For Latter-day Saints (Mormons), The Sabbath Day is Sunday in most of the world. Mormons who live in Israel celebrate the Sabbath on Saturday, and in Moslem countries, on Friday, keeping the spirit of the law to set aside the seventh day, but enabling Mormons to align themselves with the cultures’ workweeks.
The Sabbath is a day of rest, following the initial example of the Lord during the Creation: “And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he has made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it” (Genesis 2:2-3).
The Sabbath is a day to rest from work and to worship Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Members of the LDS Church hold church services, which include sacrament meeting and lessons taught by members of the congregation. All of the meetings typically last three hours in total, with sacrament meeting being one of three. After sacrament meeting, members of the congregation split off into classes, where Gospel principles are taught and the members can learn and share experiences. Teachers of these classes are called by the priesthood leaders.
Mormons believe the Sabbath should be set apart from the other six days of the week. It is the Lord’s day, a day when men and women rest from work and spend time worshipping the Lord. Members are encouraged not to work, nor go shopping, which requires others to work. The usual active play activities which may go on during the week are discouraged on Sundays as well. Mormons basically try to follow a guideline of avoiding doing anything which is irreverent or detracts from the restful, peaceful, and worshipful spirit of the day.
There are many uplifting activities appropriate for the Sabbath Day, such as spending time with family, reading books which uplift and educate the spirit, and taking time to ponder and meditate on the scriptures and about how one’s life is in accordance with the Lord’s will.
President James E. Faust said, “Ever since Adam’s day the divine law of the Sabbath has been emphasized repeatedly over the centuries more than any other commandment.” In biblical times the commandment to rest and worship was so strict that any violation of it called for penalty of death (see Exodus 31:15). In the Old Testament the Sabbath is referred to as a blessed and hallowed day, as an indication of faithfulness and spiritual celebration.
When Jesus Christ came to the earth, He reaffirmed the importance of the Sabbath day, but He introduced a new aspect into the day of worship. Rather than the technicalities of what should be done and strict prohibitions on what shouldn’t be done on the Sabbath, Jesus Christ introduced the principle that “the Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27). This meant that good deeds should be performed and men should view the Sabbath as a day to draw closer to the Lord. As President James E. Faust states, “The Sabbath day observance in our day is now more of a manifestation of individual devotion and commitment rather than a requirement of civil law.”
It is with this idea of the Sabbath day that Latter-day Saints approach their worship services and activities. Men and women will receive great blessings by honoring the Lord’s day. By setting aside time to rest, ponder, and worship, the body and the spirit can be rejuvenated.
More about the Sabbath Day: