Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy

by / Sunday, 13 March 2011 / Published in Doctrine, Editorial

Observance of the Sabbath is not a restriction but a source of strength and protection. After God ended his work of creation on this earth, he blessed and sanctified his day of rest–the seventh day. But beyond simply resting from our labors on the Sabbath, we are to sanctify the day, to make it holy. We do this by seeking to draw closer to God, worshiping him, and serving others.

In our day, the Lord has told us that keeping the Sabbath will help protect us against the ills of a world that is degenerating spiritually.

”And that thou mayest more fully keep thyself unspotted from the world, thou shalt go to the house of prayer and offer up thy sacraments upon my holy day; For verily this is a day appointed unto you to rest from your labors, and to pay thy devotions unto the Most High;”

— D&C 59:9-10

Here it says that we can go to our meetinghouses each Sabbath and partake of the sacrament, which involves regular repentance and covenant making to keep ourselves clean and “unspotted from the world.” And if we dedicate ourselves to serving God and others, we will be shielding ourselves from the evil around us.

Spencer W. Kimball gave the following suggestions for keeping the Sabbath properly:

”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.”

— Spencer W. Kimball, The Miracle of Forgiveness, 96–97.

”It is a day to partake of the sacrament, a day ‘to pay [our] devotions unto the Most High,’ a day of ‘fasting and prayer,’ a day to offer our time, talent, and means in service to our God and our fellowmen, …a day to be marked by sincere sacrifice of the pursuits and pleasures of the world.”

— Elder H. Aldridge Gillespie, “The Blessing of Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy”, Ensign, Nov. 2000, 79–80

The Sabbath day is a day to honor and worship the Lord God through church attendance, sacrament meeting, spiritually uplifting others, visiting the sick and weary, reading the scriptures and words of the Prophets, writing letters to family and friends, working family history records, singing hymns, and journal writing.

Another simple way that someone recently shared with me on keeping the Sabbath day holy is to stay in your Sunday clothes for the entire Sabbath day. There are no more questions about what is or is not proper Sunday activities. Simply put, if you can not do in your Sunday best, then it is not in the spirit of keeping the Sabbath day holy. The manner of your dress will ultimately affect the manner of your activity.

“The matter of Sabbath observance remains to this day as one of the great tests which divides the righteous from the worldly and wicked.”

— Elder Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 658.

For further information, Elder Earl C. Tingey gave some great modern day counsel for Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy.

One Response to “Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy”

  1. Mattie says :

    “Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy” ended up being in fact enjoyable and educational! Within the present day society that’s tricky to manage. Thanks.