Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Goblet of Gratitude vs. the Bottle of Bitterness

Oh man!  Today's General Conference Lesson was a doozy.  Sometimes the kids are in a mood.  Sometimes my lessons are well-planned-out, and sometimes hastily made lesson plans go haywire and everything erupts into a real sideshow of silliness.  

That was the case today, as we explored President Uchtdorf's talk "Grateful in Any Circumstances."

We all know the standout line where President Uchtdorf says, "We sometimes think that being grateful is what we do after our problems are solved, but how terribly shortsighted that is.  How much of our life do we miss by waiting to see the rainbow before thanking God that there is rain?"

In teaching my children today, I decided instead to focus on another line of imagery presented by President Uchtdorf when he said, "It might sound contrary to the wisdom of the world to suggest that one who is burdened with sorrow should give thanks to God.  But those who set aside the bottle of bitterness and lift instead the goblet of gratitude can find a purifying drink of healing, peace, and understanding."

I thought that tasting the bitter and the sweet would help drive President Uchtdorf's point home for my children.  So at the beginning of our lesson, I set out a cup full of lemon juice and a cup full of apple juice and invited them to partake...Everyone had a sip of apple juice first and enjoyed it very much.

Then came the lemon juice.

  Here's Scarlett giving it a go; Her face says it all.

Guy gave it a whirl.  Even Honor had to take a turn tasting both.

Then I explained to them that President Uchtdorf taught that, "There is one thing we can do to make life sweeter, more joyful, even glorious.  We can be grateful!"

We can put down the "bottle of bitterness" and drink from the "goblet of gratitude" instead.  (Quoted above.)

My kids, not knowing what a goblet was, thought I said GOBLIN, and before I knew it, they had worked themselves up into a frenzy of laughter over the whole thing.  We went from Goblin of Gratitude to Goblin of ATTITUDE.  We were all over the place and there was absolutely no reigning it back in.

They're roaring.  Honor is doing this with her plastic cups:  Her "cups of cuteness."

All that was left to do was go along with all the silliness.

All day long, anytime anyone sported a 'tude, someone would say, "Uh-oh, here comes the Goblin of Attitude!"  

Like when I drove a couple of miles out of my way to check out a yard sale and it turned out to be a junky waste of time, I grumbled under my breath, "Well, that was a waste!"  Then, I stopped myself and said, well, it was at least a pretty drive.  

After all, President Uchtdorf said, "We can CHOOSE to be grateful, no matter what!"

It's a choice we all make, many times, every day.  Choose carefully!  The Goblet of Gratitude is much more pleasant than the Goblin of Attitude OR the Bottle of Bitterness!!!

To read up on all of our adventures in General Conference learning, please visit our General Conference Lessons page!

Here are our General Conference Review Lessons for the April 2014 Conference (so far):

Following Up - Elder Ballard
Spiritual Whirlwinds - Elder Andersen
Roots and Branches - Elder Cook
I Have Given You an Example - Elder Scott


  1. how funny, but being silly lets off lots of steam so we can return to serious things refreshed....

  2. What a great way to let them use their senses to learn the lesson. And I love their take on it with the goblin. Sounds like they won't forget the lesson anytime soon.

    1. Oh man, Valerie. It was hilarious. And then today during church one of the speakers (a high council speaker) started saying something about gratitude and President Uchtdorf and Scarlett's eyes got all big and she looked over at me and we were both silently, but excitedly making these crazy faces to each other, and then the speaker quoted that part exactly. And we were both mouthing the words "goblin of gratitude!!" in this ridiculously excited way! It's always sweet payoff when anyone quotes something we've learned in General Conference...which actually just gave me another thanks!!

  3. This is so so lovely! Will be doing this for sure! :)

  4. I used this tonight and it worked so well! Thank you for sharing! (I found this from the homepage :))

    1. Oh that's awesome! Thanks for letting me know!! We will be sharing more lessons soon.

    2. Oh that's awesome! Thanks for letting me know!! We will be sharing more lessons soon.