The Sabbath

Deuteronomy 5: 14 14 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou.

As Mormons, we take this scripture literally. We do not do anything on the Sabbath that requires others to work: eat out, shop, or any type of recreation. It is a frequent debate between members about how elaborate of a meal should even be made on a Sunday. Some people seem to think that even cooking a roast is too much work.

This strict Sabbath Day observence is sometimes hard for our children to understand. They understand that God has asked this of us in the Bible and our kids love God but, they just don’t get why no one else around them seems to care.

All of our kids have had to miss out on a lot of birthday parties, but none was as hard for me as the one that Allie celebrated last month. Allie is Sophia’s best friend. Allie is riot; we just love her. Sophia, being the shy kid that she is, just loves Allie; and Allie being as outgoing as she is, is a wonderful influence for Sophia. Sophia has proudly exclaimed repeatedly since the 2nd week of school that Allie is her best friend. I have never seen a happier child than Sophia when she brought home Allie’s birthday invitation to the ice-skating rink. My excitement for Sophia being able to participate in the simple joy of life we call the birthday party was shattered when I referred to the calendar and saw that it would take place on a Sunday.

So, what did we do? We took Allie out to McDonald’s after school on Friday instead. [ALL kids love McDonald’s] We blew out a candle in her kids’ meal hamburger and had ice-cream. Allie opened her gift and then, to pass time before we had to go back to meet her mom, we walked around K-mart and got some clearance Christmas candy. I guess this made an impression enough because yesterday when I took the girls back to this K-mart that we don’t frequent, all Sophia and Bella could talk about was the day that we had brought Allie there. “Remember, this is where Allie hid. This is where we chased Allie. This is where we found the candy that we got with Allie.”

So, I guess I dodged another birthday party bullet. Phew.

On another Sabbath day note:

On Sunday night, LG went to the Stake Bishopric training without me by his side to attend the simultaneous Wive’s Training. I originally typed this post on Sunday evening, but according to my hubby’s counsel I toned it down before publishing it.

As LG was leaving the meeting, he saw a friend of ours. He asked her what I had missed from the women’s meeting when she asked where I was. LG told her that I had taken courage from a talk today in church. The regional rep’s wife talked about resting from our labors on Sunday and when LG got home from church I explained to him that his calling in the Bishopric is one of my greatest labors. I was resting tonight! I needed to be home with my kids, not take them off to a sitter on Sunday. (If I am to be totally honest, I would have preferred to have LG home with us too, but I can’t control him or his desire to attend his meetings)

Our friend told LG that the wives’ meeting was about righteous selfishness. (I still don’t think this is exactly the correct term) The friend explained, “The jist of the meeting was that when a woman has a husband in such a busy calling, it is o.k. for her to act selfishly sometimes if it is to meet the needs of the family. “

LG replied, “Oh good, I guess it was o.k. for Alice to miss this one. She’s got that one down. In fact, she is practicing that right now.”

Yeah for me: I am a great Sabbath Day keeper! Yes, I do a lot of other things wrong, and I may even receive criticism for my choice to not go to the meeting. But by golly, I am teaching my kids that the Sabbath is the day for a family to worship together, not to go to parties or be carted off to the sitter.

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10 comments

  1. Our stake is really, trying to get members to all behave this way. No meetings, on fast Sunday at all. . .and I know the Church has also said it would rather you not do you Home Teaching/VT on Sunday. I’m the one with meetings in our house, right now–Jarrett has a slacker YM stake calling. I personally don’t get a baby sitter for any church activity–so if Jarrett is not around or his parents, then I don’t go.

  2. It is very hard when kids get invited to parties on Sundays. We also try really hard to keep the sabbath day holy. My kids have missed out on plenty of activities, but teaching them to respect the sabbath is more important. Good for you!Thanks for visiting my blog.

  3. Parties and activities on Sundays are tough for the kids to understand, but as they do it, it gets easier. My husband is very busy with his calling which takes him to various wards. Sabbath meetings are just a part of it, and I’m fine with that.

  4. Sounds good to me on the meeting thing. I even try to keep the sabbath holy on Thursday nights if they don’t have a nursery, cuz my husband works nights. As for the parties, it’s even harder to explain when you live in Utah and even Mormons shop and have parties on Sunday. Oh, well. Eventually they get it if you stick to your guns. You handled it great.

  5. Why do people have parties on Sunday?! So irritating, especially with 4 kids, there’s always something. I’ve found kids’ sports to be an even touchier issue. My oldest son got traded off his football team because he couldn’t play Sunday games! I’m so glad you shared your story!!

  6. Yes, “righteous selfishness” was the term she used. It really was a great talk…full of encouragement, understanding and validaton for the amazing role Bishopric’s wives. I wish I’d taken notes.

  7. what a great mom! Way to make things happen for your daughter. I am sure the birthday girl will always remember what a special day she had with her bestest friend.

  8. I stumbled upon this, not because I was searching for Alli but because I was looking at your school days posts.

    It made my heart glad. You said some really sweet things about Alli and didn't even know I'd be reading.

    Since that party, I have tried to be careful about planning parties on Sundays. That was just hard for me back then because I had a job where I worked 6 days a week and couldn't have it any other day. Man, I don't miss those days. You did handle this situation beautifully and Alli felt so special.

    We love Sophia so much!! She is such a fantastic little lady (as are all your kids). And your blog just makes me smile. I actually am reading it right now because I am having a bad day and needed to smile.

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