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Question

 

Gramps,

In reading my scriptures and learning about religious history Jesus never gives any indication that the sabbath day will ever change but does state that the sabbath will be a holy worship day for as long as he exists (which is forever,  obviously).  Only later in history does the Roman Catholic Church say that by “their” authority do they change the sabbath from Saturday to Sunday.  This is absolutely disobeying the 3rd Commandment.  So why does the “LDS Church”  hold Sunday as the sabbath too?

Alyson

 

Answer

 

Alyson,

Yes, we always want to do our best to follow the commandments of the Lord to the best of our abilities.

Have you asked yourself the following questions?

  • What absolute marker is there that a certain day is “Sunday” (or if you prefer …”Saturday”)?
  • What is the purpose of living prophets?

When it is Sunday morning in Jerusalem it is still considered Saturday in the United States.  Why?  Because of the international date line.  Did the Lord establish that as the determiner of what is a new day?  Of course not.  If the Garden of Eden was in the US, why isn’t the date line in the Atlantic instead of the Pacific?

What says Saturday is the 7th day of the week?  We do.  Why can’t we simply say that Sunday is the 7th day of the week?  We could.  Where did the Lord declare that Saturday is the 7th day of the week?  He never did.  According to many schools of thought, the original sabbath (or 7th day) was what we now call Wednesday.  So, why not switch it to Wednesday?

OR we could simply say that we don’t really know and just pick a day that most of us can simply agree on.  For most of the Christian world that day is Sunday.  Why? Tradition.  After Christ’s resurrection, the Apostles started meeting on Sundays.  Eventually this weekly meeting became the common practice worship day (or what we now call Sabbath).

But how do we know that this is ok with the Lord and is not just for our convenience?  First, let me point out that the Savior himself told us:

And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath    Mark 2:27

As Latter-day Saints we have living prophets to provide further guidance.  Their statements have consistently been to follow tradition.  In the Christian world this means that we observe the Sabbath on Sundays.  In Israel, LDS congregations observe the Sabbath on Saturdays.  In Muslim nations, LDS congregations (with some exceptions) observe the Sabbath on Fridays.

So, the Lord has told us that WE are not created for the purpose of keeping the Sabbath.  The Sabbath was created for OUR benefit.  And modern prophets have given guidance to allow for regional modification to the practice.

The only thing I’d warn against is that by understanding this principle, it is very easy to tell ourselves that we can simply observe the Sabbath on any day of our individual choice.  Tempting, but misguided.  Remember that one of the most important things about the Sabbath is for us to meet, preach, teach, share, to become a part of the Community of Saints, and to partake of the sacrament.  This cannot be done on an individual level.  It must at the very least be done on a congregational level or possibly stake level.  Overall, the prophets have given guidance that regional traditions should govern for the most part.

Follow the Lord.  Listen to the prophets.  Obey the commandments.  Give reverence to the Lord.  Keep the Sabbath Holy.

 

Gramps

 

 

 

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