This past week I had a friend ask me the question, “Why do you sacrifice so much of the good stuff now for the hope of something later?”
I couldn’t help but think of a lesson I’d given a class almost a decade earlier and a discussion I’d had with my sons more recently than that.
Church at that time was 1-4 so, half-way through the block, rumbling stomachs were a frequent part of the auditory backdrop in our classroom.
Using this to my advantage, I brought in a pan of small, dry, unfrosted cupcakes that I’d also ‘forgotten’ to put all of the required sugar in. I set them on a table and noted with interest that many of the members of the class were so drawn to the cupcakes that they did not notice the unobtrusive box sitting on the table behind them. The others, however, were drawn to the box and waited to see what it housed.
I asked those particular students if they were hungry and lured them into accepting a cupcake. When they were done and still left wanting, I then pulled out of my bag plates, cups, forks, glasses, a jug of milk and the most decadent looking chocolate cake I could find. I set the table in front of the chalk board with a portrait of Christ and invited the students who had refrained to come sit at the table and enjoy a big piece of that cake.
The others sat on looking miserable wishing that they too had had the sense to see beyond the first offering of sad cupcakes.
I explained that our Savior has personally invited each and everyone of us to dine with Him and partake of His feast. It means giving up a bit of pleasure here in this world for that hope of something better.
This is true of so many things in our lives whether it be morality, honesty, tithing, service or any other thing that can bring us eternal joy.
After explaining this lesson to my friend and talking more in depth about the subject, she had another question, “What ever happened to the kids in that class?”I told her proudly, “Every single one of them is on track, made it through high school and is on missions or married in the temple. They have told me that that lesson made an impression on them they will not soon forget and then added with a big smile, "And I can honestly say that to this day, I know for a fact none of them are starving.” ;-)