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Anddenex

Sabbath Keeping - How Important is it?

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I don't know if this talk was already linked in this thread without going through the entire thing again..but this talk addresses working on Sundays. It even talks about athletes:

Working on Sunday - Ensign Jan. 1978 - ensign

Here is one quote from it:

And if your prayerful decision, accepted by the Lord, is to pursue a career that requires some Sunday work, then follow that course as long as the Spirit directs, forgiving any fellow Saints who, not understanding, might criticize you.

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I don't know if this talk was already linked in this thread without going through the entire thing again..but this talk addresses working on Sundays. It even talks about athletes:

Working on Sunday - Ensign Jan. 1978 - ensign

Thanks, Pam. The article was much more articulate than me about what I was trying to get across. Go to the Lord about the decision of whether to accept a job that requires work on the sabbath.

Edit: The article may not have been written by a GA, but I don't think it would have been published in the Ensign if it wasn't endorsed and okayed by the brethren.

Edited by classylady

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The only problem with this talk is that it is not from a GA. It is from a member. This again is what we are counseling our youth:

"We live in a world in which the sanctity and importance of the Sabbath day as a holy day are rapidly losing ground to the idea of the Sabbath as a day of work and recreation. Young people are tempted in many ways to break the Sabbath."

Gene R. Cook's story of keeping the Sabbath holy is insightful also.

President Spencer W. Kimball said:

“It is true that some people must work on the Sabbath. And, in fact, some of the work that is truly necessary—caring for the sick, for example—may actually serve to hallow the Sabbath. However, in such activities our motives are an important consideration.

“When men and women are willing to work on the Sabbath to increase their wealth, they are breaking the commandments; for money taken in on the Sabbath, if the work is unnecessary, is unclean money” (“The Sabbath—A Delight,” Ensign, Jan. 1978, 5). Professional sports is not work that is necessary.

I will close with this and I thank all who have responded with their thoughts, the scriptures shared, and insights provided. This is why I am wondering if we are sending our youth mixed messages.

Edited by Anddenex

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When men and women are willing to work on the Sabbath to increase their wealth

This also depends on how you interpret it. If someone works Sundays to get some OT just to pad their pockets that's one thing.

In the Priesthood basic manual it also says this:

When we cannot avoid working on Sunday, we should keep the spirit of the Sabbath in our hearts.

I get the mixed signal thing. But we are putting labels as unworthy to an athlete that may miss some Sunday meetings but still fulfills callings, still does his/her home teaching and visiting teaching and still honors his Priesthood.

I agree that we have been counseled to not work on Sunday when at all possible. That we will be blessed.

But I also have never seen anything that says those LDS that are professional athletes are any less worthy or are guilty of breaking commandments based strictly on their chosen profession.

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Youth should not be working on Sundays. Youth jobs aren't (shouldn't) be what their household finances are relying on to get by.

As an adult... you gotta do what you gotta do to be self-sufficient. Provident living is a gospel principle. I don't believe that any Bishop would counsel a member to refuse good work opportunities because it requires work on Sundays.

If this work is more than self-sufficiency... then I agree that it is unnecessary work.

***

As far as sending youth 'mixed messages'... we need to teach youth HOW to think... not WHAT to think. Teach them correct principles so they can think and govern for themselves. If we tell youth what they are 'supposed' to do without giving them the freedom to think it through... well, let's just say that I don't agree with that.

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Another thought on 'mixed messages':

Could you imagine this discussion at a home where the father is hard at work supporting his family, and his youth-age child comes home to have this discussion with their mother:

Youth: "Mom, why does Daddy work on Sundays?"

Mom: "Because his job requires it."

Youth: "At church, they told me that it violates the Sabbath and it's a sin."

Mom: "I can see how you can look at it that way."

Youth: "So, is Daddy a sinner?"

This kind of discussion can cause youth to unrighteously judge their parents who are doing what they can to support their family. Now they are told by their kids that it isn't good "because that's what they learned at church".

I'm sorry, but I cannot support such a discussion that can cause such discord in a hard working family's home.

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Or that makes that working parent any less righteous or worthy than the person who is not required to work on a Sunday.

