Lesson 37: I Can Keep the Sabbath Day Holy

Primary 2: Choose the Right A, (1995), 199–205


Purpose

To strengthen each child’s desire to keep the Sabbath day holy.

Preparation

  1. 1.

    Prayerfully study Exodus 20:8–11 and Matthew 12:10–13. See also Gospel Principles (31110), chapter 24.

  2. 2.

    Make a tracing or copy of the calendar found at the end of the lesson. Color the Sabbath days red. You may want to number the days according to the current month.

  3. 3.

    Prepare the following wordstrip:

    “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.”

  4. 4.

    Make a tracing or copy of both Sabbath day activity sheets (found at the end of the lesson) for each child. For younger children, cut the pages apart on the dotted lines. For older children, bring a few pairs of scissors so the children can cut the pages apart themselves.

  5. 5.

    Prepare to sing or say the words to “Saturday” (Children’s Songbook, p. 196).

  6. 6.

    Materials needed:

    1. a.

      A Bible.

    2. b.

      Crayons.

    3. c.

      A stapler or other means of fastening the activity sheets together.

    4. d.

      Picture 2-58, Jesus Healing a Man with a Withered Hand.

  7. 7.

    Make the necessary preparations for any enrichment activities you want to use.

Suggested Lesson Development

Invite a child to give the opening prayer.

Follow up with the children if you encouraged them to do something during the week.

The Sabbath Is a Special Day

Attention activity

Show the children the calendar and explain that it shows all the days of the month. Briefly discuss what calendars can be used for.

  • What is unusual about this calendar?

  • What day is colored red?

  • Why is this a special day? (It is the Sabbath day.)

Teacher presentation

Tell the children that since the beginning of the world, one day each week has been set apart for learning and thinking about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and for doing good to others. This day is called the Sabbath.

  • What day of the week is the Sabbath day?

Scripture and wordstrip

Read Exodus 20:8 aloud and display the wordstrip. Help the children repeat this scripture in unison. Tell them that this is a commandment.

Explain that keeping the Sabbath day holy means we do things that remind us of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, such as going to church, reading the scriptures, and doing other reverent things.

We Can Keep the Sabbath Day Holy

Discussion

Discuss with the children the kinds of activities that are appropriate for the Sabbath. Ask them what things they have done today to keep the Sabbath day holy. Help them understand that going to church, praying, singing, giving talks in church meetings, learning about the teachings of Jesus, and partaking of the sacrament are some of the things we can do to keep the Sabbath day holy.

Explain that we should not work on Sunday, if possible, and we should not do things that keep us from thinking about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

Activity

Describe some activities the children might participate in. Ask the children to smile if the activity is something we should do on the Sabbath and to frown if the activity is not something we should do on the Sabbath. Use the examples below or others appropriate for the children in your class.

  • Going to church.

  • Cleaning the house.

  • Visiting relatives.

  • Going shopping.

  • Going to a movie.

  • Reading the scriptures or other good books.

  • Praying.

  • Watching or participating in a game of sports.

  • Writing letters.

  • Going for a walk.

  • Playing scripture games.

  • Visiting a sick person.

Jesus Christ Kept the Sabbath Day Holy

Tell the children that it is not always easy to know whether an activity is something we should do on the Sabbath. The best way to know what to do is to follow Jesus Christ’s example.

Scripture story

Show picture 2-58, Jesus Healing a Man with a Withered Hand, and tell the story found in Matthew 12:10–13.

Explain that the Pharisees were people who didn’t like Jesus Christ and what he did. They tried to trap him into saying things that were wrong or against the law. They asked him if it was wrong to heal someone on the Sabbath day. They wanted him to say it was.

Tell the children that Jesus pointed out that if the Pharisees had a sheep that fell in a hole on the Sabbath, they would help it out. Since people are more important than sheep, helping people is a good thing to do on the Sabbath. Read aloud the second part of Matthew 12:12 (from Wherefore).

Remind the children that if an activity is something that Jesus would do, such as helping or being kind to others, it is a good thing to do on the Sabbath day.

Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy Takes Preparation

Discussion

Point out that to keep the Sabbath day holy, we need to do certain things before the Sabbath in order to be prepared.

  • What things do you and your family need to do to be ready for the Sabbath? (Answers may include washing and ironing clothes to wear to church, cleaning the house, preparing meals to eat on the Sabbath, and finding scriptures and other items needed for church.)

  • When should you do these things?

Song

Sing or say the words to “Saturday.” Help the children pantomime the actions mentioned in the song. (If the Sabbath is on a day other than Sunday in your area, change the words Saturday, Sunday, and Monday to the appropriate days.)

Saturday is a special day.
It’s the day we get ready for Sunday:
We clean the house, and we shop at the store,
So we won’t have to work until Monday.
We brush our clothes, and we shine our shoes,
And we call it our get-the-work-done day.
Then we trim our nails, and we shampoo our hair,
So we can be ready for Sunday!

Encourage the children to prepare next week so they will be ready to keep the Sabbath day holy.

Summary

Activity

Give each child a copy of the Sabbath day activity sheets. Help the children read with you the title of the sheets: “My Sabbath Day Book.” Help the children cut the pages apart if you have not already cut them.

Read the following sentences describing appropriate Sabbath activities, and help the children choose the picture that shows each activity.

  • On the Sabbath we go to church to honor Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and learn about them.

  • The Sabbath day is a good day to study the gospel with our families. We can read the scriptures and other good books.

  • The Sabbath day is a day of prayer. We pray at church, with our families, and by ourselves.

  • On the Sabbath day we can sing hymns and listen to good music.

  • On the Sabbath day we can write in our journals and write letters to or draw pictures for our relatives, friends, and the missionaries.

  • The Sabbath day is a good day to visit family members or people who are sick or lonely.

Give the children crayons and let them color the pictures. Ask them to draw on the blank page a picture of something they are going to do to keep the Sabbath day holy.

Help the children staple or fasten the pages of their books together.

Testimony

Bear your testimony about the importance of keeping the Sabbath day holy. You may want to mention one or two things that you like to do on the Sabbath and tell how you feel when you do those things. Emphasize that the Sabbath should be a happy day as we think and learn about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

Encourage the children to show their books to their families and share what they have learned today. Suggest that the children keep the books in a place where they can remind the children to keep the Sabbath day holy.

Invite a child to give the closing prayer. Suggest that the child ask Heavenly Father to help the class members keep the Sabbath day holy.

Enrichment Activities

Choose from the following activities those that will work best for the children in your class. You can use them in the lesson itself or as a review or summary. For additional guidance, see “Class Time” in “Helps for the Teacher.”

  1. 1.

    Sing or say the words to the first verse of “When I Go to Church” (Children’s Songbook, p. 157). Have the children stand and do the actions indicated below as they sing:

    I always have a happy feeling
    When I go to church (place hands over heart, and smile).
    The organ plays so soft and sweet (cup hands behind ears);
    I tiptoe softly to my seat (tiptoe in place and put finger to lips).
    My teachers and my friends I greet (quietly shake hands with person next to you)
    When I go to church (sit in chair).
  2. 2.

    Draw a pair of eyes, a pair of ears, a mouth, and two hands on the chalkboard. Ask the children to tell you what each of these parts of our bodies can do to keep the Sabbath day holy.

    Examples:

    • Eyes—read the scriptures, watch the speakers and teachers at church.

    • Ears—listen to uplifting music or stories, listen to the Primary lesson.

    • Mouth—sing hymns or Primary songs, say kind things to family members and friends.

    • Hands—draw a picture for family members who live far away, write in a journal.

  3. 3.

    Help the children memorize Exodus 20:8: “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.”

  4. 4.

    Sing or say the words to “Remember the Sabbath Day” (Children’s Songbook, p. 155).

    Remember the Sabbath day,
    To always keep it holy.
    The Lord blessed and hallowed it,
    That we might worship him.