Sunday, August 16, 2015

My Thoughts on Sabbath Day Observance

There's been a big push lately for Sabbath Day Observance in the church.  As I thought about my personal Sabbath Day activities, I began to realize that I haven't been the best at recognizing it as the Lord's day.  Being YW president right now, I decided that the next first Sunday lesson would be on keeping the Sabbath Day holy.  I absolutely loved what I learned, or re-learned I should say.  I had the girls make a list on everything they have even done or still do on Sundays.  Good or bad.  The list was their own--it was personal and nobody but themselves would see it.  I made my own list as well.  We color coded our lists once they were finished.  Red was for things we knew we shouldn't be doing on the sabbath, and we needed to STOP.  Green was for things we know are good things to do on the sabbath, and we should keep on doing them.  Yellow was for things that were in question--are they appropriate things to do on the Sabbath or not?  How do I know?  These were items that were to be thought about during the lesson, pondered then taken to the Lord in prayer.  My list of yellows was a good amount.  Some of the things that are coded in yellow I have come to the conclusion can be good or bad for the Sabbath.  For example, Facebook.  If I am getting on Facebook a lot during the day on Sunday, it's probably not a good thing.  If I am getting on to share something of worth, testify of Christ or share my testimony, it is a fabulous thing!

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the lesson I prepared:

 ”It is NOT an insignificant thing to violate the Sabbath Day.  I want to say that you lose every time you violate the Sabbath Day, you lose more than you can gain no matter what you think you are going to gain.”  
President George Albert Smith

What DO I think I will gain by breaking the Sabbath?  
Most things would be pleasure like having fun!  Facebook, Instagram, tv shows, parties, etc.  A chance to get more work and projects done (like right now I am painting the cupboards in my kitchen and I could REALLY use Sunday to work on them!)  

What am I losing when I violate the Sabbath?  That's a harder one to figure out, but I'd say for me I am losing as a mother my showing my children that working and having fun is more important to me than God and obeying Him.  I'd also say that God wants to bless me, so I am missing out on blessings that I could have otherwise enjoyed.  I am also losing because on Sunday I should be doing things like reading the scriptures, writing in my journal, serving others, praying, meditating, resting, going to church, etc.  Not taking time to do these things is denying myself of personal, spiritual growth, a closer relationship with God, blessings from serving others and more! 

"Not pursuing your “own pleasure” on the Sabbath requires self discipline.  You may have to deny yourself of something you might like.  If you choose to delight yourself in the Lord, you will not permit yourself to treat it as any other day.  Routine and recreational activities can be done at some other time.”
Elder Russell M. Nelson

This has been hard!  Denying myself of my "own pleasure" on Sunday HAS really required some self discipline!  Especially when it comes to social media, watching recorded tv shows and movies, and simply doing nothing!  Today I went to ward council, went to church, took an hour nap, heart-attacked someones door with Mylie, I spent time reading scriptures with Mylie, sang church songs with the kids, I indexed and now I am journaling--which I have really missed!  I was on Facebook for just a little bit, but I didn't paint my cabinets!

Some people appear to think that if they have attended religious meetings or performed some portion of the service required of them no Sunday, they are then at liberty to pursue pleasures and engage in activities incompatible with the spirit of the Sabbath and still continue to enjoy the favor of our Father.  I say to you that if they members of the Church, knowing better, persist in desecrating the Sabbath day in the pursuit of worldly pleasures, they will lose their faith;  and the Spirit of our Heavenly Father will withdraw from them.”  
(“Fatih--and Life,”  Improvement Era, April 1949, 252.)

I've seen this as a big time problem among friends, family and acquaintances!  I'm not judging AT ALL, it really does just hurt my heart when I see this happening!

“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. observe [the Sabbath], 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...”
President Spencer W. Kimball

I'm working hard with myself and my family with our Sabbath Day observance.  I'm grateful for inspired leaders who know what we need to improve on and encouraging members to better ourselves.  I'm so grateful that God has given us a LIVING prophet for OUR day.  

1 comment:

jeanine said...

First off, I'm super jealous that you get to serve with the young women. Secondly, I love this activity that you did. I'm going to do it with my family and see what they come up with! Thank you!