Sunday, February 26, 2012

Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy - The Lord's Commandments

I so much look forward to writing on this blog! I always hope and pray that each post I write finds it's way to whomever is in need of those words at that time. If you find that to be true when reading this post I would love to hear about it in the comments section.

For the last three weeks I have felt the need again to write about the importance of the Sabbath day and keeping it holy - and further more what it means to keep it holy. I have written about this topic in the past which seemed to make me quite unpopular but recent events and stirrings within my heart have prompted me to relay it again.

I always hope and pray that my children will take what I teach them and desire to do even better with it. If every generation tried to do a little better than the generation before - wow, what a world we would live in. And so, that is what I have tried to do with what I was taught as a child - to do even better. Let, me tell you I will be such a proud parent if any of my children ever came to me in the future and said, "Mom, I know you taught me this...but I think I can do even better." or " I can go the extra mile with it."

There have been occasions in my family where siblings and others have criticized me for doing my best to keep the Sabbath day holy. It saddens me because if I learned that anyone in my immediate family was trying their best to live the gospel (a little harder each day) I would praise and admire them. I am only concerned about my little family (whom I am responsible for as a mother and wife). What others choose to do on the Sabbath is their choice and does not concern me. Because there have been a few who have observed how I keep the Sabbath day holy and have felt the need to chastise me, I have felt the need to explain what I believe and extend an invitation to all with the promise that if you pray about what I have written, you will receive a confirmation of it's truth. Also, if you choose to follow what I speak about, you will be blessed. Only good will come from trying a little harder to live a little better.

I believe in brief and simple teachings. So as simple as can be put, the Sabbath day is the one day each week that the Lord has set aside for the purpose of us resting from our weekly activities and worshiping Him. It's a "holy" day which means that all that we do on this sacred day should be centered around Him. Reaching out to neighbors, friends and family and extending our love, studying scriptures and pondering the words, reflecting on what we can do to have a better week, attending all of our Sunday meetings and worshiping the Lord. Instead of looking for ways to justify activities that we aren't sure are appropriate on the Sabbath, we should be looking for more ways we can better respect the Sabbath. Our actions, reflect our respect for the Sabbath and our respect is a reflection of how we feel about the Lord and the love we have for Him. Respecting our Heavenly Father is respecting His holy day.

It's not anyone's responsibility or place to tell you what you shouldn't do on the Sabbath, that is a decision you have to make for yourself. Your love for the Lord and the Spirit will guide you in determining how you and your family can best keep this day holy.

As for me and my house, we choose to avoid TV, limit computer use and any other media outlet or activity that can distract us from feeling the Spirit in our home. We avoid all forms of unnecessary labor and recreational activities. We choose not travel far on the Sabbath unless visiting family or someone who is sick or lonely. But instead of focusing on what "we choose NOT to do" we focus on what "we choose TO do". We look forward to coming up with enjoyable activities that can help us feel the Spirit and grow closer together as a family with the Lord. By doing this we have truly been blessed in our lives. We feel an abundance of joy and happiness in our daily lives and spiritually rejuvenated each week. By keeping the Sabbath day holy, the Lord blesses us with the strength we'll need to take on the next week. We are happier for living this commandment as best we can.

I have several friends who are having many difficult struggles in their lives and bouts of depression and unhappiness. They express frustration in their situations and the Lord. These are friends who have been taught the commandments and have made sacred covenants with the Lord to always keep His commandments. So, when they casually mention certain activities they are participating in which are contrary to the commandments and covenants they have made, in hopes of feeling some quick, temporal happiness I am always in awe that they expect the Lord to keep His promises to them when they are breaking theirs. I am in awe that they don't get it. True happiness comes from making good choices and keeping yourself in places and around people where you can feel the Spirit speak to you and not compromise your values. By keeping the basic commandments you will be in a position for the Spirit to speak to you and teach you what to do to be truly happy.

The Lord gives us commandments for our own good. The universe is governed by certain laws that if broken yield certain consequences. By obeying God's laws we will be happier - it's a natural consequence. Too often people look for "shortcuts" or "convenience" when trying to obey the commandments or live the gospel. When it seems tempting to take that U turn, in a "No U turn" zone, we must be prepared to deal with the consequences whether that be a hefty fine or ticket, or worse...a fatal car accident. The law is there for our own good and if we obey it we will be safe.

More importantly, living the higher law prepares us for eternal glory and progression. God gives us laws to prepare us for what lies ahead fur us in eternity if we desire it and are worthy of it. I desire to progress and move ahead in all areas of my life, so choosing to live a higher law is natural for me. If we can't live by those laws here on earth then our spiritual progression is slowed/delayed and it is much more difficult to progress in the next life. For some, they are comfortable living a lower law or "the easier way" and in the next life it will remain the same for them. Their progression will be limited but they will be fine and comfortable with that. For others, we want to progress as much as we can. We want to further our light and knowledge about the mysteries of God. If that is what we desire now, it will be the same in the next life. We will progress to the highest glory of truth and light that we desire.

