- a plate of cookies
- a bag of carrots
I presented this object lesson as part of the YW lesson entitled A Change of Heart. As I was setting up the table, the girls got excited when they saw the plate of cookies. And as I expected, they didn't seem to notice the bag of carrots that I set next to it.
When it came time in the lesson, I reminded them of their enthusiasm for the cookies, and then pointed out the carrots. I explained that for many people in the world, the cookies are like worldly desires and the carrots are like church. They are willing to eat the carrots (or go to church), but it's not what they really want or get excited about, even though the carrots hold all kinds of good nutrients and are very good for them.
The cookies, on the other hand, offer almost nothing in way of substance, and yet that is what we desire to eat. I told them that I could probably spend the next hour talking in detail about why they should choose carrots instead of cookies, and I might even be successful in convincing them to pick the carrots, but that no matter what I said, I would not be able to make the carrots look better than the cookies. (Actually, one of the girls said that for me, which drove home the point really well.)
I then explained that when we have a true change of heart, there is a miraculous change that causes carrots and all their nutrients to appear as delicious as the cookies; and the cookies and all their detrimental health qualities to actually become unappealing. This can't happen by a teacher talking to them and telling them about the gospel, it can only happen from the inside, with a true change of heart.
7 Behold, he changed their hearts; yea, he awakened them out of a deep sleep, and they awoke unto God. Behold, they were in the midst of darkness; nevertheless, their souls were illuminated by the light of the everlasting word; yea, they were encircled about by the bands of death, and the chains of hell, and an everlasting destruction did await them. ....
7 And behold, ye do know of yourselves, for ye have witnessed it, that as many of them as are brought to the knowledge of the truth, and to know of the wicked and abominable traditions of their fathers, and are led to believe the holy scriptures, yea, the prophecies of the holy prophets, which are written, which leadeth them to faith on the Lord, and unto repentance, which faith and repentance bringeth a change of heart unto them—
2 And they all cried with one voice, saying: Yea, we believe all the words which thou hast spoken unto us; and also, we know of their surety and truth, because of the Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent, which has wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually.