So, last night I was in charge of making dinner for the sister missionaries. For dessert I decided to make chocolate cookies! They are some of our favorites and are really yummy. However, the directions were designed to be functional. In some things, this is good. Not in recipes. Because when you have functional directions, they are not clear directions and you tend to pass over stuff...Oops.
It says, "Cream butter/sugar. Add eggs/cocoa. Add other stuff." Etc. and etc.
It was the "Add other stuff" that tripped me up. I totally missed that and went on, shaping my butter/sugar/eggs/cocoa mixture into balls and rolling them in sugar. Noticed that the dough felt sort of thin but ignored it, because it looked and smelled (and tasted--SHH!) great. Put the potential cookies in the oven at the correct temperature and set the timer for the right amount of time.
Eight minutes later, my brother claimed he smelled something funky. I couldn't smell anything, but right then the timer beeped and I opened the oven to this:
Okay, so that was after my brother mauled it with a knife and my family 'sampled' a considerable amount--but you get the picture. The cookies had melted together into a flat, shapeless mass, it was going off the pan, the top was baked but the inside was mush. Pretty much a baking horror story.
My wonderful mom (who has done a LOT more baking than I have!) suggested calmly that I check the recipe again.
Can you guess what I forgot? Yes--flour, baking soda, and salt. And any of you who have EVER done ANY baking know this: those three ingredients are pretty much the common denominator in every baking recipe ever.
Epic fail, right?
Well, I salvaged the last two batches of chocolate goodness, thanks to some flour, baking soda, and salt. And thankfully, they weren't mad about being forgotten at first.
Don't they look yummy?
And if any of you have ever read any sort of LDS blog, heard a sacrament meeting talk, or studied the scriptures, you know where this is going--an analogy/object lesson/allegory (whatever you want to call it)!
But for real, one of the first things I thought of when I realized that the flour was missing was an object lesson. If we don't have all the ingredients in our life, it's not going to turn out right, whether or not we're members of the Church. If we aren't members of the Church, but we still live good lives, we may look and smell and maybe even taste good. However subconsciously, though, we know something's missing. For us, then, our 'flour' would be joining the true church of Jesus Christ.
But even if we've been in the Church our entire life, we can still be missing an ingredient or two. We might get slack in our scripture study, or take the wonderful blessings we have for granted. We might not be serving our fellowman enough. I could go on. I'm guessing we could all find a missing ingredient somewhere in our lives--an ingredient that really changes how we (the cookies :P) turn out. Do we want to be melted together and dripping into the oven instead of baking and becoming better because of it? Do we want to be scraped into the garbage or cast off instead of being enjoyed and munched on and glorified human beings???
We know something is missing and it's time to add it! And even though we might add it a little later, after some trial and error, it will still turn out yummy in the end.
Happy cookie making!