How to keep the Sabbath day holy

This commandment should be so easy to keep, but in fact it can also be one of the hardest. For example, on Sunday family or friends visit and all you can think of is all the work you'll have in the kitchen and how nice it would be just to take everyone out to dinner.

But there are solutions to trying to keep the Sabbath holy. Here are some of the things we can do on Sundays:- Rest from our labors.

Don't buy or sell.

Refrain from work on the Sabbath, unless absolutely necessary.

Do good deeds, such as giving blessings or feeding the missionaries. Feeding the missionaries always brings the spirit of the Lord with them into our home, helping us keep the Sabbath more fully.

Partake of the sacrament.

Prepare food simply.

Give Church donations.

Worship, pray and study the scriptures. When praying, we can pray to keep the Sabbath more holy. This can be the best way to get help and understanding on this great commandment.

Attend Church meetings.

Fulfill Church callings. In speaking of callings in the Church, it doesn't matter if it's teaching the 3-year-olds in Primary or the 13-year-olds in Sunday School. Service lets the Lord know you love Him and you are trying to obey His commandments.

There are ways to accomplish these things.

Prepare food on Saturday.

Try to do all work on Saturday. To me, Saturday is the day to prepare for the Sabbath. - Pat Mayfield, Oronogo, Mo.

How we did it:

Positive things

The Sabbath day is important to our Father in Heaven and to us as people. When I first joined the Church in 1988, it seemed like keeping the Sabbath holy entailed a list of don'ts. I was looking at it the wrong way. I have since looked at it differently - what can I do on the Sabbath? The list is long and keeps me busy! I can do the following:

I can go to sacrament meeting.

I can teach Sunday School. I have a calling to teach the 14- and 15-year-olds. I love it!

I can go to and learn in Relief Society.

I can visit friends who may be in the hospital.

I can visit a friend who may be lonely.

I can read my lessons.

I can read my scriptures.

I can read the Ensign, New Era, or Church News.

I can write letters to family or friends.

I can write in my journal.

I can work on family history records.

I can go to firesides.

I can go to choir practice.

I can play hymns on my keyboard.

Doing positive things on the Sabbath helps my spirit get recharged for the rest of the week. - Laura Jean Washburn, Umatilla, Fla.

Sunday dinner

We have the children set our best china, crystal and silverware for dinner every Sunday. This accomplishes three things. First, our children know that Sunday is special from other days because the china is set. Second, our dinner time is quiet, and we are able to discuss our Church lessons or family matters around the table. Third, it gives us an opportunity to teach children etiquette and table manners. - Jerry King, Farmington, Utah

Frame of mind

As a police officer for more than 16 years, I have never gotten used to working on the Sabbath. It seems that no matter what the reason, Sunday is still Sunday. One of the little tricks I have developed when my duties require me to be at work on a Sunday is to make sure that I spend some of the "working" day in meditation or conversation about the gospel. I have found that some of the best missionary opportunities with my colleagues have occurred on the Sabbath. It also helps to develop a "Sabbath frame of mind."

I have met a lot of Church members who serve in law enforcement and have heard many interesting ways that they have handled the dilemma of working on the Sabbath. Many make time to study the scriptures or catch up on journals while on breaks. - Steve Edwards, London, England

Less stress

On Sundays, we enjoy hymns, journal writing, scripture study, good books, family council, visiting the lonely, and quiet games with the small children. At the same time, it has been most beneficial to avoid all worldly media. That has really made a big difference in the spirituality of the day.

Preparing meals and desserts, and cleaning on Saturday creates a peaceful atmosphere with less stress the following day. - Guy M. Laing, Cody, Wyo.

`Sunday box'

I just taught a lesson on keeping the Sabbath day holy to my CTR A class and found that the message was much clearer when I focused on things we can do on Sundays and not just what we can't. I briefly discussed the "don'ts," but then listed the "dos" on the board. They included the basics, like studying the scriptures and visiting the sick, but also an idea my mother used with me when I was small called a "Sunday box." It included special books and art supplies that I could use only on Sunday. My CTR class really liked the idea. - Patricia L. Henshaw, Visalia, Calif.

Simple rule

Shortly after my husband was sustained as a bishop, we attended a meeting where Elder Hugh W. Pinnock spoke. It was at this time that I received some of the best advice ever on "keeping the Sabbath day holy."

Among the great counsel Elder Pinnock shared with us that evening was the counsel to stay in our Sunday clothes for the entire Sabbath day. I went home and implemented the counsel. I won't say my children didn't grumble a little bit at first, but the blessings that simple rule has brought into our home are phenomenal.

There are no more questions about proper Sunday activities. If you can't do it in your Sunday best, you can't do it. The manner of your dress will affect the manner of your activity. Our home is now more reverent on Sunday, thus creating an atmosphere that is more conducive to having the Spirit with us.

In addition, I allow only Church music on Sunday. Starting the Sabbath off with the sweet sounds of the Tabernacle Choir invites the Spirit. - Debbie Harker, Pasco, Wash.

Conscience is guide

Your conscience will guide you. If you have to ask, "Is this all right to do on the Sabbath," the answer is usually "no." Ask the Lord to help you. You will know within yourself whether your actions are appropriate. - Gwen Sutton Robinson, Newdale, Idaho

How to checklist:

1 Attend Church meetings; pray, study scriptures.

2 Read Church publications, good books; write in journal.

3 Rest from your labors; do good deeds, serve others.

4 Stay in your "Sunday best"; it affects your activity, attitude.


Dec. 31 "How to focus more on the spiritual and temporal well-being of children during 1995."

Jan. 7 "How to enhance your testimony of the Savior through studying the New Testament."

Jan. 14 "How to cope as a family with crisis."

Jan. 21 "How to cooperate as parents in the discipline of your children."

Jan. 28 "How to cope and be patient while waiting to adopt children."

Feb. 4 "How to enhance relationships between brothers and sisters."

Had any good experiences or practical success in any of the above subjects? Share them with our readers in about 100-150 words. Write the "How-to" editor, Church News, P.O. Box 1257, Salt Lake City, Utah 84110, or send fax to (801) 237-2121. Please include a name and phone number. Contributions may be edited or excerpted and will not be returned. Due to limited space, some contributions may not be used; those used should not be regarded as official Church doctrine or policy. Material must be received at least 12 days before publication date.

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