LDS Object Lessons

Welcome to the original LDS Object Lesson library!  Search by student age, keyword, and gospel principle to find an object lesson for your gospel lesson in our library of hundreds of tried and true object lessons.
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what is an object lesson?

An object lesson "is a teaching method that consists of using a physical object or visual aid as a discussion piece for a lesson" (Wikipedia, object lesson) In the gospel classroom, an object lesson is a lesson part that uses an object or picture to teach a gospel principle. Object lessons are usually ...
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How often should I use an object lesson?

Like salt, an object lessons can be used with great effectiveness to flavor a lesson. However, also like salt, object lessons are most effective when used ...

Object Lesson Finder

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No Boring Lessons Logo with Object Lesson text
Scripture References: D&C 27

By Shauna Doctrine and Covenants Section 27
This idea came from a member of the LDS Seminary Teacher Facebook group (seriously, if you are a Seminary Teacher-join that Facebook group).

When I figure out who it was, I will edit and post his name so he receives credit for this brilliant visual for teaching "Dispensations" and "Dispensation of the Fullness of Times" using hymn books.

I took it one step further by attaching the names of the Prophets from the different dispensations.

I used this when teaching Doctrine and Covenants Section 27.

This will work well with Doctrine and Covenants Section 29 and a others regarding Apostasy, Restoration, Prophets, Dispensations, Fullness of Times.
If you have a specific suggestion of a Seminary lesson this goes with, please leave a comment below.

We met in the chapel and sat in front of the Sacrament table that was all draped in white cloths covering the Sacrament trays (this is a subject for another blog post)

After we discussed the emblems and symbolism of the Sacrament, we moved to the other side of the chapel to discuss the Sacrament meeting that will be held at Adam-ondi-Ahman prior to the Savior's second coming.

I had the students search Section 27 to tell me who would be at that Sacrament meeting.

Some of the people who will be in attendance are the Prophets from each DISPENSATION along with Joseph Smith the Prophet of this DISPENSATION of the FULLNESS OF TIMES

To demonstrate DISPENSATIONS, First, line up the hymnals (I labelled mine) and name the Prophets who led during past dispensations...

IMG 2573 Dispensation of the Fullness of Times
Stack the dispensations up to show that we are living in the DISPENSATION of the FULLNESS OF TIMES. The dispensation that will usher in the Second Coming of the Savior, Jesus Christ.
If I do this again, I may leave a BLANK hymnal in between Peter and Joseph Smith to show the Apostasy. I discussed this verbally, but a blank would have been a more effective visual.
IMG 2570 Dispensation of the Fullness of Times
I have understood this concept for most of my adult life, but when I taught with this visual, it gave me clarity and understanding in a way I have never had.
Happy Teaching

Source:: Seminary at Six AM – Shauna H.

No Boring Lessons Logo with Object Lesson text
cups apostasy Great Apostasy
Gospel Principles: ,

When I was on my mission, many of the missionaries used an object lesson for the apostasy which I fell in love with.  It gave the investigator a good visual idea of the apostasy and the need for the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I asked the Elders for some sacrament cups but you could use blocks, small paper cups or any other type of small, stackable object.  The idea of this object lesson is to create a "tower" and it is not necessarily important what you use to create it.

Creating your tower:

The bottom layer (first layer) had twelve cups, each one representing one of the apostles when Jesus Christ was here upon the earth (i.e. Peter, James, John, etc.)  I've also heard of putting little pictures of the Latter-Day prophets on the other side of the cups.  You can either cut out pictures from your Conference Ensign or you can print pictures from

The next layer represented principles upon which the gospel was founded and which these apostles taught us about during their ministries.  I made ten cups.  There are so many different ones, just choose some (i.e. sacrament, revelation, atonement, priesthood, repentance, etc.)

The next layer were ordinances upon which are necessary and essential for us to return to live with our Heavenly Father (i.e. baptism, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, temple ordinances, marriage, etc.)

The next layer represented the three fold mission of the church (therefore, three cups).  Proclaim the gospel, redeem the dead and endure to the end.

The final and last layer has just one cup.  It represents our Savior, Jesus Christ.  He is at the head of this church.

Setup:  I usually would stack the cups up as I spoke about each layer.

Analogy:  Then, once my "tower" was complete, I would tell them that as each apostle died, less authority existed upon the earth.  One by one I would take away one of the apostles.  There was no way the church could remain on the earth without the apostles and the authority they held to perform and run the church.  Teachings that were not true were added to the gospel during the apostasy and teachings that were true were taken away.  After a certain point, your "tower" or "gospel upon the earth" fell without the apostles and Jesus Christ leading the church.  Therefore, during the Apostasy the Priesthood and it's authority left the earth.

