Breaking the Sabbath

More like completely snapping the Sabbath in half.

As Mormons, we are to act as good abiding Christians and keep the Sabbath Day holy. This means going to church, dressing appropriatley, not shopping, going out to eat, or doing other recreational activities that might require "work" from someone else. Likewise, we aren't supposed to work ourselves on Sunday.

It is NOT a day...

1. To go to Wal-Mart and buy groceries for the week.

2. For inviting over friends and watching rated "R" movies.

3. To play video games all day and leave your family to fend for themselves. (This excludes Rock Band of course, which can be played by everyone... and it's awesome.)

4. To go workout.

5. To surf the internet, unless it's about Mormon stuff.

6. To go to the movies, water park, mall, skiing, biking, hiking etc...

7. For chores. (Woo hoo, a good one!)

Alright, alright. So what the Hell (pardon) do we sit around and do on Sunday?

It IS a day....

1. Of rest from our labors.

2. Of worship.

3. To remember the Lord’s atonement and resurrection.

4. To renew our baptismal covenants by partaking of the sacrament.

5. Of prayer and fasting.

6. Of finding uplift in music, hymns, and songs.

7. To prepare, meditate, and study the gospel.

8. To visit the sick and the afflicted, the widow and the orphan.

9. To strengthen our ties with our living families, do work for those who died without the ordinances of salvation, and write family histories.

10. For missionary preparation and work.

While many of us, I'm sure, regularly observe the Sabbath day properly, I am also sure that some of us have found our way to the grocery store more than once. Monday is swiftly approaching, and work hangs over our heads. Especially for those families with two working parents. Grabbing that necessary gallon of milk, bag of cereal, ground beef, taco seasoning, chocolate chips, cod filets, doughnuts, etc... Seems crucial given that you didn't buy these things Saturday, and tomorrow is SO out of the question at this point. And if you are at Super Wal-Mart the toilet paper, eye-shadow, steering wheel cover, and bolt of fabric seem essential as well. There have also been times where recreational activites on Saturday just weren't enough, and Sunday seemed the perfect opportunity to catch up on that movie premiere. Then there's the couple at Applebee's who shows up around 3pm in their church clothes. You know they are Mormon, first of all because it's 3pm and they aren't out of their church clothes yet. As if that wasn't enough, they each have the "celestial smile" (the visible crescent that the neck of garments makes under the shirt). It's just so much easier to "go out" than get all those dishes dirty, right?

However, we Mormons rarely get in "trouble" for this type of behavior seeing as anyone who bears witness of these transgressions, is in fact, transgressing themselves. I would be hesitant to confront John Smith and his wife if I saw them at Indiana Jones on Sunday. Or if the Bishop came up to me and said, "I've seen you at Alberton's a few times grocery shopping on Sundays."

What about working? My husband could have earned $224 dollars working an 8 hour day on Sunday. Instead we have to tithe 10% and GIVE the money to church!

Okay, it seems like a real crappy deal when outsiders and potential converts look in on our "cultish" little world. I have to admit, I have no personal advice for this particular subject given that I would not be practicing what I preach. (What can I say, I'm not perfect. Surprising, I know.) It's not like I visit the strip club during church, but I have been known to be a part of that family at Applebee's once or twice. I can personally vouch for the blessings of tithing, however.

I do know this...

Devoting ONE day to God, out of the Seven he gave us ain't bad. And 10% of our monthly income could probably buy no more than a few nights out to dinner and a few movies. (Unless you're rich, in which case think about how much you pay in taxes and it'll make you feel better.) The blessings that come from abiding by these rules are astronomical given that we don't really give that much to begin with. It's a small price to pay for eternal happiness.

Anonymous (or not, for that matter) comments with Sabbath Day Breaking confessions will be taken now.


Anonymous said...

I'll be the first to confess, in the past I have broken the Sabbath. Recently in Sacrament we had talks about breaking the Sabbath and what we should and should not do. Unfortunately, that same day DH and I realised that we were completely out of dog food and because of our lack of planning our puppies would starve if we didn't break the Sabbath. So we had to go.

In the past we would have actually purposely planned this because then we'd say "Well, we're already at the store, might as well get some shopping done." and "Since we spent money at the grocery store, we might as well pick up food on the way home. Ah heck, let's hit the steak house."

However now, we know that something like this happening is a warning to ourselves to plan and prepare ahead of time for Sunday. So we can rest from our labors and dedicate the day to God.

You're right April, one day out of the week is NOTHING compared to what he's given us.


Moody said...

This is the hardest thing for me to keep. I'm getting much better at not having to go to the store, or sending my husband (cause he's not a member so it doesn't count, right?) But I generally clean house and try to catch up on upteen other things that need to get done. I'm definitely a work in progress still!

James said...

You say worshiping one day out of seven isn't bad, but it ain't good either. Jesus gave his life, we should be willing to do the same. I am not saying there must be perfection NOW! But the spirit of the Sabbath day is a spirit that we should keep the rest of the week if we are to get all we should from the days practices as you have outlined.

April said...

Very good points.

We should be feeling the Spirit throughout the week and living as He would.

I think this is where our Good Works come in. We aren't supposed to keep the Sabbath Day holy, then do whatever we want during the week. We should be doing Good Works all the time!

Anonymous said...

This was very informative, thank you.
I found my way here because as I watched an Olympic basketball game, it was announced that two of the starting players would not play because they were Mormons. Yet they were sitting on the bench, cheering on their teammates. The way I understand it, just watching the event was breaking the Sabbath. If they were going to break Sabbath, they should have gone all the way - the Olympics is a once in a lifetime thing, after all!

Anonymous said...

Why can't mormons swim on sunday?

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