Photographs by Christina Smith
In the classic book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Alice comes to a crossroads. When the Cheshire cat appears, she asks him, “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?” The cat answers, “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.” Alice replies, “I don’t much care where—” To which the cat says, “Then it doesn’t matter which way you go” (Lewis Carroll , 76).
Fortunately, we don’t have to rely on fictitious felines to figure out what life’s all about. We know that we want to live with our Father in Heaven again one day, and we have something that tells us how to get there—the scriptures! For example, as you take a look at Moroni 10:32 (this year’s Mutual theme), we’re told to “come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness.”
Becoming “perfected in [Christ]” may seem a little daunting, but it’s really the result of small, daily choices rather than one big action you take. And there’s a simple activity to help you and your family see just how that happens on your pathway to perfection—a perfect object lesson for family home evening.
1. Get Ready …
Start your lesson by reading Moroni 10:32 and talking about what it means to “deny yourselves of all ungodliness.” Ungodly decisions are ones that make us less like Christ. And we deny ungodliness by resisting the temptation to do evil and by avoiding things that keep us from feeling the Spirit.
So how should we act instead? The next part of the scripture has an answer: “Love God with all your might, mind and strength.” We show love to God by serving others, keeping the commandments, and honoring our covenants with Him.
Now look at the rest of the verse. Notice how the word “perfect” is repeated. It’s our goal to become perfect, but that can only happen with the help of Jesus Christ. As we come to Christ by replacing ungodly actions with obedience and love, we can become perfected in Him.
2. Get Set …
Now it’s time for the activity, which works best in a large room. At one end of the room, display a picture of Jesus Christ. Several feet away, mark a line where all of your family members can line up side-by-side.
Next, you’ll need a bowl and lots of slips of paper. Hand out the slips of paper, and on each one have family members write either a decision that would bring a person closer to Christ or away from Him. Remember to think about the needs of your family members as you create the slips. Have your family members include more papers representing good choices than bad ones.
Once the papers are filled out, put them all in the bowl. Each player will then take turns drawing a slip of paper from the bowl and then moving toward or away from the picture of Christ based on what’s on the paper—good choices lead you one step closer, and poor choices take you one step back.
Make sure there are plenty of slips of paper for everyone in your family to make it to the Savior! Here are a few examples to get you started:
I invited a classmate to church to hear me teach a Sunday lesson.
I told Mom thank you for driving me to soccer practice.
I prayed this morning, even though I was really grumpy when I woke up.
I played video games instead of reading my scriptures before bed.
4. Wrap Up
To make this activity as meaningful as possible, make sure to tie the activity back to Moroni 10:32, along with other scriptures you find on the topic. Ask your family members to share their thoughts. You could also ask questions like these to start a conversation:
What helps you resist temptation?
What have you done recently to show God that you love Him?
How can you help one another move closer to Christ each day?
You may also want to discuss any topics from the paper slips that family members may have questions about.
Once everyone’s had a chance to share their thoughts, consider closing the lesson by bearing your testimony about how making good choices has helped you. It’s one way to take a great step forward together.
It’s always a good idea to pray to know how best to help those you’re teaching.
Look for relevant quotes from recent general conference talks, such as this one by Elder Ulisses Soares of the Presidency of the Seventy: “We will avoid detours and sadness in our lives as long as we walk hand in hand with the Lord” (“Be Meek and Lowly of Heart,” Ensign, Nov. 2013, 10).
To start the lesson, consider singing “Lord, I Would Follow Thee” (Hymns, no. 220).
Consider talking about the role that the Spirit plays in helping us recognize good choices verses poor ones (see Moroni 7:16–17).