"Sleepest thou? Couldest not thou watch one hour?" - Mark 14:37.
Our Savior took Peter, James and John to Gethsemane and asked them to "sit ye here, while I shall pray." When He returned He found them sleeping. He has asked us a similar question - Will you honor and love me and keep my Sabbath Day holy? This sacred fourth commandment has been given to all of our Father's children. To honor it requires a personal inward commitment. All parents have this sacred responsibility to show by example and to teach their children how to live and obey this commandment.
My wife, Connie, and I pray and ask our Father in Heaven to help and bless our efforts in teaching our children why this day is to be different from the rest of the week. This takes effort, preparation and desire.
We teach our children that partaking of the sacrament is one of the most holy ordinances outside of the temple in which we participate. Our Sabbath day is Christ-centered and so as a family we go to Church. It is a day of remembering Him by learning and keeping His commandments as we read and discuss the scriptures. Sunday dinner is always extra special. We set our table with the best we have and we use this time to review what our children learned at Church and how to apply these lessons in their lives.
In a world where the Sabbath day has become just like any other day, our challenges became even greater in keeping this day sacred. We have tried to help our children understand that the moment of decision as to what will or will not be done on this day must be made well in advance. Our children decided to tell coaches of sports teams at the time of tryouts that they would not practice or participate in any activities on the Sabbath. By making this advance commitment there were never any on-the-spot or pressure decisions to be made.
When our children interviewed for part-time jobs they told employers during the first interview that they would not be able to work on Sundays due to a commitment they made with Heavenly Father. True, there were employers who could not meet that request, but most of the time they respected that commitment and scheduled them for work on other days of the week.
As our children have gone away to college, served missions or married in the temple and established their own homes, it has been a blessing to us to see their continued commitment in honoring the Sabbath. The greatest blessing we have received has been the realization of the promises made to each of us in the sacramental prayers when it says "that
weT may always have His spirit to be with
usT." Having His spirit to be with us has helped every member of our family make wise and correct decisions throughout the week.
Heavenly Father watches over us every hour and loves us. We show our love for Him through our obedience to His commandments, which has brought peace and joy to our family.