What kinds of activities are acceptable on the Sabbath Day?
November 1973

“What kinds of activities are acceptable on the Sabbath Day?” New Era, Nov. 1973, 36

“What kinds of activities are acceptable on the Sabbath Day? What about professional sports that are played on Sunday?”

Answer/W. Jay Eldredge

It is difficult to address this question without reference to the scriptural injunction to honor the Sabbath Day and keep it holy, that is, make it a day apart from the other days in the week. In all generations—in times ancient and today—this is a commandment of our Father in heaven.

However, we can surely make some observations and see if making Sunday “a day apart” is valid and meaningful in our lives.

Man is a dual being with a physical body that houses a spiritual entity. It is this spirit that gives man individuality, identity, motivation, and comprehension. This is his main link to God the Father. But each of the two parts needs nourishment and cultivation, and although the diets are slightly different, they are related.

The physical body needs food along with the activity of work and exercise. The athletic activity of games and sports makes an ideal contribution and should be pursued. The Church through its athletic program encourages all young men and to some extent young women to participate in sports; they fill a need and they are fun. This is great “food” during the week, but on Sunday the diet needs to change somewhat. This is a day set apart to give special emphasis to more spiritual and contemplative needs. Attendance at Church and partaking of the sacrament, with accompanying thoughts as to how to best be of service to our fellowmen, can be very rewarding. A review of our blessings and thoughts directed to the gospel and the program of life creates anchor points for us to live by. This is the kind of food that brings out the best in man, and Sunday is ideally suited for this purpose.

Balance is probably the key word. It is well to see that the needs of our dual makeup are met. Choose the right diet on the right day.

It is my observation that people who achieve this balance are happier. They seem to accomplish more worthwhile things. Their lives reveal an inner peace and a sense of progress as they move forward in the right direction.

To honor the Sabbath Day and keep it holy is good. After all, it was given to us by an expert who knows our genuine needs and who is completely committed to our eternal progression and happiness.

  • Regional Representative, Manager, Promised Valley Playhouse