Relief Society Lesson: The Sabbath Day is a Day for Worship

Due to a change in curriculum, my 4th Sunday task has been changed from spilling my thoughts on conference talks to getting everyone to ponder questions on a topic. For the past few months, that topic has been the Sabbath Day.

Here we are…


My original thought to this was, well, obviously. This is my fourth time talking about the Sabbath, and this is definitely the most obvious thing. I was raised in the church. I know that the Sabbath is a day to go to church, to do churchy things. That’s worship.

Right? Sort of? Maybe I’m getting the basic summary?

Why is the Sabbath Day so specifically set apart for worship?

In Genesis, we read about how the world was created, and then the seventh day/time period/era/task was set apart for rest. God wasn’t just “done” after the Creation. A time was taken, observed, considered. This day was for pondering on what was done for us. A time to consider blessings, to consider all that God has done for us.

Oh, but we shouldn’t be just consider our blessings on Sundays. Of course not. Most of us don’t want to be that person and probably take steps to help ourselves not be that person.

But if we don’t want to be a people who worship, pray, study, serve only on the Sabbath, why even bother with a Sabbath? If it’s good and desirable to do all these good things every other day, why do we need Sunday set apart?

Again, the Creation. Why bother mentioning the seventh day if it didn’t matter?

The Sabbath was set apart specifically for worship. Of course it’s good when we remember God other days of the week. Of course it’s good to read the scriptures other days of the week. Of course it’s good to pray daily and any time we feel like praying. Of course it’s good to serve others other days of the week.

But in our busy, mortal world of doing things we need to do to survive or even just to be happy, having a day specifically set aside for worship sure is a nice blessing.

God wants us to have that time where, even just a little bit, we can take the time to consider our blessings, to worship. God wants us to have a day where maybe things are a little less hectic or, even if they’re even more hectic, we can still look at the calendar and realize it’s the Sabbath and no matter what, that day is for us to worship.

What Does it Mean to Worship?

The thoughts that came to be were honoring and glorifying.  Some people of the world think worshipping is a form of debasing ourselves. I think there is a difference between debasing oneself and humbling oneself. Debasing is what Satan would have us do. Humbling, on the other hand, is recognizing the power of God and the blessings we have received. We know that when we humble ourselves and go to God with our weaknesses, those weaknesses become strong. We can’t fix what’s broken, and why would we bother improving something so supposedly wonderful we don’t need God?

When we worship, we recognize all that God has done for us. We are grateful for the Atonement and what it means for us in becoming more like Jesus Christ. When we praise God, something inside of us changes. We are truly given the opportunity to grow, to have our hearts change. The Atonement works.

I mention the Atonement because I specifically want to talk about Jesus. Often in my lessons, when I talk about God, I’m talking about the Godhead in general. To get in the nitty-gritty, we know that Christ has instructed us to pray to Heavenly Father, to only worship Heavenly Father. And yet, worshipping Heavenly Father honors the entire Godhead.

Think about all that Jesus Christ did to honor Heavenly Father. Think about the greatest of all moments, the Atonement. When we worship Heavenly Father, we are doing one of the things Jesus Christ did. We are becoming more like Jesus Christ simply by worshipping the Father.

What are Some Ways We Can Worship?

In college, I had a roommate with whom we would sometimes argue about what was Sabbath-appropriate. Looking back, we were both probably right about our personal Sabbath day quirks. She enjoyed spending time with friends. I enjoyed spending time outside. When I worked at Boy Scout camp, a nice post-church hike was a common thing for many of the LDS employees.

Here’s a list of things people might do that they might even consider forms of worship:

  • Scripture and study
  • Prayer
  • Sacrament
  • Church meetings
  • Pondering/meditating
  • Service
  • Journaling
  • Quiet time
  • Spending time with family/friends
  • Spending time outdoors

How Does Worship Help Us?

Early I talked about how worshipping helps us participate in the Atonement. It’s hard to trump that. But what else might it do?

Worshipping might be as something as simple as helping us go through the motions of the Sabbath. Sometimes, that might be what we need. The ritual of our Sunday activities might be just what we need to get through hard times. Even if we’re at our spiritual best, the ritual of worship gives us great meaning and a framework to consider.

Worshipping may help us feel calm inside. Worshipping might us help feel closer to God. Worship helps in our progression.

In conclusion, worshipping on the Sabbath might be the most obvious thing in the word. But how are we considering it?

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