The other day in seminary I was teaching from the book of Luke, and the lesson was focusing on the subject of hypocrisy. The manual suggested that I bring two beautifully wrapped presents. I was to put something good in one, like a flower. I was to put something bad in the other, like a rotten piece of fruit. Then I was to draw an analogy to our lives, and ask how people could be like those presents.
As I was getting the presents ready, I looked around for something to put in them. I didn't have a flower, or a rotten piece of fruit. I decided to put some leftover halloween candy in the "good" present. I figured they could all share it after it was opened. I wasn't sure what to put in the "bad" present, but then I thought of a bag of calves hooves that I bought for my dog. I put one calf hoof in the "bad" present.
This might seem odd, and it was really out of the blue, but that morning, one of my students brought her dog to seminary! She has a tiny little Yorkie terrier, and had put her in a dog carrier purse. She held her on her lap, or left her in the case the whole time. I am a pretty easy going teacher, and figured as long as it wasn't distracting anyone I would let it go. As it turned out, no one really payed much attention to the dog, and she was very quiet. I know....the seminary and institute directors would probably have a cow if they were there, but it actually wasn't bad.
When we came to the part of the lesson when I was to bring out the presents, I said, "One of these presents has something that the whole class will like. The other....hmmm...well, actually, part of the class will like it." I then had two students open the presents, and we discussed how people can appear to be good and religious on the outside, but in their personal life aren't living up to what they say they believe. We discussed the dangers of hypocrisy.
This particular little dog is very pampered. They treat her like she is a baby. This student has little sweaters for her dog, and little bows for her hair. She's the next best thing to a baby doll. But once they handed the dog the calf's hoof, she was all dog. Here was a pretty little baby, licking and chewing like a wild animal. It just goes to show, you can take the dog out of the wild, but you can't take the wild out of the dog.
It was pretty amazing though. I mean, what are the odds that on the very day I decide to bring a calf's hoof to seminary, one of my students brings a dog?