“‘Offer Up Thy Sacraments upon My Holy Day’ (D&C 59:9)” Ensign, Sept. 1998, 47
After taking six days (or periods of time) to create the earth and its inhabitants, God rested from his labors. He then sanctified every seventh day as a day of rest (see Moses 3:3; Abr. 5:2–3). Thereafter his people were “to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant”—a sign forever that the Lord is the one who sanctifies them (see Ex. 31:12–17).
The Sabbath is a day of rest and renewal, a time for nurturing the spirit. “To observe it,” counseled Elder Spencer W. Kimball, then of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “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” (The Miracle of Forgiveness , 97).
Abundant blessings come to those who honor the Sabbath. Some blessings are spiritual in nature—such as increased faith, serenity, and love. Other kinds of blessings can come, too. Teresa Gai, a widow living in Lima, Peru, supported herself by operating a modest store, and Sunday was one of her biggest business days. When missionaries taught her the gospel, she worried about closing her store on Sunday. One weekend she finally agreed to do so, not realizing she was closing her store the day before New Year’s—her most profitable day of the year! With no business for two days in a row, she faced serious financial consequences. But she had promised, so she closed her store and went to church. On Tuesday, she discovered that by the end of the day she had done more business than on any day since opening her store. She never again did business on Sunday, and her sales increased steadily (see Allen Litster, “Pioneering in the Andes,” Ensign, Jan. 1997, 21–22).
Not everyone who honors the Sabbath may be blessed in the same way Sister Gai was blessed; however, we know that keeping the Sabbath day holy will bring blessings to those who keep this sacred commandment.
One blessing of the Sabbath is the privilege of partaking of the sacrament. President Brigham Young declared: “It is one of the greatest blessings we could enjoy, to come before the Lord, and before the angels, and before each other, to witness that we remember that the Lord Jesus Christ has died for us. This proves to the Father that we remember our covenants, that we love his Gospel, that we love to keep his commandments” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young , 151).
Sister Bonnie D. Parkin, former counselor in the Young Women general presidency, explained the cleansing power of this sacred ordinance: “The sacrament enables us to renew our covenants. Thus, if we keep those covenants with honor and exactness, we can feel as fresh and as pure as we did when we were first baptized” (“Celebrating Covenants,” Ensign, May 1995, 78).
The Sabbath is meant to bless us now and eternally. “As Church members endeavor to make their Sabbath activities compatible with the intent and Spirit of the Lord, their lives will be filled with joy and peace” (“First Presidency Statement on the Sabbath,” Ensign, Jan. 1993, 80).
What are some ways we can be enriched by the Sabbath?
How can one prepare to partake of the sacrament?