(Deuteronomy 5:15)

The Lord thy God Commanded Thee to Keep the Sabbath Day

José L. Alonso

• The Lord’s Day

One of the days of the week that I enjoy most is Sunday--the Sabbath, or even better, the Lord's day. On this day we are given the opportunity to show the great love we have for our Heavenly Father, for His Son, Jesus Christ, and for our fellow human beings by punctually attending sacrament meeting, taking the sacrament with seriousness and reverence, renewing our covenants, fulfilling our callings and assignments; as well as spending time with our family, studying things that are inspiring, and doing so with the aim only of the glory of God (D&C 4:5)

Regarding the commandment to honor the Sabbath, we read in the Old Testament: “And Moses gathered all the congregation of the children of Israel together, and said unto them, These are the words which the Lord hath commanded, that ye should do them. Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you a holy day, a sabbath of rest to the Lord” (Exodus 35:1-2 italics added).

“And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the Lord thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched-out arm: therefore, the Lord thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day” (Deuteronomy 5:15 italics added).

So, we have been commanded to 'rest', from the daily things of the week and we have been commanded to honor this day and dedicate it completely to the Lord.

• Our Baptismal Covenant

When we are baptized, we make an agreement with God. In this covenant we promise to take upon ourselves the name of Jesus Christ, keep His commandments, and serve Him to the end.

In return, Our Heavenly Father promises us the remission of our sins and, through the ordinance of confirmation, we are granted the gift of the Holy Ghost.

By participating in the sacrament each week, we renew our covenant with God, and in doing so worthily, our sins are erased, and we are given the promise to have the constant companionship and guidance of the Holy Spirit. That's wonderful!

I remember very well that the day after I was baptized and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I had the opportunity to partake of the sacrament for the first time, which I did in a spirit of joy and gratitude and I felt in my heart the great love of Our Heavenly Father towards us.

From that moment to this day, sacrament meeting has a special meaning in my life and of course; now in the life of our family. Attending Church and partaking of the sacrament is a priority in our family, and it is expected to be a priority for each one of us.

• The Sacrament

I like what the Lord has revealed regarding the commandment to take the sacrament:

“And that thou mayest more fully keep thyself unspotted from the world, thou shalt go to the house of prayer and offer up thy sacraments upon my holy day; For verily this is a day appointed unto you to rest from your labors, and to pay thy devotions unto the Most High' (D&C 59:9-10).

Attending sacramental meeting is a commandment which is accompanied by great promise. I have learned that if we participate weekly in the ordinance of the sacrament, having a broken heart and a contrite spirit, we will deserve the promise that we “may always have his Spirit” to be with us (D&C 20:77).

• The blessing of having His Spirit with us

That Spirit is the foundation of our testimony; not only does the Spirit testify to us of the Father and the Son, but he also reminds us of all things and leads us to the truth. It is the compass that guides us on our way to eternal life.

The apostle Paul, writing to the Saints in Corinth, told them that 'no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost' (1 Cor 12:3). Knowing that God lives, and that Jesus Christ is His Son and Our Savior and Redeemer is absolutely essential to understanding the purpose of life.

• My experience

The Savior instituted the ordinance of the sacrament so that we would always remember His Atonement. This is the most sacred and important ordinance of the Church. It is the only Sabbath meeting in which the whole family can and should attend together. I have learned by the good examples of faithful people, who put the Lord first and honored with courage the Sabbath.

My wife's mother was a very faithful and dedicated woman. She often had family members visiting over the weekend. She was a very good hostess, but on Sunday, she did not stay to attend to relatives, nor for any other commitment. She told her relatives that they were invited to attend Church with her and her family, but that, if they did not want to, they could stay at home and wait for her to return. For her, the Lord was first.

• My testimony

On the Sabbath we can, in addition to attending Church, study the scriptures, have family home evening, study gospel materials as a family, do Family History, update our diary, write to missionaries, or minister in a special way.

We can also rest from regular work, taking time to meditate, to pray and seek personal revelation. In Isaiah we read, “Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil” (Isaiah 56:2).

I know that God lives and that His Son Jesus Christ lives. I know that they love us, and I know that one of the ways to show them my love is to honor the Sabbath, to declare that Sunday is His day, the Lord's day!