Sabbath is special day to honor God and his goodness

Since Sinai, we as the Lord's people have had a special beacon to bless us in our journey back into His presence. It is the fourth commandment, which is unique in many ways.

Keeping holy the Sabbath - a special day to honor God and His infinite goodness - cannot be done just any day. While we can exercise keeping the other commandments every day of the year, this commandment can be kept only once each week. Our obedient observance to it can provide us a mountain-top view only 52 times each year; a vantage point from which to look backward and repent of any mis-doings, an occasion to look ahead and recommit to continuing righteousness. On the Sabbath, we can feed our spirit in ways not available the other six days of the week.The Sabbath is the day on which we can partake of the holy sacrament and on which we can attend three hours of gospel instruction to regularly strengthen and share our testimony of the restored gospel. It is the day that most of us can, through careful planning, spend 24 hours away from temporal toil and worldly influence. It is also a day to enjoy special time with our families, to write missionaries, visit the sick and the families we are assigned to contact as home or visiting teachers.

It is no surprise that on the Sabbath, the "best" TV specials are scheduled and that major sports events are staged. Wonder not that the flea markets and malls are alive with bargains, and prestigious social and cultural events are frequently held. They can be tests to try our obedience to the fourth commandment, magnets designed by the adversary to lure us off the straight and narrow path which leads to exaltation. He would distract and try to persuade us that Sabbath-keeping is old fashioned, out of date and unnecessarily restrictive.

Almost all manufactured items now come with care instructions, be they clothing, furnishings or machinery. The manufacturer therein specifies how to get the best and longest service from the item. The Lord is our Maker, and He has created us in His "own image." (Moses 2:26.) He has provided a host of care instructions so that we can live the best and happiest life in ways most pleasing to Him and, ultimately, to ourselves. One of these care instructions is to make one day in seven holy, God-focused, different in the best of ways.

The Lord has "made us and not we ourselves. We are His people and the sheep of His pasture." (Psalm 100:3.) He knew from the beginning the kind of care our spirits and bodies need to endure and thrive under mortal wear and tear. He wants each of us to provide effective service and experience joy all the days of our warranty. He ever begs and cautions us through His holy scriptures and His living prophets to plan and live our weeks in a way that will preserve our physical energies and our spiritual stamina; with one day in seven uniquely programmed and executed. If we would have His richest blessings, we will gain them only by living as He has lovingly decreed.

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