As a registered pharmacist, I must work on Sundays. This has been hard, but a few tips have helped me:
- Pray for guidance. Once I had explored all possible alternatives to working on Sunday, I counseled with the Lord. I needed to stop fighting within myself about working Sunday and radiate His love to those with whom I work. It isn't right to deprive my co-workers of the opportunity to go to church by trying to get every Sunday off.- Search for spiritual experiences. I try to take advantage of every opportunity to feel the Lord's Spirit when missing Sunday meetings. Many times I can go to a fireside after work. My husband shares lessons and talks from meetings I have missed. We also attend the temple regularly.
- Reach out to those who work on Sundays. It has been a blessing to serve in Church callings with kind and understanding sisters who are willing to help when I must miss a meeting. It helps when ward members notice my absence and tell me they have missed me. - Julie Weiher Strahl, West Lafayette, Ind.
How we did it:
Dressed for Sabbath
When I was working every other Sunday as a registered nurse, I put the following ideas into action to observe the Lord's day:
- Informed co-workers I would swap Sunday work schedules.
- Dressed for the Sabbath.
- Sought a spiritual experience by attending a fireside, having family night or planning a cottage meeting for Sunday night. - Marianne Mock Pieper, Beaver Dam, Ky.
Doesn't make purchases
Something that helps me to maintain my spirituality on Sunday when I have to work is to remember not to make purchases. Working in a hospital every other weekend, I pack my lunch or supper. I also try to work second or third shift, so I can attend Church before work. - Linda M. Anderson, Lexington, Minn.
During 28 years in the retail business, working one or two Sundays a month, I tried to do the following:
- Arose early, turned on the Tabernacle Choir, reviewed lessons and read scriptures.
- Ran cash register tapes for six months to prove to the division manager that little business was done between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. Sunday store hours were changed to 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. I then could attend priesthood meeting.
- Reviewed what had been taught or said at Church with my wife.
- Visited family members, attended firesides, read scriptures and studied priesthood lessons on Sunday evenings. - Lawrence E. Bean, Seattle, Wash.
Appreciate Sunday more
I work in a shopping mall and the best way for me to remember it is the Sabbath is to not purchase anything - including lunch, and not to browse and window shop. I also dress in my Sunday best for work and on my break, write my missionary brother a letter or read the scriptures. Because I have had to work on the Sabbath I appreciate more the time I have after work and the Sundays I have off. - C. Caren Cherry, Fort Worth, Texas
Made Sundays special
For several years I worked at a state school-hospital home for developmentally disabled people and had to work on Sundays. I assumed the attitude that I earned my wages working four days a week. On the Sabbath I served those less fortunate. The other employees in my area and I did all we could to make that day special. We told stories about Jesus, and I sang Primary songs that those in the home learned to recognize and love. Those Sundays were among my most spiritual days. - Mary McCain, Spokane, Wash.
Read, study and serve
During 15 years with the fire department, I have worked a regular rotation of Sunday shifts. I spend spare time reading the scriptures, Church publications and doing other Church-related work during the day. I also serve in Church callings on my off days. As a captain on the rescue engine, I have been able to assist in administering to members. - William W. Jepson, North Las Vegas, Nev.
Concentrates on family
My husband has worked on Sundays about half our married life because he's in the Navy. Our spirituality grows when we read scriptures, discuss and study a gospel principle, hold family home evenings, and play games with our small children after he comes home from work. - Renee Sullivan, Oxnard, Calif.
Enjoyed the Sabbath spirit
When I was a boy, I arose with my father and brother every Sunday at 4 a.m. to milk the cows. After we were done, we hurried home to clean up before rushing off to priesthood meeting. At 4 p.m., we repeated the routine. It was work that had to be done.
What we did in-between was important. We looked forward to going to Church, attending our meetings, and discussing the gospel around the dinner table at home. I believe we were able to experience the spirit of the Sabbath because my father focused on the Sabbath and our meetings and not on the work we had to do. My father never allowed our being on the farm milking cows on Sunday to be an excuse for doing non-essential labors on that day. - Rex G. Jensen, Orem, Utah
Carries small scriptures
Being an infantry man in the U.S. Army, I have had to work many Sundays. It helps me spiritually to hum or even sing to myself my favorite Church hymns. I also listen to Church music, conference talks or special programs on audio cassettes on my radio/cassette player. The Church also supplies a set of small scriptures for servicemen that are small enough to carry anywhere and read when an opportunity arises. - Benjamin Morrow, Baumholder, West Germany
Keep up with lessons
I've found keeping up with the Sunday School lesson helps me to feel a little closer to the class and teacher. But the thing I find most helpful is fasting on the Sundays I must work. This helps to keep me humble and a little more in tune to the gospel of Christ. - Sally J. Skinner, Butte, Mont.
Attended other wards
I worked Sundays for 12 years at a cafeteria. To feel the spirit on Sunday, I would mentally sing gospel hymns to myself, pray and recall past Church experiences before going to work. I took my Sunday clothes with me and drove to our stake center where three wards met. I changed clothes in the restroom and attended the last ward's Sunday School and Relief Society meetings. I was blessed to attend meetings and meet new people each year. - Julia K. Tarczali, Tuscon, Ariz.
How to checklist:
1 Keep up with lessons, study scriptures, sing hymns.
2 Keep the spirit of the Sabbath while you're working; don't make purchases.
3 Look for opportunities to serve others at your work.
4 Attend meetings, firesides when possible; hold family home evenings.
WRITE TO US:
Feb. 13 "How to avoid placing too much importance on appearance."
Feb. 20 "How to help someone who has been disfellowshipped or excommunicated."
Feb. 27 "How to have an enjoyable dating relationship when there are few or no Church members to date."
March 5 "How to identify a spiritual prompting."
March 12 "How to draw closer as a family through family home evening."
March 19 "How to develop self-reliance and independence."
March 26 "How to improve the quality of your life."
April 2 "How to store improtant records."
April 16 "How to make time for exercise."
April 23 "How to grow old with a pleasant, positive disposition."
Have you had good experiences or practical success in any of the above subjects? Share them with our readers in about 100-150 words. Write the "How-to" editor, Church News, P.O. Box 1257, Salt Lake City, Utah 84110. Contributions may be edited or excerpted and will not be returned. Material must be received at least 12 days before publication date.