WHAT IS GRACE?
You might ask yourself what brownies and pennies have to do with grace. They don't have much to do with it actually, unless they are put into context. I began my lesson handing out the paper envelopes with different amounts of pennies in them to each girl and leader. They ranged from 2-9 pennies. I told the girls that the brownies cost 10 cents and if any of them had 10 cents they could buy a brownie. To their disappointment no one had 10 cents. :( They could not pool together money and they could not earn money. I told them we would see at the end of the lesson if there was any way that they could buy a brownie. I got that idea from sugardoodle here.
We then looked up Grace in the Bible Dictionary. I had the girls read this outloud and we wrote down what Grace is defined as.
I wanted the girls to read and study and ponder about what grace means to them. I didn't want to just read to them quotes and stories I wanted them to read them and to search the scriptures. So after the introduction to Grace I started a "Silent Lesson". I set up different stations around the room based on a talk called "His Grace is Sufficient" by Brad Wilcox found here. I thought it was much more age appropriate and the girls could better relate to it. I also used the scriptures from the lesson found here. They did this individually and I made enough copies of each station so that they could write on it/keep it/do whatever they wanted. We also have journals that we keep at the church for each girl so they carried those with them and wrote their answers and thoughts in those as well.
1st Station: how does god's grace really work? They read the section from the talk and wrote down their thoughts.
2nd Station: Grace Helps us. They read the section from the talk and Philippians 4:13 and Jacob 4:6-7. I asked them to write how Grace can help them in their lives. I really liked this quote from this part of the talk:
"There should never be just two options: perfection or giving up. When learning the piano, are the only options performing at Carnegie Hall or quitting? No. Growth and development take time. Learning takes time. When we understand grace, we understand that God is long-suffering, that change is a process, and that repentance is a pattern in our lives. When we understand grace, we understand that the blessings of Christ’s Atonement are continuous and His strength is perfect in our weakness (see 2 Corinthians 12:9). When we understand grace, we can, as it says in the Doctrine and Covenants, 'continue in patience until [we] are perfected' (D&C 67:13)."
3rd Station: Grace transforms us. They read the section from the talk and read Moroni 10: 32-33. I asked them to think and write about How are we perfected? How can Grace transform your life?
My favorite quote from this part of the talk was:
"The miracle of the Atonement is not just that we can live after we die but that we can live more abundantly (see John 10:10). The miracle of the Atonement is not just that we can be cleansed and consoled but that we can be transformed (see Romans 8). Scriptures make it clear that no unclean thing can dwell with God (see Alma 40:26), but no unchanged thing will even want to.
The miracle of the Atonement is not just that we can go home but that—miraculously—we can feel at home there. If Heavenly Father and His Son did not require faith and repentance, then there would be no desire to change."
The 4th station: How Are We Saved?
They read from "True to the Faith" on Grace and Ephesians 2:8-9 and 2 Nephi 25:23.
5th station: they read the second part of "true to the faith" about receiving grace throughout their lives and why that would be important for them.
I gave them 5-7 minutes at each station and then concluded to wrap up the penny object lesson. I asked them to share what they had learned or any quotes that they liked. I also asked them if they had thought of a way to get the extra money to buy a brownie. After letting them think I asked them what happens when we make a mistake and have short comings? Christ has already paid for the price for us to be able to be perfected. Christ makes up for our short comings. Even when its only 1 penny or as many as 8. He is there for us and wants us to make it back to his presence. But, we have to do our part. Your part today was learning about grace. Now all you have to do is ask for help. I showed them the jar of extra pennies that I had and asked if they had thought to ask me for help. Of course they all started asking for me to make up the difference and they were all able to buy a brownie. The important part to stress in this object lesson is that we can't just be given grace. We need to do our part and after we have done all that we can do, then christ will make up the difference and we will be perfected through him.
I thought this was the easiest way to give this lesson on a somewhat deep topic relating to the atonement. I think that through a silent lesson the girls were more keen to the spirit and what grace means and can do for them in their lives. If you would like a copy of the station hand outs email me here instead of posting a comment. That way I can be sure to see your request!