It was a beautiful Sunday morning. Sister Andrus opened the classroom window to let in the fresh spring air. On a soft breeze came the smell of lilacs and the song of robins.
After Sarah gave the opening prayer, Sister Andrus announced, “Today we are going on a treasure hunt.”
There were gasps of joy from everyone. “Please can we go outside?” Ashley asked, looking longingly at the blue sky through the window.
“Yes, indeed,” Sister Andrus said with a smile. “How could we stay indoors on a day like today!”
“What is the treasure?” Tony wanted to know.
“Actually, there are many treasures—treasures from Heavenly Father,” Sister Andrus told the class. “They will be somewhere outside. I want each of you to search carefully until you think you’ve found one. Then we’ll come back inside and share our discoveries. But remember,” she cautioned, “this is not a time to run and be noisy. You will need to look quickly and quietly. You have only five to ten minutes to find a treasure. Let’s go.”
With shining eyes, the children hushed each other as they tiptoed after the teacher down the hallway, through the heavy glass door, and into the bright sunshine.
Once outside, all the children scattered and began to search under rocks and behind bushes for treasures. All, that is, except Joey, who stretched out on the grass, put one hand behind his head, and smiled as he watched the clouds floating by.
Soon Sister Andrus called the children to line up. Back they went through the glass door, down the hallway, and into their classroom.
As soon as they entered the classroom, everyone wanted to talk at once. Sister Andrus had to quiet the excited children. “I’m sure you’re all eager to share your discoveries with us, but we must take turns so that everyone can be heard. Aaron, why don’t you go first? What treasure did you find?”
Aaron dug deep into his pocket and pulled out a large rock, which he put on the table with a thump. “I found it by the parking lot,” he said. “It has glitter in it.”
The teacher held it up in the light. “It’s beautiful, Aaron. It sparkles like a jewel. You have good eyes to have found this treasure.”
Aaron smiled shyly.
Next was Jenny’s turn. She opened her hand to reveal a clump of grass. “Smell it,” she urged everyone as she held it under each one’s nose.
“Oh, I just love the smell of fresh-cut grass,” said Sister Andrus, sniffing. Jenny nodded. “I like to walk on it barefoot.”
“Soft, green grass is a treasure,” their teacher said.
“Sister Andrus, I found something that smells good, too,” said Ashley, “but I didn’t think I should pick them—the pretty purple flowers on the tree in the corner.”
“Lilacs!” Sister Andrus clapped her hands together. “You were right not to pick them, Ashley. But they and all flowers truly are a treasure.”
Tony raised his hand. “But flowers can’t walk,” he pointed out. “I found a bug outside. It landed on my nose. I just watched it till it flew away.”
“I’m glad you were careful not to hurt it, Tony,” the teacher praised him.
“But, Teacher, isn’t a bug a greater treasure than a rock or grass or a flower?” Tony asked.
“And isn’t a bird a greater treasure than a bug?” Chad piped up. “That’s the treasure I found. A bird can fly and sing, and it eats bugs.”
“Teacher! Teacher!” Sarah was jumping up and down waving her hand. “I think Heavenly Father’s greatest treasure is the sun. Without sunlight there wouldn’t be any plants or animals.”
“That’s true, Sarah. The sun is a necessary treasure,” Sister Andrus said. “Who would’ve guessed there were so many treasures right outside our classroom?” She turned to Joey. “You’ve been very quiet, Joey. Did you find a treasure when you went outside today?”
He shrugged. “I guess I was too busy enjoying everything outside to look for just one treasure.”
Sister Andrus patted him on the knee. “That’s fine, Joey. Class,” she announced, “I think that in a way, Joey not only found many treasures, but he also knew what to do with them.”
“He did?” the other children said.
“Yes, he did,” Sister Andrus repeated. “Who created all these miracles we’ve talked about today?”
“I know.” Jenny raised her hand. “Jesus did.”
“That’s right—Jesus did under Heavenly Father’s direction. And why did he create all these wonderful things?”
“For us?” Tony guessed.
“For you, Tony, and for me, and for all of us to take care of—and appreciate. That’s what Joey was doing—appreciating them.
“And,” she went on, “while it’s important to appreciate these—and all the treasures Jesus has given us—it’s even more important to know that as his children, if we learn about the treasures he gives to us, and about him, and obey his commandments, we can become like him. We can someday become Creators, too, and have eternal life, which is the greatest of all his treasures to us.”