While in church, your phone buzzes. You pull it out and see a new message. Quickly you type a reply. It’s almost like a reflex, after it is sent, you remember where you are: Church.
On Sunday, we are supposed to spend time as a family, and ponder what our church leaders and teacher’s have taught. This was in God’s plan when he made the earth and all that was in it. Sunday is a day of rest. You may think, well, being on my phone is resting, because I am not out with my friends. You may think that you sacrificed something, but truly, you are still not doing what the Lord had said. On the other six days of the week, we can learn at school, socialize with our friends, and have fun. It shouldn’t be a challenge to put your phone down, on one day of the week, and listen to lessons. In my family, we spend our Sunday as a family. We will sometimes go hiking, and spend valuable time that we are not able to do during the week. Sometimes, when something comes up, and we are not able to go to church…My dad will select someone to prepare a lesson then he/she will teach to the entire family. This way, we are still learning and keeping the sabbath day holy.
I remember a couple years ago, while at church, my brother came home saying that someone had been on their iPad, playing games instead of listening to the lesson. My mom was appalled, the next Sunday, my brother argued about why he could not take his own device to church. This taught me a valuable lesson, even though I did not realize it. You see, by doing something, you can cause an example, good or bad. In this case, it was bad. It caused my brother, to follow the boy’s example, and play or do something else, instead of listening. Church is only three hours of your time, and you should not consider it with dread, but instead, have uplifting thoughts, thinking about doing the right example. Being the second eldest in my family, I know what it is like to be an example, sometimes it is hard, but thinking of my younger siblings watching me, it makes me want to do better. No matter how early, I always try to rise for church with a smile, even though I’m really not a morning person. I get dressed and help my other siblings as well. We all try in our own way to help us get out the door. With such a large family of eight people, including a baby and a four-year-old, we don’t always make it on time, no matter what our goal is. Yet, we always come, and we always try to make it on time.
I think that the most important part is trying, because that is what counts. My brother recently became a priest, which means he gets to say a prayer over the sacrament. His first prayer he said was Easter Sunday, he messed up once, but then finished very well. This shows that the concept of trying is important no matter what.
Anyway, I got the New Era a few months ago in January, and it listed a few things for this topic. It said…
“You don’t have to be completely disconnected to make your Sabbath day a delight. Check out these tips.
- Put your phone on airplane mode during Church meetings. Then you can use your digital scriptures and Come, Follow me outlines without any incoming distractions. Don’t worry, all your messages will be waiting after church. Three hours isn’t that long if you think about it.
- Set a goal to share on a thing you learned from church in a personal text or on social media. It can be a thought you had or a quote or scripture you liked from the lesson.
- Mark and take notes on digital scriptures in the Gospel Library app which also lets you put scriptures and quotes in personalized categories by creating tags.
- Connect with family or friends who are far away. Take some time to video chat with someone you love.
- Do family history using FamilySearch.org Whether it is indexing or adding stories about relatives, or finding your ancestors, technology makes it so easy. There is even a FamlySearch tree and FamilySearch Memories app to make it easy on mobile devices.
- Set goals for the upcoming week and set reminders on your device. It is a great time to set reminders to act on the promptings from the Spirt you received from church.
- Start texting in a group where everyone can share scriptures, quotes, or other uplifting messages.
- Listen to awesome and uplifting music on the LDS youth music player, or on the Lds Youth app.
- You can also download sheet music from the LDS Youth music player. Print it out and learn a new song!
- Chances are, you are way more tech savvy than someone else in your family. Teach Dad something about FamilySearch, or teach Grandma how to text.
- Did a friend miss church? Shoot him or her a text reminder about upcoming activity
- Check out all of the Church’s mobile apps. Sure, there is the Gospel Library, LDS music, and LDS tools, but did you know about the LDS Youth and Bible Videos apps? You can also find an app for a scripture a day or Mormon Messages.
- Work on your Personal Progress, or Duty to God online.
- Create a profile on Mormon.org. This is for fourteen and older, and you have to have a parents permission.
- Download and listen to talks from General Conference
- Write about your life! If journaling isn’t your thing set a timer for ten minutes and just write what comes to mind.
- Read the lessons for the next week. You can find the manuals in the Gospel Library or LDS.org. Write down your thoughts and questions.
- Visit vulonteer.lds.org for simple ways you can serve online. For an example, you can tag images with keywords that you would use to search for them. You can always share your photos for possible Church use.
- Use a recorder or a smartphone to record a family member’s phone for record keeping. Think about how cool it will be to listen to it years from now.
- Write and send five personal, uplifting messages to people.”
So there are twenty good things you can do. Some that they did not include, which I thought are…
- Plan for the week ahead. Make sure to make time for scripture study and family time. Make sure that you are ready for whatever is coming your way.
- Contact a sick member, and make sure that they feel missed. ( It can be Youth, or simply an adult.)
- Spend time looking over the magazine of the month. ( My family gets the Church magazine called the New Era, it is full of inspiring posts for Youth, just like this post is based on.)
- Try to do some simple acts of kindness for your siblings, or parents. Some examples are as follows: Cooking Dinner, cleaning a room, making a bed, and giving a helping hand.
- Make sure that you pray, to ask for guidance for the week ahead, that you might avoid wordly temptations, and be a good example.
Those are five reasons I came up with, and I am sure if you can find some of your own. Also, don’t be afraid to just turn off your phone/device and divert your sole attention on the lesson.
Since I have a kindle fire, I never bring it church, because it only runs on wifi, and our wifi is a bit spotty. I think if I had a choice, I wouldn’t bring it…
I hope you enjoyed this. Lots to think about before the Sabbath Day!