The fullness of the earth is promised to those who keep the Sabbath Day holy, taught Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
A warm Easter Sunday afternoon offered an apropos moment for the apostle to discuss the importance of observing the Lord’s Day. It was the Savior who taught that “the Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.”
“[Christ] wanted us to understand that the Sabbath was His gift to us, granting real respite from the rigors of daily life, and opportunity for spiritual and physical renewal,” he said. “God gave us this special day, not for amusement or daily labor, but for a rest from duty, with physical and spiritual relief.”
The Sabbath, he added, was given as a perpetual covenant — a constant reminder that the Lord may sanctify His people.
“In addition, we now partake of the sacrament on the Sabbath Day in remembrance of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Again, we covenant that we are willing to take upon us His holy name.
The Lord has asked His followers to keep and hallow the Sabbath Day.
“In my much younger years, I studied the work of others who had compiled lists of things to do and things not to do on the Sabbath,” said Elder Nelson. “It wasn’t until later that I learned from the scriptures that my conduct and my attitude on the Sabbath constituted a sign between me and my Heavenly Father. With that understanding, I no longer needed lists of dos and don’ts. When I had to make a decision whether or not an activity was appropriate for the Sabbath, I simply asked myself, ‘What sign do I want to give to God?’ That question made my choices about the Sabbath Day crystal clear.”
Besides attending Sunday services, partaking of the sacrament and being diligent in Church callings, the Sabbath provides a wonderful opportunity to strengthen family ties. It can be a delight when parents utilize the day to teach the gospel to their children.
“Now parents have such wonderful resources available to help them make family time more meaningful, on the Sabbath and other days as well,” he said. “They have lds.org, mormon.org, the Bible videos, the Mormon Channel, the Gospel Art Library, the Friend, the New Era, the Ensign, the Liahona, and more—much more."
The Sabbath Day can also be used to perform family history work and connect with family members who did not have an opportunity to accept the gospel in mortality.
“Make the Sabbath a delight by rendering service to others, especially those who are not feeling well, or those who are lonely or in need,” he added.
Faith in God engenders a love for the Sabbath, declared Elder Nelson. Faith in the Sabbath engenders a love for God. “A sacred Sabbath truly is a delight,” he declared.