My family often traveled during the summer when I was young. And our travels often found us away from home on a Sunday. We always did our best to keep the Sabbath day holy, but the way we did it usually depended on the circumstances. Coming from a family of extremely shy children, we would often attend all three hours only if we were visiting with cousins that we could go to class with, but other times we would simply attend sacrament meeting before returning to our campsite or hotel to do more scripture study and prayers as a family. Sometimes our circumstances required us to be driving on a Sunday, but my dad always made sure we took turns reading in the scriptures, or would have us listen to scriptures or a conference talk instead of the radio.
How can you make sure your family is keeping the Sabbath day holy while you’re on the road?
- Attend Church Meetings with a Local Congregation: LDS congregations can probably be found wherever you are going. Hop on LDS.org and find the one nearest to where you will be!
- Attend Sacrament Meeting with a Local Congregation: If time or circumstances make attending all three hours of church too difficult for your family, you can still drop in just for sacrament meeting. Don't forget to check the schedule for the time of Sacrament Meeting!
- Family Scripture Study: If you aren't near a meeting house or are traveling on a Sunday, pull out the digital or hard copies of your Book of Mormon and take turns reading in the car, or while waiting at your airport terminal.
- Missionary Work: Decide on a missionary challenge for your family complete while on your journey, such as giving away a Book or Mormon or sharing a testimony with someone at the airport or in a gas station.
- Special Arrangements: In some special circumstances, arrangements can be made for your family to hold their own sacrament meeting. For example, member Erik Orton and his family left on an extended vacation out at sea. They received special permission from their local church leaders to hold a family sacrament meeting when they were unable to be on shore.
However you and your family decide to observe the Sabbath while on vacation, it is important that we remember not to judge each other for worshipping in different ways. The most important reason for the Sabbath is to take time to focus on the Savior and our covenants, taking a break from worldly cares and concerns – something that we can do no matter where we are.