Paper Cup Apostasy lesson from Treasures in Heaven:

2014 08 11 22 59 58 Great Apostasy

Here are some of my thoughts for what they are worth.  The bottom layer is where we all start.  We are exposed and taught the gospel and learn about it's message, the second layer.  Then we choose whether we are going to follow it's message by entering into the ordinances necessary for salvation.  We work hard to complete our work and participate in the mission of the church, the next layer.  Our ultimate goal is to be with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ again.  How is that possible if we are given a ladder without any steps?  The apostasy was lifted when Jesus Christ completely restored the gospel through Joseph Smith.  He put the steps back in the ladder in the exact same way as before.  (You could even rebuild your "tower" and explain that many other churches have tried to follow how Jesus had his church set up but Jesus Christ is the only one that could give the authority to have His church re-built upon the earth.)

Another version by Kelly Buchanan:

I used clear cocktail cups, but small bathroom cups would work as well.   The bottom layer of the pyramid had 6 glasses.  I typed up the names of the 12 original apostles and glued them to the cup (2 names per glass).  On the opposite side of the glass, I glued the names of the current 12 apostles.  The next layer had 5 glasses.  I labeled them with 5 important principles of the gospel (sacrament, revelation, priesthood, repentance, atonement).  I explained how these were all things that Christ taught about.  The next layer had 4 glasses (baptism, gift of Holy Ghost, endowment, temple marriage).  These were ordinances that are essential to return to our Heavenly Father. The next layer had 3 glasses for the 3-fold mission of the church (redeem the dead, proclaim the gospel, endure to the end).  I then put a ruler on top and added one cup at the top of the pyramid for Jesus Christ.

I told them the story of the apostasy, and how the apostles were killed off one by one, and were not replaced.  If you pull one bottom cup out slowly, only a few of the cups will fall from the upper layers, the entire pyramid does not collapse immediately.  The gospel was changed slowly throughout time, until all of the apostles were killed.  More and more upper cups fall as you pull the apostle base layer out.

We spoke about how important Joseph Smith was and his role in the Restoration.  We talked about how our church is organized, and I put the apostle layer down again, with the current apostles showing.  Then we build up the principles, ordinances, 3-fold mission, Christ at the top.  We saw that our church has the same organization that existed in Christ’s church.


Scriptures About The Apostasy:

You might be able to use these as a scripture chase? Not really sure. I’m sure you can come up with an interesting way to incorporate these.

Isa. 29: 10, 13 – This people draw near me with their mouth.
Isa. 60: 2 – Darkness shall cover the earth.
Amos 8: 11 – The Lord will send a famine of hearing the words of the Lord.
Matt. 24: 24 – There shall arise false Christs and false prophets.
Acts 20: 29 – Grievous wolves shall enter in among you.
Gal. 1: 6 – I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him.
2 Thes. 2: 3 – There will be a falling away before the Second Coming.
2 Tim. 2: 18 – Some people err concerning the truth.
2 Tim. 3: 5 – Some people have a form of godliness but deny the power thereof.
2 Tim. 4: 3-4 – The time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine.
2 Pet. 2: 1 – There will be false prophets and false teachers among the people.
Jude 1: 4 – Certain men crept in denying the only Lord God.
Rev. 2: 2 – Some men said they were Apostles and were not.
1 Ne. 13: 26 – Nephi saw the formation of a great and abominable church.
2 Ne. 26: 20 – The Gentiles have stumbled and built up many churches.
D&C 1: 15 – They have strayed from mine ordinances and have broken mine everlasting covenant.
D&C 112: 23 – Darkness covers the earth and gross darkness the minds of the people.
JS-H 1: 19 – Joseph was told that the churches were all wrong; their hearts were far from God.


No Boring Lessons Logo with Object Lesson text

Items needed

  • A flashlight


Take the pieces of a flashlight apart.

Give one piece each to a class member.

Have him or her stand at the front of the class holding their piece, have one extra class member stand up there with nothing.

Ask each person with a part of the flashlight what they have and if they can turn the light on. They each say "nope".

Have the class member that didn't have a part of the flashlight say "I can help" and have her put all the pieces of the flashlight together and turn on the light.

Ask the class: "how can this relate to the restoration?" and people can say -the light of the gospel was restored, and different churches had part of the truth but not all of it. The restored gospel has all of the truth.

No Boring Lessons Logo with Object Lesson text

Items needed:

A lego Set with instructions


Get the group into two groups and then choose one person to be the third solo group

Dump the Legos on the table, and instruct the group to work as teams to complete the Lego project.

  • One group gets no instructions for the Legos-- Life without the scriptures
  • One group gets half the instructions -- Being a member but not following the standards and
  • the single person gets all the instructions -- Being a faithful member.

Have them explain how hard/easy it was to accomplish their goal of building the Lego set.

(Jenny - You could also use this lesson to teach the principles of apostasy and restoration.)

No Boring Lessons Logo with Object Lesson text
Gospel Principles: ,

Items needed

  • breakable plate
  • permanent marker
  • another plate with items required for the true church already on it

Give one student the marker and the plate.

Ask the students to list the things necessary in the true church / Christ's gospel (i.e. apostles, revelation, baptism by immersion, etc.).

