Fork and Toothpick

Today will be another object lesson. This is absolutely one of my favorites. All you need are two identical forks (the heavier, the better), especially if you can get the weight towards the back of the fork. Also, you’ll need two toothpicks and a salt/pepper shaker. Not all salt/pepper shakers will work, but one that can fit a toothpick without it falling through the hole. If you don’t have a salt shaker that works like this, you can also use the edge of a cup/glass.

The idea of this object lesson is to have people balance two toothpicks on their points, and then have two other forks balancing on the far side of the toothpick, without holding them. When you explain this to people they’ll say, “You’re crazy. That’s not possible.” It is, however, 100% possible. Give them a few minutes to try, and then after a few minutes, they’ll give up.

Start by interlocking the tines of the forks. You probably don’t want to use your fine China in order to do this. I have a set of forks that I can bend/don’t care about. Interlock the tines by having one tine on top, and then the next tine behind. Once they’re overlapping (it’s easier seen in the video), slide and push the forks together until they’re tight. Once the two forks are locked tight, slide one of the toothpicks through the whole made in between the tines. Either the first (top) hole or the second (middle) hole will work, but I don’t recommend using the third (bottom) hole. Make sure the toothpick is perfectly centered in the slot between the tines.

Very carefully, place the open end of the toothpick on top of the other toothpick. Gently, remove your hands, and it should balance! The reason you want heavier forks is because you can then move it farther out on the toothpick making it look more impressive.

The lesson that goes with this is a scripture used in Alma 37:6, which talks about “small and simple things.” Toothpicks, salt shakers, forks — they’re all small, inanimate objects that we can find laying around in our homes. If we remove any one piece, whether it be the toothpicks or just one fork, it’s simply not going to balance. If we’re not reading our scriptures, going to Church, or saying our prayers, our lives aren’t going to balance. We can’t have certain pieces, and not the others. They’re seemingly small items, but when we place them all together, our lives just balance.

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