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McConkie's Teachings about the Sabbathby Bruce R. McConkie
Pursuant to divine command men are to rest from all temporal work and to worship the Lord one day in particular each week. This day -- no matter which day of the week is involved -- is called the Sabbath, from the Hebrew shabbath meaning day of rest. The rest, though important is incidental to the true keeping of the Sabbath. What is more important is that the Sabbath is an holy day -- a day of worship, one in which men turn their whole souls to the Lord, renew their covenants with him, and feed their souls upon the things of the Spirit.
Sabbath observance is an eternal principle, and the day itself is so ordained and arranged that it bears record of Christ by pointing particular attention to great works he has performed. From the day of Adam to the Exodus from Egypt, the Sabbath commemorated the fact that Christ rested from his creative labors on the 7th day. (Ex. 20:8-11.) From the Exodus to the day of his resurrection, the Sabbath commemorated the deliverance of Israel from Egyptian bondage. (Deut. 5:12-15.) As Samuel Walter Gamble has pointed out in his Sunday, the True Sabbath of God this necessarily means that the Sabbath was kept on a different day each year. From the days of the early apostles to the present, the Sabbath has been the first day of the week, the Lord's Day, in commemoration of the fact that Christ came forth from the grave on Sunday. (Acts 20:7.) The Latter-day Saints keep the first day of the week as their Sabbath, not in imitation of what any peoples of the past have done, but because the Lord so commanded them by direct revelation. (D. & C. 59.)
Sabbath observance was a sign between ancient Israel and their God whereby the chosen people might be known (Neh. 13:15-22; Isa. 56:1-8; Jer. 17:19-27; Ezek. 46:1:7); death was the decreed penalty for violation of it. (Ex. 31:12-17.) And the matter of Sabbath observance remains to this day as one of the great tests which divides the righteous from the worldly and wicked.
Sunday being the Lord's Day, it is a day on which men should do the Lord's work, and do it exclusively. There should be no unnecessary work of a temporal nature, no recreation, no unnecessary travel, no joy riding, and the like. The Sabbath is a day for affirmative spiritual worship, aside from which, "thou shalt do none other thing, only let thy food be prepared with singleness of heart." (D. & C. 59:13.)
Mormon Doctrine, p.658