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Sabbath Day Observance


LDSToronto

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The only difference lies in how God views each activity.

If going to a hockey game with your dad isn't breaking the Sabbath in your Heavenly Father's eyes, then you have broken no law. However, if the WOW is of God, then drinking tea is going to be an act of breaking your covenants and isn't justifiable.

Under that scenerio, that is how the two are different.

I'm not saying that God agrees with my scenerio above, i'm only pointing out that it's hard to get to the right answer of any question if you don't recognize that you might be plugging the wrong numbers into the equation. If our assumptions are wrong, then our logic behind our actions is going to be flawed as well.

Thanks for the clarification, Bluebell. Wouldn't God also judge if taking part in the tea ceremony is violation of one's covenants? After all, the spirit in which the covenant was broken is the same as when the Sabbath was broken.

H.

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The OP's story of the sister who decided to honour a family tradition on the Sabbath is not one of Sabbath breaking, nor can it be generalised as an excuse for everyone to put their family's "happiness" before their obedience to an everlasting principle. The Holy Ghost will guide the diligent and wise disciple of Christ in which activities to have on the Sabbath. The problems start when we compare our Sabbath day activities with those of others.

Does this guidance only apply to the Sabbath, Nicolas? For example, is it possible for the Holy Ghost to guide a wise disciple of Christ to attend a sporting event with family on Sunday (even though modern day prophets have told us not to attend such events on Sunday), and then the following week, guide that exact same disciple to drink a glass of wine so as not to offend one's 98 year old non-member grandmother?

If the answer is 'no', I'd really like to hear why the Holy Ghost can instruct us to 'break' certain rules, but not others.

H.

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Q: Is it ok to shop on the sabbath?

A: No, we have been council not to. Here is a list of "do nots" for Sundays.

Now people feel there is no acceptable reason to break this rule , feel bad if they do.

Q: What is the Sabbath for?

A: A day of rest, to be spent with family, to enjoy the blessing God has given and to give thank.

Taking the kids to the park for a picnic with stuff, *gasp* bought that day, might be the best way to keep the sabbath for many people though it will be an "exception" in many peoples book.

Same can be said of all rules really.

Q: Is it OK to drink beer with my dad?

A: No, drinking beer is a violation of the Word of Wisdom

Q: What is the WoW for?

A: A code of health, to keep us safe from conspiring men, to obey God.

Drinking a beer with my dad, on occasion, will not make me an alcoholic, and I'm a triathlete, so I'm in great physical health, plus it's the best way to bond with my dad and show him I'm not judgmental or condescending, and surely God places family relations above drinking a simple beer.

Hmmmmmm, I could probably do this for every single gospel law and covenant. But should I? Are there limits?

H.

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It is the tradition of her husband's family to meet once per month for dim sum at a traditional Chinese restaurant. Not wanting to break the sabbath, she has never gone, which as you could imagine, has caused some stress and bad feelings in her family over the years. A few months ago, she finally decided to join the family for dim sum, and expressed that her marriage and family happiness has improved remarkably.

I'm less interested in hearing your thoughts on the sabbath, or on the WoW, and more on why violating one rule may be acceptable in our culture, but violating another may not be, and the circumstances where one should violate a rule set forward by our religion, and when one ought not to violate a rule.

I think it's too bad that the family wasn't willing to move the one day a month to a Saturday instead of doing it on a Sunday. However, I too would support the sister in doing this to promote family relations.

As far as the rules question, it is one that each person has to prayerfully consider and search our before making the decision. Each situation is different and I don't think there is "one answer" to the question. The Lord knows our situation, and if considered prayerfully, the correct path will be made known.

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As far as the rules question, it is one that each person has to prayerfully consider and search our before making the decision. Each situation is different and I don't think there is "one answer" to the question. The Lord knows our situation, and if considered prayerfully, the correct path will be made known.

I don't mean to sound offensive, but this is doesn't say much other than, 'pray about it'. Given that we all agree that breaking the Sabbath is no big deal when there is family at stake, what I really am interested in hearing is whether it is possible for God to give us an answer that says, 'Yes, it is OK to drink a beer/not pay tithing/skip Sunday meetings/<do something contrary to gospel law> given that your family comes first'.

It seems we are all really uncomfortable saying that God would do this, while at the same time justifying the breaking of some laws.

BTW, please don't answer, "It's really Gods call, you will find out at the judgment day"... let's see if we can really dig in here.

H.

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My question is this - if it is acceptable to break the sabbath in order to restore familial and marital happiness, is it equally acceptable to break the WoW to restore familial and marital happiness? And, to go further, or to generalize, when is it acceptable to 'break a rule' in order to restore important relationships, and when is it not? How does one discern?

