You can’t see it, but it’s there….

My husband and I were asked to give a fireside to the youth on the dangers of pornography. Since the fireside was on Sunday night, we arranged for a plate of wonderful looking brownies to be passed around in one of the youth classes that morning. There are two object lessons that can be used here together as we did or separately: The majority of the brownies tasted as wonderful as they looked; however, 2-3 of them were not tasty at all (I added garlic and onion powder to the mix and to the icing I added extra cocoa powder and some onion powder – – all will give a bad taste but none are harmful like too much pepper or tabasco, etc. would be). As the youth are eating the brownies, most comment on how good they are and ask if there are any extras while at the same time, the youth that got the “bad” brownies are looking around like the other youth are crazy! You can tell who gets the bad ones by the looks on their faces. After a minute or so, we ask the youth how the brownies are, making sure to ask the individuals with the bad brownies. Then after the giggling dies down, we make the point that Satan is the master of making things that are “bad” look appealing. We point out that the other friends seemed to get great pleasure from their brownies but that doing the same things can be a “bitter” experience when we know better. Things that work for their friends who are “non-believing” or “non-knowing” won’t work for them if it goes against their standards — we know pornography is sin, and so when we “taste” it, it tastes bad; we feel guilty. Now, begins the second part of the object lesson, we pass out wet wipes for them to clean off their mouths and hands of any brownie crumbs. What they don’t know is that we have soaked the wipes in invisible ink. Later that night at the fireside as we make the point that with the way our brains work, pornographic images and lyrics, once viewed or heard, never leave our brains. Those images and lyrics stay with us if even in our unconscious thoughts. And then at any inopportune time in our lives those images and lyrics can come to mind. That is how Satan works. And even if we don’t realize that they are with us and no one around us can see that they are there, they most certainly are there. We then have the youth who had brownies earlier in the day stand and face the others. We tell everyone that earlier in the day these youth accepted something from us, people they know and trust (like their friends who may try introducing them to something pornographic), and we presented it to them as something they needed (to clean their hands) and they willingly accepted it from us. We tell everyone that they had brownies in class and we offered them a wet wipe to clean their hands. We then tell everyone that what the youth did not know is that we had soaked the wipes in invisible ink. Invisible ink, much like pornography, stays with you. You can wash and wash your hands and it is there to stay (for a couple of days at the least). We then turn off the lights (need to be in a room that can be darkened – – no daylight beaming through) and turn a blacklight on and hold it near the youth that are standing. To the amazement and humor of the whole group, they light up everywhere they wiped (some had rubbed their whole face and others their hair – – works better with the young men, because the girls don’t typically wipe their faces). After the laughter dies down and the lights are back on, we make the strong point that just like that invisible ink (which again seems to not even be there) pornographic things stay with you and are “on you” and even when close friends and family can’t see it, it is there. We have done this object lesson more than once in the pornography fireside and it is such a strong visual. One bishop called to thank us because he had a steady stream of youth coming in to discuss issues they had with pornography after this fireside. Of course, there is more to the fireside than the object lesson, but for those that get nothing else, they get this. -J. Bluth (Be SURE to mention the healing power of the Savior and that we can be redeemed through the Atonement in conjunction with these object lessons. It’s important to teach youth that sins stick with us only until we repent through the Atonement. Then we are completely cleansed–ie, the invisible ink is gone. — Jenny)