Call The Sabbath a Delight

Posted by: Andee / Category: , , ,

I took this today on a walk with my Mom...

As promised, here is another article from the stack of Ensigns I received from my Mom...

Call the Sabbath a Delight was printed in the April 2001 Ensign, and it starts on page 46. Apparently, many Mormons were not keeping Sunday reserved for church only, and were caught doing things like shopping and going out to eat. The horror. The article is much too long for me to type out everything, so I will share my favorite little nuggets here and there. Hope you like it.

Call The Sabbath a Delight. The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath. (Mark 2:27). These words of the savior remind us that the Sabbath day was meant to be a blessing rather than a burden to those who observe it. Its blessings flow not only from attending church meetings but also from engaging in activities appropriate to the spirit of this sacred day. Because circumstances differ among Church members, the kinds of Sunday activities each of us may choose in order to gain spiritual strength and draw closer to the Lord will vary. Following are some experiences shared by Ensign readers on this important topic.

If the Sabbath was intended to be a blessing, why are there so many rules and regulations on what you can do on the Sabbath? You have to go to church for three hours and listen to boring lessons and testimonies over and over again... know what would be a blessing? Having time with my family doing something we all actually enjoy doing! Sounds crazy, I know... but it might just be something worth looking into.

Lets move on...

Making Sunday a Family Day Some think of the Sabbath as day of prohibitions--a day you can't do this or that. But it's actually a day of privileges, a day of celebration, a day to reflect, a day to restore our souls. When we observe the Sabbath, we don't miss out on things; we learn to appreciate life and our families. Over the years, for us the Sabbath day was first and foremost a family day. Among other things, we invented several games we could play on Sunday that helped both young and old focus on the gospel. For one such game we divided into two teams and then took turns trying to guess gospel-related words and phrases that we had previously written on slips of paper. For another activity we wrote different gospel topics on pieces of paper and put them in a bowl. Each person would draw a paper and then have 10 minutes to prepare a talk on that subject. My husband and I helped the younger children prepare theirs, and when everyone was ready we would take turns giving our talks. We discovered that we have very imaginative and creative children, and this activity turned out to be a great source of fun. When our middle daughter, Julie, was 17 and had many nonmember friends, I asked her if it was hard to say no to them when they asked her to go to a movie, go swimming, or participate in a similar activity on Sunday. She said: "No. In fact, by Sunday I am grateful to get away from the outside world. I really need that time to just be with my own family. It's great to be able to say no, I can't go with you because I spend Sundays with my family." Sharlene T. Barber, Farragut Ward, Knoxville Tennessee Stake

Oh, dear God.

If I was in this woman's family I might have run away from home at a very early age. I know this is important to her, that much is clear... I just don't see how doing non-church related things on Sunday is so horrible.

If I had to spend the three hour block at church, and then go home to more prayers and studying only to turn around and play games where you had 10 minutes to put on a talk I would hate life. Maybe it's just me. It seems like that 10 minute game is a little like Mormon Boot Camp. "Do it soldier! You have 5 minutes left maggot! What was that? I CANT HEAR YOU!"

At the end of this love-fest we call the Ensign, there is a list titled, "What Can We Do On Sunday, Mom?" It's priceless.
What Can We Do On Sunday, Mom?
  • Read the scriptures, Church magazines, and good stories and books.
  • Research a gospel question or word, perhaps using the Topical Guide in the Bible.
  • Dramatize and videotape scripture stories.
  • Hold a spelling bee using scripture words or other gospel terms.
  • Create a crossword puzzles that feature items from the Book of Mormon, names of Primary songs, or facts about your family.
  • Listen to or read talks given by General Authorities.
  • Listen to appropriate music.
  • Learn a church hymn in sign language.
  • Record your testimony, special events, and memories in a journal.
  • Watch a church video (usually available for checkout from the ward library).
  • Work on family history, books of remembrance, or scrapbooks.
  • For dinnertime, create a table centerpiece that features an ancestor and his or her time period, then read about that ancestor during or after the meal.
  • Using a gospel or family theme, write a poem or song or make a simple poster together.
  • Create a newsletter to send to family or friends.
  • Make a card, draw a picture, or write a thank-you note, letter, poem, or story for a specific person (such as a shut-in, newcomer, bishop, teacher, relative, missionary, or someone in military service.
  • Attend a fireside or hold an extended-family fireside that features a newly returned missionary, a newly married couple, an elderly family member, or someone else you'd like to hear from.
-Carol Hansen, Huntington Beach Sixth Ward, Huntington Beach California North Stake

Where to begin... where to begin... my brain is just ticking away at the comments to be made from that list.

Let me begin by saying that some of these things are really sweet ideas. Writing cards and spending time together as a family is a good thing. I do believe that. I just don't understand why it has to be all church all the time. A spelling bee with gospel words? Really? Dull.

