AN UNUSUAL PRACTICE
Through a friend's good example, I learned how to keep the Sabbath day holy. She never studied on Sundays, a practice that I felt so bizarre, given Singapore's competitive culture. Though I could not understand it then, I knew her priorities on Sundays was Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. To her, spiritual well-being was far more important than things of the world.
The scriptures teach that Sabbath day is a holy day ordained of God for us to rest from our daily labours and to worship Him. When I started to investigate the church, I decided not to study on Sundays. The missionaries' testimonies of church leaders and other people they knew who received blessings because of their obedience strengthened my resolve.
CARRYING OUT MY DECISION
Initially, it was a struggle. I was in my second year at the University and I suddenly found myself with one less day to do my schoolwork. My habit of procrastinating made things worse. I was stressed when I could not finish my tutorial assignments due on Monday. I thought about not trying to keep the Sabbath day holy. I rationalized that the scriptures do not explicitly state that we should not study on Sunday.
One Sunday while listening to the sacrament prayer, I realized the importance of keeping all the commandments. I also realized that I was accountable for my own actions. Studying on Sundays would only distract me and it would be no different from any other day of the week. From that moment I decided to be more disciplined in managing my time and getting things done on time.
BENEFITS OF KEEPING THE SABBATH DAY HOLY
Elder Russell M Nelson said, 'God gave us this special day, not for amusement or daily labour but for a rest from duty, with physical and spiritual relief'. I have found this to be true. After I made up my mind not to study on Sundays, I could rest and relax better on the Sabbath. Spiritually, I could partake of the Sacrament more worshipfully without trying to rush home immediately to do my schoolwork.
I now look forward to Sunday for the temporary relief from the stress of school, to feel spiritually recharged, to be reminded of my priorities and to draw closer to Christ. I really enjoy listening to church music, reading the Ensign and watching uplifting videos from the Mormon Channel.
Now that I am a working adult, I am very grateful for my experience in learning how to keep the Sabbath day holy. It has taught me a lot about myself and more importantly, about dedicating the Sabbath day to my God. I know that when we are obedient, we will be blessed tremendously. As we keep the Sabbath day holy, He will lift us up so that our trials feel less burdensome as we press forward. I am grateful to my friend for showing me first what it means to put the Lord first. I hope that my experience will encourage others to do the same. It may be stressful at times, but if you do your best to stay focused and less distracted during the rest of the week, the Lord will strengthen you so that it becomes easier to cope. In doing so, you will gain an increased testimony of the Savior, His atonement and will grow closer to Him.