For this Family Night idea, Adelle created a color experiment activity to teach everyone about choices, and the consequences that follow.
I hope you’ll enjoy this Family Night idea I’m sharing today! Did you know that before we were born, God granted us all a very special gift? He did. In fact, this gift was so important to us that we fought a war in heaven to keep it. We wanted it. We knew that it was absolutely necessary for us have it in order to grow, learn, and progress during our time on Earth. This great gift is agency.
President David O. McKay, ninth President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said, “Next to the bestowal of life itself, the right to direct that life is God’s greatest gift to man.”
Today’s Family Night Lesson is about using this valuable gift of agency to create a good bright colorful life. We are free to choose our actions, but not the natural consequences. Choices and outcomes are bound together.
What is Agency? Agency is the ability and privilege to choose and act for ourselves. We are not forced to follow God’s plan. We have the opportunity to make our own individual choices every day of our lives.
Read a scripture aloud from the Book of Mormon. 2 Nephi 2:27:
“Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.”
We are all free to make choices. What choices did you make today?
Possible answers: I chose to wear a jacket to school. I chose to eat cereal for breakfast. I chose to play soccer at recess. I chose to listen to music in the car. I chose the pizza line at lunch.
Some of the choices we make in life have little effect on our future. In the long run, it probably won’t matter if you wore a pony tail or a braid in your hair today. But, some choices will change the course of your entire life. They are life changing moments. Like, when you decide to say no to an offer of drugs or alcohol. Or, when you choose to turn or look away from a bad movie or photograph. Those are big moments, with big consequences tied to them.
President Monson said, “Decisions are constantly before us. To make them wisely, courage is needed—the courage to say no, the courage to say yes.”
Agency is a powerful tool. It is a Godly attribute. You can use your power of agency for good or for bad. Luckily, our Heavenly Father loves us too much to give us a tool without teachers and instructions to help us use it correctly.
As His children, we were given directions for a happy life. The directions come in the scriptures, through the Prophet’s voice, and from wise parents and Church leaders. Guidance also comes from the quiet whisperings of the Holy Ghost and through answers to our prayers.
When we follow the direction and council of these trusted sources, then the choices we make will have positive and happy consequences. We will feel good inside. The Holy Ghost will be our companion. We will be blessed for our obedience. Our testimony of the Gospel will grow and become strong. We will become like Jesus. All of these good and lasting blessings come from using our agency with righteousness.
What happens when agency is used, but the choice is something that goes against what God has outlined for our happiness?
Lets find out with the help of an object lesson! You will need glass jars, water, food coloring, and bleach.
The colors in the object lesson represent choices in life and their associated consequence.
First, fill a jar with about a cup or two of regular tap water.
This jar represents our life. The water inside is clear and pure. We get to decide what color our life is going to be! God gave us agency to choose.
Let your child choose what color they want their water to be. My daughter chose orange. There is a recipe for an orange life. It’s true! If you want an orange life, you need to choose to put in a few drops of yellow and a drop of red.
She chose to put in the yellow and red colors, the result was orange! It isn’t magic. It is science. It will work every single time. The recipe is true.
For this experiment, orange water represents happiness and goodness. Because, that was her goal.
What would happen if she decided she wanted an orange life, but instead of making the choice to follow the recipe, she decided to make a different color selection? She put in blue drops! Blue wasn’t part of the plan. These blue drops represent sin.
You cannot make a choice to add blue drops, sin, and then hope to get orange. Blue drops will always bring their own color (consequence) with them.
When we sin, we use our agency to go against the instructions from God. Instead of following His perfect plan, we choose our own plan. Can we make an orange life (representing happy and good) if we don’t follow God’s recipe? No.
Luckily, God knew that we wouldn’t always be able to make good choices. We are not perfect. It is easy to make mistakes. Once we add a little bit of sin to our colorful life, it turns dark and yucky. We don’t want to stay like that. So, we can use our agency to repent!
When we repent for our bad choices and try to make it better, then our lives become clean again. We are able to start from scratch.
President Monson said, “We have all made incorrect choices. If we have not already corrected such choices, I assure you that there is a way to do so. The process is called repentance. I plead with you to correct your mistakes. Our Savior died to provide you and me that blessed gift. Although the path is not easy, the Savior’s promise is real: Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow…And I, the Lord, remember them no more.”
Add about 1/2 cup of regular bleach to the jar of yucky water. The bleach represents the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
The bleach immediately begins to pull the color from the water and makes it clear again. It is fun to watch!
Now, you can start over again! Let another child pick what color they want their life to be. You can make purple by combining red and blue.
The purpose of this activity is to demonstrate that we are free to choose the color, but once the drops hit the water we cannot choose the outcome. Blue drops make blue water. Red drops make red. We must choose to use the colors that create the kind of water that we desire.
Just like in our lives, we must also chose to make decisions that will bring us closer to our Heavenly Father. When we follow His plan for happiness, we will get happiness. It isn’t magic. It is truth.
We were given the awesome and powerful gift of agency. It is a blessing from our Heavenly Father. When we use our agency with righteousness, we are blessed beyond measure. When we make mistakes and sin, we can repent and start again.
Heavenly Father loves us. He loves you and wants you to be happy. He gave us commandments to keep us on the path that leads back to Him. Choose to walk on His path and you will be blessed with a life full of beauty and color and happiness!
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