Two months ago I came across the phrase “eye single to the glory of God” in the Doctrine and Covenants (cf. D&C 4, 27, 55, 59). It had been repeated several times in different sections and it finally impressed upon my mind that my children should understand its importance. I pondered first what the phrase means and then how I could present it in a way that my under-eight kids would understand. It has become increasingly important to me that they catch the vision of eternity.
At breakfast I set up a print of Christ in the Red Robe by Minerva Teichert to represent the glory of God. We reviewed Moses 1:39 (PoG) to provide a simple definition of the glory of God—achieving the “immortality and eternal life” of mankind. We discussed how Jesus Christ makes eternal life possible through His Atonement, death, and Resurrection. Once we established that background, we started our activity.
To help my kids understand “keeping an eye single to the glory of God,” I felt inspired to tie the phrase to their physical vision. I took two empty cereal boxes and cut small squares out of each bottom at a corner.
Each child took a turn holding the cereal boxes up to their eyes to look through the holes. With a box at each eye, they could see a lot of everything except the print of Christ/glory of God.
We talked about how the boxes split our vision, making it impossible to focus on the picture of Christ. We discussed what sorts of things we pay attention to that might distract us from God. My girls mentioned video and computer games, music, toys, television. I added in work, extracurricular activities, social engagements, food. And how many of these things compete for our attention on a daily basis?!
I brought the object lesson home by giving each child a second chance to look through one cereal box. (I flipped it so that they were looking from the open end to the hole in the bottom which nicely focused their vision.)
It was possible to see the print of Christ!
We ended our scripture study by reading from section 59 and discussing how we can keep our eyes single to the glory of God:
Behold, blessed, saith the Lord, are they who have come up unto this land with an eye single to my glory, according to my commandments.D&C 59:1-3 (emphasis added)
For those that live shall inherit the earth, and those that die shall rest from all their labors, and their works shall follow them; and they shall receive a crown in the mansions of my Father, which I have prepared for them.
Yea, blessed are they whose feet stand upon the land of Zion, who have obeyed my gospel; for they shall receive for their reward the good things of the earth, and it shall bring forth in its strength.
As we keep the commandments, make covenants with God, serve others, share the Gospel, live the Gospel, we focus our attention on Christ and being partners with Him to “bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39, PoG).