((Before I forget, this lesson uses President Russel M. Nelson’s talk on the Sabbath day given at the April 2015 General Conference, you can read it here))
I am struck with the recent push from the General Authorities to keep the Sabbath day holy. It reminds me of the prophet Jeremiah from the Old Testament who struggled in vain to preach repentance to the Jews. In a hail-Mary effort, he finally just asked them t keep the Sabbath day holy. If they did they would be saved but if not they would be destroyed. we know they didn’t because they were soon destroyed and carried away (Jeremiah 17).
I wanted to teach about the importance of keeping the Sabbath day holy in the Lord’s way. We usually have the presidency lesson for the young women on the first Sunday, which is often the Fast Sunday (except during conference time) and I wanted to use treats as an object lesson so I hi-jacked the adviser lesson later in the month. I think they forgave me because, well, we had treats 😉
I started with a table display of many fun sundae toppings that had the girls salivating when they came in for devotional.
I had a sign in front of the treats that read: Today we are going to make Sundaes.
Sorry, I accidentally deleted the picture with the sign in front, but here is the same sign in a fancy position behind the tiny glasses (they’re dessert glasses, not shot glasses, though other leaders gave me a hard time!):
I had small cups of vanilla ice cream and scooped a tiny bit out and put it into a glass. I announced that it was true -we were really making sundaes today! I asked the girls what they like on their sundaes and the shouts roared with Chocolate! Sprinkles! M&Ms! I heartily agreed and scooped out a small M&M and one sprinkle.
I showed my very empty and disappointing glass to the girls – Doesn’t this look delicious?!
The girls said it did, but wasn’t big enough.
That’s when the teaching began.
I picked up the spoon and the entire “sundae” was on it. I told them that yes, this one bite is good, but not very satisfying. I told them that we don’t make this kind of SUNDAE, so why do we sometimes make this kind of SUNDAY. I turned around the sign.
I said that we sometimes wake up late and make our SUNDAYS with a small scoop of church, a sprinkle of scripture reading with the fam, and maybe a line of two in our journal and call it good. Then we add a heaping helping of Brussels Sprouts of homework to our Sunday and it ends up very un-delicious and not delightful at all. (I kept using the word “delightful” to describe the sundaes/Sundays).I told the girls that last General Conference (in April 2015) the closing speaker was Russel M. Nelson and he taught about making the Sabbath a delight and keeping it in the Lord’s way. I posed the question, “Why do you think the Lord, who “assigns” the topics for General Conference, wanted to end with this message?”
We then read and discussed this quote by President Russel M. Nelson’s talk:
Now, as this conference comes to a close, we know that wherever we live we are to be examples of the believers among our families, neighbors, and friends. True believers keep the Sabbath day holy.
I asked the girls this question: How can we show that we are true believers and make our Sabbath Days DELIGHTFUL?
We discussed Isaiah 58:13 (and the first part of 14):
If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: 14 Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord;
I then passed out a page I had made with excerpts from President Nelson’s talk on keeping the Sabbath day holy.
I put the girls into partners and assigned them a number. Their job was to discuss the ways President Nelson suggested for keeping the Sabbath day holy and how he says we can make it “delightful.” Then together they decided what sundae topping this suggestion was like and they all took turns sharing what they found.
for example, President Nelson suggests doing famiy history work on Sunday and this activity is like a scoop of M&Ms because it’s got that crunchy outside (and genealogy work is a little “crunchy” sounding) but when you get into it it becomes smooth and delicious, making our Sabbath delightful!
When each group shared, they added the topping to the sundae and by the end we had a big, delicious, delightful SUNDAE/SUNDAY!
We then discussed what the girls thought this quote from President Nelson means:
Faith in God engenders a love for the Sabbath; faith in the Sabbath engenders a love for God.
We then discussed the blessings for working hard to make our Sabbath days delightful.I found this heart thumping quote from Bruce R. McConkie and I made it into a little handout the girls took home with them:
If you can’t quite read it on the picture or want to cut ad paste it for your own lesson on the Sabbath, here it is:
It is in no sense an exaggeration nor does it overstate the fact one whit to say that any person who keeps the Sabbath, according to the revealed pattern, will be saved in the celestial kingdom.
I then bore my own testimony on keeping the Sabbath day holy, delightful and delicious.
And then we ate sundaes 🙂
I found several of the take-home quotes on the front table (where the girls made their ice creams) after the lesson. The girls probably just were so excited to be getting sundaes that they forgot them. That was fine with me, I think their hearts and minds were fed well and the taste of the lesson will linger and remind them to continue to make their Sabbaths delightful.