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Some members of the Church design their lives from the beginning so that they can work "bankers hours". That's probably why we have so many lawyers and other professionals in our congregations.

Converts have the same promises and blessings, but they may not have chosen their professions or career paths based on 'Sunday availability'. Children of convert families may think differently of their parents compared to those families who have multiple generations within the faith. It may cause them to think 'less' of themselves compared to the lifelong member families.

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Good evening Anddenex. I hope you're feeling better. :)

As you can tell, this truly bothers me. We have good members who have chosen to keep the law at their expense ( monetarily ). This creates discord within teaching my children to honor and keep the Sabbath when a GA willingly chose to disobey it.

Thus I fall back to Vort's response, "I don't know." I really wish I understood more, but I don't but what I do understand this doesn't make sense ( Abraham 1: 2, one of my favorite verses in scripture ). I hear we are not to pick and choose which commandments we are to obey, we obey them all, but sometimes it appears it is ok to decide not to live some, as long as you are a good person.

This is what Jesus taught:

30 Behold, this is not my doctrine, to stir up the hearts of men with anger, one against another; but this is my doctrine, that such things should be done away.

31 Behold, verily, verily, I say unto you, I will declare unto you my doctrine.

32 And this is my doctrine, and it is the doctrine which the Father hath given unto me; and I bear record of the Father, and the Father beareth record of me, and the Holy Ghost beareth record of the Father and me; and I bear record that the Father commandeth all men, everywhere, to repent and believe in me.

33 And whoso believeth in me, and is baptized, the same shall be saved; and they are they who shall inherit the kingdom of God.

In another place Jesus teaches us:

65 For, behold, I will gather them as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, if they will not harden their hearts;

66 Yea, if they will come, they may, and partake of the waters of life freely.

67 Behold, this is my doctrine—whosoever repenteth and cometh unto me, the same is my church.

68 Whosoever declareth more or less than this, the same is not of me, but is against me; therefore he is not of my church.

And in another place:

16 ¶Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;

17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.

18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

And, through His prophet Monson, Jesus teaches:

We need to bear in mind that people can change. They can put behind them bad habits. They can repent from transgressions. They can bear the priesthood worthily. And they can serve the Lord diligently. May I provide a few illustrations.

We had one adult member in the branch who was a deacon in the Aaronic Priesthood but who didn’t attend or participate enough to be advanced in the priesthood. I felt inspired to call him as the branch president. I shall always remember the day that I had an interview with him. I told him that the Lord had inspired me to call him to be the president of the branch. After much protest on his part, and much encouragement on the part of his wife, he indicated that he would serve. I ordained him a priest.

It was the beginning of a new day for that man. His life was quickly put in order, and he assured me that he would live the commandments as he was expected to live them. In a few months he was ordained an elder. He and his wife and family eventually went to the temple and were sealed. Their children served missions and married in the house of the Lord.

Sometimes letting our brethren know they are needed and valued can help them take that step into commitment and full activity. This can be true of priesthood holders regardless of age. It is our responsibility to give them opportunities to live as they should. We can help them to overcome their shortcomings. We must develop the capacity to see men not as they are at present but as they may become when they receive testimonies of the gospel of Christ.

Rather than feel concerned or upset, you should rejoice! We should be happy when others repent and change their ways. When the Lord forgives us of our sins, He remembers them no more. The gospel of Jesus Christ is not about position. God can call us to a position because He wants us to learn a particular principle.

I don't know, Anddenex, somehow your concern comes across as rather petty. I just don't see how allowing someone who broke the Sabbath in the past to be a GA creates discord or somehow damages your ability to teach your children. Its what the gospel of Jesus Christ is all about; man using the atonement to become better.

-Finrock

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My biggest concern about judging others on their possible breaking of the sabbath, is where do you draw the line? Why is it okay for a doctor/nurse, fireman/policeman, to work on Sunday? Is it okay for a pharmacist? A dairy farmer? An airline pilot? President Uchtdorf most likely had to work many a Sunday in his airline career. And what about the other airline employees? They too are required to work Sunday. Same with the hotel/motel industry. The list goes on and on. It's wonderful when a person has the option to not work on the sabbath. Not every one has that option. And it might possibly be the Lord's plan for a person to be in a career that requires working on the sabbath. IMO, that's why it's so important to refrain from judging. We shouldn't be teaching our youth that because so-and-so has to work on Sunday, that person is sinning. We should be teaching them to be understanding, and not to jump to conclusions. Our youth need to learn to hear and feel the Spirit, so they can make the best decisions for their own lives.

