Shining Moment: A Sabbath Learning Experience

Contributed By Marilyn and Robert Llewellyn, Church News contributors

  • 4 January 2016

My wife and I cherish something we fortunately did right regarding the Sabbath day over 37 years ago.

My wife had recently been called to chair the ward activities committee. Our bishop called her into his office one Sunday morning and asked her to set up cookies and punch for 50 people for a hastily planned missionary fireside that very evening. She quickly went to work and, in no time, several sisters were on board to bring the necessary treats. As we pulled away from the meetinghouse, my wife suddenly realized one item was missing: the ice!

We had resolved early in our marriage to not shop or eat out on the Sabbath. We had faithfully kept to this family commitment for our then six-year marriage. I resisted her thought and proposed a few not-too-practical ideas including making several calls and having people bring ice from their homes. Surely the bishop would not want us to break our commitment to the Sabbath, I suggested. We discussed this back and forth with no resolution. She was feeling enormous pressure to make the treats a lovely ending to the fireside.

Later, the thought of warm punch distilled on my mind. I reversed my position and relented to her initial request. Interestingly, she had also had second thoughts! She now knew it was important to keep our Sabbath-day commitment and now wanted to make the necessary calls and persuade several friends to each bring a small sack of ice.

The issue was resolved differently, though, when my wife suddenly got inspiration. She asked if we could stop by the church. We ran into the kitchen and she opened up the freezer door. There was a full bag of ice left over from a prior ward event, a bit freezer burned, but entirely usable. It was like manna for us.

We joyously returned to our old station wagon, grateful we did not have to break our commitment to the Sabbath. A nice story in itself, but that was not the big learning for us as parents.

Our two young girls, ages five and three, unbeknownst to their parents, had been intently listening to our back and forth discussion. Our glee suddenly became a jaw-dropping experience when our three-year-old said, “Mommy, Daddy, you made the wight choice!”

Her sister and she had been discussing the whole scenario. I don’t know how many gospel principles were inadvertently taught to them that day. They included discussing without arguing, compromising, understanding one another, but mostly establishing a love for the Sabbath with our young kids. We still love and live the Sabbath day some 40 years later.