1. The Lord established the Sabbath.
First Presidency Statement on the Sabbath, January 1993
Since the creation of the earth, the Sabbath day has been established by God for the spiritual well-being of His children. Throughout generations of time, the sacred law of the Sabbath has been upheld by the prophets of God as a holy observance to help sanctify and bring joy to those who would keep the commandments of the Lord. So important is this matter that the observance of the Sabbath was one of the Ten Commandments written by the finger of the Lord on Mount Sinai.
Shortly after the restoration of the gospel, the Lord reaffirmed the importance of Sabbath day observance when He declared to the Prophet Joseph Smith:
“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;
“Nevertheless thy vows shall be offered up in righteousness on all days and at all times;
“But remember that on this, the Lord’s day, thou shalt offer thine oblations and thy sacraments unto the Most High, confessing thy sins unto thy brethren, and before the Lord.
“And on this day thou shalt do none other thing, only let thy food be prepared with singleness of heart that thy fasting may be perfect, or, in other words, that thy joy may be full.’ (D&C 59:9–13.)
We sense that many Latter-day Saints have become lax in their observance of the Sabbath day. We should refrain from shopping on the Sabbath and participating in other commercial and sporting activities that now commonly desecrate the Sabbath.
We urge all Latter-day Saints to set this holy day apart from activities of the world and consecrate themselves by entering into a spirit of worship, thanksgiving, service, and family-centered activities appropriate to the Sabbath. As Church members endeavor to make their Sabbath activities compatible with the intent and Spirit of the Lord, their lives will be filled with joy and peace.
Ezra Taft Benson
Gordon B. Hinckley
Thomas S. Monson
2. Pay devotions to God by worshiping Him in Sunday Church meetings.
Watch video: Keep thyself unspotted from the world. President Hinckley teaches how to “keep thyself unspotted from the world (D&C 59:9-14).”
D&C 59:9 Thou shalt go to the house of prayer
“To serve the Lord, is one of the great objects of our existence; and I appreciate as a great privilege the opportunity we enjoy of worshiping God on the Sabbath day. And when we do meet to worship God, I like to see us worship him with all our hearts. I think it altogether out of place on such occasions to hear people talk about secular things; these are times, above all others perhaps, when our feelings and affections should be drawn out towards God. If we sing praises to God, let us do it in the proper spirit; if we pray, let every soul be engaged in prayer, doing it with all our hearts, that through our union our spirits may be blended in one, that our prayers and our worship may be available with God, whose Spirit permeates all things, and is always present in the assemblies of good and faithful Saints.” (John Taylor In Journal of Discourses, 22:226.)
D&C 25:12 The song of the heart
“Alexander Schreiner, one of the great tabernacle organists, recalled a story about someone who asked a music director how he could stand to hear Brother Stanton bellow off-key at Church gatherings. The wise old leader replied, ‘Brother Stanton is one of our most devout worshipers, and when he bellows he is a supreme musician. . . . Don’t pay too much attention to the sounds he makes. If you do, you may miss the music.'” (Ensign, March 2000, p. 19)
3. Pay devotions to God by partaking of the sacrament.
Watch video: The sabbath and the sacrament (L Tom Perry, April 2011)
Watch video: Reverence the sacrament Elder Quentin L. Cook explains explains that through taking the sacrament, we show our willingness to follow the Saviour.
Watch video: Upon my holy day – getting closer to God. Elder Jeffery R. Holland discusses how we can draw closer to God on the Sabbath.
D&C 59:12 Thou shalt offer thine oblations
‘One thing that greatly disturbs me as I go around a little bit is the consciousness of the great number of people who are losing their opportunities and their blessings by the misuse of the Sabbath day. All of our lives we have heard of the great wonders that can be accomplished by even fifteen minutes a day devoted to well-directed study and concentrated thought. We know of many who have raised themselves to great heights of achievement by this simple means. But think how wonderfully we can upgrade our spirituality by making effective use of “The Lord’s Day” D&C 59:12 which he has set aside especially to enrich our lives.’ (Sterling W Sill, General Conference, April 1957)
4. Pay devotions to God by resting from your labours.
D&C 59:10 Rest from your labours
‘The scripture therefore requires that we not only desist from our usual pursuits, on his holy day, but that we do so with a particular purpose in mind, which is, that we may more properly and without interference pay our devotions unto the Most High. In plain, blunt words, we are commanded to change our usual routine and go to church and worship God on the Sabbath.’ (Mark E Petersen, General Conference, April 1975)
5. The Lord blesses those who keep the Sabbath day holy.
D&C 59:16-17 The fulness of the earth is yours
‘I wish I had the power to convert this whole Church to the observance of the Sabbath. I know our people would be more richly blessed of the Lord if they would walk in faithfulness in the observance of the Sabbath. ‘(Earl C. Tingey, “The Sabbath Day and Sunday Shopping,” Ensign, May 1996, 10)