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Sabbath

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Mormon Sabbath Worship
In the scriptures it is commanded that we “remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy” (see Exodus 20:8). Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints strongly believe in keeping the Sabbath day holy. Elder John H. Groberg stated, “There is a direct correlation between the proper observance of the Sabbath and true reverence for God, which includes obedience to His other commandments.” [1]

Sabbath Day Observance

For the Strength of the Youth, a booklet of guidelines printed by the Church for its youth, states:

Many uplifting activities are appropriate for the Sabbath. Worship the Lord, attend Church, spend quiet time with your family, study the gospel, write letters, write in your journal, do family history work, and visit the sick or homebound. Your dress before, during and after Church meetings should show respect for the Sabbath. When seeking a job, share with your potential employer your desire to attend your Sunday meetings and keep the Sabbath day holy. Many employers value employees with these personal convictions. Whenever possible, choose a job that does not require you to work on Sundays. Sunday is not a holiday or a day of recreation or athletic events. Do not seek entertainment or spend money on this day. Let your friends know what your standards are so they will not try to persuade you to participate in activities that are not appropriate for the Sabbath.

Other Church leaders have discussed how the Sabbath is a day for worship, rest, and time spent with family.

  • The Sabbath is a day for worship:
We do not go to Sabbath meetings to be entertained or even solely to be instructed. We go to worship the Lord. It is an individual responsibility, and regardless of what is said from the pulpit, if one wishes to worship the Lord in spirit and in truth, he may do so by attending his meetings, partaking of the sacrament, and contemplating the beauties of the gospel. If the service is a failure to you, you have failed. No one can worship for you; you must do your own waiting upon the Lord.” [2]
  • The Sabbath is a day of rest:
The Sabbath is a holy day in which to do worthy and holy things. Abstinence from work and recreation is important but insufficient. The Sabbath calls for constructive thoughts and acts, and if one merely lounges about doing nothing on the Sabbath, he is breaking it. To observe it, one will be on his knees in prayer, preparing lessons, studying the gospel, meditating, visiting the ill and distressed, sleeping, reading wholesome material, and attending all the meetings of that day to which he is expected. To fail to do these proper things is a transgression on the omission side. [3]
  • The Sabbath is day for spending time with family:
To have a true, protected, spiritual Sabbath experience, why not plan a family Sabbath schedule and be prepared with activities that are in harmony with Sunday worship, asking ourselves how our activities will strengthen us spiritually and not only please the Lord but also make us happy and stronger in our relationship with the Lord. [4]

Blessings

There are many promises and blessings that are given to those who remember to keep the Sabbath day holy. Again from For the Strength of Youth comes this information: "The Lord has given the Sabbath day for your benefit and has commanded you to keep it holy. Observing the Sabbath will bring you closer to the Lord and to your family. It will give you needed rest and rejuvenation."

Leviticus 26:2-6 tells more of the blessings given to those who keep the Sabbath,

Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the Lord. If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them; Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time: and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely. And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid.

What day of the week is the Sabbath?

In the western world, where Christianity is adhered to by most citizens, and where the sabbath day is traditionally honored on Sunday, Latter-day Saints follow the Sunday sabbath tradition. However, Latter-day Saints in Israel honor the sabbath on Saturday, the day of worship set apart by the nation; and in Moslem countries, Latter-day Saints worship on Friday, the Moslem sabbath day. Thereby, Latter-day Saints keep the spirit of the law given by the Lord, and the letter of the law as dictated by the governments of the lands in which they dwell.

References

  1. Elder John H. Groberg, "The Power of Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy," Ensign, November 1984, p. 79.
  2. Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, ed. Edward L. Kimball, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1982, p. 515
  3. Spencer W. Kimball, The Miracle of Forgiveness, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1969, pp. 96–97.
  4. Charles Didier, “The Sabbath—Holy Day or Holiday?” Ensign, Oct. 1994, 26–27.

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