Why Do We Keep the Sabbath Day Holy?

Moses with the Ten Commandments coming off of Mount Sinai.

The more we understand who Jesus Christ is, the greater will be our desire to keep His holy day sacred. He is the Lord of the Sabbath.[1]

Jesus Christ was in the beginning with the Father.[2] He volunteered to be our Savior and our Redeemer.[3] The Father had presented a plan that would allow us to become like Him; a plan that would require someone that could pay a price that we could not pay in order to allow us to become clean again from our sins.[4]

When Jesus said that He would take upon himself the sins of the world and that He would pay a price that only He could pay, because He was perfect, we all shouted for joy and we placed our complete faith in Him.[5] We knew that if He failed, we would never be able to return to the presence of the Father.[6]

As a premortal being, Jesus Christ, the Jehovah of the Old Testament, guided and directed the children of Israel from Egypt through the wilderness.[7] Because of the wickedness of the children of Israel they could not receive the higher law that Jehovah desired for them.[8] Instead they received the lower law (the Law of Moses) to act as a schoolmaster to lead them to Jesus Christ when He would be born in the flesh in the meridian of time.

While in the wilderness, Jehovah revealed to the prophet Moses, the Ten Commandments.[9] These commandments were intended to draw the people back to God. The fourth commandment states: “Remember the Sabbath, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it”.[10]

In this scripture we also learn that Jehovah created the world in which we live and all the things that exist thereon.[11]

In the meridian of time, Jesus Christ was born into the world in a lowly manger in Bethlehem.[12] He condescended to come to earth and to take upon Himself a body of flesh and blood.[13] He came to teach us the doctrine of Christ that would allow us to have joy in this life and the hope of eternal life in His presence and in the presence of our Heavenly Father.[14] His mission was to provide for each of us His atonement. The atonement that would make it possible for us to be cleansed of our sins. The atonement that would enable each of us through Jesus Christ to do things that would otherwise be impossible for us to accomplish. And finally, the atonement that would allow us to have immortality in a glorified body.[15] Death would have no sting because Jesus, our Redeemer, had overcome death.[16] The hope for a glorious resurrection became a reality.

Because of His key role in the Father’s plan of happiness, The Father gave to His son the responsibility to judge each of us in the day of judgement. “For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgement unto the Son. That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him”. (John 5:22-23)

Jesus taught, “If ye love me, keep my commandments”. If we truly love the Saviour, if we truly love the Father, can we treat lightly one of the ten great commandments to hallow Their day and to keep it holy?

I testify that Jesus is the son of God; the first born in the spirit and the only begotten in the flesh. He created this world under the direction of His Father. He gave the commandments and will be our judge. He is the one who has made possible our repentance and our resurrection. He has given us the hope of living together as families forever.

When we realize who He is and all that He has done for each one of us, can we do anything else but keep this great commandment of keeping the Sabbath day holy? He is the Lord of the Sabbath. “If ye love me, keep my commandments”.[17]

[1] Matthew 12:8

[2] John 1:1-3

[3] Moses 4:1, Abraham 3:23-27

[4] Abraham 4:6

[5] Job 38:7

[6] 1 Nephi 10:21, Alma 7:21, 1 Nephi 15:34

[7] Exodus 20:2

[8] Doctrine and Covenants 84:23-25

[9] Exodus 20:1-17

[10] Exodus 20:8-11

[11] Mosiah 3:8, John 1:1-3

[12] Luke 2:1-7

[13] 1 Nephi 11:11-24

[14] Acts 2:37-39, 2 Nephi 31:10-12

[15] Job 19:25-26, 2 Nephi 9:4

[16] 1 Corinthians 15:53-55

[17] John 14:15