“The Sabbath Was Made for Man, and Not Man for the Sabbath”

Mark 2:27–28

27 And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:
28 Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.

President Russell M. Nelson said:

“What did the Savior mean when He said that ‘the sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath’? [Mark 2:27]. I believe He wanted us to understand that the Sabbath was His gift to us, granting real respite from the rigors of daily life and an opportunity for spiritual and physical renewal. God gave us this special day, not for amusement or daily labor but for a rest from duty, with physical and spiritual relief.

“In Hebrew, the word Sabbath means ‘rest.’ The purpose of the Sabbath dates back to the Creation of the world, when after six days of labor the Lord rested from the work of creation [see Genesis 2:2–3]. When He later revealed the Ten Commandments to Moses, God commanded that we ‘remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy’ [Exodus 20:8; see also Deuteronomy 5:12; Mosiah 13:16; 18:23]. Later, the Sabbath was observed as a reminder of the deliverance of Israel from their bondage in Egypt [see Deuteronomy 5:14–15]. Perhaps most important, the Sabbath was given as a perpetual covenant, a constant reminder that the Lord may sanctify His people [see Exodus 31:13, 16].

“In addition, we now partake of the sacrament on the Sabbath day in remembrance of the Atonement of Jesus Christ [see D&C 59:12]. Again, we covenant that we are willing to take upon us His holy name [see D&C 20:37, 77].

“The Savior identified Himself as Lord of the Sabbath [see Matthew 12:8; Mark 2:28; Luke 6:5]. It is His day! Repeatedly, He has asked us to keep the Sabbath [see Exodus 31:13; Leviticus 19:3, 30; 26:2; D&C 68:29] or to hallow the Sabbath day [see Ezekiel 20:20; 44:24]. We are under covenant to do so. . . .

“Though the doctrine pertaining to the Sabbath day is of ancient origin, it has been renewed in these latter days as part of a new covenant with a promise. Listen to the power of this divine decree:

“‘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;

“‘For verily this is a day appointed unto you to rest from your labors, and to pay thy devotions unto the Most High. . . .

“‘And on this day . . . let thy food be prepared with singleness of heart that thy fasting may be perfect, . . . that thy joy may be full. . . .

“‘And inasmuch as ye do these things with thanksgiving, with cheerful hearts and countenances, . . . the fulness of the earth is yours’ [D&C 59:9–10, 13, 15–16].

“Imagine the scope of that statement! The fulness of the earth is promised to those who keep the Sabbath day holy [see Leviticus 26:2–4]. No wonder Isaiah called the Sabbath ‘a delight’ [Isaiah 58:13].”

(“The Sabbath Is a Delight,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2015, 129–30.)