Ways to Celebrate the Sabbath & Other Spiritual Times

 

1. Sunrise Affirmation Breakfast - Select a special day and have a Sunrise Affirmation Breakfast and Prayer.  Feel and express appreciation for your blessings.  Feel and express your love for God and your commitment to follow his teachings.  Select one or two ways that you are going to make this day special.  Consider the services other people have done for you and the services you intend to do for others.  At sunset, take time to consider the good things that happened and record them in your journal.

2. Testimony and Love Letters - Decide on a special day and time (write it on your calendar) to write testimony and love letters to family, friends, and others. This could be a beautiful way to spend part of your Sabbath Day. Mark it on your calendar. Jot down ideas during the week you might want to include in your letters. Make sure you have the addresses you need and sufficient paper, envelopes, and stamps. Say a brief prayer before writing each letter that you might be inspired to write what would be of most benefit to that person. Have all letters finished and placed in stamped, addressed envelopes before going to bed. You will sleep in richness surrounded with the love you have sent from your heart and which God is multiplying and sending back to you again. 

3. Sacred Place in Your Home - Set aside a sacred place in your home to pray, meditate, read the scriptures, listen to sacred music, and to just relax and feel out of the world for awhile.  It might be as simple as a chair in the corner, but put things there that are spiritually special to you and make the surroundings beautiful and conducive to the spirit.

4. Monthly Mission Statement - We are not here on earth by chance.  We are here on a glorious and eternally relevant mission.  Successful businessmen and organizations have found the great power that results from writing their mission statements that then guide their efforts.  It is even more important that spirit children of Heavenly Father contemplate and write their mission statements.  How about writing a monthly mission statement for yourself or together with and for your family?  Write a new one each month.  It could be written as a prayer and referred to as you plan your time during the month. Watch the quality of your life and the success of your mission increase.

5. Life Stories - Invite someone over to your home for the specific purpose of his or her telling you their life story.  You might have a light dessert or meal to start the evening, but do not let it take away from having sufficient time to enjoy learning more about that person and appreciating his or her experiences.  With their permission, you might want to audio or videotape it, and make a present of it to the person.  People often delay getting their life story written or recorded, so it would be a great accomplishment for that person, his or her family, and the descendants to come.

6. Re-write and Personalize Your Favorite Scriptures - We are told to liken the scriptures to ourselves. An excellent way to do this is to re-write and personalize favorite scriptures. For example, the above scripture in Luke would end with the kingdom of God is within me. The D&C 93:28 above would read: I keep his commandments and receive truth and light, until I am glorified in truth and know all things.  These personalized scriptures could be called scriptural affirmations.  Read aloud several of them at the beginning of each day, perhaps just before your morning prayer.  You could do the same with meaningful quotations.  Consider the beautiful one presented in Relief Society last week and personalized as: Though I can not go back and make a brand new start, I can start from now and make a brand new end!

7. Spiritual Kinfolk - The word kind has an interesting origin and history.  The kin in kind refers to your relationship with those individuals sharing your common descent or ancestry.  Many years ago, kind meant the attitude proper toward your kin. Every one you meet is a spirit child of Heavenly Father, and is therefore a member of your spiritual kinfolk.  Each week, make a list of several people you know.  After each name, write how you will treat that person with the special kindness appropriate to a fellow-child of Heavenly Father.  Review the names each Sabbath morning as a reminder and to motivate further efforts.

8. Three Pennies - Even in her younger days, Sister Teresa showed the seeds of greatness.  One day, she announced to her superiors, I have three pennies and a dream from God to build an orphanage. They pointed out, You canít build an orphanage with three pennies.  With three pennies, you canít do anything.  But, Sister Teresa replied with a broad smile, I know, but with God and three pennies, I can do anything!   Put three pennies where you can see them every day.  You could put three pennies in your pocket or purse.  Write down one or more of your special dreams.  Have the three pennies be a reminder that when you have the creator of the entire universe on your side, what can be impossible?

9. TAKE TIME FOR MEANINGFUL SHARING - Take time as a family to really talk and listen to each other. Find out what is going on in their lives and share what is going on in yours. If you can't do this in person, do it by phone or letter.

10. Appreciation Calendar - You can always increase your wealth by increasing your appreciation for the wonders of life. Helen Keller, deaf and blind, tells about her ever-growing wealth: As my knowledge of things grew I felt more and more the delight of the world I was in.  Long before I learned to do a sum in arithmetic or describe the shape of the earth, Miss Sullivan had taught me to find beauty in the fragrant woods, in every blade of grass, and in the curves and dimples of my baby sisterís hand.  She linked my earliest thoughts with nature and made me feel that birds and flowers and I were happy peers.  Constantly increase your personal wealth by establishing an Appreciation Calendar. On a monthly calendar, write a different thing to appreciate each day.  For example, your first seven days could celebrate (1) air (2) colors (3) warmth (4) work (5) music (6) smiles (7) birds.  At the beginning of each day simply look at your calendar and focus on what you have already decided to appreciate.

11. Spiritual Potlucks - You have probably heard of a trust potluck.  People gather at someoneís home and bring an item of food to share, but are not assigned what to bring.  It makes for an interesting and sometimes surprising evening.  It can be made into a spiritual activity by having people not only bring an item of food to share, but also a special story, inspirational thought, poem, or scripture, and share why it is special to them.  Think what a wonderful evening it would be!

12. Hymns to Read Aloud - Reading a hymnbook can become a great way to start the day.  Starting with the first hymn, read aloud the words to a different hymn each day.  Read with feeling and as a positive affirmation of your faith.  Listen for the promptings of the spirit that may come as you read the words and as you enjoy a few minutes of silence bathing in the beautiful thoughts that have been generated.  Keep a small notepad with your hymnbook and write in it some of your own spiritual thoughts that arise.  These thoughts can be treasures to enrich your life, and that of your family, for years to come.