Making the Sabbath a Delight

By Paula J. Lewis

The author lives in Utah, USA.

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Wholesome activities with your children can help make the Sabbath a delight.

family looking at a book together

Teaching children how to create an atmosphere appropriate for the Sabbath is not easy, but with some thought, you can center your Sunday activities on gospel teachings in ways that are entertaining and enlightening for the whole family. Here are some ideas:

  • Make a Sunday album. Get a three-ring binder, some page protectors, and cardstock. Attach an illustration from a magazine such as the Ensign to a sheet of cardstock. On the facing page write an inspirational story from the life of the person in the photo. You can do the same thing with photographs of your ancestors by researching and including stories about their lives.

  • Create Sunday games by cutting out and laminating the games that come in the Friend. If you need to write on them, use an overhead projector marker. The ink will wash off easily with a damp cloth.

  • Make a family trivia game. Gather up information about relatives and use it to generate questions. Write each question on a card (for example, “Who served a mission in Rome, Italy?”) along with the answer. Take turns asking questions of the other players.

  • Write a creative letter to a missionary or a loved one. Get a big piece of paper and have everyone in the family write on it in a different color and in a different direction. You can also write on a roll of adding machine tape or the plain side of wrapping paper.

  • Ask family members to tell stories about “the good old days.” Have someone record the stories to include in a family history.

  • Write notes or draw pictures of appreciation for your bishopric, neighbors, and family members. You can focus on a different person each Sunday.

  • Make a list of blessings. In different colors of ink, write the names of the people and things you are thankful for on a roll of shelf paper. Number each item. The list will become quite long if you really think about your blessings and express your gratitude for them. Of course, you can use other paper instead, but you can roll the shelf paper into a scroll and tie a ribbon around it to remind you of your Heavenly Father’s love for you.

  • Catch up on journal writing by taking time to write about recent events, or follow the counsel of President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency, to reflect about how you have seen the hand of the Lord in your life.1

  • Hold a family council and decide how to serve others or how to focus your Sabbath observance on the Savior.

Whatever you do on Sundays, ask if the Savior would approve of the activity. Uplifting activities “inviteth and enticeth to do good continually” (Moroni 7:13). Ask yourself, “What message am I sending to God by what I do on the Sabbath day?” If you allow the Spirit to help you focus your activities on Christ, Sunday can be the best day of the entire week for you and your children.

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