Monday, February 1, 2010

The "Depth of Our Conversion"

In my study this morning, this quote hit me in a way no other about keeping the Sabbath day holy, has. (It is on page 158 of the Book of Mormon student manual, if you want to read the rest of the information about the people of Alma.)The quote comes from April General conference in 1975, and was in a talk given by Mark E. Jensen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

"We can readily see that the observance of the Sabbath is an indication of the depth of our conversion.

Our observance of the Sabbath is an unerring measure of our attitude toward the Lord personally and toward his suffering in Gethsemane, his death on the cross, and his resurrection from the dead. It is a sign whether our conversion is so shallow that commemoration of his atoning sacrifice means little or nothing to us."

What a wonderfully clear way to help us understand why it is important to keep the Sabbath holy. It is how we show respect for our Savior. It is how we take His image in our countenance, and how we mark our conversion, every week. It is not something that we should try to do, but that is no big deal if we break. It is the outward show of our inward dedication.

I know this to be true in my life. At times when I have been farther away from my Savior, and not as committed to the gospel as I should have been, I found myself impatient in church, anxious to get back home and "on with my day." I also found many reasons to do things that were not keeping the Sabbath day holy, basically because I had not planned the rest of my week well. I left things to be done on the Sabbath, whether it was studying or running to the store, and then justified it because I needed to have things done before I started my week.

Now, I am trying much harder to see the Sabbath as the beginning of my week, and making sure that my house is in order before Sunday morning. I am not perfect. I still run loads of laundry more Sundays than not, and I rush around with getting meals ready. However, I find myself savoring the lessons at church, instead of waiting impatiently for them to finish. I find time to not just read a chapter of my scriptures, but to study them. I am often surprised to realize that I have finished a number of chapters, and that I need to go back and catch up in my study guide. I find joy in the hymns at church, and take notes on the talks and lessons given.

I am not trying to put myself as any great example. I spent a lot of years as a lackluster Sabbath adherent. However, as my testimony of the Savior has strengthened, I have found joy in the Sabbath, and I am grateful for that. I testify that as my conversion has deepened, my desire to keep the Sabbath day holy has grown, and that I am a better person for that. I am a more grateful daughter of Heavenly Father, and I evidence that through my Sabbath day activities.

So, what Sabbath day activities, beyond church, do you enjoy? Are there things you do to help you mentally prepare for the Sabbath?

1 comment:

Kathy Haynie said...

Oh, it is so easy to slip into bad habits of doing things that pull us away from worship and reflection on Sundays. I have lots of room to grow in this. But yesterday I didn't grade any papers or do any homework for my PSU class, and it made the day SO much nicer! I agree with your thinking.