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Another thought on 'mixed messages':

Could you imagine this discussion at a home where the father is hard at work supporting his family, and his youth-age child comes home to have this discussion with their mother:

Youth: "Mom, why does Daddy work on Sundays?"

Mom: "Because his job requires it."

Youth: "At church, they told me that it violates the Sabbath and it's a sin."

Mom: "I can see how you can look at it that way."

Youth: "So, is Daddy a sinner?"

This kind of discussion can cause youth to unrighteously judge their parents who are doing what they can to support their family. Now they are told by their kids that it isn't good "because that's what they learned at church".

I'm sorry, but I cannot support such a discussion that can cause such discord in a hard working family's home.

You are welcome to your opinion Skippy. I am not sure the analogy here fits because we teach children breaking the word of wisdom is a sin, and some Daddy's like my father-in-law break the word of wisdom. Is he is sin? Yes.

So could a child whose father breaks the word of wisdom have the same conversion with his/her mother? Yes. Do you then not support the Church having this type of conversation that will also bring discord in a hard working family's home?

Youth: "Mom, why does Daddy drink tea and coffee?"

Mom: "Because he likes it and has chosen to drink it."

Youth: "At church, they told me that it violates the word of wisdom and it's a sin."

Mom: "I can see how you can look at it that way."

Youth: "So, is Daddy a sinner?"

The end result is the same. The child learns Dad is in sin. This also provides an opportunity for parents to teach the children about love and respect as we have done with our children. The conversation, as we have already had with our children:

Youth: "Mom, why does my Uncle like men?"

Mom: "Because that is a lifestyle he has chosen."

Youth: "At church, they told me that homosexuality is wrong and it's a sin."

Mom: "Yes, correct."

Youth: "So, is my Uncle a sinner?"

Although not an easy conversation, we teach the truth. Homosexuality is a sin, and yes if Uncle is choosing a path of homosexuality he is in sin, but we love him. Yes, this type of conversation has the ability to bring forward discord in a family especially if a family member has chosen this path.

Edited by Anddenex

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I don't know, Anddenex, somehow your concern comes across as rather petty. I just don't see how allowing someone who broke the Sabbath in the past to be a GA creates discord or somehow damages your ability to teach your children. Its what the gospel of Jesus Christ is all about; man using the atonement to become better.

-Finrock

You are entitled to your opinion as well Finrock. It is interesting someone quotes what Jesus said about contention while calling someone's sincere question "petty." :rolleyes:

I asked a question, if we are sending mixed messages to our youth. I also have quoted what Jesus said through his prophets, Spencer W. Kimball, David O, McCay and others. Thus I am seeking to come to a conclusion myself, which is also what Jesus said, search it out, ask questions; is there a problem with asking difficult questions? No.

Thank you for sharing President Monson's quotes.

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I don't know, Anddenex, somehow your concern comes across as rather petty. I just don't see how allowing someone who broke the Sabbath in the past to be a GA creates discord or somehow damages your ability to teach your children. Its what the gospel of Jesus Christ is all about; man using the atonement to become better.

-Finrock

I don't see it as being petty. I truly see Anddenex' side of this. I can see where he is coming from. I may not personally agree with it but that's okay. :)

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I am sorry you feel bothered by my personal thoughts; however, I wouldn't consider myself worthy to be a GA if I didn't server a mission and I willingly chose an occupation that broke the Sabbath.

At the same time I appreciate others thoughts regarding this issue that I am contemplating.

Apostle Paul. Enough said.

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Originally Posted by Anddenex View Post

I am sorry you feel bothered by my personal thoughts; however, I wouldn't consider myself worthy to be a GA if I didn't server a mission and I willingly chose an occupation that broke the Sabbath.

At the same time I appreciate others thoughts regarding this issue that I am contemplating.

I believe that the Lord could see you as worthy, though, and it is his opinion that counts most there.

Youth: "Mom, why does my Uncle like men?"

