Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy

Read together Ex. 20:8–11. Tell the children that this is one of the Ten Commandments and that it is very important to keep the Sabbath holy. For some religions, Saturday is the Sabbath; for others, it is Friday. Our Sabbath is Sunday.

Ask: “What do you like best about Sunday?” (Possible answers: going to church/Primary, seeing friends, being with their families, having a change from the rest of the week.)

Say that first we’ll talk about all the things we can do on Saturday so that we won’t need to do them on Sunday.

Have everyone hum “Saturday” (CS, p. 196). Stop at random intervals and have a child pantomime a Saturday activity. Have the others guess what the activity is. List it on the chalkboard under “Saturday.” Continue until you have a good list.

Say, “Saturdays can be great, right? Now let’s talk about Sundays.” Have everyone hum along to familiar prayer songs from the Children’s Songbook.

Continue the music game, this time asking, “What are some things that we know are good to do on the Sabbath?” To encourage a more reverent atmosphere, stop the music only at the end of a phrase.

Make another list under “Sunday” on the chalkboard. (Possible answers: go to church, take the sacrament, read the scriptures, pray, sing hymns, visit with their families, visit the sick and the lonely, write letters to missionaries and others, write in journals.)

Remind the children that Saturdays are great for Saturday things and that Sundays are special when we do only Sunday things. We risk losing the Sunday spirit when we do Saturday things on Sunday.

Sing “When I Go to Church” (CS, p. 157—see actions for younger children in Primary 2 manual, Lesson 37, Enrichment Activities, no. 1).

If we truly want a happy feeling, we will keep the Sabbath holy.

Tell an experience regarding keeping it holy, e.g., “Sabbath on the Ranch” (Ensign, June 1998, pp. 57–58), “Sowing before Sunday” (Ensign, Apr. 1998, pp. 48–49), or one of your own experiences. A story younger children could relate to is “Sunday Morning Problem” (Friend, Mar. 1998, p. 31).

Conclude with the Lord’s promises for those who keep His commandments, especially keeping the Sabbath holy, from D&C 59:12, 15–16, 23–24.