4th Sunday Lesson Helps ~ Sabbath Day #3

Welcome to our third 4th Sunday lesson on the Sabbath Day!  Hope it has been going well so far.

This is paragraph 3 from the 4th Sunday Lesson page at lds.org

Jesus Christ is our example of honoring the Sabbath.

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.)

The structure of this paragraph is a bit different from the last two Sabbath lessons.  There is also more flexibility for how to set up this lesson.

Possible Lesson Development Plan #1:  Use President Nelson’s conference talk as the base and use either Template #1 or Template #2  (from 2nd & 3rd Sundays).  Blank templates which can be used with any conference talk, are located at the bottom of those two links.  Scroll down to find them.

Note:  Since the 2nd & 3rd Sunday are already conference talk Sundays, I’d be inclined not to focus on another conference talk unless I was strongly drawn to it.

Possible Lesson Development Plan #2:  Use the paragraph as the base and incorporate some of President Nelson’s quotes.  To accomplish the list-making suggested in the lesson paragraph, we’ll use break-out groups.  Although this option is a bit more work…I see great potential in focusing on the paragraph and the lists it suggests.  This blog post will center on plan #2.

The end results of lesson plan #2 feed nicely into the next 1st Sunday Council.  You’ll gift your Relief Society or EQ presidency with some great ideas and leads.  If you can, check with them ahead of time and see if they’re amenable to that.  Some presidencies will love you, some have their whole year already planned out.  So give them a heads up this lesson may have the sisters/brothers suggesting ideas which will carry over to a 1st council Sunday.  In my very humble opinion, smart presidencies will allow their members to contribute to the council as much as possible.

Teacher Prep:

Step 1 – Read each of the scripture passages from the paragraph and see what comes up for you.  Take notes, record impressions and ideas OR at least write a few keywords for each verse.  If one of the verses doesn’t really inspire you at all – THAT’S OK!  There’s a good chance you can skip it as long as you have 3-4 really good ones.  Save your notes and re-write them so you can glance at them in class.

Step 2 – For each verse, choose and match up the questions which fit that verse best. The questions are included right in the short paragraph. Is it just one of the questions or all of them?

For this particular paragraph, the list-making fits the last scripture reference well.  The other verses are more about 1-2 basic (profound) principles, some with a story and some without.  But making a “list” would be a bit hard for most people to do for the first set of references.

Step 3 – Remember, discussion is the goal of Relief Society or Priesthood.  In order to help promote more discussion, convert the questions from the Sabbath paragraph to sister speak if you can.  Or perhaps better said, if you were talking to your good friend, how would you rephrase it in a natural conversation?  You will have the most success if you treat your class discussion like a friend-to-friend conversation rather than a lecture.

******

Overview:  Christ taught concepts about the Sabbath which were radical for his time.  Both Isaiah and the Doctrine & Covenants teach additional important Sabbath truths.  They are delightful discussion topics.

This lesson asks us to make lists from some of the scripture references.  This is a perfect small group activity.  I’m an introvert myself, in that I roll my eyes inwardly whenever they tell us to divide into groups – UNLESS it is well structured and interesting.  So let’s make it structured and interesting, right?

Small group break-outs get the quieter ones talking.  You don’t want to do small-group discussion every time, but this lesson is well suited for it.

Discussion Sheet Handouts

Make up discussion sheets with both the quotes from Russell M Nelson talks, and verses & questions from the paragraph – a different set for each group (about four groups if you can).  Make enough copies so every class member can have their own discussion sheet in hand.

Here are four possible discussion sheets which can be modified to fit your style:

discussion Sheet A

Part I

Together with your group, read Exodus 20:8-11.  Discuss these questions together:

What commandment from the orignal ten commandments do these verses refer to?

How  are we specifically commanded to obey this principle?

Who else besides humanity keeps this commandment?

Why is it important to know even God keeps this commandment?  What lesson(s) can we pull from these verses?

Together with your group, read D&C 59:9-19 and make list of ways to keep the Sabbath Day and the blessings we will receive.

A.

B.

C.

D.

E.

F.

Select a spokesperson from your group to summarize your discussion with the rest of the class. 

Part II

Christ was thought of as a rebel in his time.  Jesus kept the Sabbath day in ways the Pharisees considered unlawful.  What new concepts did the Savior teach about the Sabbath?

Together with your group, read Luke 6:1–11.  Discuss together:

In verses 6-11, what did Jesus do on the Sabbath which the Pharisees considered unlawful?

While we cannot heal the way the Savior could, what are some ways we can emulate the Savior on the Sabbath?

In what ways can we be healers for others (spiritual & emotional)?

Together with your group, make a list of the useful, healing ways we can bless others lives on the Sabbath – to share with the rest of the class.

A.

B.

C.

Select a new spokesperson from your group to summarize your discussion and list with the rest of the class.

*****

discussion Sheet B

Part I

Together with your group, read Exodus 31:12-18.  Discuss these questions together:

What sign do we give the Lord when we keep the Sabbath day holy? (vs. 13)

Why would the Lord ask us for a sign or covenant to show we remember?

