“FHE Object Lesson: Find the Amazing in Your Life,” New Era, June 2015, 22–23
Your alarm clock sounds shrilly in the dark. It’s like a modern-day rooster, gleefully heralding the start of a day that’s probably loaded with difficulties coming at you from all directions.
For example, you think there’s still some of your favorite cereal left for breakfast? Think again! The welcome sight of that blessed box sitting on the shelf is only a mirage. Inside there’s nothing more than cruel, cruel dust.
At least your favorite shirt is on the hanger, ready to go, right? Wrong again. You find it crumpled at the bottom of the laundry basket, laughing up at you.
Man. What’s going to happen once you actually leave the house?
Life can sometimes seem that way, can’t it? That each day is full of trip lines poised to send us sprawling down in the mud?
The odd thing is, we tend to see most clearly what we have trained ourselves to look for. Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles asked the following question: “Do you take time to discover each day how beautiful your life can be?”1
Sure enough, that beauty is right there alongside everything else. And here’s the neat part: once we’ve trained ourselves to seek the awesome things that happen in our lives every day, we’ll notice them more and more.
It’s kind of like learning how to read hidden messages …
Object lesson time!
Hide some treats or a favorite game your family loves to play somewhere in your house.
Put two tablespoons of baking soda in a small bowl.
Mix in enough water to resemble thin pancake batter.
Dip a cotton swab or small paintbrush into the batter and use it to write a message on the bottom half of a piece of paper, telling the location of the treats/game you hid. Something like, “Look in the bottom of the coat closet.”
Allow your message to dry completely, and then use your hand to brush any residual baking soda powder off the paper. Your message should be completely invisible. It’s showtime.
Bring a regular pen and your secretly prepared piece of paper. Explain to your family that any day can be full of unexpected challenges. Ask your family what some of these challenges might be.
Write answers on the top half of the paper, above your hidden message. You don’t need to make a huge list. All you’re doing here is getting the point across that days can indeed have stumbling blocks.
Then tell the following story from President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency:
President Eyring began a habit of looking back through each day for evidence of God’s hand in his family’s life. Then he’d write his observations in a journal.
“As I kept at it,” President Eyring says, “something began to happen. As I would cast my mind over the day, I would see evidence of what God had done for one of us that I had not recognized in the busy moments of the day.”2
Take some time discussing President Eyring’s process. What’s so powerful about looking for blessings, including those we might have missed when they happened? How could your own family find ways to look for blessings?
Now’s the time to spring that secret message. Bring a cup of grape juice and a cotton ball into the room.
Before your big reveal, teach the following point: once we too know how to look for the good and the beautiful in our lives, we can see that it’s been there all along.
Dip the cotton ball into the grape juice and wipe it across the hidden message on the lower half of the paper. The invisible words will leap off the page, leading to the “blessings” you’ve stashed away. (Seriously, it’s way cool.)
Before you unleash your family on the treasure hunt, you might close with the following quote from President Thomas S. Monson: “Let us relish life as we live it, find joy in the journey, and share our love with friends and family.”3
Looking for God’s blessings in your life is a great way to “find joy in the journey.” And so is the ability to pass secret messages to your siblings whenever you want using this special technique. So, win-win!