The Sabbath Is a Delight to Canadian Mormons

This is the third in a four-part series addressing more purposeful Sabbath day observance.

Nearly one year ago, President Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gave a historic talk entitled “The Sabbath Is a Delight” at the Church’s general conference. President Nelson invited Church members to better observe the Sabbath day. A few Canadian adult members of the Church recently shared with Mormon Newsroom their reasons for and personal blessings of observing the Sabbath.

Elder James E. Evanson of the Church’s Seventy in Canada feels that observing the Sabbath brings joy to his life. He says, “Isaiah [in the Old Testament] encourages us to delight in the Sabbath day. I love that word because it reminds me that Sunday is to be a day filled with joy. Joy in the Sabbath comes to me personally in four ways. First, I have the chance to put aside my worldly cares. Second, my family becomes the centre of the day in which we can share laughter, spirituality, service and time together. Third, the Sabbath is a great day to serve others and share testimony. And fourth, and most important, I am able to partake of the sacrament and feel the joy of the atoning sacrifice of our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Truly the Sabbath is a delight.”

Properly observing the Sabbath gives Ardith Spinney, a member of the Church in Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, a chance to focus on what is most important to her. “With all the busyness of the week,” says Spinney, “observing the Sabbath allows me to pause and think more about the Saviour’s Atonement. Singing the hymns and partaking of the sacrament quiets my mind, while fellowshipping with my fellow Saints — young and old — reminds me that I am a loved daughter in my Heavenly Father’s family.”

One way Spinney has changed the way she observes the Sabbath is by making a habit of preparing her Primary lessons on Sunday afternoons rather than during the week. She finds that this gives her more time to think about her lessons throughout the rest of the week and make any needed changes. She is then able to ensure her lessons are effective for the children she teaches, resulting in her feeling greater confidence and peace of mind. 

Church member Bill Onofrychuk of Kanata, Ontario, says he also values being able to focus on the Atonement and partake of the sacrament on Sundays. He also values spending Sabbath time reading scriptures, praying and hearing gospel messages at Church meetings and participating in activities that help him to know God better. He indicates that proper Sabbath day observance also allows him to build a better relationship with his family: “We’re busy people. When we prepare for Sunday, we have all the chores during the week out of the way. I can go into a Sunday and not have to think about anything else other than contemplating my relationship with God and how I am doing as a husband and father.”

This past year, Onofrychuk has changed the way he has observed the Sabbath by consistently reviewing his Sunday lessons in advance and by contemplating the Atonement throughout the week. He also concentrates more on his family during the Sabbath by phoning family members who live far away, researching his family history with his wife and four children, writing in his journal and playing the piano with his family. Since Onofrychuk has made these changes, he has seen more peace in his home. “I feel that I am just all around a better person when I follow the gospel and observe the Sabbath,” he says. “I am closer to my family. … It is hard to be away from them when I am at work during the week. The Sabbath is a day I can reconnect with them to grow and strengthen our relationship.”

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has counselled, “For six days in the week we may, unfortunately, find ourselves pretty occupied with ourselves. The Sabbath helps us turn to the Lord, to our families, to those in need. Take advantage of this break from your routine. You need it. And others need you” (“Upon My Holy Day”).

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