Sunday, May 20, 2012

Temple Marriage Lesson.

Today I had the privilege of teaching my Laurels lesson #18 out of Manual 1.
Temple Marriage: 
Requirement for Eternal Family Life.
This is probably one of my very most favorite lessons to teach.
Well because you see...since Joe and I chose to get married in the temple.... we get to be TOGETHER FOREVER.  With our family.  And cause to rejoice! 
Yup.  One of my most favorite topics indeed.

I showed the girls a snippet of our wedding video. {I might've bawled a little too}.
I found a cute idea from Little Miss Suzy Q that I incorporated into my lesson as well.

Cupcake object lesson

 Two cupcakes. one with frosting, one without frosting. Ask girls which one they would rather eat. Most of the girls will pick the cupcake that has frosting because it looks better, is more appetizing, and is sweeter. After the girls decide which one looks better ask a girl to come up and take a bite out of one of the cupcakes. When she picks up the frosted cupcake she'll know immediately that there is something wrong with it because it will be very light. There is actually only a tiny bit of cupcake and the rest is a styrofoam ball. It's frosted and looks beautiful, but you wouldn't want to bite into it. Allow her the bite it or take it apart being careful not to embarrass her. The lesson...neither cupcake is the complete package. You wouldn't want a cupcake that's only icing, but a cupcake without frosting isn't any fun either. It's the same when looking for a husband. You don't want a guy who is only icing; good looking, charming, athletic, etc, but has no cake; high standards, kind, hard working, committed to the gospel, loves the Lord, etc. You want the icing too though. And that's okay.

I decided for this part to make up a few mini cupcakes.  They worked out perfectly.  It was so funny to watch the girl who chose the 'frosted' cupcake try and bite into hers.  It got the message across perfectly. I also gave them THIS handout and had them list the 'cake' qualities and 'frosting' qualities that they wanted in their future husbands.

After the lesson, I made them each come up to me to get their REAL cupcake and told them that they HAD to say: Sis. Coombs...I promise to get married in the Temple.

Each one said it and I sent them on their way. {Smile}. I sure love those girls and hope they got something out of this.  If anything, I wanted them to realize HOW IMPORTANT they are how they should never ever settle or lower their standards for ANYONE.   

Fake diamond rings were found at JoAnns in their WEDDING section.


  1. LOVE your ideas! Thank you so much for sharing!! You are making girls camp SO much easier for me!! Love from Texas!!

  2. Try this frosting recipe, and only use Crisco!! Wedding Cake Frosting (Jan)

    This recipe has been tripled.
    1 ½ cups warms water
    3 heaping teaspoons Wilton meringue powder

    Beat until foamy, then gradually add 2 ¼ cups granulated sugar and beat until thick meringue and set aside.

    In another bowl blend until mixed:

    1 - 3 lb can of Crisco (no substitutes) minus ¾ cup
    ¾ t. salt
    3 lbs of powdered sugar (use name brand) – 1 lb = 3 ¾ cup
    4 ½ teaspoons of vanilla

    Add one-half of meringue and mix well. Add remainder and beat on high for 5 minutes. This will frost a 3 tier cake and can be refrigerated for several days. *Can buy meringue powder at WalMart.

    I use this for all of my wedding cakes. You can make a week before and put in the refrigerator in air tight container. Bring to room temperature before using.

    Jan White (Whitney White Jorgensen's mom) Jenni Helton Sohm's friend!

    1. Wow! Thank you thank you Jan! Tell Whitney and Jenni hi for me :)

  3. You give the best lessons. Those girls are so lucky to have you!

  4. This is really cute!! I used to make my daughters promise me they'd marry in the Temple each night when I tucked them into bed...

  5. One of the reasons I didn't marry my horrible, HORRIBLE ex-fiance,was because of a Laurel lesson YEARS previously. Laurel teachers ARE SO IMPORTANT!!!! Thank you for this idea. It's brilliant.

