Preparation: Obtain a flannel board and cutout pictures of a pioneer boy, a pioneer mother, a pioneer man, a campfire, and a wagon from Primary Visual Aids Cutouts, Set 7—Pioneers and the Restoration; a man from Primary Visual Aids Cutouts, Set 2—People; some pine trees from Primary Visual Aids Cutouts, Set 3—Nature; and a horse from Primary Visual Aids Cutouts, Set 4—Domestic Animals. Put tape or flannel on the back of each picture. Print out a copy of the picture of a cord of wood. (Note: as an option, you could print pictures from the Internet that help illustrate the story.)
Presentation: Using the picture cutouts and the flannel board, tell the following true story (put pictures on and off the flannel board as the story dictates).
When Orrin Snow was growing up in Pine Valley, Utah in the 1870s his mother always taught him to keep the Sabbath day holy. They would get their clothes ready, shine their shoes, and do most of the cooking for their Sunday meals on Saturday. She had taught him and his brothers and sisters that Sunday was a sacred day. This teaching made a strong impression on Orrin and he always chose not to play baseball or go swimming on the Sabbath even when the other boys his age did so.
Orrin’s father died when he was ten-years-old, so his mother supported him while he served a mission for the church. After he returned home from his mission, Orrin knew he needed to get a job to help his mother pay some debts and so he could begin a home of his own. Jobs were very hard to find at the time.
Across the state line in Delamar, Nevada there was a new mining camp that was opening up. Some of his friends went there to get work hauling wood for the smelter that was used at the mine.
Orrin went to the camp with his wagon and team of horses. He and some other men received a contract from the mine to deliver five hundred cords of wood. (A cord of wood is a stack 4ft. by 4ft. by 8ft.) They worked hard all week chopping and hauling the wood, but when Sunday morning came, Orrin watered and fed his horses and turned them loose on the hillside to graze.
When the foreman saw what he had done he asked Orrin why he wasn’t working. Orrin told him, “It is Sunday.” The foreman asked him, “Aren’t you going to haul wood?” Orrin told him no. The foreman explained that the rest of the men were going to work every day. Orrin said, “That’s all right, but I’m not.”
The foreman became very angry and told him that he was now in a mining camp, not in a Mormon town. Orrin explained that he had spent his mission teaching people the gospel and it didn’t matter if he were at home, in a mining camp, or any other place, he was going to do what was right.
Finally the foreman told him he wouldn’t be allowed to pile his wood with the others any longer if he refused to work on Sunday. Orrin agreed and the next day he moved his camp about a quarter of a mile away.
They all worked for about four months to complete their contract. Orrin chopped and hauled wood every day except Sunday. He made twelve trips every week and only missed two loads during the entire summer; once on the day he moved his camp and once to reset his wagon tires. The other men were only able to make ten trips each week and they had many more missed trips because of accidents and other problems.
Orrin rested each Sunday, spending his time reading good books. His team was fatter and had more energy than the other horses. At the end of the summer, when they were paid for the wood they had delivered, Orrin made about a hundred dollars more than the other men. He did more work in six days each week than they did in seven.
Orrin knew that God had blessed him for keeping the Sabbath day holy.
(“The Lord’s Day,” by Shauna Gibby. A true story about Orrin H. Snow.)
Bear your testimony of the Sabbath Day. Help the children understand that the Lord has given us this day to rest and learn about Him. Explain that this is a wonderful blessing that will help them be healthier and feel closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus.
Ask the children to think of good things to do on Sunday. Have them share their ideas.
Sing songs such as, “Saturday,” Children’s Songbook 196; “Pioneer Children Sang As They Walked,” CS 214; “The Chapel Doors,” CS 156; and “When I Go to Church,” CS 157.