Mom: "Because that is a lifestyle he has chosen."

Youth: "At church, they told me that homosexuality is wrong and it's a sin."

Mom: "Yes, correct."

Youth: "So, is my Uncle a sinner?"

This sort of thing seems like a great time to teach children how to relate to people that sin. Since they will associate with people who sin for the rest of their lives (people who cohabitate, coworkers, their spouse), this may not be such a bad thing.

I would add, too, that maybe if youth look at a General Authority that played football on Sunday and have a problem with it because at church they learned that playing football on Sunday is a sin, then perhaps this is a great opportunity for them to get down on their knees and ask their God what this means for them. They can study the principle and decide how to live it in their own lives based on study and prayer.

Maybe it is also a good time to remind them that perhaps how the General Authority sinned or did not sin is really not their business.

I agree with teaching youth how to think, not what. They need to be able to pray and study and distinguish the greys in life and learn to be understanding.

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I believe that the Lord could see you as worthy, though, and it is his opinion that counts most there.

This is definitely the most important aspect, how the Lord views us and if he esteems us worthy. And his ways are higher than my ways, and thoughts higher than my thoughts.

This sort of thing seems like a great time to teach children how to relate to people that sin. Since they will associate with people who sin for the rest of their lives (people who cohabitate, coworkers, their spouse), this may not be such a bad thing.

Agreed. That was what I was trying to emphasis with my response to Skippy that we teach worthiness. We also teach the consequence of sin. We teach the commandments and expect the youth to keep the commandments.

I am reminded of one of my home teaching families whose son was taught the importance of attending church ( he was six as this time ). As the lesson was given he realized his grandpa didn't attend church, and recognized this was wrong. When church ended and they visited grandpa the first words out of the grandson's mouth, "Grandpa you are not attending and you need to attend church. If you don't attend church next week I am going to kick your butt."

The grandpa attended church the following Sunday, and it was the first time in, if I am remembering correctly, 20 years he attended church. So, teaching children the importance of keeping commandments, even the keeping the Sabbath day holy, can actually bring about a good thing.

Maybe it is also a good time to remind them that perhaps how the General Authority sinned or did not sin is really not their business.

I agree with teaching youth how to think, not what. They need to be able to pray and study and distinguish the greys in life and learn to be understanding.

The first paragraph is very much a part of their life and business especially if another member is used against them. How other members choose to live does affect other members lives. As one of my friends experienced, and myself ( in high school ), when asked if we would like a drink, and then responding "No," the response was "I understand your Mormon but Jake over here is Mormon also and it doesn't stop him." The same goes for working on Sunday. If one member is willing to break the Sabbath there is no reason for a boss to make an exception for you.

I totally agree teenagers need to be given the opportunity to learn, pray, and study for themselves.

Thank you for your thoughts SanctitasDeo.

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Thank you THIRDpersonviewer for your thoughts and your willingness to address my question. I appreciate the last paragraph regarding following the spirit, because that truly can not be argued with. If a person was commanded by the Lord to work on the Sabbath, then I would agree. When the author commands we should follow.

In relation to no prophets speaking specifying that it is against the Sabbath to play sports, this is what children are taught in the Strength of Youth pamphlet:

"Sunday is not a day for shopping, recreation, or athletic events. Do not seek entertainment or make purchases on this day" ( emphasis added ).

It seems pretty clear to me that our prophets have specified recreational activities and athletics events are not Sabbath activities.

Thanks again for sharing.

Sorry, I've been busy lately so I didn't get back. Yeah that looks clear to me.

Here is what I personally feel about the Sabbath as far as keeping it.

No TV, movies, video games, sports, shopping, internet surfing(including fantasy football/keeping up with the games for the day), and outdoor activities that are not leisurely, schoolwork, work, any hobbies of mine that were/are a weakness to be too time consuming. As far as doing, usually planning my week, home teaching, callings, spend time with family (depends on what it is because a lot can be done in the name of spending time with family), reviewing what was learned in church, church(I guess I was thinking that was a given), Study scriptures, Ponder scriptures, Talk to distant family/relatives, and see someone who needs it as needed.

