Sabbath Day

The Lord has given the Sabbath day for your benefit and has commanded you to keep it holy. Many activities are appropriate for the Sabbath. Bear in mind, however, that Sunday is not a holiday. Sunday is a holy day.   Thomas S. Monson-October 1990 General Conference “That We May Touch Heaven” https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1990/10/that-we-may-touch-heaven?lang=eng.

Sometimes we think of resting from our labors as merely letting the hay baler stand idle in the field or putting a Closed sign on the business door. Yet in today’s world, labor includes the everyday work of our lives. This could mean business activities we may accomplish from home, athletic competitions, and other pursuits that take us away from Sabbath day worship and the opportunity to minister to others.   L. Tom Perry-April 2011 General Conference “The Sabbath and the Sacrament” https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2011/04/the-sabbath-and-the-sacrament?lang=eng.

As we consider the pattern of the Sabbath and the sacrament in our own lives, there appear to be three things the Lord requires of us: first, to keep ourselves unspotted from the world; second, to go to the house of prayer and offer up our sacraments; and third, to rest from our labors.   L. Tom Perry-April 2011 General Conference “The Sabbath and the Sacrament” https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2011/04/the-sabbath-and-the-sacrament?lang=eng.

Modern-day prophets have encouraged us not to shop on Sunday. … Those of us who shop on the Sabbath cannot escape responsibility for encouraging businesses to remain open on that day. Essential services must be provided, but most Sabbath transactions could be avoided if merchants and customers were determined to avoid doing business on the Lords day.   Dallin H. Oaks-October 1986 General Conference “Brother’s Keeper” https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1986/10/brothers-keeper.

What did the Savior mean when He said that “the Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath”? I believe He wanted us to understand that the Sabbath was His gift to us, granting real respite from the rigors of daily life and an opportunity for spiritual and physical renewal. God gave us this special day, not for amusement or daily labor but for a rest from duty, with physical and spiritual relief.   Russell M. Nelson-April 2015 General Conference “The Sabbath is a Delight” https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2015/04/the-sabbath-is-a-delight.

The fulness of the earth is promised to those who keep the Sabbath day holy.   Russell M. Nelson-April 2015 General Conference “The Sabbath is a Delight” https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2015/04/the-sabbath-is-a-delight.

I wish I had the power to convert this whole Church to the observance of the Sabbath. I know our people would be more richly blessed of the Lord if they would walk in faithfulness in the observance of the Sabbath. There isn’t anybody in this Church who has to buy furniture on Sunday. There really isn’t. There isn’t anybody in this Church who has to buy a new automobile on Sunday, is there? No. There isn’t anybody in this Church who, with a little care and planning, has to buy groceries on Sunday. No. … You don’t need ice cream to be bought on Sunday. … You don’t need to make Sunday a day of merchandising. … I don’t think we need to patronize the ordinary business merchants on the Sabbath day. Why do they stay open? To get customers. Who are those customers? Well, they are not all nonmembers of this Church. You know that and I know that.   Gordon B. Hinckley- Heber City/Springville Utah regional conference, priesthood leadership meeting, 13 May 1995. 

While the Savior himself cautioned against extreme forms of Sabbath day observance, it is well to remember whose day the Sabbath is. There seems to be an ever-increasing popularity in disregarding the centuries-old commandment to observe and respect the Sabbath day. For many it has become a holiday rather than a holy day of rest and sanctification. For some it is a day to shop and buy groceries. The decision of those who engage in shopping, sports, work, and recreation on the Sabbath day is their own, for which they alone bear responsibility.
The Lord’s commandment about the Sabbath day has not been altered, nor has the Church’s affirmation of the commandment to observe the Sabbath day. Those who violate this commandment in the exercise of their agency are answerable for losing the blessings which observance of this commandment would bring.   James E. Faust-October 1986 General Conference “Unwanted Messages” https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1986/10/unwanted-messages?lang=eng.

Our observance or nonobservance of the Sabbath is an unerring measure of our attitude toward the Lord personally and toward his suffering in Gethsemane, his death on the cross, and his resurrection from the dead. It is a sign of whether we are Christians in very deed, or whether our conversion is so shallow that commemoration of his atoning sacrifice means little or nothing to us.   Mark E. Peterson-April 1975 General Conference “The Sabbath Day” https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1975/04/the-sabbath-day.

Much of the sorrow and distress that is afflicting … mankind is traceable to the fact that they have ignored his (God’s) admonition to keep the Sabbath day holy.   George Albert Smith, Teachings of the Presidents of the Church:George Albert Smith, Lesson 16 “Offer Up Thy Sacraments Upon My Holy Day” https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-george-albert-smith/chapter-16.

Position Statment:

Growing up, my family strictly observed the Sabbath. Of course, it was easier then because businesses and restaurants were closed on Sundays. We went to church each week and spent the rest of the day with each other. As an adult, my work schedule changed and I had to work Sundays if I wanted to keep my job. I quickly became inactive, although the work schedule was only one of my excuses. To many, the Sabbath has become just another day of the week for work or play. The Sabbath Day is another gift from God; a day to take a break from the world and focus solely on things of eternal significance. It’s a day to serve others and to strengthen family relationships. It is a commandment to keep the Sabbath holy, but we are promised many blessings for obeying it. The “fulness of the earth” is promised to those who keep the Sabbath holy. On the other hand, those who choose to do other things on the Sabbath will be held accountable for their actions. My actions on the Sabbath reflect the way I feel about the Lord.

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