With summer trips coming, it's important we prepare for the Sabbath while on vacation. Just because we rest from our worldly cares does not mean we should forget about Sunday! It is very easy to keep the Sabbath Day holy while on vacation:
- If possible, try not to travel on Sunday so you can attend church and not have to buy food or gas.
- Find a church building and meeting times on lds.org. If you must travel on Sunday, try to arrange your travel plans so that you can still attend an early sacrament meeting if possible.
- If you cannot attend church because you have to travel or there are no meetinghouses nearby, hold your own devotional services at your hotel. Sing songs, pray, and read the scriptures or General Conference talks. Then spend time together playing games or watching LDS movies.
- Listen to the scriptures, LDS music, or General Conference talks in the car or on the plane.
- If you are visiting family, go to church with them--even if they are of a different faith.
In the December 2011 issue of the Ensign, Elder Aidukaitis shared his testimony of observing the Sabbath on vacation and the blessings it brought to his family:
"For many years my wife and children and I have had the tradition of spending summer vacation on a small beach near our home in southern Brazil. . . . Likewise, extended family members and friends would travel long distances so we could all be together once a year. . . .
"At that small beach our family had many wonderful opportunities for spiritual growth and gospel teaching. Most of our extended family members were not members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and did not share our religious beliefs. To them the Lord’s day was just another day to play and have fun. Because more of the family would be at the beach on weekends than during the other days of the week, our presence and participation in Sunday activities was not only expected but also insistently requested—including by our children.
"Our children were small and only just learning to apply the truths of the gospel. To them the temptation of participating in activities with their cousins and friends on Sundays was great. Spending time with family is an important part of the gospel, and breaking the Sabbath would have been easy to rationalize. After all, the closest unit of the Church at that time was more than 60 miles (96 km) away from the beach. Our friends and neighbors in our home congregation were far away, and none of them would ever know if we stayed at the beach instead of driving to the chapel and attending our meetings on Sunday. We went to church the entire year, and our extended family could be together only a few weeks a year.
"Nevertheless, we never missed going to church on Sundays—not even once! . . .
"We chose to keep this commandment, and we taught our children that they should keep it as well. Soon they understood that it was more important to worship God on His holy day than to please family and friends or to satisfy their own desires.
"On Sundays at the beach, we would wake up early, dress up for Sunday worship, and travel by car to the nearest chapel. During our trip and throughout the entire day, we would enjoy the peace and joy the Lord has promised to those who keep His commandments. We came to learn that this feeling of peace and joy does not come from the world.
"After several years of this routine, something wonderful happened. Our children stopped questioning the importance of worshipping God on His holy day, and several of our children’s cousins began to ask if they could go to Church with us! Little did we know that the feeling of peace and joy we felt was also being felt by our nieces and nephews upon our return from our meetings. Eventually a great blessing resulted. After some of those children became adolescents, two of them from one family told their parents, “We want to become Latter-day Saints.” Soon the entire family was baptized. Recently, one of the children, now a returned missionary, was married in the temple.
We still go to that beach every year, but everyone knows that on Sunday our family will not be there to play. Instead, we will go to church and worship God with family members who join us—a group that is becoming larger and larger every year!
"When we look back on those years and think about the choice we made, we thank God for helping us have the courage to do what was right and to teach our children to do the same. We don’t have the slightest doubt that that decision strengthened our children as well as our extended family. It gave us the Lord’s promised peace, played an important role in the conversion of family members, and blessed us with a satisfaction not found in alternative Sunday activities that do not fill the soul."
Challenge: Keep the Sabbath Day holy even on vacation.