Photo illustrations by Welden C. Andersen and iStock/Thinkstock
Making solid objects float before your very eyes sounds impossible, right? Transfix your family at family home evening this week as you show them that what might seem impossible is entirely possible. All you need is the secret ingredient: the gospel. Oh, and some salt.
Gather up your supplies and prepare to amaze! For this reality-bending stunt, you will need a pitcher, tap water, an uncooked egg, table salt, and a spoon.
1. Sinking Feeling
Start your lesson by pouring the hot water into the pitcher. Next, hold out the egg and ask your family what they think will happen when you put it in the water. Once they’ve all weighed in, gently set the egg in the water and watch as it sinks to the bottom.
Explain to your family that the egg represents us when we feel discouraged or weighed down by the darkness of the world. We might feel like we’ve sunk into the negativity and despair around us. When that happens, it can be hard to believe we will ever feel happiness and peace again.
2. Rising Up
But we can rise up from the world’s darkness. The righteous choices we make every day give us strength to move beyond the despair of the world. Share a quote like this one by Sister Linda S. Reeves, second counselor in the Relief Society general presidency:
“I must testify of the blessings of daily scripture study and prayer and weekly family home evening. These are the very practices that help take away stress, give direction to our lives, and add protection to our homes” (“Protection from Pornography—a Christ-Focused Home,” Ensign, May 2014, 17).
Then add a little salt to the pitcher.
Ask your family what else we can all do to rise up. With each appropriate answer—things like seminary and church attendance, repentance, forgiveness, fasting, and service—have them add a little salt to the egg’s watery home.
3. Keep It Up
Once everyone’s poured in all the salt, stir for a couple minutes—gently, so the egg doesn’t break—to dissolve the salt. Or you can let someone else give it a whirl.
Take this opportunity to discuss the importance of consistency in righteous living—in keeping your gospel living in motion. The results of the experiment aren’t instantaneous. It’s the same with us. When we make good choices, we don’t always see immediate results. But consistently doing these things will bring us closer to God. And when we continue to do them, we’ll continue to be blessed. You might share this quote from Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:
“Simple, consistent, good habits lead to a life full of bountiful blessings” (“For Peace at Home,” Ensign, May 2013, 29).
After the water and salt are stirred, the egg won’t be able to stay down. With all the dissolved salt, the density of the water has changed. And now that the egg is less dense than its surroundings, it floats! It’s like Sister Jean A. Stevens, former first counselor in the Primary general presidency, said: “The gospel ‘is not weight; it is wings.’ It carries us” (“Fear Not; I Am with Thee,” Ensign, May 2014, 83).
4. Unexpected Power
Now hold out just one grain of salt on your finger. Show it to each family member—up close so they really get a good look. Ask your family to look at the size of the egg and the size of the salt grain. How is it possible that tiny grains lifted up the much larger egg? In answer, you could share Nephi’s words: “And thus we see that by small means the Lord can bring about great things” (1 Nephi 16:29). Even with the weight of the world pressing down on us, we can be carried. We can be lifted. With God, anything is possible.
What If I Still Can’t Rise Up?
While righteous choices bring us closer to God, if you have a mental illness, you may still feel despair and discouragement despite your best efforts.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has said, “If things continue to be debilitating, seek the advice of reputable people with certified training, professional skills, and good values. Be honest with them about your history and your struggles. Prayerfully and responsibly consider the counsel they give and the solutions they prescribe” (“Like a Broken Vessel,” Ensign, Nov. 2013, 41). You are not alone, and God doesn’t want you to feel like you are. He wants you to find help and happiness.