“Sharing Time: The Lord’s Day,” Friend, Nov. 2004, 17
“I’m impressed with the five goals you scored in today’s game.” Collin turned around and realized the man was talking to him. “I’m starting a new soccer team and want to know if you would like to be on it.”
“Would I ever!” Collin thought. Collin was nine, and he enjoyed playing soccer. When he and his parents attended the first planning meeting for the new team, the coach explained that they would be playing in many tournaments on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. “Not on Sunday,” Collin thought.
After talking with his parents, Collin told the coach he wanted very much to be on the new team, but he would not play soccer on Sunday. He thought the coach would be mad and not let him be on the team. The coach paused for a moment and told Collin that he still wanted him to play. Collin felt peace in his heart and knew he had made the right decision. He was glad he had made the team. His parents reminded him that even if he had not been allowed to join the team, he had made the right decision.
Just as it is important not to do certain things on the Sabbath day so that we can keep it holy, it is also important to do some things. We should do those things that will help us feel close to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. They have taught us that Sunday is the day we worship Them. The Lord said, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Ex. 20:8). We can keep the Sabbath day holy when we go to church, take the sacrament, and do other things that will help us feel the Spirit on the Lord’s day.
Make this Finger-Fun Sunday Activity Reminder to help you remember some things you can choose to do that will help you keep the Sabbath day holy.
Remove page 16 and mount on heavy paper. Then cut out the square along the brown-and-white dashed lines.
Fold each corner backward along the purple-and-white and the green-and-white dashed lines so that it forms a bright-pink-and-blue square on the back.
Fold each light pink corner forward along the orange-and-white dashed lines so that the front of the square is blue.
Fold the square in half along the red-and-white dashed line to make a bright pink triangle; unfold so that the blue square is showing again.
Fold the square in half along the yellow-and-white dashed line to make a bright pink triangle; unfold.
Fold the square in half along one of the black-and-white dashed lines; unfold.
Repeat step 6 with the other black-and-white dashed line.
Fit fingers under the outside flaps, and open and close the Finger-Fun Sunday Activity Reminder. Lift the inside flaps to find ideas for Sunday activities.
I will choose to keep the Sabbath day holy
Say my prayers
Write in my journal
Help prepare the meals
Write a thank-you letter
Visit relatives and friends
Go to church
Listen to uplifting music
Keep the commandments
Read my scriptures
Write 10 things I am grateful for in my journal
Learn to play or sing a Primary song
Write letters to or draw pictures for the missionaries
(Note: All songs are from Children’s Songbook unless otherwise noted; GAK = Gospel Art Picture Kit, TNGC = Teaching, No Greater Call.)
1. To strengthen each child’s desire to keep the Sabbath day holy, write the following scripture references on the board: Ex. 20:8, Lev. 19:30, Matt. 12:12, Mosiah 13:16. Assign each reference to a group of children and invite them to listen for a common word (Sabbath) in all of the scriptures as each group reads their reference together out loud. Point out that the commandment to keep the Sabbath day holy is found in both the Bible and the Book of Mormon and has always been part of the gospel.
In our day we have also been commanded to keep the Sabbath day holy. Read and discuss D&C 59:9–19, 23. Ask the children to identify what is being asked of them and what blessings are promised in return. What are we asked to do? (See verses 9–15.) What temporal blessings are promised? (See verses 16–19.) What spiritual blessings are promised? (See verses 9 and 23.) As we keep ourselves unspotted from the world by keeping this commandment, we can become more like Jesus Christ and become worthy to have the companionship of the Holy Ghost.
Place a picture of the Savior on the right side of the board and a paper cutout of a child on the left. Post pictures of appropriate Sunday activities around the room. Have the children count off days of the week one by one, starting with Monday. Continue until you reach the child who says Sunday. Have the child stand and suggest an appropriate activity for the Sabbath or choose an activity from the pictures. Move the paper child one step closer to the Savior. Repeat until the child cutout is next to the Savior. Testify that keeping the Sabbath day holy will bring us closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
2. Explain that we are promised that as we keep the Sabbath with thanksgiving and cheerfulness, we will be greatly blessed (D&C 59:9–19, 23). Invite the children to think of those who love and help them (parents, family members, bishop, home teachers, friends, teachers, etc.) and write or draw letters of gratitude. (See Faith in God guidebook, 9.) The children could also think of those who help others, such as the missionaries, and write or draw notes of appreciation to them. Testify that having a spirit of gratitude and a cheerful heart will help us to keep the Sabbath day holy.
Sing “For Thy Bounteous Blessings” (p. 21). Sing a line and have the children echo it back to you. This song has been divided into four parts to sing as a round. For a different way to sing as a round, divide the children into three groups. Assign the first group to sing the first part three times and then sing the fourth part. Assign the second group to sing the second part two times and then sing the fourth part. Assign the third group to sing the third part once and then sing the fourth part. Everyone will be singing the fourth part (“We give thanks, O Lord”) together.
3. To help the children understand that fasting can bring them closer to Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ and that our families are strengthened and blessed through fasting and prayer, show “The Law of the Fast” from the Family Home Evening Video Supplement (item no. 53276).
To fast is to go without food and drink. When we are willing to fast and pray, we show Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ that we love them and are trying to keep the commandments so we can receive their help. We need Heavenly Father’s help all the time, but there are times when we have a particularly difficult problem to solve or when someone in our family is very ill. That is when we can also fast on days other than fast Sunday.
Invite two or three families to share an experience of when a family or family member has fasted and prayed for the Lord’s help. Have them express how they were blessed and strengthened through this experience. Sing “I Feel My Savior’s Love” (pp. 74–75). (Note: Young children should not be expected to fast. “Neither should parents compel their little children to fast” [Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine, 244].)
4. A journal is a record of meaningful experiences that affect our lives. Writing in our journals is a great Sunday activity. President Spencer W. Kimball, 12th President of the Church, encouraged each of us to keep a journal.
Show the children some examples of journals, such as books, diaries, personal histories, and scriptures. Tell how they can be a source of strength for the writer and for others. Share a personal experience from one of these or from your own journal. Give each child materials to make a journal entry. Invite them to think of a special personal experience that they will want to remember. (Younger children may want to draw or cut and paste pictures.) Maybe it was their baptism day, a visit from Grandma and Grandpa, an outing with Mom or Dad, or special feelings they had in sacrament meeting. Suggest they write it down as their journal entry. Encourage them to take the papers home and either add them to their journals or begin keeping a journal.
5. Friend references: “Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy,” Jan. 2003, 31; “Show You Know,” June 2003, 16–18. Ensign references: “Show You Know,” May 2003, 115–16; “Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy,” May 1971, 4–7; “The Power of Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy,” Nov. 1984, 79–81. Other reference: Gospel Principles, 165–69. These references and others can be found at www.lds.org. Click on Gospel Library.