One thing that my wife said was that you have to decide for yourself because each case is different.

That's the best answer. It's implied in the scriptures (Luke 14:5).

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That's the best answer. It's implied in the scriptures (Luke 14:5).

Yes, and here is what else is implied in the scriptures:

D&C 9:8

But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right.

Alma 5:40-41

For I say unto you that whatsoever is good cometh from God, and whatsoever is evil cometh from the devil.

Therefore, if a man bringeth forth good works he hearkeneth unto the voice of the good shepherd, and he doth follow him; but whosoever bringeth forth evil works, the same becometh a child of the devil, for he hearkeneth unto his voice, and doth follow him.

So, I pray about it, and I feel a burning in the bosom, to break the sabbath and go to a restaurant with my family, or I feel the same about drinking a beer with my dad, because both of those 'bringeth forth good works' and according to D&C 9:8, the burning in my bosom indicates that the answer came from the 'voice of the good shepherd'.

See how confusing this stuff can be?

H.

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But it would NOT require commerce on the Sabbath in order to be with family. The member family COULD go but not eat or buy. Surely the family relationships are in the presence, not the buying. And if our deeply felt feliefs are so easily left behind, no wonder family is upset about when they are not: our choices away from them seem far more personal then.

I think we can compromise away our salvation. I also think there are a lot of compromises (often a third way, rather than the first or opposite views) that are possible without breaking covenants. I do not understand when spouses remove their garments because the spouse wants them to, in the interest of marital harmony, or regularly skips sacrament meeting (though I could see skipping the other meetings, and I get that it can be realy discouraging to keep attending in the face of the emotional assault), asks the bishop for a TR on the basis that their spouse won't let them pay tithing on the money they themselves earn (yes I understand both spouses jointly fund the household, but when one is personally earning it is very different that when a spouse personally earns nothing and therefore owes personally no tithing). It is as though people do not understand that spouses and families who condition their love acceptance and peaceful family life on our abandonment of our covenants are unlikely even to accept that offering, but are seeking their spouses' rejection of their own faith. How can that be love?

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It is as though people do not understand that spouses and families who condition their love acceptance and peaceful family life on our abandonment of our covenants are unlikely even to accept that offering, but are seeking their spouses' rejection of their own faith. How can that be love?

rpn, Mormons barely understand the covenants they make. It's near impossible for a non-member spouse to view those covenants any more clearly.

H.

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I don't mean to sound offensive, but this is doesn't say much other than, 'pray about it'. Given that we all agree that breaking the Sabbath is no big deal when there is family at stake, what I really am interested in hearing is whether it is possible for God to give us an answer that says, 'Yes, it is OK to drink a beer/not pay tithing/skip Sunday meetings/<do something contrary to gospel law> given that your family comes first'.

It seems we are all really uncomfortable saying that God would do this, while at the same time justifying the breaking of some laws.

BTW, please don't answer, "It's really Gods call, you will find out at the judgment day"... let's see if we can really dig in here.

H.

You don't sound offensive. And yes, the answer was basically pray about it. As I don't believe there is a "42" (life, the universe, and everything) answer for it. Each person's situation is unique. We already have the basic guideline from the church which amounts to "Do Not". Which is the safest answer in the instance that you don't know, or aren't sure.

Are there exceptions to the rules? It would seem so, but I am not in any kind of position to lay down the law, or the "Gospel According to ELF1024". The only way you are going to get a meaningful answer is from the Bishop or the Lord.

I am sorry you don't like my answer.

(ADDITION)

Which of you shall have an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the Sabbath day? (Lk. 14:5)

(Just make sure you aren't pushing the ox in the pit on Saturday)

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I think Paul addresses this expressly (re: WoW, Sabbath Observance) in Romans 14.

1Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.

2For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.

3Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.

4Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.

5One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.

6He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.

7For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.

8For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's.

9For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.

10But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

11For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.

12So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

13Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way.

14I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.

15But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.

16Let not then your good be evil spoken of:

17For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

18For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.

19Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.

20For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence.

21It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.

22Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.

23And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

As far as eating out on Sunday... Jesus did...

1At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn and to eat.

2But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day.

3But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him;

4How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests?

5Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless?

6But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple.

I think we as a [Mormon] people get too caught up in the details.

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So, I pray about it, and I feel a burning in the bosom, to break the sabbath and go to a restaurant with my family, or I feel the same about drinking a beer with my dad, because both of those 'bringeth forth good works' and according to D&C 9:8, the burning in my bosom indicates that the answer came from the 'voice of the good shepherd'.

See how confusing this stuff can be?

No. Personally I think you're confusing "a bit of gravy or rancid meat" with the Spirit. But I'm generally not going to get in the way of your observing the Sabbath the way you want (Colossians 2:16). You'll need to see your Bishop about that beer with your Dad though.

