Jackson never ceases to amaze me. I mentioned to him at dinner tonight that it was his turn for the lesson for FHE. Ten minutes later as we sat down in the living room he began an amazing lesson. I am not sure the boys learned anything from it, but I sure did.
He started by showing us all a stack of nice, clean white paper. He said that each paper cost 10 pushups. We all (except for Thomas who was feeling a bit picked on and emotional) got down and did our ten pushups. Thomas cried, whined, begged, and finally grabbed for a piece of paper. Jackson calmly explained again that he had to do 10 pushups to get one. Thomas grumpily, tearfully, and loudly did 10 jerks that barely resembled pushups. Jackson said he could have the bent paper (caused by the grabbing) for pushups like that, or he could do more for a fresh straight paper. Let's just say it took a while, but Thomas finally got a clean paper.
Jackson then said that he would show us how to make an airplane out of our paper. He could show us each of the steps, but he couldn't do it for us. We could ask each other for help, but not him. We all followed his directions the best we could. Nicholas quickly asked me for help. Thomas cried and cried getting more and more frustrated with his imperfect airplane. By the time we were done Thomas was just about hysterical. Jackson called the boys around him and asked them to show him their airplanes. They did, and Jackson asked if they could see where they had made mistakes. Thomas just about couldn't take it anymore. He was SO upset that his airplane wasn't perfect. Then came a surprise...
Nicholas gave Jackson his imperfect airplane, jumped down on the floor, and began doing more pushups. When he was done, he asked for a fresh paper.
Jackson told Thomas that he had two choices...he could do 10 more pushups for a new paper, or he could give Jackson his imperfect airplane, do 5 pushups, and Jackson would give him the perfect airplane that he made.
You can probably see where he was going with this. This was as far as we got, though, because Thomas was screaming so loud that Jackson couldn't explain what the purpose of the lesson was. I think we will try it again, though, when we are all feeling happy. To me, it made so much sense. We are commanded to do things that are really hard for us to do...but if we do our best, and then do whatever our Savior asks us to do, he will give us a clean sheet of paper every time we partake of the sacrament and will replace our imperfect airplane with his perfect one.
I'm not sure I am expressing everything well, but I do know that I felt the Holy Ghost in my heart teaching me about the reality of the atonement. I also felt the importance of teaching my children this truth and other truths that will protect them from the increasing temptations of the world. I am thankful that my parents did that for me.