Now that I am going back to church and attending Gospel Principles during Sunday school I am learning more than I ever did when I was a young perhaps stubborn teen ( yes very stubborn). A real quick tidbit on Gospel Principles... it is the class for new members or investigators of the church. It covers the basics of the gospel. The foundation of our beliefs in the LDS church. Even when a lesson topic is familiar to me I am grateful for this invaluable class and what we learn each Sunday.
Returning to church is really starting all over. Being inactive as we call it often leaves a person forgetting some ( not all) of the gospel and so I made the decision to attend the class till I know I am ready to move forward to Gospel Doctrine. I figure a back story was needed before continuing on to the topic of the Sabbath day.
I love the first question in our church manuals. The first question is what is the Sabbath day? I was dumbfounded as I stared at this question! My mind went blank! I thought to myself this day is a day I am very familiar with but what is the day about? It is a day of rest. In the beginning the Sabbath day was the day that Heavenly Father rested from creating the earth. He had six time periods that he referred to as days in the bible and the seventh time period ( or day) he rested and blessed this day as a day of rest and worship. ( for scriptural reference see Genesis 2:2-3)
Along with this; the Savior's resurrection is also commemorated. He arose on Sunday and thus the Sabbath is on Sunday. If you look up the Sabbath it was originally on Saturday and was changed to Sunday when Christ was risen. Which makes absolute sense to me. There are scriptures that also back this up Acts 20:7 and Corinthians 16:2.
Anyway, we covered the origins of the Sabbath day ( the history) and then moved on to the purpose. In the manual it states that the Sabbath day was made for our benefit. It is a day we can solely concentrate on directing our thoughts and actions toward the Lord. We can ponder spiritual matters, read our scriptures, visit friends and family, perform acts of charity ( as would Christ who healed people on the Sabbath day). We can discuss what we learned in Sunday school, invite a friend to attend church with us. Give away a Book of Mormon. It seems like the possibilities are endless.
Which leads me to a question I reworded so I could journal about it:
" What can I do to improve my efforts to keep the Sabbath day holy?"
I gave a list of things we can do on Sunday that keep it holy. Some people would argue that some of these are not in the spirit of the Sabbath. And well I will argue that point! Which I already did really! Like Christ healing... as a christian I seek to follow Christ and His example. So if the Savior healed and helped on the Sabbath, me doing the same would be perfectly okay.
In the LDS church we are asked to rest from our daily labors like work when we can, there are some jobs that call for us to work such as doctor or nurse. Keeping the Sabbath in your mind and heart throughout the day is a way of keeping it Sanctified, keeping it holy even with work. Luckily I get to rest from my labors. We don't do any work that we would do during the week save for feeding times for the animals. There are things that will always have to be done, but this is allowed. My grandma always said this though " Saturday is the day you get ready for Sunday" ( It is also a children's hymn song).
I am a strong believer in this. While farm chores like feeding the animals is something we have to do. We can prepare on Saturday to get things in order and then concentrate on the Sabbath more fully. in the manual it says we could ask ourselves these questions:
" Will it uplift and inspire me?"
" Does it show respect for the Lord?"
" Does it direct my thoughts to Him?"
Not once when I was growing up did I really do this! I was so used to Sunday and how we did things that I did not once remember to ask myself these questions. I want to write these on an index card so I can be aware. What can I do to uplift my soul on Sunday? Pray, attend church meetings.What can I read to inspire me? Church manuals and the scriptures, along with other church materials ( like the Ensign magazine) I can listen intently to the talks( Sacrament) and lessons ( Sunday school and Relief Society) for inspiration as well.
I feel like these are the meats and potatoes of it all these simple questions. They cover a broad spectrum. I didn't answer each and every one, but I am sure you get the idea ( smiles). These questions can help me draw closer to the Lord and feed my soul. I believe as I try to keep the Sabbath day holy that I will be blessed. In our lesson we are told that blessing both temporal and spiritual are ours. Sometimes we won't be aware of these blessings.
For me the biggest blessing of the Sabbath day is partaking of the Sacrament and renewing myself for the week. I can take that time during the administering the sacrament to remember the Atonement. To think about what Christ did for me. That right there is a blessing .
I know I haven't covered as much as I could on the Sabbath day. It's a little late but I want to start blogging about my faith and more about my life. I thought each Sunday I could go over what I learned in church. If you have questions comment and I will answer the best I can.