I came up with this from many different experiences in my life. It began with a lot of what my parents taught me and I just felt that was the way it was done. However, I still would do stuff like watch football games and sometimes play video games. As I gained a testimony though, I began to test out what was appropriate and what wasn't. Some things I had to cut out and it was hard. So I live the Sabbath the way I want to because of my testimony and what I know is most effective because of what the Spirit told me. Not because others told me so.

Here is an interesting example. Before I went on my mission I felt so strongly about the Sabbath and no TV at all that my little brother who was 4 years younger wanted to watch a movie. I talked with him for awhile trying to persuade him to not watch any movies. Why? Because I didn't like the feeling in the home when the TV was on on Sundays. My mom was asked what she thought. She said her view on the moment, and it was that he could watch something if he wanted to. I then put my view out there. And I don't remember what happened after that. It is further interesting to note something about my mom that she would be happy living life without a TV, let alone using it on Sunday. I have since learned that she and my dad were particular about picking battles with my siblings. They understood that conceding to their children in certain things allowed them to pull more weight in bigger things. I think they were right. My point here is that even within a family there are differing views for differing reasons. My mom still had a restriction on the kind of movie that could be watched, but all in all we had differing levels of comfort for that which is appropriate. Leads to the dilemma of a family developing tolerance, which at the time I wasn't very tolerant and I still am not in some things. But that is a separate issue.

I do sometimes go against some of these things, though it generally seems for what my mom did and for spending family time, or I have priorly invested too much time into something(ie fantasy football). I am weaker in living how I would like to and reviewing this might help me to live it better.

As far as others living it though. Like I said in the prior post, I assume the Spirit either says it's okay, they haven't been told what to do by the Spirit regarding the matter, or they are blatantly disobeying because they are weak at that time or they just flat out don't want to do it. I generally give the benefit of the doubt though and go with the first two options.

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I just realized, I had to work sundays after we were first married. I spent two months looking for a job and finally got one at wendys. They told me I'd work one sunday a month and theyd rotate me. I however ended up working every sunday. I could tell it wasn't good. I absolutely didnt want to. I worked nearly every day when I was there and when sundays rolled around I could tell I had less energy, things didnt seem to go right, I felt bad for working. But I didnt have a choice, unless I wanted to be fired. I eventually got a job at Chick-fil-A. Dont have to work sundays anymore.

So, some might disagree with me. I felt like I didn't have a choice in leaving or staying. I don't think I was sinning, because my heart wasn't to get more money. It was so I didn't get fired. However, I definitly forfeited blessings. I will not work on sunday, and for me that involves choosing a profession where I do not have to work on Sunday. If I were to worship on another day maybe thats fine, but for me I found I never did it. So, just drop the whole question by avoding professions that lead to working on the Sabbath.

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Let me preface my question with what I was taught in my youth, what I taught ( and others ) on my mission, and what I taught while I was teaching seminary.

In my youth I was taught to keep the Sabbath day such that, until I was a teenager, any soccer, basketball, and wrestling tournament which played over Sunday we never attended. Mission life we taught families to keep the Sabbath day holy and to not work on Sunday's. Some friends mention, on their mission, that they were told to invite brothers who were barely surviving to quit their jobs and find new jobs that didn't work on Sunday.

While teaching seminary, especially on the topic of Sabbath keeping, we were invited to share a story about this story BYU football player who decided not to go into the pros because he was taught to keep the Sabbath day holy ( shared in the Ensign )

We have a wonderful video by the Church regarding the rugby player who would not play on Sunday's, so much so, that the professional league changed their schedules so he could play.

Spencer W. Kimball once declared, as the prophet, "The failure to keep the Sabbath holy is evidence of man’s failure to meet the individual test set for each of us before the creation of the world, “to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them.” (Abr. 3:25.)

Yet, we have a newly called GA who played professional football and did not keep the Sabbath day holy, but broke it.

On one hand we are teaching keep the Sabbath day holy. The Church provides wonderful videos of people who have kept the commandments, while on the other hand we are teaching by example that it appears breaking the Sabbath is not so bad. By precept we teach keep, by example it appears we teach it is ok to break it.

What are your thoughts on this subject matter?

So....we're teaching that it isn't a stark right or wrong answer, but that there may be shades of gray. We're teaching that what may be the right answer for one person may not be the right answer for another person?

