We began by learning the 3rd Article of Faith: We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel. The children found the words in the room and hidden under their chairs, then they lined up in order and we repeated the article together.
It was difficult to get through the lesson because they had seen the jar of water on the table, and that preoccupied most of their thoughts. They simply couldn't focus on anything else. So the time came to introduce the object lesson.
The water represents us, clean and pure. The food coloring represents bad decisions we make, or sins. As I dropped in the food coloring, it made really cool swirls and shapes... it was quite fascinating. I dropped in a few different colors and it began to turn black, yuck. I asked what happens to us when we sin and a small child in the back yells, "we get trapped in the bucket!"
Sometimes it is just the timing, the circumstance, or just the kid that makes the answers so funny, but I burst into laughter. Not the quiet kind that I can recover from quickly, but the loud giggly kind that just gets funnier the more inappropriate it is...
I'm standing in front of the jr. primary (with the substitute teachers and all) laughing uncontrollably. I tried a few times to recover, but ended up staring down at the dark water taking deep breaths and crying tears of laughter. A quick glance around the room found the pianist on the floor behind the piano wiping tears and shaking, the rest of the presidency trying to suppress laughter, the teachers looking at me with wonderment, and the children utterly confused.
It took a good 3 minutes to gather my wits. I proceeded to explain how the Atonement of Christ, through repentance, cleans us of our sins. I poured in the bleach (the Atonement) and waited for the miracle of cleansing to begin. Nothing. Finally the color lightened to a light blue. I was talking and explaining the repentance process, praying the color would bleach already. Whit handed me a fork and I stirred all while I spoke. The kids were so helpful and kind to pretend it was going as planned, "look Sister Doyle, it is getting lighter..." "... look it is almost clear blue..." until finally it did eventually clear up. Whew. I have no idea if the object lesson will make sense after all of the chaos, but I got the stomach work out of the day! (and the substitutes are thinking, "this is who is in-charge of our children?!") :) lucky you!