This Sunday, our RS covered the 16th lesson in the George Albert Smith manual, Offer Up Thy Sacraments upon My Holy Day.”  The teacher started by asking us what types of things our households do or don’t do on the Sabbath.

Most of the comments went like this: “We make sure that if our kids want to watch a movie, it’s a family movie…” Or, “As long as it’s family-oriented, we let our kids…” I started to get a little uncomfortable with the conversation, though. When did an activity being family-oriented become a measuring stick for keeping the Sabbath day holy?

My younger sister left the church about a decade back and has become a “born again Christian.” In her transition to mainstream Christianity, keeping the Sabbath holy seemed to become a less-important issue. Now, as long as the activity she’s engaging in includes her family, it’s considered Sunday worthy. Water skiing? Yep, as long as the whole family is there. Shopping? Sure, if she takes the kids along. Going to the movies? Absolutely, as long as it’s a family-friendly film.

I have heard many church members beg off certain invitations from others or decline to participate in activities using the excuse of “Sunday is a family day for us” rather than explaining the importance of keeping the Sabbath day holy. Perhaps, though, these folks really do believe that as long as the family is the primary focus, the activity is justified, and a soccer game just doesn’t qualify.

I don’t disagree that focusing on our families is worthwhile on Sundays. But it seems that focusing on our families shouldn’t be enough to qualify an activity as Sunday worthy.

What’s the measuring stick for appropriate Sunday activities in your homes?