Don’t you just love the fruit of the Autumn harvest?! This Family Night lesson talks about another kind of fruit- the fruit of God’s love. Combine the two in a yummy snack-plus-Family Night combo that’s sure to be a hit with everyone.
I love the Fall. The temperature drops and so do the colorful leaves! We get to wrap up in cozy blankets, cheer at football games, and eat seasonal treats like caramel apples. It is a little bit like heaven. I’m sure of it.
My backyard has two beautiful apple trees. Each October, my family picks and eats apples by the bushel. They are sweet and crisp and delicious. We deliver buckets of apples to neighbors and friends. We love to share our harvest!
This lesson is about another fruit of similar qualities. It is also delicious and sweet. In fact, eating this fruit is such a wonderful experience that it actually creates joy in the consumer. You can learn about this special fruit in the Book of Mormon. It comes from the Tree of Life and represents God’s crowning work and glory.
Teach your family to reach for God’s fruit, to choose it, and partake of it. The blessings of eternal life are far more satisfying than eating a crisp ripe harvest apple… even one smothered in homemade caramel sauce! Luckily, we are going to do both those things in this lesson!
Start the discussion by telling an account of Lehi’s dream of the Tree of Life. Lehi was a prophet from a long time ago. We learn about his life in the Book of Mormon. He had a special dream one night that was a vision from God. In his dream, he was taught many important things. He learned about life and the purpose of our time here on Earth. One important part of Lehi’s vision was the Tree of Life.
Read First Nephi 8:10-12 to hear what Lehi said about the Tree of Life and it’s special fruit.
“10 And it came to pass that I beheld a tree, whose fruit was desirable to make one happy.
11 And it came to pass that I did go forth and partake of the fruit thereof; and I beheld that it was most sweet, above all that I ever before tasted. Yea, and I beheld that the fruit thereof was white, to exceed all the whiteness that I had ever seen.
12 And as I partook of the fruit thereof it filled my soul with exceedingly great joy; wherefore, I began to be desirous that my family should partake of it also; for I knew that it was desirable above all other fruit.”
When Lehi ate the fruit it filled him with joy. The fruit made him so happy that he wanted to share it with his family.
Sometimes in the scriptures, God explains things to his children, (us!) in an indirect way to help us relate to the concept. We know all about trees and fruit! Most of us have seen a fruit tree with our own eyes, maybe even picked fruit off of a tree and tasted the fruit with our own mouths. Have you ever bit into a juicy peach or a crisp apple? Yes? Then, you can relate to what Lehi experienced.
Except, God wasn’t really showing Lehi where to find a yummy snack. The tree in the dream was a representation of the Love of God. God’s love is alive. It is strong. It continues to grow! It is a protection from the world. It is a real thing.
Explain to your children that God loves them SO much.
How can we be sure?
In Moses 1:39 God explained, “For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.”
The fruit on the tree–that filled Lehi with so much happiness that he couldn’t wait to share it with his family–was eternal life. God’s purpose, His glory, is to have us back with Him again. He wants to be reunited with His children. That eternal reunion is His main goal. That is what the love of God can do for us. It can bring us back to His loving arms.
The delicious sweet desirable fruit that Lehi tasted in his special dream was eternal life. How can we also partake of the fruit?
Everyone on earth will be resurrected. That is called immortality. Immortality is to live forever as a resurrected being. Jesus made this possible with the Atonement. However, Eternal Life is a little bit different. It is better than just immortality. Eternal life is to live in God’s presence and to continue as families. We just need to obey the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.
We are taught in D&C 93:1, 19–20. “For if you keep my commandments you shall receive of his fulness, and be glorified in me as I am in the Father.”
If we can keep the commandments and choose the right, we are harvesting the fruit of the tree.
Marion G. Romney taught, “As God’s work and glory is to bring to pass the eternal life of man, so the desire, hope, and work of every man should be to obtain eternal life for himself. And not for himself only but also for his fellowmen.”
Stand in the protection of God’s love. Reach for the fruit of that love. Choose to keep the commandments so that you can partake of the fruit and feel the joy of eternal life.
Use this object lesson to help your family remember to seek for the fruit of eternal life.
Show them an apple. Tell them that the apple can remind us of our worth and value. God loves us so much that he want’s nothing more than for us to come back to Him. We are so important to our Heavenly Father.
Tell your family that the apple has a secret message inside. Cut the apple in half in the opposite direction than you would usually cut an apple. It will slice through the core and make a star shape.
Each one of us is a star. We are destined for greatness. We are loved beyond comprehension. This star is a symbol of our divine worth. Every time you look at an apple let it remind you of God’s love and His special fruit.
Now, for the fun part! Caramel apples! Use the apple from your object lesson, and a few more, for your Family Night snack. My grandma gave me this caramel recipe. It is delicious and I can’t help but want to share it with you! Beware! It makes a lot of caramel, so you can half the recipe, or keep the leftovers refrigerated for seconds (and thirds.)
Erma’s Toffee Caramel:
- 1 cup butter
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 cup light corn syrup
Melt the contents together in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir frequently.
When the caramel begins to simmer, set a timer for 8 minutes. Keep stirring.
The caramel should be ready when the eight minutes are up! But, you can test it with a little water trick. Place a cup of cold water in a bowl. Put a teaspoon of the hot caramel in the water and try to make it stick together in a ball using your fingers. If the caramel just falls apart, then cook it for a few more minutes. If it keeps a soft loose shape, then it is ready!
Pour some of the caramel into a dipping bowl. Let it cool for a few minutes. Slice apples for dipping!
Dip the apple sections into the sweet warm caramel and enjoy the delicious combination of flavors.
Keeping the commandments and living the Gospel is just as sweet at this tasty caramel treat. God asks us to be righteous so that we can partake of the fruit of eternal life and live with him and our families for eternity. The harvest of our life here on earth will be full of happiness and joy if we choose to trust God and believe in His love for us. He want’s us to be happy! He has given us the recipe. Now, we just need to reach up and pick what kind of life we are going to live. I hope it is a bounteous harvest.
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