As we head into the 2008 course of study for Relief Society and Priesthood, I’m excited to think about studying the words of the Prophet Joseph Smith. Before we begin, however, I’d like to finish up our series on the lessons provided by Spencer W. Kimball.
Lesson #16 in the book is entitled, “The Sabbath—A Delight.” How often do we think of the Sabbath as being a delight? I generally think of it with a mixture of fear and trembling, but I need to change that perception.
President Kimball begins his lesson by sharing a story from a time when he was interviewing a man for an important Stake position. The man owned a gas station, but he was closed on Sunday. President Kimball asked him how he managed to stay afloat, missing a whole day of income, but the man simply replied, “The Lord is good to me.”
President Kimball viewed the day as being special, a time we should approach with joy and rejoicing. How can we go about this, and why is it so important?
The fourth commandment of the ten reads, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, 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.”
We may think that breaking the Sabbath isn’t a big deal, but it’s one of the most principle of all the commandments we’ve been given. We have been sent here to be tested, to see if we will do whatever God asks us to do, and when we disobey this most fundamental, simple commandment, we are showing God that we are only partially willing to be obedient.
The Sabbath was not given to us to conduct business or to go out and “play.” We can entertain ourselves on the other six days of the week. We can go to the store on Saturday to keep from needing a milk run on the Sabbath. Only in cases of emergency should we shop on Sunday. It’s not needful if we plan.
This counsel doesn’t mean that we should lie around and be lazy on Sunday. That, too, is breaking the Sabbath. We should be concentrating our thoughts on the Savior, on learning more about Him, and worshipping Him. This is proper keeping of the Sabbath. We attend church. We take the sacrament. And when we come home, we keep our activities centered on Christ.
Keeping the Sabbath day is one of the ways we can show God that we love Him and appreciate all He has done for us. He will shower blessings upon us if we refrain from working on His holy day. There is time enough in the rest of the week to do the things we must do – let us reserve Sunday for Him. It’s a tithing day, if you will, and as always, He gives us much more in return than we could ever give Him.