As items are listed, the student with the plate will write those items on the plate. When the class has run out of ideas, show the plate to the class and indicate that the plate is complete and whole... just as Jesus' church was when He was alive.

Then place the plate in a bag, and have another student come up and strike the plate a couple of times with the hammer (it should shatter into many pieces, hopefully large and small ones). Then pull out some of the pieces and try to put the plate back together. Point out that even if you glue the plate together, there will still be some pieces will never be completely whole again without a restoration of all the missing items.

If you are really clever, you will have another (unbroken) plate with the items written on it that you can pull out as the "restored" plate.

Here are some references about the True Church

No Boring Lessons Logo with Object Lesson text
Gospel Principles: ,

Items needed

Begin with the Rubik's cube puzzle solved. As you talk about the apostasy turn the rubik's cube until all of the colors are mixed, illustrating the point that parts of the gospel that were lost or confused.

While you talk about the importance of each part of the gospel and the church return the cube to the completed state representing the restoration of the gospel.

No Boring Lessons Logo with Object Lesson text

Items needed

  • some wooden blocks in the shape of a tower or building, including
  • one block labelled "Authority/Priesthood"

The period of time when the true Church no longer existed on earth is called the Great Apostasy. (Gospel Principles, Lesson 16: The Church of Jesus Christ in Former Times) Priesthood authority was restored to the earth by Jesus Christ through the prophet Joseph Smith.

That has a lot of big words. What does it mean?

Pretend that this building (Show the simple block building without the "Authority/Priesthood" block) represents the Church as Jesus organized it when he was on the earth.

The church cannot be organized correctly without the priesthood (add the "Authority/Priesthood" block).

The church must be “built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone" (Ephesians 2:20). If the priesthood is gone, the church is not built the way Heavenly Father wants it to be organized. After Jesus returned to Heaven, wicked people tried to destroy the church. Many people changed the way the church was organized. (Move the blocks around and build the tower differently)

People taught their own ideas instead of Heavenly Father's. Jesus's Apostles were killed. The perfect church Jesus organized was broken. (Knock the block tower over)

The priesthood was finally taken from the earth because the people were so wicked. (Find "Authority/Priesthood" block and take it back.)

Many people tried to rebuild Jesus's church, but they couldn't build it just right. Without the priesthood, the church can't be built correctly. (Build a building without the "Authority Priesthood" block.)

People lived a long time without the priesthood. They forgot how much Heavenly Father loves us. They forgot and changed His commandments. They changed Heavenly Father's ordinances, like baptism and the sacrament. They even forgot why we came to earth. People were very confused. Heavenly Father knew the Great Apostasy would happen, and He prepared a way for the gospel to be restored -- He prepared a way to rebuild His church correctly.

When he was 14 years old, Joseph Smith asked Heavenly Father which church he should join. The Savior told him not to join any church because the true Church was not on the earth. Jesus told Joseph that that he would help organize the true church again. John the Baptist came in 1829 to ordain Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery to the Aaronic Priesthood (see D&C 13; D&C 27:8).

Later, Jesus' Apostles Peter, James, and John, gave Joseph and Oliver the Melchizedek Priesthood (see D&C 27:12–13).

Through this Restoration the priesthood was returned to the earth! (Build the tower correctly, with the "Authority/Priesthood" block) The church was organized again like Heavenly Father wants it. Heavenly Father has promised us that since the church has been restored, it will never be destroyed again (Daniel 2:44). (see Gospel Principles, Lesson 16: The Church of Jesus Christ in Former Times and Gospel Principles, Lesson 17: The Church of Jesus Christ Today)

** This would be an especially effective object lesson if when you removed the "Priesthood Authority" block the structure collapsed on its own. -- Jenny **

** You may also want to consider labeling some of the other blocks "apostles" or "seventies" or whatever if you are using this lesson to teach the offices of the priesthood. -- Jenny**

No Boring Lessons Logo with Object Lesson text
Gospel Principles: ,
Scripture References: 2 Thessalonians 3

Items needed

  • a yardstick

The following is from Teaching, No Greater Call, B: Basic Principles of Gospel Teaching--Use Effective Methods, 27: Choosing Effective Methods, page 92:

    For example, a young missionary was teaching an investigator about the need for the gospel to be restored to the earth. The investigator responded that his church had taught him many valuable truths and that it had always been good enough for his family.
    To help the investigator better understand the meaning of the Apostasy and the need for the Restoration, the missionary brought a yardstick to the next discussion. She explained that the stick was exactly one yard in length. If only a few inches were taken away, the remainder of the stick would still be useful for measuring certain distances, but it no longer would measure a complete yard.
    After the death of the Apostles, pieces of the truth were lost here and there. Changes crept into the doctrine when there was no prophet to speak for the Lord. Parts of the truth remained, and they were good, but they did not represent the fullness of the truth.
    For a church to be the Church of Jesus Christ, it must have all the truth He taught. Otherwise, it teaches only a small measure of what it should.
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