nephi 31:20)
Materials Needed: Individually wrapped pieces of taffy and gum for each person.
Procedure: Give everyone in your group a piece of taffy, and let them begin eating it. While they eat the taffy, explain that many times something is expected of us, whether it be a task, an assignment, or simply a commitment to be true to the standards we have set for ourselves. We generally start out with a good effort. But after a while, pressures, problems, and obstacles find their way to us, and our efforts begin to dissolve—almost like the taffy that was eaten.
Hand out gum. As they chew it, explain that if we have consecrated our lives to the Lord we will persevere, even through the tough times. This is like the gum, no matter how many times they apply pressure and chew, the gum still remains.
(Beth Lefgren and Jennifer Jackson, Power Tools for Teaching, [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1988], p. 52.)
A few years ago I tried an experiment with a group of ten-year-olds I was teaching in Sunday School.
“You have a choice,” I announced as I held up a bowl of M&M’s. “You can either have a handful of M&M’s right now, or you can each have an entire bag of M&M’s tomorrow.”
“Why don’t we do it the other way around?” Brady suggested. “Give us a bag of M&M’s now or a handful tomorrow!”
The rest of the class loved Brady’s idea. But I didn’t.
“Nope,” I said. “A handful now or the bag tomorrow. That’s the way it’s going to be.”
“How about just a few now AND the rest later?” Megan asked.
“Sorry,” I said. “No compromise. You have to make a choice.”
“What if some of us want our M&M’s now, and some of us want to wait?” Adam asked. “Good idea,” I said. “But no. Whatever you’re going to do, you’re going to do it as a group.
You guys figure it out. I’m going to get a drink.”
With that I stepped into the hall and wandered down to the drinking fountain, making sure to pause and stretch and meander. I wanted to give them plenty of time to hash this out. We were, after all, talking about chocolate here. If there’s one thing 29 years of marriage has taught me, it’s that you have to be very careful about decisions involving chocolate—even if it’s the kind that melts in your mouth, not in your hands.
When I finally poked my head back into the room, the decision had been made: the bowl of M&M’s was empty, and there were chocolate-induced smiles all around.
“Actually, it was pretty much a no-brainer,” Nancy said of the decision. “The hardest part was figuring out how to divide them up. The boys wanted to go first, but we didn’t want to take a chance on the boys actually touching the M&M’s before we got them. You never know where boys’ hands have been—you know?”
Nancy, I should mention, has brothers.
So one of the boys—out of respect for delicate feelings, I won’t say whose—arm-wrestled Nancy for the right to go first. I didn’t see the actual event, but I’m confident the end came surely and swiftly. Think Harry Potter meets Xena, Warrior Princess. A battle of wits would have been competitive, but this wasn’t about brain power. This was about brute strength.
The next day when I came home from work, several of the kids from my class were hanging out on my front lawn.
“We were just sort of thinking that . . . you know . . . maybe we should have waited to get a whole bag of M&M’s today,” Brady said. “And we were sort of wondering . . . you know . . . if it is, like, too late to change our minds?”
I smiled. “Yeah, it is,” I said. “Sorry!”
“But the girls ate most of the M&M’s in the bowl,” Colton complained. “We hardly got any.”
“That’s too bad,” I said. “If you had waited, not only would you have received more M&M’s today than you got yesterday, but you would have received your own bag and you wouldn’t have had to worry about how to divide them. But you decided not to wait, so you’re pretty much stuck with what you got.”
They didn’t like that answer, but it brought new insight to our Bible class the next Sunday when we talked about how important it is to always stay focused on our ultimate, long-term goals and priorities no matter how alluring and intoxicating the diversions of Right Now may be.
You know, the story of Jacob, Laban, Leah, Rachel—and the M&M’s.
(Joseph Walker, Look What Love Has Done, [Salt Lake City: Shadow Mountain, 2007], p. 48.)
Give everyone a copy of the following matching game. Have them match a person in the numbered column with an item in the lettered column. These people are all good examples of consecrated lives.
2. Alma the Younger
4. Samuel the Lamanite
5. Captain Moroni
B. Sword of Laban
C. Prayed for forgiveness
D. Abridged the plates
E. Sons of Mosiah
G. Buried plates
H. Title of Liberty
Answers: 1-B; 2-E; 3-A; 4-F; 5-H; 6-C; 7-G; 8-D.
(Allan K. Burgess and Max H. Molgard, Fun for Family Night: Book of Mormon Edition, [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1990], p. 217.)
Makes 10 servings
- 1 angel food cake
- 1 (3-ounce) package strawberry gelatin
- 1 1⁄4 cups boiling water
- 1 (10-ounce) package sliced frozen strawberries
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ￼￼Dash of salt
- 1 cup whipped cream, whipped with 1 tablespoon sugar
Purchase or prepare an angel food cake. Cut cake into bite-sized pieces.
Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Stir in strawberries, sugar, and salt. Cool until gelatin is thick and syrupy. Fold in whipped cream, reserving about 1⁄4 cup for garnish.
Place half the cake pieces into a 2- or 3-quart serving bowl. Pour half the strawberry cream mixture over cake. Add another layer of cake pieces and then remaining strawberry cream mixture. Refrigerate 1 to 2 hours or until set. Top each serving with a dollop of whipped cream.
(Lion House Cakes and Cupcakes, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2011], p. 82.)