#HisDay Is for Love

    February 3, 2017
    What comes to mind when you hear the word Sabbath?
    Church? Worship? Sunday School? A day off? A long nap? Family time? A holy day? A day of rest? 
    The Sabbath often brings to mind all of those things, and as of late, you could probably add words like #HisDay and “a delight” to the list. But how often do you associate the Sabbath with love? Have you ever thought that #HisDay might be all about love?
    On a day where we have the opportunity to restart, recharge, and recommit, the love of a Father in Heaven has to be at the heart of such a gift.  
    As taught by President Henry B. Eyring, the Sabbath is a day of gratitude and love, and “what matters most is the love we feel for the givers of the gifts.”
    So how do we express the love we have for “the givers of the gifts,” our loving Father in Heaven and our Savior Jesus Christ? We show love to others.
    When we love and serve God, we love and serve His children. So while the Sabbath may equate to church, worship, Sunday School, a day off, a long nap, and family time, at its core, it’s much more than that. It’s a day of love.
    We show love to God when we show up to church ready and willing to recommit to be better. We show love to our brothers and sisters when we come to church prepared to teach our classes in a way that they can feel the Spirit. We show love when we spend meaningful time with our family. We show love when we pray to know who we can visit or reach out to who may be lonely or struggling. We show love when we shovel driveways, help someone move, and clean up after a storm—yes, even on a Sunday. Because if love is the “essence of the gospel” of Jesus Christ, it has to be the essence of the Sabbath.
    President Russell M. Nelson painted a beautiful picture of this when he shared an experience he had with Elder M. Russell Ballard and other Church leaders while visiting Louisiana following devastating floods there.
    “On Sunday, each of us held four large sacrament meetings, one for victims and three for volunteers who had come from many states to help with the cleanup,” he said.
    “These photos give an idea of those Sabbath day congregations composed of hundreds wearing our trademark Mormon Helping Hands T-shirt. Note the many happy faces of young men and women who left their homes to help neighbors they did not know, amidst Louisiana’s sweltering summer heat, and who paused on the Sabbath to worship the Lord.”
    They paused on the Sabbath to worship the Lord and then went to work serving others. They blessed the lives of those looking for help and healing following life-changing devastation. And they gave that help with smiles on their faces, dressed in T-shirts and jeans. Through their service on the Sabbath, strangers felt loved. Strangers became friends. Friends felt gratitude. And all felt the hand of God in their lives.
    That’s what the Sabbath can be about—for all of us. You don’t need a natural disaster to find opportunities to serve. We all have life-altering circumstances at one time or another that shake us, leave us hoping for help and healing, and have us looking to God. The need and opportunities to rescue others, from all types of disasters—physical, emotional, and spiritual—are all around us.  
    Church, sacrament meeting, Sunday School, worship, rest—they’re all important. But they’re just moments of our Sabbath. The Sabbath is not a moment; it’s a day. We pause to do those things, and then we get to work, serving others as a means of showing love to them and to “the givers of the gifts.”
    So on the Sabbath, pause. Pause to worship God. And then get to work. Because at the end of the day, #HisDay is for love.