I was searching my brain on how I could represent what happens to us spiritually when we sin and how repentance is such a beautiful gift that is given to us to cleanse and help us come to know greater levels of happiness and come to know our Father in Heaven. I’m excited to share this object lesson that came to my mind as I was pondering ways to illustrate this concept. Enjoy! This goes with this YW lesson, here are my additional thoughts, insight and handout that goes with the lesson.
Here is what you need for the object lesson:
- Stress Ball or Sponge (cut out like a heart if desired)
- Play Dough (here is are recipes)
- Dry Beans
Here is the basic written out from of the video:
I’m going to attempt to illustrate to you with an object lesson how repentance can help us everyday and how it is a key part of feeling and living in an abundance of real peace love and happiness.
This foamy stress ball heart represents our heart. (if you are try to do this object lesson you can use a sponge–cut out like heart even)
In its purest form it is moldable, teachable, humble and clean which makes it totally receptive to the spirit, inspiration and communication from God. It is happy, free and at peace.
The fact is that our hearts don’t always remain as such because we are human and that makes us selfish and mistake prone.
Our Heavenly Father wants us to grow in varying degrees to change, develop learn and use our agency wisely.
He allows life to present us with many opportunities for us to experience growth.
But who knows why exactly we do this but in our fear, pride, limited understanding, want to protect ourselves, our resistance against change, selfishness our impulse to do it our way we place barriers between us and the spirit by hardening our hearts (i’m using playdoh here and putting it over the heart)
We refuse to listen to what is best for us for all those reasons.
But in our rebellion we have blocked that communication from our Father in Heaven and our true happiness.
The hardening of our hearts invites sin. Those hard parts have block us from spiritual understanding. ‘
Our hearts still long to ‘feel’ something so selfishly we start to do things that bring some temportary satisfaction but bring great sadness to our Heavenly Father and ultimately ourselves.
Little things like gossip we do because he feel like we are at least better than someone else. (place a bean in the play dough after each statement)
We treat with others with anger because it helps us feel dominion over someone else
We hold grudges because we feel some kind of symbolic victory.
We may even turn to putting harmful things into our bodies because we feel momentary relief or satisfaction.
Or may even comprise our moral standard because we want to feel something with someone.
But all those things have only created a greater barrier against our true happiness and receiptiveness to the light and love of our Heavenly Father
“Wickedness was never happiness”
I heard someone once add, “But people often don’t do wicked things for wickedness sake but because they confuse it for happiness.
All those ‘sins’ are just cheap substitutes for happiness.
The awesome new is that we can be cleansed of all these yucky sins, these behaviors and attitudes that weigh us down and block us from feeling real happiness.
God wants so badly for us to feel His love but it cannot penetrate our souls if we have but barrier around our hearts.
The scriptures speak of His arms being open, 2 extended, 3 stretched out, 4and encircling. 5 They are described as mighty 6 and holy, 7 arms of mercy, 8arms of safety, 9 arms of love, 10 “lengthened out all the day long.” 11
He wants us to repent, turn around, come back, change, be clean so he can communicate his love, guide us, strengthen us and empower us.
Once we are humble enough to realize we have offend God and made choices that have blocked his spirit and we have gain a desire to return, Christ can come in. If we do our part to repair the harm we’ve caused, He can simultaneously come in a repair and heal our hearts from sins with the power of His Atonement. We can be purified, cleansed and sanctified (become as saints only through the power of Christ). YAY!!! (Remove play Dough until clean)
When are hearts are clean, we can be more fully receptive to the spirit, guidance and feel greater happiness, peace and love.
I’m finding that Daily repentance is not a feeling of continually feeling guilty and weigh down by my less than perfect efforts but it having a penitent heart that is eager to improve and willing to change. So during my day I notice that my heart and mind do get hard and unwilling by things I may think or do but a penitent heart is one that is quick to come back, to remove pride, throw away thoughts and behaviors that and ‘blue barriers’ that prevent feeling the spirit. To realign, repent, change, forgive and move forward toward God because that is where I can best enjoy an abundance of peace and happiness.