By: Giula Garcia, MCH Contributor
Quezon City, Philippines

Without doubt, Pokemon Go has become one of the most popular games in the Philippines. Ever since it was launched on August 5, 2016, a huge number of Pinoy Pokemon fans have started their quest to find every monster that is out there. Needless to say, the game is quite addicting, especially to the youth.

I was able to see firsthand how easy it can be to get hooked, when I decided to try the game for myself. Although it was fun to finally live the dream of capturing Pokemon, it was incredibly addicting, which is probably why some of us can’t help but play the game, even on Sundays.

At one particular Church meeting, the teacher was leading a very interesting discussion up front, and the rest of the class was actively participating. Then I heard a young man ask his seatmate, “Do you know how to get Pikachu as your starter Pokemon?”
Sometimes, it is hard to resist the urge to play an addicting game on the Sabbath day. But, even though it’s fun to catch cute pocket monsters, there are some things that are more important that you could be missing.

The Sweet Spirit of Sunday

When we go to Church every Sunday, we don’t just rest from our labors, we also take time to set aside some of the things of the world. During Sunday School, we have the opportunity to learn by the Spirit. We are taught principles and truths that can help us face the trials of our generation. If we tinker with our phone and play games instead of focusing on the things the Spirit has to teach us, we will miss valuable lessons and lose the opportunity to learn from others as well.

Time to Think of Him

The Sabbath is the Lord’s day. It is the best time to think more of our Savior, to learn from His teachings, and to follow His example. When we remember Christ, a sweet Spirit fills our hearts. If we become too concerned with the next area we need to visit, we can miss the chance to think more about the Savior.

The Chance to Serve

There are plenty of ways we can serve. Sometimes, the opportunity to help someone is right in front of us. Imagine how many service opportunities we could miss if we spend all our time and attention on a virtual game? If we focus too much on being a Pokemon trainer, we may miss the wonderful feelings that come from serving others.

The Chance to Spend time with Family

Sunday is a great day to spend time with our family members. During the Sabbath day, we can reconnect with our parents, bond with our siblings, and do service-oriented activities as a family. This chance to spend time and create memories with your family is precious and should not be lost. Most of us consider the family to be the most important gift in our lives; shouldn’t we spend more of our time and attention on them, too?

The Opportunity to Connect

Imagine a world where people no longer have time to talk to one another because everyone is so hooked on a game on their phones. Imagine wanting someone to talk to, but finding that people around you are physically there but are hard to reach. Sad isn’t it? Let’s put down our phones and our obsession with Pokemon Go during the Sabbath day, the Lord’s day. There are people out there you can connect to. Talk to them, learn from them, express love to them. There are far greater things in life than just a smart phone game.

Brother Randall L. Ridd, second counselor in the Young Men general presidency, spoke about making a choice on our own. “Every day the world seeks to influence your desires, enticing you to buy something, click on something, play something, read or watch something.”
“Ultimately, the choice is yours. You have agency. Each choice takes you closer to or further from what you are meant to become; each click has meaning. Always ask yourself, ‘Where will this choice lead?’ Develop the ability to see beyond the moment.”

May we have eyes and hearts that see beyond our Pokemon captures and truly see what matters most: our relationship with our family, the service that we extend, and the love of the Lord.

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