TOTW=Thought of the Week
Aside from just answering your awesome questions, I’ll also be posting a thought of the week on all sorts of random topics–cool, huh? (Just say “yes”…)
So, the Sabbath.
Chances are, if you know some Mormons, and you’ve asked them to do any number of things with you on a Sunday, you’ve gotten one of the following response:
- “I can’t today, sorry” or…
- “<Insert lame, probably not entirely true, excuse>”
Similarly, if you live in any of the Mormon Meccas (ie: Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, etc.), you’ll notice EVERYTHING is closed on Sunday (and you thought Chick-fil-A being closed on Sunday was an outrage…)
Mormons practice somewhat strict Sabbath day observance.
From The Beginning…
The word Sabbath comes from the Hebrew word Shabbath (or Shabbos) , which came from the root Shin-Beit-Tav, meaning to rest, to end, or to cease. Simply, the Sabbath was Biblically designated as a day of rest.
Genesis 2:2-3 states:
“And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.”
(Am I the only person who finds those verses to be a tad redundant??? Anyway…)
This idea of resting on this sanctified, seventh day, was so important that its observance became one of the Ten Commandments:
“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…wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.” (Exodus 20:9-11)
And in his review of the Ten Commandments in Deuteronomy 5:12-14, Moses expanded on the Lord’s requirement regarding the Sabbath:
“Keep the Sabbath day to sanctify it, as the Lord thy God hath commaned thee. Six days thou shalt 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…”
Phew! I think you get the point!
Jewish people continue to observe Shabbat on the seventh day of the week (from sunset on Friday until nightfall on Saturday). A few New Testament scriptures (Acts 20:7, 1 Corinthians 16:2), however, indicate that following Christ’s death and resurrection (which occurred on a Sunday), Christ’s disciples began worshipping on Sunday, the first day of the week; this is likely why most Christian’s consider Sunday to be the Sabbath. Just an interesting fact.
And while some may think the call for Sabbath observance is outdated (since it is not explicitly commanded in the New Testament), the Old Testament and modern revelation confirm that it is in fact an “everlasting covenant” to be continued “forever” (Exodus 31:16-17, Doctrine & Covenants 59:9-12).
What Do Mormons Do On The Sabbath?
- Partake of the sacrament and attend church meetings
- Rest/Do spiritual things
“In Hebrew the term Sabbath means ‘rest.’ It contemplates quiet tranquility, peace of mind and spirit. It is a day to get rid of selfish interests and absorbing activities” –Spencer W. Kimball