“FHE Object Lesson: Treasure Transformation,” New Era, August 2015, 6–7
Do you remember the first time you picked up a sparkly rock as a kid and thought you’d suddenly struck it rich? Surely, you figured, this was some priceless gem or at the very least a hunk of gold that could pay for a three-story tree fort complete with a fireman’s pole and waterslide.
Well, here’s an object lesson you can share in your next family home evening that’ll make your inner child feel like you’ve just discovered a diamond mine.
And while it won’t actually make you any richer than that sparkly rock did, it’s still almost like finding treasure. Or like creating your own treasure—all while teaching an important gospel principle.
A box of Borax laundry booster (look for it near powdered laundry detergent)
Wide-mouthed quart mason jars or similar-sized water-tight containers
Pipe cleaners in various colors
Thin string or fishing line
The tricky part to this object lesson is that you’ll need to prep at least eight hours beforehand. Don’t worry, though—the results are worth it! Try not to let your siblings see what you’re up to, either. It’s a surprise.
Ready to jump in? Here’s what to do.
Boil 4 cups of water in a pot and then add 1 cup of Borax. Stir to dissolve and then let it cool completely. Pour the solution into a quart jar.
Bend your pipe cleaners into a shape that can represent you. You might write your name or create a cool stick figure. The shape should fit inside your jar with some room to spare.
Tie string to one end of your pipe cleaner.
Tie the other end of the string to a pencil. Your pipe cleaners need to hang from the pencil to stay suspended in the solution without touching the bottom or sides of the jar.
Hide the jar (for purposes of sneakiness) and leave it undisturbed for 6–8 hours.
Pull the pipe cleaners out of the water and admire your crazy-cool work of art! Large crystals should now cover every inch of your awesome creation.
This lesson is all about how the gospel transforms our lives. Jumping in to live the gospel just now and again won’t create the desired effect. We need to immerse ourselves fully in the gospel—and stay there—to let it transform us long-term. Here’s one way to approach teaching that concept in your lesson.
Start the lesson by bending pipe cleaners into the same shape as your hidden demo. Tell your family that these pipe cleaners represent you.
Using a jar of newly prepared solution, tell your family that the water represents the gospel.
Dip the pipe cleaners in and out of the solution a few times. Ask your family if they notice any big difference. (They shouldn’t.)
Here’s where your sneakiness pays off. Reveal your finished demo as an example of what true immersion in the gospel can do for us. Allow some time for ooh’s and ahh’s, and then ask how following God’s commandments can bring each of us real treasure.
You might want to share the following quote or others of your own choosing that talk about the transforming power of the gospel.
“Serving God and our fellowmen will challenge us and transform us into something greater than we ever thought possible” (President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, “Four Titles,” Ensign, May 2013, 60).
Discuss ways that you as a family can stay immersed more fully in the gospel. You could even talk about how the decisions you’ve made so far to be immersed have blessed your life.
Of course, it’s not fair for you to have all the fun. Once the lesson is over, let everybody make a razzle-dazzle creation. Use one jar of solution per person.
Happy treasure making!