Mormons believe that Sabbath-day observance was established during the days of Adam and Eve.
I noticed the increased emphasis church leaders are putting on Sabbath day observances.
Latter-day saints believe that Sabbath-day behavior is a, reflection of their commitment to honor and worship God. By keeping the Sabbath day holy, they show God their willingness to keep their covenants.
Is there more to keeping the Sabbath day holy that is expected of Latter-day Saints?
Yes, Latter-day Saints believe that it is a commandment the Lord has given us for our benefit. Obedience to this commandment brings them peace in this life and eternal life in the world to come.
Latter-day Saints believe the Sabbath is a day to enjoy a rest from labor. they should refrain from shopping on the Sabbath and participating in other commercial and sporting activities that now commonly desecrate the Sabbath.
Latter-day Saints set this holy day apart from activities of the world by entering, into a spirit of worship, thanksgiving, service, and family-centered activities appropriate for the Sabbath.
So, for Mormons, the Old Testament Covenant of Sabbath-keeping is carried forward into modern times? Even though it was not included in the New Testament Covenant?
Let’s look at the context of the command in the Old Testament? In, order to fully understand the Sabbath-day, first mentioned in Exodus 20, it must be seen in the context to whom it was given – The Children of Israel.
When we read the ten commandments in their context found in Exodus, Chapters 19-24, they are inseparably connected with the Old Covenant of the Law given to the Children of Israel.
The Israelites under the Mosaic Law were to perform no work on Saturday which was the seventh-day of the week. And, the penalty for desecrating the Sabbath with work was death (Exodus 31:14; Numbers 15:32-36).
Doesn’t the true Sabbath go back to what God did at the end of creation? Genesis 2:2-3 says,“And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day,and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.”
Latter-day Church leaders have taught that Sabbath-day observance has been instituted since the says of Adam and Eve.
That’s not true! The Sabbath “rest” was not instituted at the creation. Adam and Eve didn’t observe the Sabbath-day. Why would they? They were in the Garden with God. There was no labor to complete.
The Genesis record was written by Moses as an explanation of why there was a Sabbath, not as evidence of there being a Sabbath at that time. The Children of Israel did not practice the Law of the Sabbath before Sinai.
So, what does it mean that God rested on the seventh day from all his work?
It certainly doesn’t mean God was tired and needed a break. We know that God is all-powerful. He never tires.
Then, what does it mean that God rested on the seventh day?
Simply that He stopped what He was doing. He ceased from His labors. He stopped creating. “It was finished!”. Sound familiar? The Hebrew word for Sabbath is sabat, which means “to rest or stop or cease from work.”
God used the example of His resting on the seventh day of Creation to establish the principle of the Sabbath day rest for His people. “Works” were not required.
Latter-day Saints believe the Sabbath is a perpetual covenant? God told Israel in Exodus 31:13 “…My sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you through-out your generations…”
However,believers today, being under the New Covenant, are not bound to keep the sign of the Old Covenant.
With the establishment of the Mosaic Law, the Jews were constantly laboring to make themselves acceptable to God. As hard as they tried to obey a myriad of do’s and don’ts they couldn’t possibly keep all those laws. So, God provided an array of sin offerings and sacrifices so they could come to Him for forgiveness and restore fellowship with Him.
But this was only temporary. Hebrews 10:1 tells us that the law “can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship.”
Weren’t those sacrifices offered in anticipation of the ultimate sacrifice of Christ on the cross?
Yes! Hebrews 10:12 says that Christ “…after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God.” He ceased from His labor of the atonement because there was nothing more to be done. It was finished?
We no longer need to observe the Sabbath?
Because of what Jesus did, we no longer have to labor in law-keeping in order to be justified in the sight of God. Jesus was sent so that we might rest in God.
In Christ we find complete rest from the labors of our self-effort, because He alone is holy and righteous.
2 Corinthians 5:21
“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” Now we can cease from our spiritual labors and rest in Him. Not just one day a week, but always.