Sunday, July 14, 2019

Physical Measurement vs. Spiritual Measurement

This past week was Youth Conference for the youth in our Stake.  My husband and I were given the assignment of teaching a workshop on the topic: This is your time.  What are you doing with it?  I won't bore you with all the lesson details.  However, I thought it would be okay to share two of the object lessons we used. 

After the youth entered the Primary Room, we shared with them a tradition we have in our family.  When our children were younger, we would visit Grandma & Grandpa's house.  Prior to leaving their home, my dad/grandpa, would take all of the grandchildren out into the garage to measure them up against the garage wall.  For years these measurements happened.  As with any family growth chart, there were the typical family challenges as to who would beat whom in height.  The younger children always wanted to grow taller than the other kids.  It was a very sad day when my parents moved out of the area and the measurement wall had to be painted over.  Our own little family didn't want to see this tradition go away so we recreated it in our home.  It's not very pretty, but it is our youngest son's measurements so we are extremely proud of his growth.  You can see he is currently undergoing a very big growth spurt.
Hawkins Family Growth Chart
In order to share this experience with the youth, we decided to have them measure themselves.  Each youth was asked to get a partner.  With their partner, they went over to the wall and measured each other.  They marked their height and put their initials and date on the chart.  We had a great time watching as they all seemed to have smiles on their faces doing this simple task.  We talked about how the length of their hair changed the outcome or if they had their shoes on that made a difference too.  The key was they were having a great time measuring up and seeing how tall they were.

Measuring Activity
After several minutes of discussion, we twisted this into a spiritual activity.  We asked, what if you were asked to measure your spirituality?  How high would your mark have been?  Would your mark have made it onto the chart?  Are you at a spiritual plateau?  For fun, we shared with them that for every spiritual task or good deed that they did in life that would equal one foot in spiritual growth.  For instance, if you read your scripture today, you grew a foot.  If you performed an act of service for someone, you grew another foot.  We shared six different examples and then shared with the youth that there would be some that would be spiritual giants.  However, we are not all going to be consistent with our spiritually all the time.  Thank heavens we have a loving Heavenly Father who sent His Son to atone for our sins.  We then asked, are there some areas you could focus on with your spirituality that could help you to reach the same height spiritually on the chart as your physical marking or even higher?  There answers were exactly what we were looking for and spot on for heading in the right direction spiritually.

We hope that this object lesson is one they will remember for a life-time.  It was a great reminder to me that as long as we are focusing on the Savior and following the covenant path everyday, we can get closer and closer to our Heavenly Father.

This object lesson was one that my husband brought home from his mission in Korea.  I fell in love with the concept and the idea of it so we had to use it.

We asked all the youth to find a place to stand in the room.  All of their personal items and the chairs were pushed back out of the way.  While standing in the room they were asked to blindfold themselves and not to talk during the activity.  These two simple tasks were the only instructions that were given.  No other guidance!
Youth Blindfolded - Go to the drum!
Unbeknownst to them, we had hidden a few musical instruments in the corner of the room.  Our son, Braden, began hitting the drum with a very consistent beat that remained throughout the entire activity.  My husband and I walked around the room and from time to time would shake maracas or jingle the bells on the tambourine.  Our noises moved around the room and were not consistent.  We also whispered to the youth the words "make a choice."  It was several minutes before the youth started to react to this activity.  Before long, some started moving while others remained in place the entire time.  The object of this activity was to get to the drum.

After a few minutes of playing this activity out, we allowed the youth to take the blindfolds off.  It was neat to see their reaction and the reaction of what their friends had done.  We sat and visited about what had just taken place.  The drum was consistent.  It represented the gospel and our Heavenly Father.  The other musical instruments represented Satan and his shiny objects that we sometimes like to follow.  Really anything that would lead you away from our Heavenly Father.  Lastly, we discussed those that just stood still.  Those that didn't move all had their reasons.  This could represent several things but we pointed out that you can't be afraid to try hard things or even new things in life.  Standing still won't get you anywhere in life.

If you ever have an opportunity to use this object lesson, you will not be disappointed.  It is definitely one that makes the youth think.  

After our lesson, we presented this worksheet to the youth so they could think about how they are using their time daily.  We hope it will be an eye opener to them that they truly have more time to fill then sometimes they realize.  We encouraged them to fill their time with spiritual growth, physical activities, developing their talents & hobbies, family time, and much more!

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