Sunday, November 11, 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 became president of that quorum on July 15, 2015. Following the death of President Monson, he was set apart as president of the Church on January 14, 2018.
"I am intrigued by the words of Isaiah, who called the Sabbath 'a delight' (Isaiah 58:13). Yet I wonder, is the Sabbath really a delight for you and for me?
"I first found delight in the Sabbath many years ago when, as a busy surgeon, I knew that the Sabbath became a day for personal healing. By the end of each week, my hands were sore from repeatedly scrubbing them with soap, water, and a bristle brush. I also needed a breather from the burden of a demanding profession. Sunday provided much-needed relief.
"What did the Savior mean when He said that 'the sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath' (Mark 2:27)? I believe He wanted us to understand that the Sabbath was His gift to us, granting real respite from the rigors of daily life and an opportunity for spiritual and physical renewal. God gave us this special day, not for amusement or daily labor but for a rest from duty, with physical and spiritual relief."
- Russell M. Nelson, "The Sabbath Is a Delight," General Conference, April 2015, Sunday afternoon session
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

This was a landmark talk by President Nelson, in which he gave us many insights into the doctrine of the Sabbath Day. I always appreciate the personal touch he often uses, describing his own experiences that led to insights, such as the life of a busy surgeon benefiting from a day of rest; the Sabbath, for him, "became a day for personal healing." And he learned that the healing was not only physical, but also spiritual:

The Sabbath was made for us. It is a gift from God to help us find that physical and spiritual rejuvenation from the labors of the week. It's not some pre-existing mandate into which man is forced to comply. We should show our gratitude for the gift by learning to truly make the Sabbath a delight in our homes and personal lives.

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

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