Sunday, January 14, 2018

President Russell M. Nelson on making the Sabbath a delight

President Russell M. Nelson (born Sept 9, 1924) was an internationally-renowned heart surgeon when he was called to serve as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 1984. He was set apart as president of the Quorum of Twelve on July 15, 2015. With the death of President Monson, at age 93 he currently presides over the Church as senior apostle.
"When Isaiah described the Sabbath as 'a delight,' he also taught us how to make it delightful. He said:
"'If thou turn away... from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, ... and shalt honour [the Lord], not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:
"'Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord.' (Isaiah 58:13–14; emphasis added.)
"Not pursuing your 'own pleasure' on the Sabbath requires self-discipline. You may have to deny yourself of something you might like. If you choose to delight yourself in the Lord, you will not permit yourself to treat it as any other day. Routine and recreational activities can be done some other time.
"Think of this: In paying tithing, we return one-tenth of our increase to the Lord. In keeping the Sabbath holy, we reserve one day in seven as His. So it is our privilege to consecrate both money and time to Him who lends us life each day. (See Mosiah 2:21.)
"Faith in God engenders a love for the Sabbath; faith in the Sabbath engenders a love for God. A sacred Sabbath truly is a delight.
"Now, as this conference comes to a close, we know that wherever we live we are to be examples of the believers among our families, neighbors, and friends. (See 1 Timothy 4:12.) True believers keep the Sabbath day holy."
- Russell M. Nelson, "The Sabbath Is a Delight," General Conference April 2015
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

As we strive to "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy" (Genesis 20:8) President Nelson's counsel from this wonderful address is helpful. Not only can we remember it, but we can make it "a delight" as we follow the counsel to focus on the things of the Lord. It's one of the small things we can do to express our gratitude to God for the many blessings we receive from Him:

I like the association President Nelson makes between love for God and for the Sabbath. They build and reinforce each other. As "true believers" in Him, we should desire to continue to grow in that association and in those blessings.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2018)

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