"Jesus Christ Is Our Example of Honoring the Sabbath" LDS Teaching Helps

This Sabbath Day lesson, "Jesus Christ Is Our Example of Honoring the Sabbath," is an excellent one to really dive into the scriptures. Since this lesson focuses on Christ's example for us, we need to read about His example. Use the suggested stories from the church and really discuss them! 


The Church suggests the following for this lesson

"During His mortal ministry, the Savior took opportunities to teach about the Sabbath day. Ask members to read the following accounts and make a list of things that Jesus did on the Sabbath and the principles that He taught: Luke 6:1–11; 13:11–17; John 5:1–20; 9:1–16. What other principles about the Sabbath do we learn from the following verses? Exodus 20:8–11; 31:12–18; Isaiah 58:13–14; and D&C 59:9–19. Invite members to share what they can do to follow the Savior’s example.
See also Russell M. Nelson, “The Sabbath Is a Delight,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2015, 129–32."

Teacher Study

"The Sabbath Is a Delight" by President Russell M. Nelson

"Can I Honor God While Working on the Sabbath" by Samuel B. Hislop (LDS.org blog)

"The Power of Keeping the Sabbath Holy" by Elder John H. Groberg

"Gratitude on the Sabbath Day" by President Henry B. Eyring

"I Have Given You an Example" by Elder Richard G. Scott

Suggested Videos

The Sabbath Is a Delight (about 3 minutes)

Highlight: The Sabbath Is A Delight (about 1 minute)- Highlight from President Nelson's talk.

Upon My Holy Day- Honoring the Sabbath (about 1 1/2 minutes)- Great visual for thinking about honoring the Sabbath by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland.

Make the Sabbath a Delight by Finding Your Ancestors (about 3 minutes)- Clip from President Nelson's talk (there are several other videos on the Sabbath there as well).

Jesus Heals a Lame Man on the Sabbath(about 2 1/2 minutes)- Bible video

Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind (about 8 minutes)- Bible video

Jesus Heals a Man on the Sabbath (about 3 minutes)- Children telling the Bible video

Keeping the Sabbath (about 1 minute)- Clip from President Gordon B. Hinckley

Questions to Ponder

The quoted questions come from President Nelson's talk, "The Sabbath Is a Delight." 

  • Why should we avoid judging what others choose to do on the Sabbath?
  • "What did the Savior mean when He said that 'the sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath'?"
  • How did the Savior honor the Sabbath?
  • Why do you honor the Sabbath? How do you do it?
  • What is the difference between following a list of dos and don'ts for Sabbath observance and honoring the principles of observing the Sabbath? What does it allow us to do?
  • What is the purpose of the Sabbath?
  • "How do we hallow the Sabbath day?"
  • What sign do you want to give to God on the Sabbath?
  • "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 example are you setting in your family of honoring the Sabbath? 
  • "Is the Sabbath really a delight for you and for me?"
  • In what ways is your reverence towards God directly related to your Sabbath observance?
  • How does honoring the Sabbath all day allow you to experience its spiritual blessings through the rest of the week?
  • What does the Lord require of our Sabbath day observance?
  • Is the Sabbath a delight to you? Why or why not?
  • What things can you do to make sure your behavior on the Sabbath leads to joy?
  • What things are you willing to give up for a more joyful Sunday?
  • In what ways does faith in the Sabbath engender a love for God?
  • What goals do you have for the Sabbath day?
  • In what ways does dishonoring the Sabbath lead to unhappiness, loss of the Spirit, and apostasy?
  • What spiritual and temporal blessings do we enjoy when we honor the Sabbath?

Teaching Ideas

  • This is a great one to discuss why we don't need a list of dos and don'ts for the Sabbath. It's not about what we do but more of our attitude while doing it. You could start out your lesson making a list on the board then discuss why that list isn't necessarily the best way to honor the Sabbath. In essence this is what the Pharisees and Sadducees did. Jesus did something they thought should be on the don't list. 
  • Break into groups to discuss each of the stories listed in the Church's suggestion for this lesson: Luke 6:1–1113:11–17John 5:1–209:1–16. What is the Lord trying to teach us through His example of the Sabbath? What is our take away? Then give each group a scripture from the second recommended verses (Exodus 20:8–1131:12–18Isaiah 58:13–14; and D&C 59:9–19) and ask them how they relate and build upon each other. I made four strips with readings and questions for you to use.
  • During the week before you teach, share one of the short Sabbath Day video clips on your ward's Facebook page or through email with a couple of questions to get them thinking beforehand.
  • Make a chart on the board with the first column being ways Jesus showed us how to honor the Sabbath, the next column would be how we can honor the Sabbath because he showed us the way.
  • Focus for a little bit on the word "honor." What does it mean? How do we do that? Why did Christ honor the Sabbath? etc.
  • Pose the question on the board that President Nelson asked all of us- "How is the Sabbath a delight to you?" You can have people write on the board their response before class (use sticky notes), or leave it for pondering then discuss it. Is it a delight? Why or why not? How can we help make the Sabbath a delightful day in our homes?