I like to use this section to teach the idea that the Lord wants to give us all that He has. He wants us to enjoy this earth and our time here. Verse 18 teaches that “all things which come of the earth… are made for the benefit and use of man…” The Lord delights in giving us gifts.
One of the gifts He offers us is peace. In verse 23 He promises us that we can have peace as part of the blessings of keeping the Sabbath Day holy. I like the idea that the Sabbath means more to me when I can tie how I observe that day to how I feel about the Savior. By seeing our relationship in our Sabbath observance to the Atonement, we can personalize this command and make it something that we cherish.
In the video that is used for this section, Elder Holland challenges the youth of the church to “defend” their honoring of the Sabbath. Ask the youth about a time when they had to defend something. Why did they do this? I believe we defend something that we love. By illustrating the relationship between the Sabbath and our love for the Savior, the youth can awaken to a deepened commitment to honoring the Sabbath Day.
I used the following story to help illustrate this idea in the minds of the youth:
The Mystery Flu
The day is over, you are driving home. You tune in your radio. You hear a
something on the your favorite station about a village in India where some villagers have died suddenly, strangely, of a flu that has never been seen before.. it’s not influenza, but three or four people are dead, and it’s kind of interesting, and they’re sending some doctors over there to investigate it.
You don’t think much about it, but on Sunday, coming home from church, you hear another radio spot. Only they say it’s not three villagers anymore, but 30,000 villagers in the back hills of this particular area of India, and it’s on TV that night. CNN runs a little blurb; people are heading there from the Center of Disease Control because this disease strain has never been seen before.
By Monday morning when you get up, it’s the lead story. Now it’s not just India; it’s Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, and before you know it, you’re hearing this story everywhere and they are now calling it “the mystery flu”. The President has made some comment that he and everyone is praying and hoping that all will go well over there. But everyone is wondering, how are will it be contained?
That’s when the President of France makes an announcement that shocks Europe. He is closing their borders. No flights from India, Pakistan, or any of the countries where this disease has been seen. And that’s why that night you are watching a little bit of CNN before going to bed. Your jaw hits your chest when a weeping woman is translated from a French news program into English: There’s a man lying in a hospital in Paris dying of the mystery flu. It has come to Europe. Panic strikes.
As best they can tell, once you get it, you have it for a week before you know it. Then you have four days of unbelievable symptoms. And then you die.
Britain closes their borders, but it’s too late. Southampton and Liverpool have been hit. It’s Tuesday morning when the President of the United States makes the following announcement: “Due to a national security risk, all flights to and from Europe and Asia have been canceled. If your loved ones are overseas, I’m sorry. They cannot come back until we find a cure for this horrible sickness.”
Within four days the nation has been plunged into an unbelievable fear. People are selling little masks for your face. People are asking “What if it comes to this country?” Preachers on Tuesday are saying, “It’s the scourge of God.” It’s Wednesday night and you are at a church prayer meeting when somebody runs in from the parking lot and says, “Turn on a radio, turn on a radio.” And while the church listens to a little radio with a microphone stuck up to it, the announcement is made that two women are lying in a Long Island hospital dying from the mystery flu.
Within hours it seems, this thing just sweeps across the country. People are working around the clock trying to find an antidote. Nothing is working. California. Oregon. Arizona. Florida. Massachusetts. It’s as though it’s just sweeping in from the borders. And then, all of a sudden the news comes out. The code has been broken. A cure can be found. A vaccine can be made. It’s going to take the blood of someone who hasn’t been infected, and so, sure enough, all through the Midwest, through all those channels of emergency broadcasting, everyone is asked to do one simple thing: Go to your downtown hospital and have your blood type taken. That’s all we ask of you. When you hear the sirens in your neighborhood, please make your way quickly, quietly, and safely to the hospitals.
Sure enough, when you and your family gets down there late on that Friday night, there is a long line, and they’ve got nurses and doctors coming out and pricking fingers and taking blood and putting labels on it. Your wife and your kids are out there, and they take your blood type and they say, “Wait here in the parking lot and if we don’t call your
name, you can be dismissed and go home.” You stand around, scared, with your neighbors, wondering what in the world is going on and if this is the end of the world.
Suddenly a young man comes running out of the hospital screaming. He’s yelling a name and waving a clipboard. What? He yells it again! And your son tugs on your jacket and says, “Daddy, that’s me.” Before you know it, they have grabbed your boy. Wait a minute. Hold on! And they say, “It’s okay, his blood is clean. His blood is pure. We want to make sure he doesn’t have the disease. We think he has got the right type.” Five tense minutes later, out come the doctors and nurses, crying and hugging one another – some are even laughing. It’s the first time you have seen anybody laugh in a week, and an old doctor walks up to you and says,” Thank you, sir. Your son’s blood type is perfect. It’s clean, it is pure, and we can make the vaccine.”
As the word begins to spread all across that parking lot full of folks, people are screaming and praying and laughing and crying. But then the gray-haired doctor pulls you and your wife aside and says, “May we see you for a moment? We didn’t realize that the donor would be a minor and we need… we need you to sign a consent form.”
You begin to sign and then you see that the number of pints of blood to be taken is empty. “H-h-h-how many pints?”
And that is when the old doctor’s smile fades and he says, “We had no idea it would be a little child.
We weren’t prepared. We need it all!”
“But-but … You don’t understand.”
“We are talking about the world here. Please sign. We-we need it all!”
“But can’t you give him a transfusion?”
“If we had clean blood we would. Can you sign? Would you sign?”
In numb silence, you do. Then they say, “Would you like to have a moment
with him before we begin?”
Can you walk back? Can you walk back to that room where he sits on a table saying, “Daddy? Mommy? What’s going on?” Can you take his hands and say, “Son, your mommy and I love you, and we would never ever let anything, happen to you that didn’t just have to be. Do you understand that?”
And when that old doctor comes back in and says, “I’m sorry, we’ve got to get started. People all over the world are dying.” Can you leave?
Can you walk out while he is saying, “Dad? Mom? Dad? Why – why are you leaving me?”
And then next week, when they have the ceremony to honor your son, and some folks sleep through it, and some folks don’t even come because they go to the lake, and some folks come but don’t really want to, they just come out of social obligation, only pretending to care.
Would you want to jump up and say, “My son died! Don’t you care!? He gave his life so that you might live! Don’t you get it?”