“Grab a regular object from everyday life and symbolically teach a principle of the gospel using it,” I said, and then passed around a bag of random items from a drawer in my bathroom.
With less than a minute of preparation, here’s a sampling of what my students blurted out on the fly:
“Like this flashlight, the gospel can help you navigate your way through the darkness of your trials and help you find your way.”
“Like this bar of soap, the Atonement of Jesus Christ cleanses your spirit.”
“Learning the gospel is like brushing your teeth, but if you want to take it to the next level, you floss. Likewise, to really study and take your testimony to the next level, you must read your scriptures everyday.“
“Living righteously is like using an orange highlighting marker everyday you will do things to highlight and remember instead of just cruising through another plain day and possibly have choices you’d rather black out with a permanent marker.”
“This ornate bracelet watch is really just a tool to tell time, but sometimes, we get so caught up in frills and decorations, we forget what matters most.”
“A pencil sharpener is a good reminder that we must always keep our testimony sharp, not dull.”
“This bag of little rocks reminds us that we need to build our spiritual foundation on the rock of Jesus Christ and not on sand.” (Side note: Before you judge me for having rocks in my bathroom drawer, my student didn’t realize they were actually some uncut sapphires we mined this summer that look rather dull and boring — another perfect object lesson!)
Training our minds to think symbolically helps prepare us for teaching moments when seemingly ordinary objects can be used to explain gospel truths. Christ was the master of such teaching methods and we can only hope to follow in his footsteps.
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