  6. Very cute idea! I love the white cupcakes with the rings! I hope you don't mind, but I also have a few thoughts on Temple marriage and chastity lessons. As their YW leaders, one must be very careful when presenting these object lessons: the cake, the white rose, etc. The whole idea of "the complete package" and "unblemished" may be confusing or otherwise very disappointing to some young women in special cases such as a one who is a recent convert that had been sexually active or one that was a victim of sexual abuse. Though they may not be common in your neighborhood, these are very real situations. The message that must really be conveyed is "divine nature" and "personal worthiness". It is also important to respect their agency however and whenever possible, and pray that they remain worthy so that they can be guided by the Spirit when the time comes to dating and choosing a husband which we all hope will be a likewise worthy LDS young man. If we teach them effectively about physical and spiritual safety and the importance of keeping their covenants with Our Heavenly Father, we shouldn't have to make them promise us to do xyz. They should make a promise to themselves, Our Heavenly Father and their future husband (regardless of whether they have met them or not).

  7. Is this actually real? You can't compel a group of girls to promise you to be married in the temple in exchange for a cupcake. I thought we were trying to make it not seem like we are indoctrinating our youth.

  8. Wow. So what happens to the girls who decide to marry someone outside of the temple for any number of a myriad of reasons? Do they end up feeling guilty enough to leave the church because of an empty styrofoam promise they made at 17? I know that may sound rude, but I personally know of several girls that have made that choice. They don't feel they can live up to what is expected because they messed up one time and don't know the important parts are to just keep trying. I know that you mean well with this lesson, but it does not hold water in my life. I married in the temple at age 20. I had three children while I attempted to make a marriage work with a man who cared more about the appearance of being a good mormon than actually being one, but I didn't see this before we married because we married so quickly in order to do it "right." He left me after ten years when I finally managed to stand up for myself. I have dated many men in the preceding four years, and I have become quite cynical of anyone who tells me about his temple recommend on our first date. They are usually the ones who try to sleep with me by the second. I've begun dating a wonderful man who has spent much of his life in inactivity. He has begun coming back to church and enjoys the feelings that he feels there. Is he ready to recommit to the whole shebang of the church right this second? No. And understandably so. It's a huge commitment!! But I am going to marry him anyway. And it won't be in the temple. And I believe that Heavenly Father led us to each other and knows that based on my dating history, I would not have believed this guy was for real if he was also a card-carrying member. But he is on the right path and respects my temple covenants. Which means more to me than someone who has simply done the check off list to get to the temple. I am certainly not perfect, and have made many mistakes, but that is the beauty of the atonement---it is not about a check off list, and the Lord knows us each individually and sees the eternal picture---which may not begin with a white cupcake for everyone.

    1. Thank you for sharing. I got married civily because me and my husband weren't ready for the temple. That doesn't mean that that wasn't my goal and that my guy was any less worthy of me. I am strong and powerful. I have done so much in my life and so has my terrific husband. Saying that, we have felt judged and unwelcome because we did the RIGHT thing. You should show that the journey should lead to the temple. No matter the path. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I believe with everything I have and am a good person. I was married civilly and struggle with guilt for marrying the love of my life. That should not be how I feel and I work on that feeling every time I feel that way. It is because of lessons like this. I understand the good side of them but can't bare living with the bad. We need to change.

  9. Good for you, "all about the girls". I applaud your wisdom.

    This cupcake lesson won't be anything but cute in the short-run and harmful in the long-run.

    I have no idea what would have possessed an educated Mormon to perform such a lesson.

  10. It seems very shallow to say every man outside the LDS church is only frosting and is therefore not worthy of consideration. I hope those girls forget this lesson quickly.

  11. Thanks for sharing, and for your volunteer work with teen girls. :) I personally have had a rough young adulthood/ adulthood because I am in my mid 30s, and never married. I don't feel young women's prepared me for reality. I had no model of what life would be if I wasn't "chosen." I can tell you love the girls by the time you put in your lesson. Cupcakes are yummy, and refreshments always help me want to stay for church. Best of luck.