I think we as a [Mormon] people get too caught up in the details.

What I find interesting is that it seems when this principle is taught in RS, they wax pharisaical. When taught in the quorums, they over justify. An interesting example of the differences between men and women imho.

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The "Sabbath" is probably the one area of LDS practice where there is a huge variation in the way people observe it, but everyone generally thinks they are doing what everyone else does (or should do).

When I taught the recent EQ lesson on the Sabbath, I asked the class how many of them (who were married) had found that the person they married had a noticeably different view of what it meant to "keep the Sabbath Day Holy". From what I can tell, every married man raised his hand. Then I asked how many discovered they were "more strict" than their wives, and about half raised their hands.

I also asked, for those who grew up in the Church, how many of "keep the Sabbath" in a way that is noticeably different than when they grew up. Most raised their hands. When I asked who was "more lenient", everyone kept their hands raised.

This has been my observation for most of my friends and family members. Both my wife and I grew up in conservative LDS families, and while we do recognize "the Sabbath", we definitely don't observe it like we did when we were growing up.

This is very different than most other Church doctrines or policies, such as the Word of Wisdom, where the parameters are spelled out very clearly, and the consequences are clear (i.e. no Temple attendance).

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You don't sound offensive. And yes, the answer was basically pray about it. As I don't believe there is a "42" (life, the universe, and everything) answer for it. Each person's situation is unique. We already have the basic guideline from the church which amounts to "Do Not". Which is the safest answer in the instance that you don't know, or aren't sure.

Are there exceptions to the rules? It would seem so, but I am not in any kind of position to lay down the law, or the "Gospel According to ELF1024". The only way you are going to get a meaningful answer is from the Bishop or the Lord.

I am sorry you don't like my answer.

Oh, don't get me wrong - I like your answer. I think it's the answer most would give. Fundamentally, I believe, this answer is inadequate in the context of other Mormon doctrine. Let me see if I can explain.

Essentially, each person's situation is unique, or in other words, exceptional. LDS theology states that all are entitled to revelation with respect to their own stewardship. Thus, the answer, "pray about it" is the correct answer to, "my situation is unique, what do I do?". Yet, there exist a set of general rules (let's call them rules inasmuch as they are also doctrines, laws, etc) that make no room for exceptions. For instance, the Word of Wisdom says, "No tea", yet, there seem to be any number of unique situations amongst members where the answer, "Yes tea" would bring great benefit. If, however, the answer is, "No tea", and that answer is the same for all members, then regardless of one's unique situation, prayer should also come back with the answer, "No tea". Thus, "Pray about it" makes little sense, given the answer should always be consistent.

"Pray about it" makes complete sense if, instead of rules, we had guidelines that could be followed depending on circumstance. Keeping with the former example, if "No tea" were a guideline, and prayer could determine whether one should follow the guideline or deviate from the guideline, then "pray about it" would be sound advice.

But we have very few guidelines, don't we? Most doctrine can be reduced to "Thou shalt" and "Thou shalt not", effectively ignoring the overall uniqueness that we all feel pervades humanity.

H.

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This is very different than most other Church doctrines or policies, such as the Word of Wisdom, where the parameters are spelled out very clearly, and the consequences are clear (i.e. no Temple attendance).

You can't smell the broken Sabbath on one's breath or in one's clothing :P

H.

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You can't smell the broken Sabbath on one's breath or in one's clothing ;)

H.

You can't?!?! Buggar! I'm gonna have to figure out another reason for that "burning rubber" smell now... :P

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'Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy' varies widely among LDS families.

My family had comparatively lax Sabbath Day observance - if you went to church, you could play, go to movies, have slumber parties, play video games, etc.

One family in my ward had rather strict and domineering parents, who forbade any sort of leisure on Sunday: no friends, no TV, no video games, no sports. Their kids had to remain in their sunday dress all day and were only allowed to read the scriptures and do similar church-related activities.

Not surprisingly, many of the children from that family are now wholly inactive or apostate.

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Growing up I used to look down on the parents that skipped church and took their kids boating, to the movies, or to the park on Sundays. As an adult I've notice those are the people that have strongest relationships with their parents and my friends who's dads were the bishop or stake president all seem to have have the most distant and difficult parent/child relationships.

Phaedrus

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Thanks for the clarification, Bluebell. Wouldn't God also judge if taking part in the tea ceremony is violation of one's covenants? After all, the spirit in which the covenant was broken is the same as when the Sabbath was broken.

H.

Again, you are assuming that the Sabbath was broken. If it wasn't, then it can't be used as justification for breaking the WOW and the two acts can't be compared equally. Your comparison only works if both acts lead to a broken commandment. In the scenerio, you have neglected to take into account that that might not be the case.

