Sabbath Day

Today (Sunday), I took a 5 hour nap. No need to worry, I don’t think the nap indicates anything awful, as it’s a regular occurrence for me, and was a regular occurrence for my mom growing up. It’s hereditary I think.

Our lesson in Sunday School (we go to a class called Gospel Essentials) was on the 4th commandment “Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy”. In the LDS Faith we rest from our daily labors, and work to set aside the day for the purpose of honoring God and renewing our faith. Our prophets have told us that we should not shop, hunt, fish, attend sports events, or participate in similar activities on that day.

Doctrine and Covenants 59:9-12

9 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;

10 For verily this is a day appointed unto you to rest from your labors, and to pay thy devotions unto the Most High;

11 Nevertheless thy vows shall be offered up in righteousness on all days and at all times;
12 But remember that on this, the Lord’s day, thou shalt offer thine oblations and thy sacraments unto the Most High, confessing thy sins unto thy brethren, and before the Lord.

That Husband and I obey all of those commands, and even work to take things a step farther by abstaining from all secular television/movies/music. (Except for Planet Earth. I think it’s okay to watch Planet Earth on Sunday.)

We’ve been given suggestions for ways we can keep the Sabbath day holy including:

  • 1. Attending Church meetings.
  • 2. Reading the scriptures and the words of our Church leaders.
  • 3. Visiting the sick, the aged, and our loved ones.
  • 4. Listening to uplifting music and singing hymns.
  • 5. Praying to our Heavenly Father with praise and thanksgiving.
  • 6. Performing Church service that we have been assigned to do.
  • 7. Preparing family history records and personal histories.
  • 8. Telling faith-promoting stories and bearing our testimony to family members and sharing spiritual experiences with them.
  • 9. Writing letters to loved ones.
  • 10. Fasting with a purpose.
  • 11. Sharing time with children and others in the home.

Unfortunately I don’t have time for many of those things because I tend to spend the day sleeping. As Elder Spencer W. Kimball* warned, that is NOT how one makes the day holy.

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. The Miracle of Forgiveness by Spencer W. Kimball

One of the reasons I’ve loved the BOM Summer Challenge so much is that it’s helped me to spend more time on Sunday reading and pondering the scriptures. And reading the scriptures then motivates me to spend time reading other church literature. But I think I need to cut down on my napping. And lounging. And spend some time reaching out to friends and family, strengthening those important connections. I can always do better.

Do you honor the Sabbath in any way?

*This book was written at the time Elder Kimball was a General Authority, though he would later became Prophet.

5 thoughts on “Sabbath Day

  1. This is a helpful post. The Sabbath…. how I long for the Sabbath. It’s a day I used to honor but I haven’t in a long time, neither have I gone to church. Clearly I have too much on my plate and I yearn to have quiet time like you describe. Unfortunately change isn’t ease. Running the business takes up everything and more. But not having a good church is part of the not going to church. My church is 45 minutes away and the hour and a 1/2 drive to and fro is just too much for a Sunday when I drive 4 hours a day for work as it is. It’s just too much for me but I can’t find a good church near me. Good churches in Holland are hard to find if you ask me. So a resolution I don’t have….. except for CHANGE. I know I would be a happier person if I make the changes, Sunday’s rest is good for the heart, body and soul!! It will make me more grateful, peaceful and joyful. Why than, is it hard to change?

  2. The quote you pasted includes sleeping on the list of how to make the day holy, unless I read it wrong…right after visiting the ill. I think if you talk to any stress expert, they will tell you that anybody who needs a 5 hour nap is not a lazy person, they are a tired person running a sleep debt. Since I genuinely believe that you cannot be you at your best without enough sleep, it stands to reason that you also will have a hard time fulfilling your spiritual duties if you don’t take naps. If it bothers you though, you could consider cutting down to three hours.
    How is the Mormon sabbath different from the Jewish sabbath? Do you know? Are you allowed to cook, clean, and use electronics?

  3. My husband and I attend church every Sunday, and thus begins our sabbath. It’s also the only day of the weekend that we really get to see one another. My husband works overnight weekends. So when Sunday comes around, he usually naps after service to get readjusted to a normal schedule. Then we spend the afternoon/early evening taking a walk together. :o)

  4. Dumb, dumb, dumb question: Do you watch the Superbowl? I am so not a sports fan, but this was the first thing that came to my mind when I read the bit about you refraining from watching secular TV! Maybe it’s because I like to eat lots of chips on Superbowl Sunday… 🙂

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