Friday, December 9, 2016

Sabbath a delight


Sabbath a delight
Intro
  • Isn't my wife awesome. I love hearing her speak.
  • I too have been asked to speak on "The Sabbath is a Delight". I would like to focus my thoughts on the, "why" we keep the Sabbath day holy.

Pop Quiz
I would like to start by getting all the kids involved for just a moment. So if you are in primary stand up, and if there are some daring young men or young women that are not "too cool" yet, go ahead and stand up. We are going to do a practice round first.

Practice Round
Stay standing if you are wearing anything with....
  • Black on.
  • White
  • Red
  • Etc...

Official Round
Ok, so everyone gets the idea. Now lets do the official pop quiz. Everyone standup. Stay standing if we have been promised if keep the sabbath day holy...
  • we will recieve answers to our prayers.
  • The Lord shall guide thee continually, 
  • satisfy thy soul in drought, 
  • make fat thy bones: 
  • thou shalt be like a watered garden, 
  • like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.
  • Last one, If you believe that man was created and came down here to receive bodies, for the sole purpose of keeping the Sabbath day holy?
  • You guys are all so smart and did a great job.

We read in Mark 2:27 "The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath."

Were we created for the sole purpose of reading the scriptures, or saying our prayers, or what about going to church? Of course not, we were created, so that we through Christ may be exalted and live the life that our Father in Heaven lives.

All these things were created for man, really they are tools used to help prepare him to return to the father. 

The Lord's Jewels
Let me introduce a concept real quick.

3 Nephi 24:17 reads: And they [speaking of the righteous] shall be mine, saith the Lord of Hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.

I love how the Lord says he will make his jewels out of the righteous. One of the most precious types of jewels are diamonds. What is interesting about diamonds, is how they are formed. It is not an easy process and doesn't happen overnight.


I found this really good explaination: Diamonds are crystals of pure carbon that form under crushing pressures and intense heat. (http://www.nhm.ac.uk/nature-online/earth/rock-minerals/diamonds/diamond-formation/)

Look at those three very discriptive and important pieces of the equation:
   1. Crystals of "pure" carbon.
   2. Crushing pressures
   3. Intense heat

To be counted among the Saviors jewels, we will be required to be formed in the same way, and it will not be easy. We will need to be purged of all wickedness and become pure in heart and be tried and sanctified through crushing pressures and intense heat. 

We are all familiar with the story of the rich young man in the New Testament who came to Jesus to find out how he could obtain salvation. 

Matthew 19:20-22 sums up the story.

20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? 

21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. 

22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.

We are left to wonder what could have been if he had just submitted himself over to the process of becoming a jewel. But sadly, not everyone will be willing to go through the process of becoming a jewel to the Lord. Joseph Smith, quoted by President John Taylor said: 

You will have all kinds of trials to pass through. And it is quite as necessary for you to be tried as it was for Abraham and other men of God, and (said he) God will feel after you, and He will take hold of you and wrench your very heart strings, and if you cannot stand it you will not be fit for an inheritance in the Celestial Kingdom of God. (In Bowery, June 18, 1883, JD24:197) TLDP:5

And the Lord gave us the same message in D&C 78:7. "If you will that I give unto you a place in the celestial world, you must prepare yourselves by doing the things which I have commanded you and required of you." (D&C 78:7.)

Faith
One more concept before I return to tie everything into the sabboth day, and that is Faith.

I want to ensure that we are all on the same page when it comes to faith. We will turn to Joseph Smith and the Lectures on Faith to help us tackle this feat.

10 If men were duly to consider themselves, and turn their thoughts and reflections to the operations of their own minds, they would readily discover that it is faith, and faith only, which is the moving cause of all action, in them.. 

11 ...Are you not dependent on your faith, or belief, for the acquisition of all knowledge, wisdom and intelligence? Would you exert yourselves to obtain wisdom and intelligence, unless you did believe that you could obtain them? Would you have ever sown if you had not believed that you would reap? Would you have ever planted if you had not believed that you would gather? Would you have ever asked unless you had believed that you would receive? Would you have ever sought unless you had believed that you would have found? Or would you have ever knocked unless you had believed that it would have been opened unto you? In a word, is there any thing that you would have done, either physical or mental, if you had not previously believed? Are not all your exertions, of every kind, dependent on your faith? 

12 And as faith is the moving cause of all action in temporal concerns, so it is in spiritual... 

13 ...But faith is not only the principle of action, but of power, also, in all intelligent beings, whether in heaven, or on earth.

So, when we desire to obtain a particular outcome or result, it is our faith in that thing that causes us to take action to obtain that desired result or outcome. 

Sabbath a delight
Now go with me to Isaiah Chapter 58. As we go over this chapter be thinking of the sabbath as a tool to become a jewel unto Christ and how faith is required in this process. I will be referrencing the footnotes extensively, for they contain great knowledge and clarity.

1 Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.
The Lord is giving his prophet authority to speak on this topic and we would do good to heed these words.

2 Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God.

Footnote 2a for "yet" says: "they do all the rituals, but lack something yet."

True faith is required, believing that the Lord will provide the promised blessings and help make the sabbath a delight unto us.

3 ¶Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours.

Footnote 3a takes us to Malicah 3:13-15

13 ¶Your words have been stout against me, saith the Lord. Yet ye say, What have we spoken so much against thee?

14 Ye have said, It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the Lord of hosts?

15 And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered.

They lack faith. What would have happened if the brother of Jared just picked up some rocks and asked the Lord to make them glow? There would have been no effort and therefore there would have been no faith. 

We must have faith in the sabbath and show our faith by our thoughts, words, and actions on His holy day, and then will he cause our light to shine forth in darkness.

Next we are taken to Alma 34:28
28 And now behold, my beloved brethren, I say unto you, do not suppose that this is all; for after ye have done all these things, if ye turn away the needy, and the naked, and visit not the sick and afflicted, and impart of your substance, if ye have, to those who stand in need--I say unto you, if ye do not any of these things, behold, your prayer is vain, and availeth you nothing, and ye are as hypocrites who do deny the faith.

If we want all of our promised blessings from the Sabaoth day, prayers, etc... We MUST take care of the poor, needy, naked, and sick. 

4 Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high.

Footnote 4b tells us: fasting without spiritual motivation only engenders discomfort and irritability

6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?

The Sabbath day is the great liberator. It is a day to be freed from the yokes of the world.

7 Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?

Picture used in quote by: Gavin Hardcastle https://flic.kr/p/t89aDh

8 ¶Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rearward.

Let me list again these blessings: -thy light break forth as the morning, meaning we will radiate light and be servants of Christ.
-thy health shall spring forth speedily, who doesn't want good health, then make the sabbath a delight.
-thy righteousness shall go before thee
-the glory of the Lord shall be thy rearward. Rearward, literally means protector. We are promised that the Lord will literally protect us, what more could you want.


9 Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;
How many of us want to have our prayers answered and for the Lord to say, "Here I am." If we want our prayers and petitions answered, then make the sabbath a delight unto you.

10 And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday:


11 And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.

The Lord shall guide thee continually, we will literally be guided personally by the Lord. 
-satisfy thy soul in drought, 
-make fat thy bones: 
-thou shalt be like a watered garden, 
-like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.

In these last days, we will want for ourselves and our families to not want for food or water and we are promised deliverance from both if we will but make the sabbath a delight and keep it holy.

12 And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.

13 ¶If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:

If we want to be the Lord's jewels, we must surrender our desires and wills over unto God and as we do this, like the diamonds we will begin to transform and over time, our wills will be aligned with that of the our Father in Heaven and his Only Begotten son, Jesus Christ.

14 Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

The footnote for this verse takes us to Deuteronomy 32:13 (7-14)

7 ¶Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee.

8 When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.

9 For the Lord's portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.

10 He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye.

11 As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings:

12 So the Lord alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him.

13 He made him ride on the high places of the earth, that he might eat the increase of the fields; and he made him to suck honey out of the rock, and oil out of the flinty rock;

14 Butter of kine, and milk of sheep, with fat of lambs, and rams of the breed of Bashan, and goats, with the fat of kidneys of wheat; and thou didst drink the pure blood of the grape.

As seen from these scriptures, when the Lord says: "I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father," that the heritage of Jacob is something special. The heritage of Jacob were "as the apple of his eye."

So to sum up the whole matter, first we must have great faith in the Sabboth and in the Lord that he is able and will bless us in proportion to our making the Sabbath a delight unto us. If we have this faith which will lead us to great action and thus our actions would literally bare testimony to the Lord of the degree and level of our faith. And as we do these things, then will we begin to qualify for the crushing pressures and intense heat that will come as we are purified, shaped and transformed into precious jewels of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Remember the promises of the Lord for those who do make the Sabbath a delight unto them:

Thy light break forth as the morning.
Thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; 
The glory of the Lord shall be thy rearward.
You will recieve answers to your prayers.
The Lord shall guide thee continually.
He will satisfy thy soul in drought, 
He will make fat thy bones: 
Thou shalt be like a watered garden, 
Like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.
He will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father.

For me I know that I can do better at making the Sabbath a delight unto me. Let us decide today to make the necessary changes that we need to make, to have our actions testify of our faith in Him. I know that if we make these changes and improve each sabbath day over the last one, then we will begin to see these blessings bare fruit in our lives. We will also find that not only will the Sabbath become a delight unto us, but we will delight more and more in the Lord himself. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen. 


Craig


Found this after my talk:

Leviticus 26:2-12
2 ¶Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the Lord.

3 ¶If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them;

4 Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.

5 And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time: and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely.

6 And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid: and I will rid evil beasts out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land.

7 And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword.

8 And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword.

9 For I will have respect unto you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and establish my covenant with you.

10 And ye shall eat old store, and bring forth the old because of the new.

11 And I will set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you.

12 And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people.