Why would the Lord ask us to rest from our daily labors on the Sabbath?

Who else besides humanity keeps this commandment? (vs 17)

Why is it important to know even God keeps this commandment?  What lesson(s) can we pull from these verses?

Together with your group, read D&C 59:9-19 and make list of ways to keep the Sabbath Day and the blessings we will receive.

A.

B.

C.

D.

E.

F.

Select a spokesperson from your group to summarize your discussion with the rest of the class. 

Part II

Christ was thought of as a rebel in his time.  Jesus kept the Sabbath day in ways the Pharisees considered unlawful.  What new concepts did the Savior teach about the Sabbath?

Together with your group, read Luke 13:11-17.  Discuss together:

What did Jesus do on the Sabbath which the leader of the synagogue considered unlawful?

While we cannot heal the way the Savior could, what are some ways we can emulate the Savior on the Sabbath?

In what ways can we be healers for others (spiritual or emotional)?

Together with your group, make a list of the useful, healing ways we can bless others lives on the Sabbath – to share with the rest of the class.

A.

B.

C.

Select a new spokesperson from your group to summarize your discussion and list with the rest of the class.

*****

discussion Sheet C

Part I

Together with your group, read Isaiah 58:13-14.  Discuss these quotes and questions together:

Russell M. Nelson said, “Not pursuing your “own pleasure” on the Sabbath requires self-discipline. You may have to deny yourself of something you might like. If you choose to delight yourself in the Lord, you will not permit yourself to treat it as any other day. Routine and recreational activities can be done some other time.”  (General Conference, April 2015)

What does “not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:” mean to you?  What things might we sacrifice on the Sabbath to make it the Lord’s day instead?

“Turn away thy foot from the Sabbath,” the law of Moses restricted travel on the Sabbath as part of the commandment to rest from our labors.  In what ways can incorporate this principle into our Sundays today?

How can we delight ourselves in the Lord?  How does it feel to delight in the Lord?

Rich blessing are promised to those who steadfastly keep the Sabbath, they will ride the high places of the earth and have the blessings of prosperity (heritage of Jacob).  What blessings have you experienced when you observe the Sabbath day?

Together with your group, read D&C 59:9-19 and make list of ways to keep the Sabbath Day and the blessings we will receive.

A.

B.

C.

D.

E.

F.

Select a spokesperson from your group to summarize your discussion with the rest of the class. 

Part II

Christ was thought of as a rebel in his time.  Jesus kept the Sabbath day in ways the Pharisees considered unlawful.  What new concepts did the Savior teach about the Sabbath?

Together with your group, read John 5:1-20.  Discuss together:

What did Jesus do on the Sabbath which the leaders considered unlawful? (vs. 15-16)

Although we rest from our daily labors, we can do the work of the Savior on the Sabbath which is ministering to people. (vs. 17)

While we cannot heal the way the Savior could, what are some ways we can emulate the Savior on the Sabbath?

In what ways can we be healers for others (spiritual or emotional)?

Together with your group, make a list of the useful, healing ways we can bless others lives on the Sabbath – to share with the rest of the class.

A.

B.

C.

Select a new spokesperson from your group to summarize your discussion and list with the rest of the class.

*****

discussion Sheet D

Part I

Together with your group, read Isaiah 58:13-14.  Discuss these quotes and questions together:

Russell M. Nelson said, “Not pursuing your “own pleasure” on the Sabbath requires self-discipline. You may have to deny yourself of something you might like. If you choose to delight yourself in the Lord, you will not permit yourself to treat it as any other day. Routine and recreational activities can be done some other time.”  (General Conference, April 2015)

What does “not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:” mean to you?  What things might we sacrifice on the Sabbath to make it the Lord’s day instead?

“Turn away thy foot from the Sabbath,” the law of Moses restricted travel on the Sabbath as part of the commandment to rest from our labors.  In what ways can incorporate this principle into our Sundays today?

How can we delight ourselves in the Lord?  How does it feel to delight in the Lord?

Rich blessing are promised to those who steadfastly keep the Sabbath, they will ride the high places of the earth and have the blessings of prosperity (heritage of Jacob).  What blessings have you experienced when you observe the Sabbath day?

Together with your group, read D&C 59:9-19 and make list of ways to keep the Sabbath Day and the blessings we will receive.

A.

B.

C.

D.

E.

F.

Select a spokesperson from your group to summarize your discussion with the rest of the class. 

Part II

Christ was thought of as a rebel in his time.  Jesus kept the Sabbath day in ways the Pharisees considered unlawful.  What new concepts did the Savior teach about the Sabbath?

Together with your group, read John 9:1-16.  Discuss together:

What did Jesus do on the Sabbath which the Pharisees considered unlawful? (vs. 14-16)

While we cannot heal the way the Savior could, what are some ways we can emulate the Savior on the Sabbath?

In what ways can we be healers for others (spiritual or emotional)?

Together with your group, make a list of the useful, healing ways we can bless others lives on the Sabbath – to share with the rest of the class.

