Sunday, June 13, 2021

Elder L. Tom Perry on Sabbath Day observance

Elder L. Tom Perry (1922-2015) was called as an Assistant to the Twelve in 1972, then as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 1974. At the time of his passing at age 92, he was the oldest living general authority and the third in seniority among the leading quorum.
"The Lord has not left us in the dark concerning the Sabbath day. In fact, the scriptures are filled with instructions on Sabbath-day observance.... [quotes Genesis 2:2-3.] 
"Six days of labor are to be followed by a day of rest. It seems to me that the judge should be how we come out of bed on Monday morning. If you just crawl out, feeling tired and weary from a heavy weekend, probably the Sabbath-day observance has not been appropriate. You see, I believe you should come up out of those covers on Monday morning more refreshed, more alive, and more enthused than on any other day of the week. If this is not the case, we had better examine what we are doing on the Sabbath day. Test yourself tomorrow morning and see how you come out of bed. 
"Now let's try another one, Exodus 20:8. 'Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.' 
"It appears that the Lord expects us to do more than just rest on this day. He expects us to keep it holy. 'Holy,' according to Webster, is 'to set apart to the service of God, to be spiritually pure.' This definition indicates that on this special day we are to keep our lives in harmony with the Lord—a day set apart for service, adoration, and reverence to him." 
- L. Tom Perry, "Choose You This Day Whom Ye Will Serve", BYU fireside, 27 October 1985
Click here to read the full talk

Elder Perry gives some interesting counsel for evaluating how well we are following the Lord's counsel about the Sabbath. First—how rested and refreshed, alive and enthused do we feel on Monday morning? That's an interesting approach, compared to the general perception most have of Monday mornings!

But even more important than resting from our labors on the Sabbath is the importance of keeping the day holy, in "service, adoration, and reverence" to God. We rest from our weekday labors but not from the worship and service of the Lord. The Sabbath Day should be a day filled with goodness.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2021)
February 8, 2015

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