When we were growing up, my mom served in the children’s organization at church (Primary) for many years and often had opportunities to teach the youngest members of the congregation. One of my favorite object lessons that she shared involved a banana. Not only was it a great little demonstration, I also loved this particular lesson because, as the weird kid who was mildly allergic to bananas (bizarre, huh?), and thus theoretically above being tempted to eat them in Primary, I generally got to be Mom’s special helper when she would do the banana trick.
This past Monday we decided to devote our weekly Family Home Evening to bananas.
To prepare for the lesson (Mom’s banana trick), I used a pin to carefully puncture the peel of a banana. Careful not to push the pin through the peel anywhere else, I gently wiggled it back and forth, effectively slicing the banana. I then removed the pin and repeated the process in another place on the banana.
When it was time for the lesson, we read the scripture in Alma 32:21 that defines faith: “And now as I said concerning faith—faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true.” We asked the girls if they could think of any things that they were sure were real, even though they hadn’t seen them yet.
After a brief discussion, I showed them the banana. The pin marks were so small they blended perfectly with the brown mottling: just your basic banana. “Looks like a pretty normal banana, doesn’t it?” I said to the girls.
“What if I told you the banana inside is cut into three pieces? Would that make sense?”
Robyn shook her head and offered the answer, “no.” Amber giggled. "That would be silly."
“I know you can’t see the banana pieces, and I know it doesn’t make sense that the banana would already be cut into three pieces when it’s never been opened,” I continued, “but what if I told you I knew there were three pieces of banana inside? Would you believe me, even if it doesn’t make sense and you can’t see it?”
After a moment of consideration the girls nodded their heads. Since Katie was assigned to the lesson for Monday, she got to be the special helper who then got to peel the banana.
The girls were amazed, bursting out into more giggling, when Katie pulled back the peel revealing three perfectly sliced pieces of fruit nestled inside.
I shared my testimony that there are many things in life that we might not initially completely understand. There would especially be many things that we would be asked to DO that we wouldn’t always be able to see why we should do them, at least at first. But just like they trusted me about the banana and eventually got to see it was true, when they trust the Lord and have faith to do the things He asks--even when they are hard or don’t make sense right away--they will always eventually see that those things were true too and that there was a reason for them.
Of course, as much fun as banana lessons are, banana games and banana treats aren’t bad things either. We rounded out Family Home Evening by playing “Go Bananas” (a follow-the-leader game we used to play at English class in Taiwan) and by eating frozen chocolate-covered bananas.
|Robyn was on treat this week, so she and Amber got to help prep the frozen bananas during the afternoon.|
|Amber holding up a little baby banana all ready for it's chocolate bath.|
|I meant to get a picture of all three pieces of banana sitting in the peel...but two of them got eaten before I remembered. Oh well: you can kind of see where they would have been.|
|Playing "Go Bananas" for the activity.|
|More crazy banana people.|
|Bananas crawling around during "Go Bananas."|
|Finally! Treat time!|
|One very messy monkey munching on a banana.|
|Matthew even got into the spirit of things by dressing for the occasion.|
Who'd have ever thought the little kid with the weird banana allergy would ever end up spending an entire night going bananas over bananas? Family home evening is a wonderful thing!