Saturday, October 13, 2012

Remember the Sabbath

"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."
— Doctrine & Covenants 59:9-10

How many of us truly keep the Sabbath day holy? Do we even know what that means anymore? 

When the children of Israel were delivered from Egypt, the Lord God gave them this commandment concerning the Sabbath day —

"Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates."
— Exodus 20:8-10

Many may think, "I keep the Sabbath day holy because I go to church." But what about after you go to church? Do you go shopping? Do you go out to eat with family? Do you go watch or participate in sports events? Do you spend your day online or watching TV programs?

Which of these activities worships the Lord? The answer is none of them. The Sabbath was made so we can spend our time worshipping the Lord, learning His gospel, and serving others. It is not a day to spend working, inside or outside our homes, and it is not a day to make others work for us. 

Think of the store employees where you shop on Sunday. Think of the waiter at the restaurant where you have Sunday brunch. They cannot keep the Sabbath day holy because they have to work for YOU. In a way, you are turning them into your manservant or maidservant the Lord spoke of.

I could spend all day listing do's and don'ts for appropriate Sabbath activity. But in reality, all any of us has to do is answer one simple question — Do my Sabbath activities help me and others think of and worship God?

Spencer W. Kimball said, "Sometimes Sabbath observance is characterized as a matter of sacrifice and self-denial, but it is not so. It is merely a matter of scheduling and choosing seasons. There is time enough, particularly in our era of the world’s history, during the six days of the week in which to do our work and play. Much can be done to organize and encourage weekday activities, avoiding the Sabbath."

"To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven."
— Ecclesiastes 3:1

There is a time and season to do everything. The Sabbath day is the "season" of worship and service. Everything else can be done the rest of the week. The Sabbath day is a gift from God for us to rest and rejuvenate our bodies and spirits. Take this opportunity to accept God's gift and use it as it was meant to be.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Sweet and Simple Thursday

Monday, October 8, 2012

Come Unto Christ Through Repentance

"Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more. By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins — behold, he will confess them and forsake them."
— Doctrine & Covenants 58:42-43

Christ made an atonement for us - he suffered for our sins in the garden of Gethsemane, he died for us on the hill called Calvary, then he was resurrected so that we might all live again. 

The Lord has said that no unclean thing can enter into the kingdom of God. We must be washed clean through the blood of Jesus Christ. How exactly do we do this? In addition to having faith in Christ, and being baptized, we must also repent of our sins. The verse above gives us the key to repentance — we must confess and forsake our sins. 

Confession is a powerful exercise in humility. To fall on our knees and confess to God our sins requires us to admit that we are not perfect, that we make mistakes, that we are not always right and we know it. We have to accept the fact that we aren't going anywhere in our progression towards salvation without Christ's atonement - His grace and mercy -  to bring us into God's presence. We must confess our wrongdoings and sincerely ask for God's forgiveness so we can be cleansed through the blood of the Lamb.

Forsaking our sins can be very difficult. After acknowledging what we did is wrong, we have to master ourselves — our tempers, our habits, our tongues, our thoughts — to overcome our sins. Again, this can only truly be done through Christ's grace and mercy. Forsaking our sins requires daily (or even hourly!) prayer, asking for God's strength and love to overcome our natural man. 

"For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father."
— Mosiah 3:19

When we are patient, humble, and meek, we can truly repent of our sins and become more like Christ. We can become clean through the blood of the Lamb and be worthy to enter His presence.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Sweet and Simple Thursday