It’s a question asked by children and adults alike. What can I do on Sunday? We’ve got three hours in the day accounted for, but what about the other 15? As Elder Holland said, “We are to enter into the Lord’s rest on the Sabbath, but that is very different from being a massive couch potato for 24 hours.”
Talks like this one have helped me see the Sabbath in new ways—that the power of the day is not just in what we avoid; it’s in what we do. It’s deciding to intentionally use the minutes and hours of Sunday to strengthen our faith in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
Ask a Different Question
Whenever I ask the question “What can I do on Sunday?” I always draw a blank. My mind starts ticking through the things I can’t do, and I feel like I’m left with nothing. I’ve found, though, that if I focus the question to reflect the real purpose of the day, the ideas are endless. The formula looks like this:
What can I do on Sunday + to strengthen my faith = lots of stuff
Asking “What can I do on Sunday to strengthen my faith?” helps me recall the many good spiritual intentions I have but don’t always follow through with. Things like reading my patriarchal blessing, dropping by Sister Ward’s house to see how she is doing, and writing in the journal I started at the beginning of the year—which has a total of four entries. Knowing that I have a day I can dedicate to these things actually helps me cut myself some slack for not getting to them during the week. Like Elder Holland said: “For six days in the week we may find ourselves unfortunately pretty occupied with ourselves. The Sabbath helps us turn to the Lord, to our families, to those in need.” Leave it to Elder Holland to make me feel better about myself!
Draw the Circle Wide
As you consider activities that will help you strengthen your faith, remember how wide the circle is—it’s any activity that will bring us closer to God. It’s time spent on the things that matter most—faith, family, friends, service, prayer, repentance, and all the things that help us become better, more like Jesus Christ.
While some activities are obvious, there’s lots of opportunity for creativity and variety. Think story swaps, object lesson contests, and theme days. Use a family home evening to brainstorm ideas, giving awards for the most original ideas in the categories of faith, family, and service. You’ll be amazed at what your family will come up with. And just in case, here are 80 ideas to get you started:
1. Have family scripture study.
2. Study Preach My Gospel, and role-play missionary conversations.
3. Read a general conference talk, and lead a discussion at dinner.
4. Plan a family service project.
5. Have a story swap, with each member of the family sharing a story from Church history.
6. Memorize “The Living Christ,” and recite it as a family.
7. Identify all the temples on a world map using pins or markers.
8. Create a YouTube video on the importance of families.
9. Invite a family in the ward you would like to know better to your home for a family fireside.
10. Have each member of the family take turns reporting on a General Authority, prophet, bishop, or other Church leader.
11. Have a family object lesson contest. Pick one or two items around the house, and have everyone come up with a story about how that item can illustrate a gospel principle.
12. Create a family motto.
13. Have a family council.
14. Welcome new families into your neighborhood.
15. Hold a family testimony meeting.
16. Create and frame an “I’m Grateful For . . .” list or poster.
17. Write a giant letter to the missionaries from your ward on a large piece of butcher paper.
18. Have a Book of Mormon read-a-thon.
19. Feature family members in a “Why I Love You” spotlight.
20. Study and spotlight an ancestor.
21. Look through family photo albums.
23. Make up a gospel-themed game.
24. Take a Sunday walk.
25. Invite elderly members of your ward to a family talent show.
26. Research a gospel question or word using only the scriptures.
27. Record your testimony, and share it with three people.
28. Write thank-you notes to the people who spoke at Church.
29. Memorize a Church hymn.
30. Start a personal or family blog.
31. Prepare family names for the temple.
33. Interview family members, and share their stories at FamilySearch.org.
34. Remember birthdays for the upcoming week with a phone call or card.
35. Prepare home or visiting teaching messages for the month.
36. Study next week’s lessons.
37. Write three “thinking of you” notes.
38. Watch one Bible video every week, and record your feelings and thoughts in a journal dedicated to learning about the life of Jesus Christ.
39. Read a Church magazine from cover to cover.
40. Practice articulating your answers to commonly asked questions about the Church.
41. Submit an article or story to the Church.
42. Read the “Gospel Classic” talks on LDS.org.
43. Memorize the Articles of Faith.
44. Make phone calls to loved ones to let them know you’re thinking of them.
45. Prepare a talk—just because.
46. Set goals for developing the Christlike attributes you want to manifest.
47. Find a month’s worth of inspiring quotes, and text them to friends and family every day for 30 days.
48. Listen to music or a podcast on the Mormon Channel.
49. Learn the 12 principles and habits of self-reliance.
50. Answer one personal-history question each week for one year.
51. Create a family letter, and email it to extended family members.
52. Study your patriarchal blessing.
Activities for Youth
53. Read the New Era magazine from cover to cover.
54. Create a gospel quote book.
55. Teach someone to use FamilySearch.org.
56. Record the testimony of Joseph Smith in your own voice.
57. Create gospel quotes to share on social media.
58. Learn how to lead music.
59. Create a handwritten poster of “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.”
60. Secretly decorate someone’s front door with love notes.
61. Find a month’s worth of inspiring quotes, and text them to friends and family every day for 30 days.
62. Watch Church videos on YouTube.
63. Create a general conference quote jar.
64. Create a family letter and email it to extended family members.
65. Make cookies and write a note to another youth in your ward, telling them what you admire about them.
66. Download and use the New Testament scripture mastery cards.
67. Use the Friend magazine to create Sabbath “activity folders” for younger brothers and sisters.
68. Work on Personal Progress or Duty to God.”
Activities for Young Children
69. Practice Primary songs.
70. Make a flannel board Sunday box.
71. Make your own crazy socks to show courage, kindness, and service.
72. Draw and deliver pictures to elderly people in your neighborhood.
73. Read and watch scripture stories.
74. Watch and learn from Matt and Mandy.
75. Make a family history scroll.
76. Have a family story swap.
77. Make conference quote cards.
78. Play the Articles of Faith Memory Quest game on ChurchofJesusChrist.org.
79. Play gospel-themed matching games on ChurchofJesusChrist.org.
80. Learn new songs with the sing-along videos.