Is it breaking the Sabbath Day to walk a dog on Sunday? I realize that the commandment states that even cattle are to do no work on that day. I know that there are 6 other days in which one could walk the dog. However spending the Sabbath with an energetic dog that needs exercise can be difficult. Also what if we walk together as a family and reflect on the beauty of the world and its creations? I’m only trying to better keep the day holy and not offend God.
We need to consider both the spirit of the law and the letter of the law. In the time of Moses the Lord would have given the children of Israel the spiritual laws of the gospel, that would have led to their eternal salvation, but they would have none of it, so He gave them the law of carnal commandments to lead them to Christ. However, obedience to the letter of the law of carnal commandments, without understanding the purpose of the law or the spirit of it, would only lead to their destruction. A Sabbath’s days journey for the Jews, for instance, was limited to a given number of cubits, 2000, that they were permitted to walk. There were sanctions against taking one step beyond the 2000 cubits. That law of carnal commandments was done away with by the Savior, who substituted for it a spiritual law, in which the attitude of the person carried more weight than did the outwards acts.
So, questions about walking the dog on Sunday could well be replaced with questions about what we should be thinking about while walking the dog? What opportunities for sharing a kind word or giving some assistance along the way to someone in need. It’s whether we carry the image of the Savior in our hearts, we are instant in prayer, we reflect with appreciation on the all encompassing kindness, love and condescension of our Father in Heaven. It is by these things that we will be judged, rather than by how many steps we take.