This family night lesson and activity will help teach your family the importance of repentance. Using a small rock, you can show how little problems become bigger and more hurtful over time.
Story and FHE Lesson on Repentance
Have you ever heard something during a talk at church that just zings you? I had that experience a few weeks ago. The youth speaker told a story about when he was at scout camp. They were on a day hike, and he got a little pebble in his hiking boot. It was so small, it didn’t seem like a big deal. After a few miles, the pebble started making his foot very sore. It felt like it was getting bigger and bigger with each step. He mentioned to the Bishop that he would like to stop and remove the little rock from his boot. It was making the hike miserable.
As the young scout sat down to rest and clean out his boot, the Bishop taught him a valuable lesson. He said, “Think of this rock as a sin. At first, you notice a change in how you feel, but it isn’t a big deal. But, over time, the sin starts to wear on you. It causes pain and discomfort. Think of how good it feels to take the rock out–to repent. Walking through life with sin is not fun at all. When you repent, you can remove the sin from your life and become free of the burden. You can walk tall and easy again.”
Repentance brings comfort back.
The youth speaker said that he has thought about that simple lesson about repentance so many times over the few years that had passed since the experience. It impacted me as well.
One interesting thing that stands out to me in this analogy of repentance is the fact that taking the rock out immediately and taking the rock out after miles of discomfort takes the same amount of effort. In contrast, the longer the rock (or sin) is in place, the greater the damage.
It is a wonderful reminder to fix problems as soon as they arise. If you hurt someone’s feelings, immediately say sorry and make it right. If you cheat on a test, confess quickly. Don’t let the guilt fester. If you tell a lie, replace it with the truth. The longer the sins drag out, the worse you will feel.
To refer back to the pebble analogy, your shoes can eventually fill up with rocks making it almost impossible to progress any farther along the trail. It just hurts too much to continue walking. In life, we can become bogged down with sin. It stops progression and does not allow the Holy Ghost to be near.
Elder Larry R. Lawrence said, “Our Heavenly Father knows our divine potential. He rejoices every time we take a step forward.”
When we walk forward without the burden of sin, are moving towards our loving Father in Heaven.
Even small mistakes and transgressions should be confessed and forsaken each night through prayer. Start each day fresh and clean! Gotta clean out those boots.
Read 3 Nephi 9:13-14. Christ wants us to repent. He pleads with us and asks that we repent so he can heal us. The red marks and blisters from the pebbles in our shoes can be healed by the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Above all else, though Him, we become whole again.
Repentance Rock Activity
Place a small rock in each of your children’s shoes. Tell them that the rock represents a sin. Children’s sin are generally transgressions or mistakes. So, it can represent something like fighting with their siblings, sneaking up at night to watch a show on the iPad, taking a piece of candy without asking, lying about getting their homework completed, etc.
Go for a family walk. See how each person handles walking with the rock in their shoe. Don’t let them take the rock out right away. You could even add an extra rock to some of the shoes just to make it harder!
After a few minutes, sit down and clean the shoes.
As you walk home, talk about how much more fun it is to walk without the disturbance of the pebble. Ask how they feel different with the rock gone.
Conclude with the message that sometimes we look at repentance as something that is scary or only for big bad things. Rather, repentance is actually a blessing. “The fact that we can repent is the good news of the Gopsel,” Dale G. Renlund taught. It is a relief, not a punishment.
Therefore, if we take a moment each day to “empty our shoes” our journey through life will be comfortable and enjoyable! We will be able to focus on the good that surrounds us instead of the little annoying mistakes in our shoes.
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