Doing as the pioneers did—walking for miles, eating little, sacrificing worldly comforts (and cell phones)—may be a daunting task, but it can come with great rewards as you draw closer to your pioneer predecessors and the Lord. Follow these guidelines to make the experience as positive as possible.
Pioneer treks are a common summer activity for Church members around the world, allowing them to experience, if even partially, the challenges the earliest pioneers faced in searching for religious freedom in the 1800s. Opportunities abound to learn how suffering and sacrifice brings one close to the Savior. Walking in the pioneers’ footsteps, participants can feel empathy for those who heeded the call to gather to Zion.
“It’s important to remember the pioneers and what they did, because without them, we wouldn’t have the Church like it is today,” says 15-year-old Jenna Rasmussen, who embarked on a pioneer trek with her stake in June 2012. “Being able to see the struggles that they went through and sacrifices that they made for the Church shows you that we shouldn’t take it for granted. That was a big part of the lesson for me: you have to appreciate what we have.”
Here are some great ideas of Sunday activities that bring the family together and keep the Spirit of Sunday alive the whole day. We’ve been told to keep the Sabbath day holy, but with a spirited eight-year-old, a flighty Valiant eleven-year-old, and a misunderstood teen, teaching them to choose the right may appear to be more of a cross to bear than a duty to do with a heart full of song. So what can you do to truly make Sunday a special day, other than trimming your nails on Saturday? Here are some ideas.
1. Reserve the day. The Sabbath is supposed to be for the benefit of man. Think of it as a weekly holiday from the world, the day that you don’t have to do your housework. If your kids are in school, help them get their homework done on Saturday. Likewise, if you work, save your job for the weekdays, unless necessity demands otherwise. Keep worldly things for the worldly days and sacred things for this sacred day.
2. Discussion time. Always ask your children what they learned in church. Ask them to relate the lesson they were taught, then find out if they have any questions. Maybe even ask them questions to show your own interest and to get them thinking. Sunday is a day of learning, so give your children a setting in which to learn.
3. The Sunday box. Make a special box and fill it with treats and Sabbath day activities (like acting out scenes from the scriptures, or watching an uplifting movie), then hide it during the week. Especially for younger children, the anticipation for the mysterious delights of the Sunday box, only seen once a week, should help them recognize how unique the seventh day is and how certain things are set aside specifically for it.
Easter is right around the corner, and at least in our little corner of the world, it looks like Spring might finally show up! It's a great time to live a little higher by showing some extra love or remembering to say thank you to a dear friend in a fun way. This featured blogger shares a creative-and easy-way to do just that.
Hello! I'm Heidi from the creative blog Honeybear Lane. Today I'm sharing with you a very easy Easter gift idea. Easter seems like the time when all of the kids get Easter baskets full of goodies, but what about the rest of us? There is always a reason to give a little something extra to the loved ones in your life, or even as a way of saying "thank you" to anyone at all who has helped you out or lifted you up. Plus it's cute!
Before my youngest brother got married, I mentioned to a non-LDS friend that we were throwing a bachelor party. My friend looked incredulous. "Why? You won't look at girls, or drink, or tell dirty jokes. What’s the point?" He was sure we were in for the most boring night of our lives.
As the oldest of six now-married brothers, I had to adapt the traditional bachelor party idea to our Latter-day Saint family. By the time the youngest was engaged, we’d learned to use this traditional male bonding experience to celebrate my brother’s spiritual growth and commitment to his sweetie. We didn’t just have a great time—we strengthened our relationship as brothers.
It was important to treat the probably high-strung groom to casual, light-hearted, and relaxing entertainment. At our last party, the evening started out with pizza, pop, and video games. This didn’t win us any awards for originality or spiritual value, but it gave everybody a good laugh.
Grooms with more clever siblings might find themselves treated to a fishing trip, horseback riding, or their favorite sporting event. The particular activity doesn’t matter as much as the lingering feeling of camaraderie does.
What about a bachelor party gift? Brides-to-be in our culture often get pretty great shower gifts. In fact, the idea for our male get-togethers really arose from our desire for “something like a bridal shower, only for us guys.” Avoiding the vulgar gifts of a typical bachelor party, we chose gifts to boost the groom’s confidence that he would succeed in marriage.
The struggle to stay focused in church isn't always the fault of the teacher or speaker. Here's a helpful list of ways to make sure you're doing your best to be engaged in Sunday meetings.
Let me make something clear from the get go: I don’t think church is boring. At least, not usually. Admittedly, there are times when I am walking out of my meetings wishing for something more. Maybe I’ve already forgotten the subject of the Sunday School lesson or zoned out on that last sacrament meeting talk because Brother Wilson speaks so . . . very . . . slow.
On days like that, I am often surprised when I hear someone else express how inspired they were. While nodding in agreement, I think to myself, “How is that possible!?” I usually conclude that clearly they are a better person than I and there is no way I will ever be that good, so I hold to my “church was boring today” opinion and make sure to keep all inner judgments to myself.