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Lesson 15: The Sabbath Is a Day of Worship

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“Lesson 15: The Sabbath Is a Day of Worship,” Primary 1 (2000), 45–47

“Lesson 15,” Primary 1, 45–47

Lesson 15

The Sabbath Is a Day of Worship


To help each child understand that the Sabbath is a day of worship and rest.


  1. Prayerfully study Genesis 2:1–3 and Exodus 16:11–31. See also Gospel Principles (31110), chapter 24.

  2. Materials needed:

    1. A Bible.

    2. Picture 1-6, Family Home Evening (62521); picture 1-7, A Loving Family; picture 1-8, Passing the Sacrament (62021); picture 1-9, Morning Prayer (62310); picture 1-10, Family Prayer (62275); picture 1-35, Gathering Manna; picture 1-36, Children and Parent Reading a Scripture Story.

  3. Make the necessary preparations for any Enrichment Activities you want to use.

Learning Activities

Invite a child to give the opening prayer.

Attention Activity

Help the children act out each day of the Creation while you remind them of what was created each day (see Genesis 1):

Day 1

Pretend to be asleep and then wake up, to indicate night and day.

Day 2

Stand, look up, and spread arms wide to indicate the sky.

Day 3

Bend over to pick a flower and then smell the flower.

Day 4

Make a large circle with your arms for the sun and a smaller circle with your hands for the moon, and then wiggle your fingers while moving your arms to represent the twinkling stars.

Day 5

Pretend to be a bird flying around the room or a fish swimming in the sea.

Day 6

Pretend to be an animal. Walk around the room several times imitating that animal. Then stand in a line and each say, “My name is (child’s own name). I am a child of God.”

Have the children sit down quietly.

Tell the children that on the seventh day, Heavenly Father and Jesus rested. They called this day of rest the Sabbath.

Have the children repeat the word Sabbath a few times.

The Sabbath is a holy day

Read aloud Genesis 2:1–2 and verse Genesis 2:3 to the word day. Explain that when Heavenly Father and Jesus finished creating the earth and everything on it, they blessed the seventh day. It was to be a holy day, different from the other days of the week. The Sabbath is a day for us to rest from our work and to worship Heavenly Father and Jesus.

  • Which day of the week is the Sabbath?

  • What did Heavenly Father and Jesus do on the Sabbath day? (See Genesis 2:2.)


Have the children hold up seven fingers. Count to seven with them, moving each finger as it is counted. Explain that on six days (wiggle first six fingers), we do our work. On the seventh day (wiggle seventh finger alone), we rest from our work because it is the Sabbath day.


Show picture 1-35, Gathering Manna, and tell the story of the Israelites and manna, as found in Exodus 16:11–31.

Help the children understand the miracle of the manna. Explain that each day the Israelites gathered just enough manna for that day, but on the sixth day they gathered enough manna for two days. If the Israelites gathered extra manna on any day but the sixth, it would spoil. On the seventh day, which was the Sabbath, there was no manna to gather. On this day the Israelites ate the extra manna they gathered on the sixth day.

  • How did the Israelites get food?

  • Why didn’t they gather manna on the Sabbath?

Read Exodus 16:26 aloud. Explain that the Israelites were taught to not work on the Sabbath. On the Sabbath, Heavenly Father and Jesus want us to think about them instead of about our work. The Sabbath is a very holy day to Heavenly Father and Jesus.

Emphasize that the Sabbath is not a day to work and do regular things but a day to worship Heavenly Father and Jesus. Worship means to think about Heavenly Father and Jesus and do things that show how much we love them.

The Sabbath is a day of worship

Help the children understand that the Sabbath is a happy day because we can worship Heavenly Father and Jesus in many different ways.

  • What have you done today to show Heavenly Father and Jesus that you love them?

Explain that one important way we can worship Heavenly Father and Jesus, or show them that we love them, is by coming to church and partaking of the sacrament. Show picture 1-8, Passing the Sacrament. Heavenly Father and Jesus are happy when we sing and listen and when we are quiet and well-behaved so we can hear our teachers and feel Heavenly Father’s and Jesus’ love for us.


