This was SUCH a fun lesson! It was all about the Object Lesson and the kids were all about it! By the end they were jumping up and down and saying "That was the best activity EVER". Oh, I love to hear that!
The purpose of this lesson is to teach our kids the importance of being able to discern between the Voice of the Spirit and the temptations of the adversary. It is also to teach how important it is that we learn to tune out the distractions and focus on the will of the Lord in our lives so we can learn to rely on him completely.
Let's start with the activity! We did the activity first. I had a feeling that it would really help the lesson sink in.
I took a ball of yarn outside (mind you we were still at the RV Park in our RV at the time) and ran that yarn ALL OVER THE PLACE! It twisted around trees, under picnic tables, over benches, around poles. It was EVERYWHERE! It started at our trailer, looped back around and then ended up back at our trailer. The idea was the same concept of leaving our Heavenly home and going through life experiences and trials and then returning Home.
Before setting out I told the kids that they were going to go on a big journey. Sometimes it would be easy and sometimes it would be really hard, but if they would listen to my voice (I was the voice of the spirit), I would help them to return home safely. I told them that there would be distractions and that the adversary (Dad) would be there to tempt them and try to lead them away. I told them that if they were to get lead away they can call for help and I will always come to them and lead them back to the right path.
Then we blindfolded them! It was getting dark and it was quite cold. The grass was wet and that added to the "trial" of it all, but the kids were totally into it! Mallory would remove her blindfold from time to time. I knew it might stress her out a bit, but she was totally game and did her best!
At times I would tell Jake to be mindful of his sister and to help her through the trials he already knew his way through. He was so sweet with her. The idea was to hold to the string and never let go. The string was like the Iron Rod, the Word of God or the Scriptures. Mallory let go from time to time, but Jake really helped her through.
The entire time I spoke to them in a quiet, calm, loving and encouraging voice. I would say things like, "Ahead of you is a very difficult trial, but I know you can make it through. I will be here to help you the whole time. If you need anything or any direction, just ask."
Ryan all the while stood in the background and in a loud voice would say things like, "You don't need to go under that, just go over, it is easier." or "Jake, just leave Mallory behind. She is slowing you down." or "Alright, it is cold out here. Who wants to go back in the house and play video games?"
The kids stayed focused and really tried to follow me and ignore "temptation".
The most difficult of their trials required them to army crawl through the cold wet grass, under a collapsed picnic table.
But they were totally game!
Because of the area we were in, we were able to create a great obstacle course. Had we not used this here, the plan was to take them to a park or somewhere that had a lot of trees. The older your kids are the more difficult you can make the course.
In the very last moments I told the kids they had almost made it home and told them to continue to "endure to the end".
Then Dad stepped in with the biggest trick he could pull. "Alright! You guys did great and now you are done! Who wants a Sprite from the Pop Machine?! Come on! I will buy you one right now."
Mallory was out of there! Sprite....her biggest weakness! She followed Dad. Then she kept following him as he led her right past the pop machine and behind the little building. He was leading her away and showing her that he had no intention of giving her what she wanted. I called out and told her to remember that if she is lost she can call for help and I will come and get her.
"HELP". She called out in her little voice. Pretty funny!
I went to get her and the kids arrived home! Then it was on to the lesson!
Study Moses Chapter 1
We talked about Moses experience with being in the Lord's presence. About him learning that he is a son of God and created in the image of the Only Begotten of the Father, Jesus Christ. We talked about God's glory and Moses' need to be transfigured to be in his presence.
Read Moses 1: 11-25
While reading this we discussed the important things to note in these scriptures. We talked about how Moses asked Satan who he was and then asked, "Where is thy glory that I should worship thee?" We talked about the difference in the experience and feeling of being in God's presence and in Satans.
We talked about how Moses said, "I can judge between thee and God". Then talked about ways that we can discern between them.
Then we talked about how Moses commanded Satan to leave in the name of Jesus Christ. We discussed how Satan has no power. He was cast out and therefore only has his cunning and anger to help his cause. We discussed how the only power that Satan has is the power we give him, by believing him or giving into his tricks. We also discussed how we are much more powerful than he is, and although he can seem scary, we need not fear him when we have faith that the Lord will protect us when we are choosing the right.
After our Dawson passed away, the funeral was over and it was time to return home. This was overwhelming to us. To come home without him, to his bed and his clothes and all of his things seemed impossible. However, when we came into our home we could feel so much love from the Lord. Our home was filled with Dawson. He was everywhere. We stood in his room and cried. We could feel him there and we all were so glad to have that comfort.
Soon after bedtime and just after Ryan and I had fallen asleep we both woke with a start. Something had changed. Jake came to our room a minute later. He said it felt empty in his room. We laid in our bed with him and watched videos of Dawson for a while. Then Ryan got up to take Jake back to bed.
I could feel a weight in the home that I hadn't felt before. Something was off. Ryan came back to our room and said that he woke when he felt Dawson leave. That is totally what I had felt. Why? I didn't understand.
All through that night we struggled to fall asleep. It was uncomfortable in our home. I knew that there was a presence there, the adversary, and it didn't belong. Our home had been a place that always had the spirit in it. We had been very careful not to bring anything into our home that would cause the spirit to leave. Nothing had changed. Why was there suddenly this bad feeling and presence?
In the morning I took the kids to school. When I came home Ryan was in the kitchen. "There is a bad spirit in this home." I told him. He knew. He had felt it to. We prayed. He, using the priesthood, commanded the spirit to leave. I then asked Ryan for a blessing. In the blessing the Lord told me that the adversary was very angry with me right now. I found that very interesting. I knew immediately why. The day Dawsons obituary went into the newspaper, over 5,000 people viewed our blog and read about our faithful little angel. His life was a mission of faith. His life has changed so many lives. It is amazing! Dawson's funeral, Ryan and I decided, would be a time to bear testimony of the reality of God's love for us and the Power of the Atonement. It seemed only fitting. Dawsons entire life was dedicated to bring people closer to the Lord and remind them of our true purpose here on earth. We would all see multiple miracles happen, have our prayers answered, on his behalf, and through those experience our faith would be strengthened.
I immediately knew that having the adversary angry with me was right where I planned to stay! That was a good sign. Yes, it requires changes and constant vigilance, but I am certainly not afraid to make sure that my children know exactly who he is, what his plan is and what his intentions are in their lives. If they know all of these things, they are better prepared.
From this experience I realized that the Lord had allowed this experience to happen. I know that He felt it was important for us to recognize the design and plan of the adversary in our lives. I think He also wanted us to know that with Dawson in our home there was a spirit that was always with us, because of who he was. That spirit wouldn't be the same. More would be required of us, if we were to stay on our toes and overcome Satan and his plan in our lives.
THAT is why I felt that this lesson was so important. It is imperative that we make sure our children know just who the adversary is. Don't be afraid to teach them, because he may be scary to them. He can only be scary when we surrender our power to him. Otherwise, he is cunning and sly and will attempt to trip us up at anytime, but with constant vigilance, he will not win!
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