Forgive me if I'm being thick, but I don't see the problem here.

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Also, one thing to note:

I noticed that a lot of people thinks of Keep The Sabbath Day Holy and immediately thinks of all the Don'ts.

The way we're teaching my kids is through the Do's. Because, in my opinion, the Holy Sabbath lesson is better learned by concentrating on teaching the Do's which is in stark contrast with the things we do for the rest of the week.

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Also, one thing to note:

I noticed that a lot of people thinks of Keep The Sabbath Day Holy and immediately thinks of all the Don'ts.

The way we're teaching my kids is through the Do's. Because, in my opinion, the Holy Sabbath lesson is better learned by concentrating on teaching the Do's which is in stark contrast with the things we do for the rest of the week.

I believe the Hebrews Chapter 4 is important in understanding why we have a Sabbath. In essence we learn that how us use and formulate our Sabbath activities is in essence a type and shadow for us of our eternal rest or glory. In other words we should use the Sabbath as or eternal covenant of what it is we desire in eternity. For example: if we want to watch football for eternity then we should dedicate our Sabbath to watching football. Likewise those things we want removed from our eternal activities we should avoid. So if we do not want to be involved with Church things - we should avoid going to church. And we can start with avoiding attendance while we are on vacation (and no one will really notice) or during general or stake conference - we can just skip.

Whatever you intend to do in eternity - that should be part of your Sabbath and Sabbath covenant.

The Traveler

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I believe the Hebrews Chapter 4 is important in understanding why we have a Sabbath. In essence we learn that how us use and formulate our Sabbath activities is in essence a type and shadow for us of our eternal rest or glory. In other words we should use the Sabbath as or eternal covenant of what it is we desire in eternity. For example: if we want to watch football for eternity then we should dedicate our Sabbath to watching football. Likewise those things we want removed from our eternal activities we should avoid. So if we do not want to be involved with Church things - we should avoid going to church. And we can start with avoiding attendance while we are on vacation (and no one will really notice) or during general or stake conference - we can just skip.

Whatever you intend to do in eternity - that should be part of your Sabbath and Sabbath covenant.

The Traveler

I knew there was a reason why eating chocolates is a necessary Sabbath activity.

:lol:

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So, having been Reform Jewish for 20+ years, and having read a lot about practicing Judaism, let me bring up the 'Shabbos Goy.'

This is a non-Jew who, in the shtetl, would do things like light a fire that had gone out, etc. I sometimes call my son my Shabbos Goy and ask him to run to the store or something on Sunday. How do you guys feel about having someone else do things for you on the Sabbath? I guess if you're around all Mormons, this may not be an option.

My primary issue with how Mormons keep the Sabbath is just sitting around staring into space. Especially as a single person with no little kids, this is just boring and not a good use of my time. We've talked about this here before. I go to church, I avoid the store, etc. on the Sabbath, but I have no problem going to a museum or gallery on Sunday. Sorry. I think I can be observant and get some culture on the same day. Also, I am not going to make my son miss a prime opportunity for treating his mother by telling him he can't buy me a restaurant dinner on Mother's Day. Shoot me.

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How do you guys feel about having someone else do things for you on the Sabbath?

While on some level this is unavoidable unless you are going to pretty much disconnect yourself from the grid (a lot of people use the internet and other infrastructure that requires someone is around minding the shop), if we're talking about something like, "Oh, I feel like making cookies. Will you run to the store and buy some chocolate chips for me?" I'd have to say I'm against it on the 'Exodus 20:10 principle', but as noted it's really a matter of where you are drawing your lines. Generally speaking if I don't feel it is appropriate for me to be doing on the Sabbath I'm not going to be asking others to do it.

My primary issue with how Mormons keep the Sabbath is just sitting around staring into space.

I can't say I've ever encountered anyone where this is literally the case. Sure, there are children, and more restless folks, who may feel that way with regards to how given families observe the Sabbath but I've never seen it literally. And that's even keeping in mind some families that are what I would consider fairly 'strict'. I will agree that making the Sabbath a void of proscribed activity without filling it with appropriate activity isn't the way to go.

Edited by Dravin

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