In the LDS Church men from the ages of 14 on up are assigned as home-teachers. Home teachers are assigned in pairs and are assigned families in the congregation to help both spiritually and with their temporal needs as well. Home teachers are encouraged to share at least once a month a spiritual message with the family.

Last month, I read the message by the LDS church President, Thomas S. Monson called Canaries with Gray on their Wings. The message of the story is basically not to judge a book by it’s cover and treat everyone with respect and dignity, including yourself. Since there were children at two of the families I home teach, I decided to have an object lesson illustrating not to judge things by their appearance.

I made some cookies and dumped tons of salt in them and baked them. Before I baked them, I made sure (actually it was my wife) that the cookies would turn out large and nice-looking. I then made a batch of normal cookies but baked them to look unattractive and small.

You’ve probably guessed the outcome. When I brought the plate of cookies, I included both the large and small ones on the plates. Everyone picked the large ones first. Most of the kids were polite and just stopped eating them. I asked them what was wrong and they said the cookies are salty. I then asked them why they chose that cookie and they said because it looked better. We then would have a discussion about how things aren’t always as they appear and we need to not judge others by their appearance.

I thought it was a good learning tool, but the past few weeks when I go to church and see the kids all they do is point to me and tell their friends not to trust me because I cook salty cookies. I’m not sure the point of the lesson really stuck with them. Maybe I shouldn’t have given them salty cookies…

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