00648_000_007Responses are intended for help and perspective, not as pronouncements of Church doctrine.
“How do I keep the Sabbath day holy? I’ve been focusing on things I can’t do. How do I make it a day I look forward to instead of a day when I can’t do anything fun?”
Focus on the good things you can do.
Plan ahead, and you will start looking forward to the Sabbath.
Enjoy time with your family on Sunday.
The Sabbath day was made for you; you will be blessed as you keep it holy.
The Lord set apart the Sabbath as a day of rest and worship. Because the Sabbath is not like other days of the week, we choose not to do the same things on the Sabbath day that we do on other days of the week. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot that you can do. As you learn to put the Lord first on the Sabbath day, you will “call the sabbath a delight” (Isaiah 58:13). Here are some suggestions of what you can do to keep the Sabbath day holy and look forward to it at the same time.
Focus on what you can do. During Jesus’s time, there were many rules about what you could or could not do on the Sabbath. People even questioned Jesus when He healed people on the Sabbath. Jesus taught and showed by His example that it is more important to do good on the Sabbath than to think about what you can’t do.
Plan ahead. First, think of things you want to do on the Sabbath—such as working on goals for Personal Progress or Duty to God—and then make plans to do them. Second, take care of schoolwork, chores, and other tasks during the week so you can focus on spiritual things on the Sabbath. By planning ahead you will start looking forward to the Sabbath day.
Spend time with your family. President Gordon B. Hinckley explained an important way to keep the Sabbath day holy: “Stay home and gather your family about you. Teach them the gospel, enjoy yourselves together on the Sabbath day, come to your meetings, participate.” 1 By spending time with your family, you can feel joy on the Sabbath.
Pray for help. If you aren’t sure what to do on the Sabbath or if you find that you are having a hard time looking forward to the Sabbath, pray. The Lord has commanded us to keep the Sabbath day holy, and He doesn’t give us commandments without providing a way for us to keep them (see 1 Nephi 3:7). If you pray to Heavenly Father, He will help you know what to do on the Sabbath and will help you change your feelings.
The Sabbath was made for us (see Mark 2:27). As you do your best to keep the Sabbath day holy, you will be blessed and look forward to each Sunday.
The Sabbath day is special to me because it’s a time to learn more about the Savior and the gospel and to become closer to my Heavenly Father. I am also able to feel the quiet and peace of His Spirit better because I am not distracted by the commotion of the world. If you seek the Lord diligently through fasting, prayer, and scripture study, you will find Him and He will bless you with His Spirit (see Jeremiah 29:13). His Spirit will help you put aside your worldly cares and become a better person (see Isaiah 58:13–14). Moriah M., 15, Idaho
I know how you feel. But in time I was able to realize how marvelous the Sabbath day is. We can forget about the things we can’t do if we pray to Heavenly Father and ask for strength. By our praying for strength, the Sabbath becomes a day you are excited for. On the Sabbath day you can rest, pray, serve, receive blessings, nourish your spirit, and develop tremendous spiritual strength. Richard R., 16, Nariño, Colombia
Make the Sabbath day different from other days of the week. You may think you are missing out on spending time with friends or having an extra day to do homework. But if you choose those worldly things over true Sabbath day observance, think of the eternal blessings and joy you are missing out on. By keeping the Sabbath day holy, you will not only feel spiritually filled and ready to face the upcoming week, but you will show Heavenly Father reverence. I have a strong testimony that you can come to honestly say that Sunday is the best day of the week. Sophia W., 16, Maine
I find keeping my mind on the Sabbath becomes easier as I fulfill my Church and priesthood callings. As I do my duties as a priest and help the teachers and deacons with their duties, I find I am not thinking about the things I can’t do but remembering everything I need to get done. Andrew S., 17, Montana
I always joyfully await the Sabbath day. On this day I feel the great love of our Heavenly Father. On the Sabbath, all the hardships in my life are forgotten. When I partake of the sacrament, my mind turns to the great sacrifice that Jesus Christ made for us. I remember the awful suffering He endured so that we can be with our Heavenly Father again. My heart is filled with charity. I want to share this feeling with my neighbors, especially those who are not members of the Church. Anna R., 20, Ukraine
Look at the Sabbath as a day of opportunities. Think of all the family activities you can do. Sundays at my home consist of going to church, reading uplifting material, watching Church-related movies, going to firesides, and playing games with my family. It is a day to spend more time with my family and become closer to our Heavenly Father. Justin D., 18, Washington
Since I decided to sanctify the Lord’s day, it has been my favorite day of the week. I made a mental list of things that help me keep a spirit of reverence and worship on the Sabbath. For example, my list includes getting up early, reading the scriptures, working on Personal Progress, writing in my journal, and writing letters. As I do these and other spiritual activities, I feel the wonderful spirit and joy that are within me. I also notice that I don’t have time left over for less spiritual activities. Sílvia M., 18, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
“I have a couple of friends who don’t come to church anymore. What are some ways to help them return?”
SEND US YOUR ANSWER, along with your full name, birth date, ward and stake (or branch and district), and photograph (including your parent’s written permission to print the photo) to:
Please respond by September 15, 2007.
“Excerpts from Recent Addresses of President Gordon B. Hinckley,” Ensign, Aug. 1996, 61.