YM Lesson 26: Do Good on the Sabbath

Sabbath Day

Keep the Sabbath day holy. Now is the time to put in place a habit that will become your pattern for the rest of your life. The pattern of the Sabbath day was clearly established in the Ten Commandments (see Ex. 20:8-11).

The Lord repeated this counsel in a revelation given through the Prophet Joseph Smith in these days:

"And that thou mayest more fully keep thyself unspotted from the world, thou shalt go to the house of prayer and offer up thy sacraments upon my holy day;

"For verily this is a day appointed unto you to rest from your labors, and to pay thy devotions unto the Most High" (D&C 59:9-10).

In today's world, with the heavy emphasis on commercialism, it is sometimes hard to distinguish Sunday from any other day of the week. If you are not careful, you will find that quietly you begin to violate the sacred Sabbath and soon establish your own pattern--which will not be the Lord's pattern and over time will be difficult to break.

You students might consider what should be your standard in regard to studying on the Sabbath. I speak from experience, having attended three universities, which included law school and earning an advanced master's degree in corporation law. During part of that time I served as bishop and worked in New York City as an attorney. I had every temptation and opportunity to study on the Sabbath day but made it a simple matter of faith and principle that I would avoid studying on Sunday. I feel that the Lord honored my commitment. I was able to complete all that I attempted educationally and excelled where I needed to excel.

The Sabbath day can become a wonderful day to do good. You can attend your meetings, partake of the sacrament, fast, study the gospel, visit those in need, write to missionaries, read good books, and take time to contemplate and ponder and analyze where you are going and what you are making of your life.

Elder Mark E. Petersen (1900-84) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught: "Our observance or nonobservance of the Sabbath is an unerring measure of our attitude toward the Lord personally and toward his suffering in Gethsemane, his death on the cross, and his resurrection from the dead. It is a sign of whether we are Christians in very deed, or whether our conversion is so shallow that commemoration of his atoning sacrifice means little or nothing to us."

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