“FHE Object Lesson: When Life Hands You Lemons, Armor Up,” New Era, April 2016, 6–7
You’re minding your own business, going about your life, when out of nowhere a vicious beast attacks you! You want to charge it headfirst, but you realize that you’ve misplaced your helmet. The beast attacks you and you go to raise your shield, only to realize you left it at home. Dodging frantically, you reach for your trusty blade, only to panic when you see it far away from you, casually tossed in the roadside ditch. Is this the end for our young hero???
While our daily battles might not be as dramatic as the one above, we too are fighting for our lives every day against temptation and sin. To demonstrate the importance of putting on the armor of God, you can use this object lesson to teach your family in family home evening this week.
About 30 minutes before your lesson, cut one of the apples in half. Cover one half of the apple with the lemon juice. Keep these apple halves hidden during the first part of your lesson.
Start your lesson by asking your family questions about armor. For example, what comes to mind when they think about armor? Medieval knights? Who uses armor today? Why?
Now you’re going to make a quick subject change (don’t worry, tell your family it still relates). Ask your family what bad things they were exposed to in the past week. Was someone unkind to your sister? Maybe your mom had to change the channel on the TV when something inappropriate came on. Did your friends make fun of you for believing the way you do? What other things happened?
While you’re sharing your stories, cut your second apple in half. Squirt lemon juice on one half, just like you did during your preparation. Then, set the two halves of the apple side by side.
Read out loud Ephesians 6:11–18 and then Doctrine and Covenants 27:15–18. Talk with your family about the armor of God. What do the “breastplate of righteousness” and the other parts of armor signify? How can you put on the armor of God? Would the armor of God have helped with your bad situations in the last few weeks? How?
After sharing your thoughts about the armor of God, check back on your fruit (this works best if 10 minutes or so have passed). Not a lot has changed, right? Now bring out the apple you prepared earlier. One half of the original apple should look fine, but the other will be brown and unappetizing. Due to a process called oxidation, the half that didn’t have lemon juice on it turned brownish because it came in contact with oxygen. Because you protected the other half with lemon juice, it resisted oxidizing (it didn’t turn brown). The lemon juice acted like armor!
Now, compare the lemon juice and the armor of God. How are we like the two halves of the apple?
Just like the knight in the story, all too often we leave the house without being protected. Luckily, we can change that by turning to the Savior and His Atonement for help when we slip up. Through the repentance process, we can put on our armor again and help others to do the same.