In the Book of Mormon, the prophet Alma teaches his son Helaman that “by small and simple things are great things brought to pass” (Alma 37:6). This truth can also be used as a guide to the personal changes we decide to make in 2019. The month of January can be a time for self-reflection and an opportunity to consider starting—or stopping—some of the small and simple things in our daily routines. Before beginning the year by jumping into a large and complex fitness-centered goal, it may be of long-term value to pause and attempt some smaller and simpler changes. These two easy suggestions can help you begin the process of building a more attentive, stronger, and healthier you.
Since the Sabbath includes resting from some typical daily tasks, the professional baker might welcome time for editing photos; the photographer might welcome time for baking cupcakes. What is delightfully restful for each member of your family? How can you all get the most out of the Sabbath—especially now with our new 2-hour church block?
Learn to prepare for the Sabbath and look forward to it.
- The mind has trouble slipping into subconsciousness if you’re unprepared for the morning. Likewise, you can’t expect your mind to relax on Sunday if an unfinished project is due Monday. Support each other in finishing those projects early.
- Practice repentance and forgiveness, and express gratitude for the opportunity to renew covenants by partaking of the Sacrament.
In this age of virtual living through illuminated display panels, re-enter the physical world for a while on the Sabbath.
- Have longer face-to-face conversations with each other.
- Snuggle as you read a picture book.
- Do a jigsaw puzzle or build with blocks.
- Create handmade art.
- Sing around the piano.
- Get with people in your ward, stake or neighborhood in person. Minister. Chat. Smile together. Share hugs. Visit as families or offer to watch children as your spouse steps away to see a friend.
Though we rest our bodies from physical exertion, nature provides serene Sunday pleasures. Appreciate what the Lord created before resting on the seventh day.
Job 12:7, 9 and 10 counsels us to “… ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee… Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the Lord hath wrought this? In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.”
- During mild months, absorb a little sunlight. Breathe.
- Sit and listen to birds singing, or pet your dog or cat.
- Observe a soft wind rustling the leaves. Have a notebook with you. Significant inspiration often accompanies relaxation.
- Ponder your blessings and successes of the past week. Plan for the new one. Be thankful for that time to act, to learn—to exert muscle and mind with renewed vigor.
- Have a meal on your porch.
- In the evening, notice the moon and stars.
Reach higher into the spiritual realm.
- Have each family member take a moment (10 minutes, an hour, 30 seconds) to personally delve into the scriptures—at least until the Holy Spirit teaches you one thing.
- If you already hold daily family scripture study, perhaps spend more time with it.
- Use the brand-new Church manual Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families, provided to each household. The second page of the introduction states, “The schedule will help you keep up with the material covered in Sunday classes, but don’t feel bound by it.… The important thing is that you are learning the gospel individually and as a family.”
- Watch Music and the Spoken Word on the BYU Channel.
- Read from For the Strength of Youth.
- Choose many of the best books to read. Enjoy.