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'Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy' varies widely among LDS families.

My family had comparatively lax Sabbath Day observance - if you went to church, you could play, go to movies, have slumber parties, play video games, etc.

One family in my ward had rather strict and domineering parents, who forbade any sort of leisure on Sunday: no friends, no TV, no video games, no sports. Their kids had to remain in their sunday dress all day and were only allowed to read the scriptures and do similar church-related activities.

Not surprisingly, many of the children from that family are now wholly inactive or apostate.

My best friend grew up in one of those "strict" households. No Friend, No TV, No Video Games, no Sports, No Music other than Hymns...

He's now a Messianic Jew and has had no realtionship with his parents for the last 20 years.

(ADDITIONAL)

There were other issues in this family. For example, his father was the member of the bishopric that told me I was possesed by an evil spirit. It wasn't the strict Sunday Observance alone that caused the issues.

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Again, you are assuming that the Sabbath was broken. If it wasn't, then it can't be used as justification for breaking the WOW and the two acts can't be compared equally. Your comparison only works if both acts lead to a broken commandment. In the scenerio, you have neglected to take into account that that might not be the case.

OK, let me phrase it more clearly, using Sally and Betty, both LDS:

If Sally spends money to go to a restaurant, with her family, on a Sunday, in order to restore family relations, will God judge her differently than he judges Betty, who attends a tea ceremony, and drinks tea, in order to restore family relations?

I've removed any assumption of breaking the sabbath and violating covenants. I've simply described doing two things that, as LDS, we have been taught not to do, and both things are done for the exact same reason. Also, consider these two scenarios as independent events - Betty's decision does not influence Sally's decision, or vice versa. Sally and Betty do not know one another, but both have lived morally identical lives, and have identical circumstances.

Now, tell me, within an LDS theological context, are both justified in their decision, are neither justified in their decision, or is one justified and the other not justified?

Or, in other words, did Betty make the wrong decision? Did Sally make the wrong decision?

H.

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OK, let me phrase it more clearly, using Sally and Betty, both LDS:

If Sally spends money to go to a restaurant, with her family, on a Sunday, in order to restore family relations, will God judge her differently than he judges Betty, who attends a tea ceremony, and drinks tea, in order to restore family relations?

I've removed any assumption of breaking the sabbath and violating covenants. I've simply described doing two things that, as LDS, we have been taught not to do, and both things are done for the exact same reason. Also, consider these two scenarios as independent events - Betty's decision does not influence Sally's decision, or vice versa. Sally and Betty do not know one another, but both have lived morally identical lives, and have identical circumstances.

Now, tell me, within an LDS theological context, are both justified in their decision, are neither justified in their decision, or is one justified and the other not justified?

Or, in other words, did Betty make the wrong decision? Did Sally make the wrong decision?

H.

I say leave it up to God to be the judge. If they don't get in a car wreck after dinner who are we to Judge them?

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OK, let me phrase it more clearly, using Sally and Betty, both LDS:

If Sally spends money to go to a restaurant, with her family, on a Sunday, in order to restore family relations, will God judge her differently than he judges Betty, who attends a tea ceremony, and drinks tea, in order to restore family relations?

I would say, in this competely hypothetical example, that yes, God would judge the two situations differently. We never covenant not to spend money on Sunday, but we do specifically covenant not to drink tea.

Spending money on the sabbath is kind of like figuring out what to pay in tithing. It has been taught that we shouldn't do it, but lesson manuals in the church are quick to point out that the church has never provided a specific list of exactly what we can't do on the Sabbath day because it's between us and God.

Drinking tea, on the other hand, is not even close to being in the same boat. It has been specifically condemned in no uncertain terms.

That's why i don't believe God wil judge both acts the same (in a hypothetical situation)

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I'm less interested in hearing your thoughts on the sabbath, or on the WoW, and more on why violating one rule may be acceptable in our culture, but violating another may not be, and the circumstances where one should violate a rule set forward by our religion, and when one ought not to violate a rule.

H.

You bring up an interesting question, or rather set of questions. Rationalization is perhaps the greatest stumbling block on the road of salvation as is procrastination. It is, I believe the heart and soul of our mortal probation, how we determine what choices we should make. I mean not so much from the "clear cut" choices but the "spirit of the law" choices. I have heard so many people justify their "breaking of the rules" by saying they are following the spirit of the law rather than the letter... but mostly it is just a rationalization to get around the rules they do not personally like.It makes me wonder if the following may apply:

(2 Nephi 28:8 ) "And there shall also be many which shall say: Eat, drink, and be merry; nevertheless, fear God
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