I am reading The Promised Messiah by Elder Bruce R. McConkie and am gaining depth in my understanding of many of the principles and doctrines of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I was recently reading his section about how the Sabbath bears witness of Christ. He explains that Sabbath worship “identifies the Lord’s people” because “the saints of God rest form their labors and pay their devotions to the Most High on his holy Sabbath.” He then explains that “true religion” always calls for a Sabbath – “one day in seven be devoted exclusively to worshiping the Father in Spirit and in truth.” This is because “men’s hears will never be centered on the things of the Spirit sufficiently to assure them of salvation.”
Elder McConkie states that the “law of the Sabbath is so basic, so fundamental” that it is the fourth of the Ten Commandments. The first three commandments are about worshiping God and showing reverence to His name.
“The fourth gives us the Sabbath day as the weekly occasion on which we perfect our worship and put ourselves in tune to the full with Him by whom all things are. It is in no sense an exaggeration nor does it overstate the fact one whit to say that any person who keeps the Sabbath, according to the revealed pattern, will be saved in the celestial kingdom. The Sabbath is a day of worship. … True worship includes keeping the commandments, and those who devote their Sabbaths to true and proper worship obtain the encouragement that leads to full obedience” (page 391; emphasis added).
Even though I have attempted to keep the Sabbath holy for many years, I am trying harder now because of the emphasis made recently by leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Elder Russell M. Nelson’s counsel to “make the Sabbath a delight” means much more to me today – after reading this statement from Elder McConkie – than it did previously.