“Blessed by the Sabbath Day,” Ensign, February 2015, 24–27
Keeping the Sabbath day holy became a challenge for Annabelle Hyatt when she was hired for an internship with an amusement-park company. Growing up in Texas, USA, Annabelle was taught to worship, rest, and serve others on the Sabbath. But when she moved to Florida to start her internship, she had to work on Sundays.
She explains, “At first I dutifully went to work, just as everyone else did. After a few weeks, I started to notice how sad I was feeling during the week without taking the sacrament or hearing inspiring words that I needed more than ever.”
One day she prayed for help and mustered the courage to talk to her supervisor about her desire to attend church and not work on Sundays. Her supervisor didn’t understand why it was so important to her. But Annabelle persisted. Every time she saw her manager or scheduling supervisor, she mentioned that she needed Sundays off and was willing to work extra hard other days in order to make it happen.
“Eventually, by a miracle it happened!” she says. “My days off work became Saturday and Sunday, which is unheard of for a seasonal intern who was barely a month into the program. The privilege of having the weekends off was normally reserved for those with seniority status.”
She testifies of the blessings: “Being able to bring the light of going to church back into my life, I could see and feel a dramatic difference. When my co-workers asked why I go to church or why it’s so important, I would tell them to come with me. I started bringing some of my co-workers to church. I know without a doubt that the gospel of Jesus Christ is worth standing up for. Sabbath day observance is a necessity to have the Spirit in your life and become a better person.”
Annabelle, like many young adults, was blessed as she remained committed to keeping the Sabbath day holy. Although it can be a challenge to withstand pressure to work or participate in activities we normally enjoy during the week, keeping the Sabbath day holy is ultimately a matter of obedience, attitude, and choice. Great blessings will come. These three young adults share their testimonies that the Lord helps His children keep His day holy.
When Katrin Schulze of Germany went to college far away from home, she was suddenly tested in her resolve to keep the Sabbath day holy. “My parents had taught me and my siblings about the importance of keeping the Sabbath day holy,” she said. “For us, that meant no working, shopping, or playing sports on Sunday. I cannot remember any exceptions.
“My college required that I participate in a seminar that always occupied a full weekend—both Saturday and Sunday. I had a terrible dilemma—unless I participated, I could not graduate; on the other hand, I wanted to keep all the Lord’s commandments. As I studied the situation, I realized this wasn’t a problem I could solve on my own. I pleaded with the Lord and asked Him to show me the way to be obedient and complete my studies. I felt peace inside after that prayer.
“As the date of the seminar grew closer, I felt nervous but remained confident that He could prepare a way. One day I stood at the board where the seminar schedules were listed. Most were over the weekend, but there was one section scheduled over three days, not including a Sunday. I realized the Lord was helping me keep the Sabbath day holy. Never before and never again has there been that seminar on any day but Sunday, but the year I needed it so badly, the Lord made it possible for me. I am so grateful the Lord provided a way to help me keep His commandments.”
Katherine Wilkinson, from Utah, often stayed out late on Saturday nights. She said of one weekend, “My friends and I had gone to dinner, watched a movie, and stayed up talking well into the morning. It was probably after 2:00 a.m. when I finally went to sleep.
“On Sunday morning, I fumbled in the darkness to turn off my alarm at 7:30 a.m. but since church didn’t begin until 8:30 a.m., my sleepy self reasoned that I could reset my alarm for 8:00 a.m. When I finally got up, I had to rush to get ready on time. A two-minute shower and no breakfast later, I rushed out the door.
“Church seemed long. I could hardly stay awake during the meetings. I watched the clock, counting down the minutes until I would be napping at home. Not until Sunday School began did I realize that, in my rush, I had forgotten both my scriptures and the manual.”
Eventually Katherine decided she wanted to change so that she could enjoy the Sabbath day and keep it holy. “I pondered on my Sabbath day,” she said. “I’d gotten up too late, rushed to church only halfway ready, endured three hours of meetings (without a good attitude), and come back home to sleep. And that was hardly the first time my Sunday had gone that way. I realized I was depriving myself of the full blessings of Sabbath-day worship, especially the sacrament and what it offered me.
“Observing the Sabbath includes more than physically attending Church meetings; it means being there mentally and spiritually. I want to do that. President Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985) taught, ‘The Sabbath calls for constructive thoughts and acts, and if one merely lounges about doing nothing on the Sabbath, he is breaking it. To observe it, 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 , 96–97). As I’ve begun to change and honor this sacred day, I have felt greater blessings in my life.”