A.

B.

C.

Select a new spokesperson from your group to summarize your discussion and list with the rest of the class.

End of discussion Sheets

*****

You’re now ready to create your class plan!

Paragraph #3 Class Plan Overview:

2-3 mins. for Whole Class introduction & forming groups ====>

15-20 mins. for Small group discussion Part #1 ====>

5-10 mins. for group report/summaries.

10-15 mins. for Small group discussion Part #2 ====>
(Note:  Part #1 of the discussion sheet will probably take longer than Part #2)

5-10 mins. for group report/summaries and final comments.

Whole Class Introduction ====> 2-3 minutes

Open with a nice welcome and introduce the idea of the lesson asking us to make lists today about the Sabbath, which we’ll do together in smaller groups.  Do whatever charming thing you can to make it sound like a good idea.

Part 1  Divide the class into four small discussion groups if you have enough people available.  Ideal group sizes are 4-8 members per group.  They do not need to be exactly the same number of people per group.  If you have an extra small and stalwart class, groups of 3 will work.  Do not worry about having four groups if your numbers are smaller.  The class will still work well.  People do hesitate sometimes to move into a group, so be proactive in suggesting natural groups, i.e. extend a friendly invite to a reluctant person to move closer to group which is forming.  Make sure everyone is included in some group.

Teacher Tip:  I draw a simple circle on the board and ask the groups to move their chairs and come as close to “this shape” as possible.  Yes, I do employ a little humor with this.

Part 2 Hand out the discussion sheets (and pencils), make sure everyone in each small circle gets the same discussion sheet, i.e. the first circle all gets Discussion Sheet A, the second circle all get Discussion Sheet B and so on.

Part 3  Instruct them to follow the instructions on the sheet and let them know they have about 15 mins for “Part 1”.

Small Group Discussion ====> 15-20 minutes

Part 1:  While the groups are having their discussion, walk to each group and either sit down close or stand by close and listen to their responses for a couple of minutes each group.  Unless a group is really struggling, it is best just to be an observer.  Pay compliments where natural and appropriate.

Part 2:  Give them a warning bell when they have five minutes left and again at one minute.  Instruct them to select a spokesperson for their group to share the highlights of their discussion.

Group Reports =====>  5-10 minutes

People can stay in their group circles for this part.  It’s less distracting than moving chairs.

Part 1:  Ask each group’s spokesperson to share a 1-2 minute summary of their group’s discussion highlights. Make sure to validate and follow-up on a comment or two.

Part 1.5:  If you have a smaller class size or plenty of time (a good 30 minutes til the end of class), you can also ask each group if there is anyone else from that same group with additional comments after their spokesperson is done.  It’s likely you’ll get a comment from other parts of the room without having to ask…this works too.  Try to work in as many spontaneous comments as you can.  Repeat until all groups have been heard.

Small Group Discussion (Part #2) ====> 10-15 minutes

Part 1:  Point them to part #2 on their discussion sheet.  Just like the first time, visit each group and either sit down close or stand by close and listen to their responses for a couple of minutes each group.

Part 2:  Give them a warning bell when they have five minutes left and again at one minute.  Instruct them to select a spokesperson for their group to share the highlights of their discussion.

Group Reports & Closing Comments =====>  5-10 minutes

People can stay in their group circles for the final part.  Again, it’s less distracting.

Part 1:  Ask each group’s spokesperson to share a 1-2 minute summary of their group’s discussion highlights. Make sure to validate and follow-up on a comment or two.

Part 2:  When all groups are finished, sum up their comments with something like, “We have [four] different stories where Jesus healed on the Sabbath and was rebuked for doing so.  What was Christ’s response?  (He taught the service of healing was absolutely a Sabbath day activity.)  Invite the sisters to bring ideas to the next 1st Sunday council of ways we can act as healers for each other on the Sabbath.  (This is my favorite part of the whole lesson…putting it into action as a sisterhood or brotherhood.)

Part 3:  Thank your class for their wonderful participation and how grateful you are for all the wisdom and insight which has been shared today.  (Some variation of that and in your own words of course.)

Part 3:  End with your best insight, short summary and testimony.

Good luck with this wonderful discussion!

Possible Hymns:  As Sisters In Zion  #309  (So perfect!)

Ye Elders of Israel #319  (3rd verse)

Lord, I Would Follow Thee #220  (3rd verse)

Have I Done Any Good?  #223

A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief #29   (First four verses are a great match)

 

Want to be an even better, more confident teacher?  9 Tips For Memorable Teaching

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Classic Mormon Mom

Blessed with one husband, six children, two grandchildren and a son-in-law. My husband and I live in awesome, vibrant Salt Lake City, Utah about eight minutes west of Temple Square. And my initials are SLC ~ the same as the city we live in.

One thought on “4th Sunday Lesson Helps ~ Sabbath Day #3”

  1. Our Relief Society is skipping around on the 4th Sunday lessons and next Sunday I am to teach the 4th paragraph “The Sabbath is a day to worship” and I am unable to find it in your site. Is that one available?

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