  12. I appreciate the effort you clearly put into your stewardship over the girls. And I do think that it's a good message that you can want both substance and thrills in a spouse.

    I worry a lot about making the girls promise to have a temple marriage, though. Who, how, and when they marry is going to be a huge decision, where and why they make it. I would hate for anyone to feel like their decision needed to be influenced by a promise they made when they were a teenager for the sake of a cupcake and/or not being embarrassed by being the odd one out. That is not the soil from which true commitment grows.

    Worthy temple marriage is a worthy goal. But there are a lot of adult decisions one must make in pursuing a marriage relationship, and unfortunately, temple marriage is no guarantee of cupcake integrity. I personally know too many people who have sad stories of fairy-tale hopes that ended in all kinds of abuse and heartache. I hope these girls are getting plenty of lessons in that reality, too, so no one feels driven into a temple choice for it's own sake, thinking that's all that matters for substance and everything else will follow naturally.

  13. I only found this because of reddit, my god, this lesson is offensive. While I was in the church, I could not see it, but it is damaging. I'm a very grateful person to be out of it. I'm a productive person now, I can think for myself, and "lessons" like this for young girls, are barbaric, and absolutely insane.

    1. Are you here just to whine about that?

  14. There are some cons to this object lesson, as some of you have pointed out, but there are also pros. For example, I like the fact that the girls were taught that they could have substance AND looks. I also like the thought that was put into the lesson. Sis. Coombs, I know that there are some naysayers out there, but I applaud you for your effort.

    -A Laurel

  15. Wow...what a bunch of haters. I am shocked. No matter who you are you need to look at a future spouse and see if they have qualities that you would want. That is the bottom line of the lesson. I believe that all girls need a lesson like that no matter who they are. Yes not all girls will put temple marriage on their list but that is why we have choices in life. I am positive that every girl in the class understands that. Last time I checked nobody getting married ever asked some long ago church leader if they could break keep a childhood promise(or tell them they kept.)
    Anyway I love all your ideas and hope you never stop because everyone likes to look for what they "think" is bad.

  16. I think that the object lesson is fine. We need to teach by the spirit anyway and say what He would have us say. I always talk about agency. I always say that this is a worthy goal. I don't live in a big Mormon town so I talk a lot about the choices we make. I see nothing wrong with this lesson, but I think we do have a huge responsibility to make sure we don't set our YW up for failure by making them think if they choose a different path that they are less loved or less valuable in the eyes of our Father in Heaven.

  17. This is an adorable lesson! Thank you! I feel that you, like me, have a super great relationship with your YW and as you have them "promise" to get married in the Temple it is no different than you saying "I love you so much and want this blessing for you because it is a great gift that I have in my life and will make all the difference in your life". I understand the comments below, but have no doubt that you were sensitive to each and everyone of those girls. I am sure that you, in no way, took away their agency away but perhaps helped some of them to put that goal first and foremost in the front of their minds. Kudos to you! As a convert (my junior year of HS) my Laurel YW's President told our class, "When looking for a husband there are 3 very important things to remember: 1.That he is a member of the Church 2. That he is a Returned Missionary 3. And that he will take you to the Temple to be married". I will be forever grateful for this counsel. I dated a YM who would have been easy to marry while we were going to BYU, but because of the advise I was given in that class, he knew I would not even consider marrying him without him serving a mission. Now, whether he served that mission for me or himself (he was a great YM who wanted to serve the Lord) it would not have matter, but what mattered to me is that I wanted to marry someone who was willing to sacrifice 2 years of his life for the Lord. He did go on a mission and it was the best 2 years of his life and I ended up marrying someone else (who was a RM and married me in the Temple). Had I not heard that counsel I might not have realized how important these things were, especially being a convert to the church. I know every situation is different, but I have no problem with your lesson and knowing how much time and effort [obviously :) ] you put into it and there is no question that you prayed about it and each of your YW. You may have been the one to touch that one YW whom needed to make that promise to you, herself and the Lord. Good job and keep up the good work (and erase all the negative comments!!)!


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