Growing up as a Christian I never was told that the Sabbath Day was a thing. I read the Ten Commandments, but it never occurred to me that this was a commandment that could be kept by me. I couldn't really see the application of it in my life. After some contact of individuals of the LDS faith I came to know more about this day and the importance of it. The missionaries taught me what it was and how I was supposed to keep it. I remember their counsel. When evaluating if an activity is appropriate or not for the Sabbath, you may ask yourself: "Would Jesus do it?". The observance of this commandment brought me a great and constant blessing of hope and the Holy Ghost in my life. As I continued to go to church, partake of the sacrament and do things that were uplifting, my sabbath was now being kept holy. In my Senior year of high school the students of my class received free tickets and transportation to a water park which sounded really good, but I knew what was the right thing to do so I didn't participate on it. It was hard to explain to my friends that I wasn't going just because I had a compromise to go to church or merely because church was more important but that it was a commandment of God, given in the Old Testament. After that I felt very well about it, pleasing my Father in Heaven. I thought to myself that this action may echo more than all my words during all my school years after getting to know the gospel. I also knew that "There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated - And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated." D&C 130:20-21
I wrote all these things but I never explained much about what are the basics for Sabbath day observance. The very focus must be Jesus Christ and His Atonement, followed by our baptismal covenant to always remember Him. We attend church so we can partake of the sacrament and also enjoy the fellowship of the saints. I enjoy the fast Sundays that happen once a month and that we have a chance to share our testimony or on regular Sundays when members of the congregation give talks. In Sunday School and in priesthood Meeting or Relief Society we are instructed and edified and we learn how to keep a Christlike conduct and lifestyle, we learn how to became more like Jesus. After church we try to spend time by fulfilling our callings, family and friends - continuing the focus on the Lord. Several suggestions are made but there isn't a list of dos and don'ts in the Sabbath, we can mention writing to missionaries, genealogy, family history work and indexing. Also a good way to reflect on your week could be to write on your journal about how you have seen the Lord's hand on your week and also ponder and meditate things you want to improve for your next week.
The word Sabbath comes from a Hebrew word meaning rest. Before the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Sabbath day commemorated God’s day of rest after He finished the Creation. Now the Sabbath also commemorates the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Exodus 20:8). This is not only a day of rest, but it is also a day of active worship. On the Sabbath, Jesus did His Father’s work as He healed the sick and attended to the needs of His disciples. As we strengthen the quality of our worship on the Lord’s day, we will find that Sunday truly is a day of rest, not just for the body but for the soul. Our Sabbath-day behavior is a reflection of our commitment to honor and worship God. By keeping the Sabbath day holy, we show God our willingness to keep our covenants. Each Sabbath day we go to the Lord’s house to worship Him. While there we partake of the sacrament to remember Jesus Christ and His Atonement.
I invite you to learn more about this commandment of God and start living it! As you do so I can promise that you will feel more peace in your life, you will have the Holy Ghost to be with you and you will enjoy more understanding of His plan for you.
Worship with us:
Scriptures: 3 Nephi 18:1–25; D&C 59:9–15; Exodus 20:8–11; Exodus 31:12–17 & Isaiah 58:13–14.
Talks / Excerpts from books: Gratitude on the Sabbath Day - By President Henry B. Eyring, Oct 2016.
"And Why Call Ye Me, Lord, Lord, and Do Not the Things Which I Say?” - Elder L. Tom Perry, Oct 1984.
Keep the Sabbath Day Holy, page 74 - Preach My Gospel: A guide to missionary service;
Chapter 24: The Sabbath Day - Gospel Principles, page 139-143;
Sabbath, page 764-765, Bible Dictionary;
Lord's day, page 725, Bible Dictionary;