Friday, September 30, 2011

Measuring Up...Sabbath Quotes

In the 19th century, England and France decided to observe the Sabbath only every 21 days in order that they might have time to build up their war-torn countries.  After a trial period, however, a careful check showed that they had accomplished less total work than when they had rested every seventh day as prescribed by the Lord.

The Sabbath to us is also an appropriate opportunity to visit nearby relatives or friends, provided the conduct of such visits is in keeping with the spirit of the day. If we emphasize such visiting the other six days of the week, we can guard against our Sundays being regularly absorbed by that activity.

Orson Scott Card, "Sunday Meetings: A Preparation for Work," Ensign, Jan. 1978:
“It’s possible to be so active in the Church that you forget to be active in the gospel.” But perhaps a better way to think about it is this: The meetings that we attend are for our preparation. Attending meetings should only be a small portion of our Church activity. Meetings are where we learn how to be active.

"Gospel activity is just as much in our homes, among our friends, at work, in the community, among strangers, or alone in prayer, as it is in a meeting!

"The Church provides many opportunities for activity: home teachers and visiting teachers have splendid opportunities to serve others; teachers can uplift, inspire, and renew the faith of their students; quorum leaders can organize their brethren in good works.

"But if we stop there, feeling satisfied that our attendance record means that we are sufficiently active, then in a sense we are like the servant who hid his talent in the earth. The Church provides us with a certain number of opportunities—but we have a responsibility to improve on that, to magnify those opportunities.

"If all our good works are within the walls of the meetinghouse, then are we letting our light shine before men?

"If we, like the Levite and the priest, are so intent on our Church business that we miss opportunities for charity to strangers, are we loving our neighbor as ourselves? “And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.” (1 Cor. 13:2.)

"A paraphrase: And though I attend all my meetings faithfully, and fulfill all my callings, and make a home teaching visit during the first week of the month; and though in all ways I am an active Church member, yet if I do not spend time in love and service for others, then I am not yet a Saint, for I do not yet love the Lord with all my heart, might, mind, and strength; and I do not love my neighbor as myself.

"Let the Sabbath be a day for taking stock. (How active have we been during the week in serving the Lord and his children?)

"Let the Sabbath be a day for attending meetings, sharing with others our spirit, our understanding of how to serve the Lord.

"And then let us use the other six days of each week as Christ did: in bringing joy to everyone we can, “I was an hungred,” said the Lord, “and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: “Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.” (Matt. 25:35–36.)

"We are surrounded by those in need, both spiritually and physically. To be active in the Church, we must take the time from our busy schedules to fill those needs. For the gifts we offer to those around us, we also offer to our Savior."

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