With all the responsibilities and opportunities available to us in today’s world, the Lord’s command to keep the Sabbath day holy may sometimes seem like a restriction or even a punishment. For adults and children alike, choosing to forego opportunities in employment, sports, or entertainment can be difficult. But in all cases, it’s important to remember why the Lord gives us commandments.
If God’s work and glory is to help us all return to Him (see Moses 1:39), and if everything Jesus Christ does is for the benefit of the world (2 Nephi 26:24), then it stands to reason that every commandment is crafted to bless our lives. But how can being asked to give up opportunities be a blessing? It’s all about perspective and progress.
A Day of Rest
At first glance, you might think runners and farmers don’t have much in common. But both groups understand the value of rest for optimum performance. When training for and competing in long races, runners plan regular rest days into their training regimen. While they might be tempted to train without breaks for better preparation, runners view indicators like weakened muscle strength, dehydration, insomnia, injury, and illness as signals to rest and recover. They only reach peak performance when they periodically rest.
Likewise, farmers rotate crops and sometimes halt crop production to allow the soil to rest. Rotating crops allows the soil to restore fertility, especially when new crops are nutrient rich. The soil is still working, but changing the crop revitalizes the land. And while halting production may seem counterproductive to successful farming, reduced yield can increase the value of the remaining crop. Just like runners, farmers understand the value of rest to reach peak production.
The Lord’s Day of Rest
Like runners, we experience spiritual fatigue, and like the soil, we benefit from changing our workload periodically. As we follow the Lord’s counsel to take time to be holy each Sabbath day, we will reach peak performance in our lives.
Listen as the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sings “Take Time to Be Holy.”
The Sabbath is not a day for idleness (see Doctrine and Covenants 42:42) but a day set apart for the work of the Lord. As we focus our Sabbath-day observance on the things that matter most—things like deepening our commitment to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, strengthening our relationships with loved ones, and serving others—we become sanctified, or made holy, through the power of the Atonement.
Sanctification through Sabbath-Day Observance
Sanctification is a great gift from a loving Father in Heaven who wants us to be happy and successful. Watch as Elder Jeffrey R. Holland reminds us why sanctification is vital in our lives.
When we keep the Sabbath day holy, setting aside our worldly pursuits and interests to focus on what matters most, we are renewed and sanctified so we can meet the demands of our busy lives with confidence.