Don't even get me started on this family newsletter business. I got so many of those from my relatives that I started dreading the mail. "So and so is doing this, and got straight A's in her 7th grade class! She is volunteering at a local food shelter, and plans on running for president of the 8th grade next year!" Barf. Gimme something good... like how she was caught behind the shed making out with her non-member neighbor! That would be entertaining.

The idea to dramatize scripture stories and videotape them could backfire hardcore. I have always been interested in the theater, even as a very little girl. I could have taken a scripture story and turned it into a violent, sword fighting, rated R, full length feature film. Believe me, it would have been great.

Go out there and have some fun together. Play some soccer, volleyball. Have a water-fight. Why in the world would the Lord be upset with you or your family for actually having FUN on a Sunday?

Also, what is "appropriate music"? The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, right? Or maybe some Gladys Knight? There is so much music out there that can touch your heart and soul that have nothing to do with the Mormon Church. There is music out there that has touched and changed my life... would it be a sin for me to listen to that music on the Sabbath? Depends on the family I guess, huh?

All I have to say is that 3 hours in church, plus a big family dinner is time enough (of course, in my opinion). Let the kids actually enjoy life. For the love of God, let them be kids!



  1. Kristen Says:

    OMG, this is a riot! Yeh, right! Apparently none of these contributers ever had kids, or at least little kids. Sunday was always the absolute WORST day of the week for us, when we went to church. I would try, I really would. I'd have all the kids' clothes ready on Saturday, would play MoTab on Sunday mornings to get everyone in the "spirit", and have dinner all planned out. But it was still a day of whines and cries and boredom and utter exhaustion. There was never anything restful about the sabbath as an active Mormon.

    Now we just use it as an extra day to the weekend, which is especially fun when my hubby is home. We actually do things the kids will remember as fun and happy, not mandatory and boring, with an extra heaping of guilt thrown in.

    Funny post! Keep the articles coming, they're great!

  1. Truly Confused Says:

    You have no idea what a let down this was to me. I was thinking Sabath Day Delight was going to be like Afternoon Delight. Apparently the Ensign did not have an article about getting it in on each Sunday. What a let down. You are kind of a teas....

    I have a sister who is active, but not a die hard member. Their Sunday today involved them all ditching church, going for a hike at a state beach and then gettings shakes. Can you honestly think of a way to better spend time in sunny So Cal? They had such a good time bonding together.

    BTW, this freak is from a neighboring stake. I really like the idea of creating a center piece of a family ancestor. Is it kind of like a frosty the snowman thing out of mashed potatoes?

  1. The Original Anonymous Says:


    Do stores stay open on Sundays at least?

    That's easier for us non-Mormons then, since there would be less of a line at places, less crowds... more quiet ^__^.

  1. Andee Says:


    I am so lucky that my parents were inactive when I was active. I didn't have to have the church crammed down my throat for a full 24 hours. I could go home from church, change, and be a kid.

    Glad you like this blog!!!

  1. Andee Says:

    Truly Confused,

    You are so funny. You should look into stand up.

    Going to the beach and hanging out sounds like the best kind of family time there is. Better than 3 hours spent trying not to fall asleep while "learning" about the gospel.

    I have no idea what kind of centerpiece I could make. I am at a loss, and I am a pretty creative gal. Hmmm...

  1. Andee Says:

    The Original Anonymous,

    Most stores stay open, but there are a select few that close every Sunday. These businesses are either owned by the church or owned by people who are strong in the LDS Faith enough to close their doors for business.

    I often wonder how much money they miss out on closing their door on Sunday. It's got to add up to the bottom line.

  1. Steve-o Says:

    When Berkshire Hathaway bought out RC Willey, Warren Buffet wanted them to open for business on Sunday. The original owners told him they didn't want to because of their LDS beliefs, so the two parties agreed on some financial targets by which they could measure whether not being open on Sunday was hurting the business.

    In the end, everyone agreed that not being open on Sunday had absolutely no negative effect on the business whatsoever. I don't know if this is still the case for RC Willey, but it was when the wife of the original owner spoke in one of my BYU classes in 2001.

    I don't know that the same would be true for other businesses, especially those that do more of their business in areas with light concentrations of Mormons. I will say, however, that I like businesses that give their people time off and don't make them work crazy hours, regardless of their motives. One such company is Costco. They're not open very late on weeknights, they close early on the weekends, and they don't open on holidays. I have a lot of respect for companies that will do things a little differently in this respect.

  1. Andee Says:


    I go back and forth on this all the time. I work for a company that is open on the weekends, as well as most holidays. It sucks to have to work on these days when I could be having family get-togethers or hang out with friends.

    On the other hand, sometimes I need to do some shopping on a Sunday, and it would be a giant pain in the ass to not be able to find a place to pick up some things you need.