Thought: Now, I realize that it is much easier to look back when a trial is over and see what we have learned from our experience, but the challenge is to gain that eternal perspective while we are going through our tests.
(James B. Martino, "All Things Work Together for Good," Ensign, May 2010, 101-3.)
Song: "I Know My Father Lives," Children's Songbook, p.5.
Scripture: For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my first-born in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility. (2 Nephi 2:11)
Object Lesson: Materials needed: A yellow highligher pen, a marked book.
Procedure: Show the pen to the class and a page from the book that has been marked.
Explain that you use the marker to emphasize important passages. This helps you to recognize essential points when you review for a test. In our everyday lives, many things demand our time and attention. The gospel gives us the perspective we need to emphasize those things which are truly important. If we use the gospel to set priorities, we will be able to pass the "test" of this mortal existence.
(Alma Heaton, Tools for Teaching, [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1979], p. 35.)
Story: Mom wasn't a great typist, but she was better at it than I was. She had to be. She was a receptionist/assistant/mother hen for a local obstetrician. Typing was just one of the many services she offered, along with scheduling appointments, rejoicing with those who had reason to rejoice (and comforting those who did not), and taping cartoons (most of them lampooning doctors) on the ceiling above the examining table so patients had something to occupy their minds while the doctor was . . . you know . . . doctoring.
I, on the other hand, was a high school sophomore who typed like a mother hen searching for grub worms: hunt and peck. Hunt and peck. Hunt and . . . oops!
Where's the White-out?
So I assumed Mom would see the wisdom of my plan as clearly as I could.
"You want me to WHAT?" she asked when I mentioned it one evening after dinner.
"Type up my debate cards," I said, only a tad less confidently than I said it the first time.
"So you're basically asking me to do your homework for you?"
"No - not at all," I assured her. "I'll do all the research. I'll find the quotes and I'll organize them. I just need you to . . . you know . . . type them."
The more I said it the better I liked it.
"And how many of these cards will there be?" she wanted to know.
"Oh, just a few dozen this year," I said. "But Mr. B says that if we do well and make the debate team next year we'll be typing hundreds and hundreds of cards." I hesitated then added: "Won't that be great? Think of all the time we'll get to spend together!"
Mom smiled. "It sounds like you need to learn to type," she said. "And these debate cards are going to provide you with a wonderful opportunity to learn!"
Which is when Mom introduced me to the Green Monster, an avocado-colored typewriter that was just a step above pounding out letters with a hammer and chisel. A very small step.
The Green Monster was a portable typewriter, as long as your definition of the word portable includes "something that can only be moved from place to place by two linebackers and an intricate system of winches and pulleys." And it was a manual typewriter, which meant you had to push each letter key hard enough that this long arm would come out and strike the paper through black tape. The only thing missing was a little prehistoric bird perched on the end to squawk "Ding!" when you reached the end of a row - otherwise it was positively Flintstonian.
To be honest, I was pretty hurt that Mom wouldn't type my debate cards for me. Other moms were doing it for their kids. Why wouldn't my mother do this one small thing for me?
"You can do this," Mom would calmly say every time I whined about how hard it was to push the keys on the Green Monster. "Before long you'll be the fastest typist in the class."
That didn't happen. But by the time I got to college I was pretty darn fast, especially on my friend's cool IBM Selectric typewriter (he was still hunting and pecking his way through college English - evidently his mother had typed his debate cards for him, if you can believe it). Eventually I stumbled into a career path that requires me to type - a lot - and I live in a computerized world in which typing . . . er, keyboarding isn't just a handy skill - it's a matter of survival.
Now, I'm not saying Mom foresaw all of that when she refused to type my debate cards. Mostly, she wasn't willing to do something for me that I could do for myself. But in saying "no" to one small thing in high school, she actually said "yes" to a lot of big things in my life.
Whether or not I became a great typist.
(Joseph Walker, Look What Love Has Done, [Salt Lake City: Shadow Mountain, 2007], p. 28.)
Activity: Have two family members link arms, back-to-back. They must run across the room and back (one person runs forward for the first leg, but then needs to run backwards as they return). Give everyone a chance to run a few times. Discuss the different perspectives of going forwards and backwards.
Refreshment Fruit Dip
- 1 8-ounce tub strawberry or pineapple soft-style cream cheese
- 1 7-ounce jar marshmallow cream
- 1 tablespoon orange juice
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
(Lion House Entertaining, [Salt Lake City: Eagle Gate, 2002], p. 25.)