Baskets of Inspiration

template here
Many moons ago, as a youth, one of my leaders presented an object lesson which had a lasting impact on me.  It was a simple lesson, using a bar of soap.  The lesson was on repentance.  Though I don't remember the complete contents of the object lesson itself, I cannot help but thinking about repentance almost every time I use a bar of soap.  Can you imagine just how often I use a bar of soap?
This is one reason I love object lessons.  I have to admit there have been times I have picked up a bar of soap and been annoyed that I couldn't just wash my hands.  Always a lesson in the back of my mind.  Really?
But more times than not, I have appreciated the moments I have really needed that reminder.  Looking at myself in the mirror, (because I am usually standing in front of the mirror when I am washing my hands - aren't you?)  :)  asking myself if I have been taking advantage of the gift of the atonement in my own life.  Washing the dirt from my spirit.  Allowing my light to shine.
I think it is important for our youth to understand that they are surrounded by everyday items that can inspire them, remind them of gospel principles they have been taught, and that they can use these to inspire others.
The following is an activity I have done a number of times with the young women I have had the opportunity to serve.  Thought I would share!

Who is our greatest teacher?  (Jesus Christ)
How did He teach? (He taught using parables)
What is a parable?
Why did He teach using parables? 
Lets talk about a few parables found in the scriptures.
What lessons were being taught with each particular parable?
What is an object lesson?
What object lessons have made an impression in your lives?
What lessons were being taught with those particular object lessons?
  • Display a basket filled with everyday items.
  • Invite everyone to take an item.
  • Allow time for the young women to come up with a parable or object lesson using the item they have chosen from the basket.
  • Encourage them to use scriptures as a resource.
  • Have 3x5 cards or slips of paper available. As well as something to write with.
  • When they are ready - give each of them time to share their parable or object lesson with the group.
Side Notes:
I recently shared this with our young women.  They had so much fun.  They were so good to encourage and support each other.  They even applauded after each one of them shared their mini lesson - no clapping, they were reverent and snapped.  :)  It made me smile.
In case you were wondering, here are some of the items I have put into the basket:  an apple, alarm clock, flashlight, spoon, shoe, wood block with the word "friends" printed on it, necklace, book, towel, soap, door knob, flower, phone, blanket, piano music, water bottle, pencil, ...  really anything can be used.  It only takes a bit of inspiration.  :)
Also, it wasn't planned, but this ended up being a great exercise for public speaking.  Score!
The girls were then challenged to do the following individually or with their families (during Family Home Evening):
  • Find a basket/bag/shoe box and fill it with items you find yourself using, or even looking at, on a daily basis.
  • Take a few moments for each item and come up with a parable or object lesson using the item.
  • Remember to use your scriptures as a resource.
  • Use 3x5 cards or slips of paper to write on.
  • Refer to the cards frequently.
  • Soon you'll find that you will be reminded of gospel principles and be inspired by everyday items on a regular basis!
  • Also, make opportunities to inspire others everyday.
Object Lessons That Motivate, Jon R. Howe, Liahona May 1999
Looking for Lessons Everywhere, Lesson 10:  Teaching No Greater Call
He Spake Many Things to Them in Parables, Lesson 11:  New Testament Gospel Doctrine
If budget allows, you could give each of the girls a basket of their own with this little tag tied to it.
Or, you could simply tie this to a bag of chocolate - chocolate always inspires me!  :)


  1. I just wanted to let you know that we did this activity, and the girls commented that it was one of their favorite activities. I was so impressed with the object lessons the girls created with their objects.....very powerful! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Stephanie,
    Thank you! Aren't the youth amazing? I would love to know what they created with the items they chose. We should have
    an object lesson share. :)


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