Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Gospel Topic Tuesday: Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy

How many times have we gotten home from church on Sunday and felt “Okay I went to church and I worshipped, I am done.”? H. Aldridge Gillespie said in a talk from 2000 that the Sabbath “does not end if someone calls on the phone or knocks at our door inviting us to come out and play, go for a ride, to a ball game, or shopping; it does not end because we are on vacation or someone is visiting us, whether member or nonmember.” (H. Aldridge Gillespie, “The Blessing of Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy,” Ensign, Nov 2000) We need to keep going after we get done with church. It doesn’t just end once we get home and drop the scriptures and church bags. We need to continue the mind frame and feelings we felt at church. We need to continue to draw close to the Lord.

In Exodus chapter 20 verse 8 we read “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.” We are commanded to keep the Sabbath Day holy. We have six days to work and take care of things but we are asked to give one day unto the Lord and worship him. What things should we do on the Sabbath to keep it holy? Or better put how do we keep the Sabbath Day holy? We are to go to church and renew our covenants with the Lord by partaking of the sacrament. We are to abstain from working and to spend time with our families. We should be studying the scriptures and renewing our spirits. “The prophet Spencer W. Kimball counseled: “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. [Failure] to do these proper things is a transgression on the omission side.”” (H. Aldridge Gillespie, “The Blessing of Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy,” Ensign, Nov 2000) I remember always hearing growing up that naps on Sunday are a great way to keep the Sabbath Day holy yet here a Prophet makes it very clear that if that’s all that you do then you are doing the opposite. We need to use our time wisely and if done so we will be renewed and blessed for doing so.

I know that I am not always good at observing the Sabbath Day like I should but I try. Each week I have another Sunday to try again. I really like the quote from President Kimball as it is chalked full of ideas of things to do. And how can we not afford to do so? “Over a lifetime of observation, it is clear to me that the farmer who observes the Sabbath day seems to get more done on his farm than he would if he worked seven days. The mechanic will be able to turn out more and better products in six days than in seven. The doctor, the lawyer, the dentist, the scientist will accomplish more by trying to rest on the Sabbath than if he tries to utilize every day of the week for his professional work. I would counsel all students, if they can, to arrange their schedules so that they do not study on the Sabbath. If students and other seekers after truth will do this, their minds will be quickened and the infinite Spirit will lead them to the verities they wish to learn. This is because God has hallowed his day and blessed it as a perpetual covenant of faithfulness.” (James E. Faust, “The Lord’s Day,” Ensign, Nov 1991) When I was going to school I made a promise with the Lord that I would not study my homework on Sundays. I would abstain from all school work and by doing so I asked that he blessed me in my studies. I was blessed to have enough time to get my homework done and retain the knowledge I had gained for my exams. The Lord is aware of us and will bless us if we do what he asks of us.

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