Help the children do the following finger play:

I’m Glad I Came to Church Today

I’m glad I came to church today (clasp hands and make steeple of church by putting tips of forefingers together).

I learn to listen (cup hand around ear)

And to pray (fold arms and bow head).

I learn of Jesus up above (point up);

I think of Jesus and his love (hug self).

We also show Heavenly Father and Jesus that we love them by being neat and clean when we come to church. We should clean our faces and hair and wear our best clothes.


Have the children pantomime getting ready for church.

  • What do we do to worship Heavenly Father and Jesus when we are at church?

  • What do we do to worship Heavenly Father and Jesus when we are at home?

Help the children understand that we should not spend money or shop on the Sabbath. We should not go to sporting or entertainment activities on the Sabbath. We should not work in our yards or gardens or go fishing or hunting on the Sabbath.

Explain that there are many things to do at home to keep the Sabbath day holy. Show pictures from the “Preparation” section at appropriate times during this discussion. We can play quiet games with family members, have scripture stories read to us, make family albums, visit relatives or those who are sick, draw pictures of things for which we are thankful, go on a walk with a member of the family, pray, sing songs, and listen to good music.


Let the children take turns pantomiming things they enjoy doing at home to keep the Sabbath day holy.


Tell the children that Heavenly Father and Jesus are happy when we come to church on the Sabbath and when we sing, pray, and listen to our teachers. They are also happy when we act appropriately at home on the Sabbath. Tell about some of the reverent things you like to do on the Sabbath, and express how happy you feel on the Sabbath. Encourage the children to share with their families what they learned in this lesson.

Enrichment Activities

Choose some of these activities to use during the lesson.

  1. Do the following activity, creating a verse for every child in your class. Invite the children to do the actions with you.

    Because Today Is Sunday

    Point to a child in your class and say that child’s name as you say this verse and do the indicated action:

    (Child’s name) listened to scriptures today (cup hand behind ear).

    (Child’s name) listened to scriptures today, because today is Sunday.

    Say a verse for each child, using the following ideas with the form above:

    (Child’s name) prayed in Primary today (fold arms, bow head, close eyes).

    (Child’s name) drew a picture today (pretend to draw with hand).

    (Child’s name) visited someone who was lonely today (shake hands with the child named).

    (Child’s name) learned about family history today (pretend to turn pages and look at pictures).

    (Child’s name) wrote to Grandma and Grandpa today (move hand as if writing).

    (Child’s name) listened to a story today (cup hand around ear).

  2. Tell the children the following story in your own words:

    The pioneers traveled many miles to get to the Salt Lake Valley to live. They arrived just a few days before the Sabbath. Even though they had houses to build and crops to plant, they decided not to work on the Sabbath. They worked very hard and very quickly to dig up the ground and get it ready to plant. The ground was very hard, so they had to get it wet enough for the plows to get through it. By Saturday night, they had a large field of vegetables planted. On Sunday morning, they met for their Sabbath meetings and thanked Heavenly Father for bringing them to a new land to live.

  3. Have each child draw a picture of himself or herself doing a Sabbath activity. Have the children tell each other about their pictures. Label each picture with the child’s name and activity, as in this example: David sings Primary songs on the Sabbath.

Additional Activities for Younger Children

  1. Help the children do the actions to the following activity verse while you say the words:

    The Creation

    Jesus said the sun should shine (make a large circle above head with arms),

    The rain should fall (bring hands down in front of body while wiggling fingers),

    The flowers should grow (cup hands, palms facing up).

    Jesus said the birds should sing (open and close fingers like a bird’s beak),

    And it was so, was so (fold arms).

    (Johnie B. Wood, in Sing, Look, Do, Action Songs for Children, ed. Dorothy M. Peterson [Cincinnati: Standard Publishing Co., 1965].)

    Explain that after the creation of the earth was finished, Heavenly Father and Jesus rested. The Sabbath is a day when we rest and remember Heavenly Father and Jesus.

  2. Tell the children that when we do our work on Saturday it makes it easier to remember Jesus and Heavenly Father on Sunday. Sing “Saturday” (Children’s Songbook, p. 196), improvising actions as suggested by the words.