A discussion for your family or class about how the Sabbath can be a day that helps you feel rested and renewed.

Using Moses 3:1-3 (the 7th day of creation).

Sometimes we talk about Sunday being the day of rest.

[Write “rest” on the board or on a piece of paper.]

President Spencer W. Kimball helps up understand what that means and what it doesn’t mean. He said,

“Sometimes we have thought of rest as being a place where we get on the chaise lounge [a reclining chair], or in our sneakers, or we get outside and lie on the grass, something where we are at rest. That isn’t the kind of rest that the Lord is speaking about.” (Spencer W. Kimball, “The Privilege of Holding the Priesthood,” October 1975 Conference)

  • What can we learn about Sunday being a day of rest from what he said?
  • What are some other words for rest? [Add answers to the word “rest” on the board. Answers could be things like quiet, still, peace, rejuvenated, energized, etc.]

Look for some other words that Russell M. Nelson uses. He says,

“I believe [the Savior] wanted us to understand that the Sabbath was His gift to us, granting real respite from the rigors of daily life and an opportunity for spiritual and physical renewal. God gave us this special day, not for amusement or daily labor but for a rest from duty, with physical and spiritual relief.” (Russell M. Nelson, “The Sabbath Is a Delight,” April 2015 Conference)

[You may want to make it so the group can see the quote and not just listen to it. You could give everyone a copy or put it on the board.]

  • What other words can we add to the list? [respite, renewal, relief]

So the day of rest isn’t about resting, it’s about feeling rested, energized, renewed.

Everyone seems to be feeling so exhausted in the world right now. So this is something we really need!

Let’s look at what God did on this day to see what pattern we can find to help us know what to do.

After God created the world, He got to the 7th day. Let’s read about it in Moses 3:1-3.

[Have someone read those verses. Then you could ask the group what He did and listen to their answers or you could walk through the scripture together. Walking through the scripture together may help people see how they can learn these kinds of things from phrases in the scriptures.]

In verse 2 it says “I, God ended my work.” [Write “ended my work” in a new list on the board.]

  • Look in the scripture, what did He do next? [“I rested”]
  • From what? [“I rested … from all my work.”]
  • Sometimes when we have worked really hard on something or we’ve completed a big project we think we need a break or a vacation. I can’t really imagine God going on vacation, saying, “I’m out of here. I’ll be back next week.” So what do you think He means by resting from His work? [Listen to all the answers given. If it’s not mentioned, then perhaps suggest that He set aside the activities/tasks He had been doing. Summarize the answers given and add it to the list on the board. Perhaps: “Set aside my usual tasks.”]
  • Look in the scripture, if He stopped doing those tasks, what did He do instead? [“Saw that they were good;”]
  • What could that mean He was doing? [Answers might include reflecting on or evaluation His efforts. Summarize the answers given and add it to the list on the board. Perhaps: Took time to reflect on what He had done.]

Next in the scripture (verse 3) says, “And I, God, blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it;” Sanctified means made it holy. How did it become holy? Look in the scripture for what it tells us. The word “because” is a great clue word that tells us how or why something happened. So the scripture says, I… “sanctified it” or made it holy; “because that in it I had rested from all my work.”

The day became holy because of His actions on that day. [Add to the list on the board: “Made the day holy because of His actions on that day.]

  • What do you see in this pattern [refer to the list just created on the board] that can help us feel renewed and energized [refer to and use some of the words on the board] on the Sabbath day?

[Wait for answers or if the group is small enough ask everyone to share a thought. Ask a follow up question related to the comments given. Perhaps one of these might fit: Why might focusing on spiritual things help us feel energized? What can we do to make Sunday different than other days?]

  • Check in with what the Holy Ghost might be telling you as you take a minute to ponder this question… What could you start or stop doing on Sunday so that you might receive the promised blessing of renewal and energy? [Consider putting this question on the board. Maybe write it on a poster beforehand so you don’t take time right now to write it.]

[After a full minute or two, you could ask group members to share any thoughts. Or simply encourage them to write down and act on any worthy thoughts they had. Then testify and share your assurance that as they seek to make Sunday a special day that it will become a holy day for them… a day that will help them feel strengthened and renewed to face the rest of the week. You could mention that President Nelson has quoted Isaiah who said that it can become a delight, something you look forward to and enjoy.]


Watch this clip from John Bytheway before the rest of the discussion. (Stop it at about 4:55 as he mentions Elder Nelson speaking at BYU.)

He gives an example of how actions speak louder than words and talks about how our actions on the Sabbath is a sign of our feelings for God.

You could mention that Elder Nelson is now President Nelson and that you’re going to share a more recent quote from him, but first you’re going to share a quote from another President of the Church.


“I am intrigued by the words of Isaiah, who called the Sabbath ’a delight’ (Isaiah 58:13). Yet I wonder, is the Sabbath really a delight for you and for me? … In my much younger years, I studied the work of others who had compiled lists of things to do and things not to do on the Sabbath. It wasn’t until later that I learned from the scriptures that my conduct and my attitude on the Sabbath constituted a sign between me and my Heavenly Father (see Exodus 31:13; Ezekiel 20:12, 20). With that understanding, I no longer needed lists of dos and don’ts. When I had to make a decision whether or not an activity was appropriate for the Sabbath, I simply asked myself, “What sign do I want to give to God?” That question made my choices about the Sabbath day crystal clear. … How can you ensure that your behavior on the Sabbath will lead to joy and rejoicing? In addition to your going to church, partaking of the sacrament, and being diligent in your specific call to serve, what other activities would help to make the Sabbath a delight for you? What sign will you give to the Lord to show your love for Him?” (Russell M. Nelson, “The Sabbath Is a Delight,” April 2015 Conference)

In the rest the that talk Russell M. Nelson suggests some activities that might make the Sabbath a delight for us:

  • Strengthening family ties
  • Teaching the gospel to our children
  • Family history work
  • Rendering service to others, especially those who are not feeling well or those who are lonely or in need

He also says, “Routine and recreational activities can be done some other time.”