The Sabbath is the Lord's day, set apart each week for rest and worship. In Old Testament times, God's covenant people observed the Sabbath on the seventh day of the week because God rested on the seventh day when He had created the earth. After the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, which occurred on the first day of the week, the Lord's disciples began observing the Sabbath on the first day of the week, Sunday (see Acts 20:7).
The Lord emphasized the importance of Sabbath observance in the Ten Commandments:
"Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
"Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
"But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
"For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it" (Exodus 20:8–11).
In the latter days, the Lord commanded His people to continue observing the Sabbath. He has promised that if we obey this commandment, we will receive "the fulness of the earth" (see D&C 59:16–20).
Because the Sabbath is a holy day, it should be reserved for worthy and holy activities. Abstaining from work and recreation is not enough. In fact, those who merely lounge about doing nothing on the Sabbath fail to keep the day holy. In a revelation given to Joseph Smith in 1831, the Lord commanded: "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" (D&C 59:9–10). In harmony with this revelation, Church members attend sacrament meeting each week. Other Sabbath-day activities may include praying, meditating, studying the scriptures and the teachings of latter-day prophets, writing letters to family members and friends, reading wholesome material, visiting the sick and distressed, and attending other Church meetings.
—See True to the Faith (2004), 145–47
"Remember the Sabbath Day"
D. Kelly Ogden, Liahona, May 1998, 16–23; or Ensign, Apr. 1994, 46–51
Observance of the Sabbath is not a restriction but a source of strength and protection.
"The Sabbath—Holy Day or Holiday?"
Charles Didier, Ensign, Oct. 1994, 26–31
Now is the time to ask ourselves: Is the Sabbath a holy day or a holiday? Shall I worship the Lord or worship pleasures and recreation?
"The Lord's Day"
James E. Faust, Ensign, Nov. 1991, 33–35
There is a sure protection for ourselves and our children against the plague of our day. The key to that sure protection surprisingly can be found in Sabbath observance.
"Teaching Children to Keep the Sabbath"
Ensign, Oct. 1989, 44–47
While it may be possible for an individual to have a joyful, restful Sabbath without preparing ahead, today's busy families may not be able to have the kind of Sabbath the Lord has prescribed if they wait until Sunday morning to prepare everything.
"The Power of Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy"
John H. Groberg, Ensign, Nov. 1984, 79–81
I testify that when we eventually see through the perspective of eternal truth, we will be amazed at how much we were blessed in important—though often unperceived—ways through keeping the Sabbath holy.
"Call the Sabbath a Delight"
Ensign, Apr. 2001, 46–52
Ideas that help us keep the spirit of the Sabbath.
"The Blessing of Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy"
H. Aldridge Gillespie, Liahona, Jan. 2001, 93–95; or Ensign, Nov. 2000, 79–80
The Latter-day Saints must lead out in sanctifying this appointed day each week.
"Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy"
Earl C. Tingey, Ensign, Feb. 2000, 48–55
Prophets such as Moses and President Gordon B. Hinckley have repeatedly testified of our need to honor the Sabbath.
"A Season of Opportunity"
H. David Burton, Liahona, Jan. 1999, 9–12; or Ensign, Nov. 1998, 9–11
It is a season to reach out to touch the life of someone, a season to commit to keeping the Sabbath day holy, and a season to help keep the lights of our temples burning brightly.
"The Sabbath Day and Sunday Shopping"
Earl C. Tingey, Ensign, May 1996, 10–12
Our observance of the Sabbath is an indication of the depth of our conversion and our willingness to keep sacred covenants.
Guide to the Scriptures
"The Sabbath Is a Holy Day"
Teachings of Presidents of the Church: John Taylor, Chapter 12
"Observing the Sabbath: That Your Joy May Be Full"
Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith, Chapter 26
"Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy"
Duties and Blessings of the Priesthood: Part B, Lesson 29
"The Sabbath Day"
The Latter-day Saint Woman, Part B, Lesson 4
"The Sabbath Day"
Gospel Principles, Chapter 24
"Thou Shalt . . . Offer Up Thy Sacraments upon My Holy Day"
Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Gospel Doctrine Teacher's Manual, Lesson 16
"Honoring the Sabbath and the Sacrament"
Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, Chapter 21