From the beginning of the time, the Lord showed the importance of keeping the Sabbath day holy. The Lord of All worked hard on six days to create the world and then stopped on the seventh day in order to rest and rejuvenate. He provided a way so that we could all obey this law.
Soon after the Israelites left Egypt, the Lord through Moses gave them the commandment to keep the Sabbath day holy. “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt though labour, and do all thy work; But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it though shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle nor the 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” (Exodus 20:8-11). Then, he mercifully provided a way for them to keep that day holy.
As the Israelites journeyed in the wilderness, they hungered. The people sought Moses and petitioned him to please provide them with something to eat. Moses spoke to the Lord who swiftly solved the problem. Each morning as they awoke, they were to go outside where they would find manna on the ground. They were commanded to take just enough for themselves and their family. Nothing more. Any additional manna that was taken would breed worms and soon stink. Now, the problem really came. What were they to do about the Sabbath day when they were commanded that they should not work?
The Lord graciously offered a way for them to obey the Sabbath day. He commanded them, “Tomorrow is the rest of the holy Sabbath unto the Lord; … and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning” (Exodus 16:23). The Israelites collected more manna on the day before the Sabbath. I am sure that they must have been just a little concerned. Why? Because previously when they had kept too much manna, it was always riddled with worms and stank. However, this did not happen on the day before the Sabbath. “And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade: and it did not stink, neither was there any worm therein” (Exodus 16:24).
Today, the admonition remains the same from the Lord “And that though 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 our labors, and to pay they devotions unto the Most High; Nevertheless thy vows shall be offered up in righteousness on all days and at all times; But remember that on this, the Lord’s day, thou shalt offer thine oblations and thy sacraments unto the Most High, confessing thy sins unto thy brethren, and before the Lord. An on this day thou shalt do none other thing, only let thy food be prepared with singleness of heart that thy fasting may be perfect, or, in other words, rejoicing and prayer” (D&C 59:9-13). The commandment remains the same.
By Tracy Atkinson
Tracy Atkinson, mother of six, lives in the Midwest with her husband. She is a teacher, having taught elementary school to higher education, holding degrees in elementary education and a master’s in higher education. Her passion is researching, studying and investigating the attributes related to self-directed learners. She has published several titles, including The Art of Learning Journals, Calais: The Annals of the Hidden, Lemosa: The Annals of the Hidden, Book Two, Rachel’s 8 and Securing Your Tent. She is currently working on a non-fiction text exploring the attributes of self-directed learners: The Five Characteristics of Self-directed Learners.