Though we have our free agency when choosing how we keep the Sabbath day holy, it is very important to the Lord that we do this which is why He made it a commandment. In fact to express the importance of the commandment we are are reminded in Exodous 31:15 when the Lord says to Moses,

Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.

Today we do not face a death penalty for breaking the Sabbath, instead we suffer a spiritual death, for by breaking the Sabbath we remove ourselves from the Lord.

Sarah Menet, the author of There is No Death, had a near death experience in which she was given heavenly council and instruction on how to keep herself and her family safe from the evil that lies ahead in the last days. She spoke at a fireside in Utah several years ago, and here is an excerpt of part of that transcript. Here she speaks directly to the saints of the church in Utah in regards to the blessings of having a living prophet.

It is like living in a small city with Moses right there and yet we take it for granted that we have a prophet of God right here in our city, just a few miles away from us. Do we care? We take it for granted because we see him on TV a couple of times a year and that is great. It is wonderful to see the prophet but do you know that 50% of the Church in the last days will totally apostatize and fall away from the Church. That is half. So if we have 10 million members now, at least 5 million will not be greeting the Savior when he comes and of that percentage that is left, few of those will be left to greet the Savior. (Do not raise your hands.) How many of you consider yourself to be Christ-like people, not good members of the Church- but Christ-like people, righteous people. I am not a righteous person. I am a good person, a really good person but I do not think that I am righteous. We have been given so much and we have a prophet right here in our valley!

We have Saints that go shopping every single Sunday. They run to the store or run to Smith's. Do you know that the reason why the malls, the shops, the markets are open is because the LDS people shop on Sunday? I am going to tell you tonight a secret for saving your life in the latter days from these calamities that are coming. We as members of the Church have been told to pay an honest tithing, now that is not when you can afford to or when you have an abundance, that means if somebody gives you $.50, you pay tithing on it.

Literally every penny that you get, not just because you have more but out of every amount of money that is given to you, give 10% to the Lord. That is going to protect you completely and if you have not done it in the past.

Today is a new day. I am one for saying: "Every day is a fresh clean piece of paper." You can start your life over today. It does not matter what you did yesterday, last week, or last month. Today is a new day!

Tomorrow they can be up there looking at your crystals and blotting out what you have done. If you have hurt someone, I do not care if you feel like you were in the right or not, you go to that person. They have to pay for what they have done. Believe me, no one gets out of this life without paying for what they have done. You are responsible only for your salvation, for how you live your life, how you treat your fellow man. I have had people, even recently, do things to me. I think I am in the right. I did not do it but I still will go to that person and say, "If I have done something to you to offend you, I hope you will forgive me, and I am sorry." I will say this even if I just think you are the one. It does not matter. You do not have to be proven right or anything else. You are in control of your own life, what you choose to do with it. You pay your honest tithing. That protects you. What have we been told?

What do you think is going to be the great burning in the last days? You will not burn in the nuclear war if you pay an honest tithing. If you have not paid an honest tithing in the past - that is past. Today is a new day - Sunday is a new week. Commit to yourself that! You give the Lord your tenth and you will pay an honest tithing.

Fill your day with things that are of the Lord. It is a little hard at first but I have a nine-year-old boy who does not play outside on Sunday. I do let him watch the Book of Mormon video tapes because that is the same as a spiritual experience for him but there is no regular TV. There is no picnicking. Some people say why can't we just drive up in the canyon and enjoy the beauty of the canyon on Sunday. That is not breaking the Sabbath. I tell them, "You do what you want, but wouldn't it be far better to spending that time in service of our fellow man than entertaining yourselves by even enjoying God's beauty on the Sabbath." That is what Saturday is for and the evenings in the summer. To keep the Lord's Sabbath day holy is to spend it in service of him. How are we in service of our God? When we are in the service of our fellow being we are only in the service of our God”. So you will be protected from the biological warfare and the plagues by keeping the Sabbath day holy, your whole family. No one should enter into your home or be a part of your home that is not keeping the Sabbath holy. It should be a family situation. When I have guests or anyone else come from out of town, I tell them the same thing. If they do not choose to be there, they can stay at a motel or they can do something else but they will not stay in my home and break the Sabbath. That is how adamant I am about keeping the Sabbath holy.

The other greatest thing, of course, is to be as close to the Savior as we can be, to pray day and night that we are becoming a Christ-like people. The most Christ-like attitude that you can have is to love your fellow man, to love them unconditionally. That is probably the hardest thing that I would ask you to do but to try and have a unconditional love for every being that you come in contact with. After awhile of practicing it you do not even have to try, you do not even have to try, it is second nature, it comes naturally, you become a Christ-like person.

For more on this transcript you can visit this link

To be protected against the adversary and the destruction that will come during these last days that we are living in, it is important that we keep the commandments and keep the Sabbath day holy. I know that keeping this commandment has blessed me and my family immensely. Not only are we happier, we have been able to avoid unnecessary sorrows, suffering and pains and have been able to enjoy our life to the fullest. I know that the Lord loves all of His children and just as any loving parent, He gives us rules to keep us safe and happy. I say this in the name of Jesus Christ - amen.

No comments: