“Thou Shalt Go to the House of Prayer and Offer Up Thy Sacraments upon My Holy Day”

Doctrine and Covenants 59:9–16

9 And that thou mayest more fully keep thyself unspotted from the world, thou shalt go to the house of prayer and offer up thy sacraments upon my holy day;
10 For verily this is a day appointed unto you to rest from your labors, and to pay thy devotions unto the Most High;
11 Nevertheless thy vows shall be offered up in righteousness on all days and at all times;
12 But remember that on this, the Lord’s day, thou shalt offer thine oblations and thy sacraments unto the Most High, confessing thy sins unto thy brethren, and before the Lord.
13 And on this day thou shalt do none other thing, only let thy food be prepared with singleness of heart that thy fasting may be perfect, or, in other words, that thy joy may be full.
14 Verily, this is fasting and prayer, or in other words, rejoicing and prayer.
15 And inasmuch as ye do these things with thanksgiving, with cheerful hearts and countenances, not with much laughter, for this is sin, but with a glad heart and a cheerful countenance—
16 Verily I say, that inasmuch as ye do this, the fulness of the earth is yours, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and that which climbeth upon the trees and walketh upon the earth . . .

President Joseph Fielding Smith wrote:

“The commandment to keep holy the Sabbath day is just as binding upon the people of the earth today as it ever was. While it is true that man was not made for the Sabbath, but the Sabbath for man, we should not misinterpret this saying and ignore this great commandment, for that would incur the displeasure of the Lord. The inhabitants of Zion were instructed that they were to be faithful in the observance of this day. They were to go to the house of prayer, with contrite spirits, and broken hearts, bearing testimony of the goodness of God to them. This is a day in which we should rest from all our manual labors, and from all secular duties that require our attention on the six other days of the week. By obedience to this law we are to have power over evil and more fully be able to keep the commandments of the Lord and be unspotted from the sins of the world. The purpose for this day of Sabbath rest many members of the Church, apparently, fail to see, and they make excuses for not observing it as the Lord has directed in this revelation [D&C 59]. In His abundant wisdom, the Lord has granted to us six days out of seven in which we may perform any legitimate labor for our temporal needs, but He asks that we spend the seventh day in each week, laying aside all other duties, to serve Him, and spend time in reflection and study of the things which pertain to our eternal salvation. This is not an inconsistent demand. It was not made for the purpose of giving pleasure to the Lord, but for our own spiritual uplift and preparation for the things which are to come. The spiritual side of man needs attention, to be fed the things of spiritual life, to be mellowed by thought, humility, and prayer, and instructed in the things of the kingdom of God. Moreover, we need that fellowship which contact with our fellow members in the Church brings to us. This Sabbath day has been set apart that mankind may spend their time in worship and have their minds centered on the things of God free from the influences and distractions of the business and work-a-day world. A little reflection will reveal to us the reasonableness of this demand made on us and our time by our Father in Heaven, and that it is given for our own good.”

(Church History and Modern Revelation, 2 vols. [1953], 1:218.)

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