Sunday, October 11, 2009
Sabbath Day Observance
Today is Sunday. I believe it is a holy day. The scriptures refer to the holy day as the Sabbath. I believe that one of the best things that we can do for our nation is to properly observe the Sabbath. Many ancient prophets have designated this land as a promised land and have said that the inhabitants of this land must serve the God of this land who is Jesus Christ or be swept off. If the God of this land is Jesus Christ - and I believe that He is, then we must obey His laws. One of His laws is to "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy." After God organized the earth, divided the light from the darkness and the water from the land, hung the sun, moon, and stars in the sky, and placed fish, fowl, animals, insects, Adam and Eve upon the earth, He rested. "God blessed the seventh day [or period of time] and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made" (Genesis 2:2-3). The Law of the Sabbath was renewed with Moses when he received the Ten Commandments. The fourth commandment reads: "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. "Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: "But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor they cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: [This pretty much covers everyone.] "For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the Sabbath day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it" (Exodus 20:8-11). The Law of the Sabbath was renewed again in modern days when the Lord revealed the purpose for keeping the Sabbath day holy and how to do it. "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" (Doctrine and Covenants 59:9-10). Some definitions may be useful here: Sabbath is defined as a day of rest and worship. Hallow is defined as to make holy or sacred; sanctify; consecrate; to regard as holy; honor as sacred. Holy is defined as dedicated to religious use; belonging to or coming from God; consecrated; sacred. Blessed is defined as holy; sacred; consecrated. (New World Dictionary of the American Language, Second College Edition). These scriptures tell us that there is a Law of the Sabbath and what the law is: "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy." We know that the Sabbath is to be used as a day of rest, worship and religious purposes. We know also that the day itself is blessed. We also know that we can use the Sabbath to keep ourselves clean from the "spots" of worldliness. "The importance of a sacred day for man to rest from his temporal labors, contemplate the word of the Lord, and assemble for public worship is a major item in a person's spiritual development. Furthermore, a decay in the national religious life always follows any tendency toward carelessness in the matter of Sabbath observance. The existence of a weekly holy day is a most important safeguard; it leaves a constant reminder to the individual of his need for spiritual sustenance and his duty before God, and serves as a witness to the world that there is such a thing as revealed religion" (Bible Dictionary, 764-765). Our nation has become a nation of Sabbath breakers. Grocery stores do their best business on Sunday. Many people use Sunday for their day of recreation and family picnics. Sunday has become a day for "business as usual" and has become a holiday instead of a holy day for many people. What are some of the things that we need to do or to stop doing in order to keep the Sabbath day holy and thus help to safeguard our country? 1) Abstain from work and recreation. The saying "A change is as good as a rest" is very applicable to the Sabbath. Use the day to do something different than you do on the other six day of the week. 2) Stop buying, selling, trading, or supporting businesses who sell commodities or entertainment on the Sabbath. 3) The scriptures tell us that it is lawful to "do good" on the Sabbath. Doing good calls for constructive thoughts and acts such visiting the ill, the widow, and the fatherless, writing letters to men and women in the Armed Services, or spending extra time enjoying and communicating with family members. 4) The Sabbath is a day for attending our Church meetings, kneeling in prayer, studying the scriptures and other good books, spending extra time with children, meditating, taking a short nap. For the good of our country, let's become a nation of Sabbath keepers rather than a nation of Sabbath breakers!