Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy

The Lord counseled the Church nearly 165 years ago that we as a people may keep ourselves “unspotted from the world” by properly observing the Sabbath (see D&C 59). While others may watch how we observe the Sabbath day, we should not be self-righteous or attempt to elevate ourselves in the eyes of others. We should simply observe the Sabbath day in the proper manner because we know it is correct. Then we will receive joy and strength from doing so.

The Sabbath is a day to—

  • Rest.

  • Worship.

  • Offer up vows in righteousness.

  • Confess our sins.

  • Partake of the sacrament.

  • Prepare food with singleness of heart.

  • Perfect our fasting.

Additionally, President Spencer W. Kimball said the Sabbath can be used for—

  • Reading good books.

  • Contemplation.

  • Scripture study and talk preparation.

  • Visiting the sick.

  • Preaching the gospel.

  • Proselyting.

  • Visiting quietly with family.

  • Doing good.

  • Seeking forgiveness of sin.

  • Journal writing.

  • Fellowshipping nonmembers.

  • Enjoying uplifting music.

President Ezra Taft Benson said the Sabbath should NOT be used for—

  • Gardening and odd jobs around the house.

  • Taking trips to canyons or resorts.

  • Wasting time.

  • Making up for sleep lost on Saturday.

  • Refueling the car.

  • Being so busy there is no time for prayer or meditation.

  • Engaging in sports and hunting.

  • Reading material that does not contribute to your spiritual uplift.

  • Shopping.

Taken from a devotional address given by Elder Earl C. Tingey at BYU, August 1995.

Hoop Dreams Come True

In KwaMashu, South Africa, the full-time missionaries hosted an event that, in basketball lingo, would have been “nothin’ but net.”

Since many of the communities in South Africa haven’t had much exposure to the Church or its teachings, the missionaries have to work hard, not only at teaching the gospel, but at letting people know that the Church exists. During their community service time, the missionaries decided to get youth in their area involved in a community activity that they knew a lot about—sports, especially basketball.

Radio and television stations soon got involved and were making public service announcements for the missionaries’ “American Streetball Tournament.” By the time the tournament rolled around, 115 young people arrived to play basketball, have a good time, and get to know the missionaries. Because of the hard work of the area elders, the Church is now known for its positive contributions to KwaMashu.

Of course, now that the missionaries are finished with all the hard work of putting the tournament together and getting to know their neighbors, the real work of spreading the gospel is just beginning. But the elders know that, as missionaries, they will always be on the winning team.

Trend Setter

Brenna Pink, a Beehive from the Rockford Illinois Second Ward, Rockford Illinois Stake, is the latest participant in an activity that seems to be growing in popularity among LDS Young Women—completing all of the Young Women Personal Progress goals instead of just a selected few.

Why would anyone go so far out of her way?

“Completing Young Women goals makes you feel good,” she says. “I learned a lot about Heavenly Father and the scriptures.”

Brenna says that while some goals, like evaluating plays and dance concerts, were easy, the hard ones really helped her become a better person.

“For one of my goals in the category of Integrity, I didn’t listen to bad jokes or bad language. I tried to change the conversation to better topics and to keep myself out of bad situations.”

The Big Picture

Seminary students in the Palo Verde and Santa Rita areas of Tucson, Arizona, used an unusual method of tracking their progress in seminary. Instead of the usual charts or contests to gauge progress, they created a mosaic of the First Vision; every time someone bore their testimony of the First Vision, they added another tiny piece to the over 2,000 pieces that made the final project.

“I never thought this would look like anything,” says seminary student Amanda Gomez, “but we did it; we came together and we did it.”

The project was so large that some students doubted it would ever get done. Although it took an entire school year to complete the mosaic, the students agreed the final project was worth the time it took.

“This is beautiful,” said Melanie Raehl, another student in the group.

Called to Serve: Presiding Bishopric

Following Elder Merrill J. Bateman’s call to serve as president of BYU, the First Presidency announced a new Presiding Bishopric, with Bishop H. David Burton serving as the new Presiding Bishop.

Bishop H. David Burton

Bishop Richard C. Edgley, First Counselor, 59, who worked in Minneapolis, Minnesota, for 19 years, is a native of Preston, Idaho. Bishop Edgley had been serving in the Presiding Bishopric since October 1992. He and his wife, Pauline Nielson Edgley, have six children.

Bishop Richard C. Edgley

Bishop H. David Burton, 57, from Salt Lake City had been serving in the Presiding Bishopric since October 1992.

Bishop Burton has served as a bishop, stake president, and temple sealer. Prior to his call to the Presiding Bishopric he was a businessman and later an assistant Church budget officer.

He and his wife, Barbara Matheson Burton, have five children.

Bishop Keith B. McMullin

Bishop Keith B. McMullin, Second Counselor, 54, was born in St. George, Utah, and has also lived in Leeds, Utah, and now Bountiful, Utah. Prior to his call he was working for the Welfare Services Department of the Church. He and his wife, Carolyn Jean Gibbs McMullin, have eight children.

Follow the Prophet

“You are great young people. I have said again and again, we have the finest generation of young people ever in the history of the Church. I believe it. You know the gospel better. You come to seminary and learn about the things of the Lord here. You know more about the gospel than those of my generation at your age did without any question. I am satisfied of that. Furthermore, you are intrinsically better. You are wonderful young people!”

—President Gordon B. Hinckley, Skyline High School (Salt Lake City, Utah) Seminary Graduation, April 30, 1995

Double Take

Kepsi and Jimmy Maraki of Papua New Guinea have lived their lives doing many of the same things. Because they are twins, they have attended the same schools, lived in the same house, and probably even worn some of the same clothes. But now, Kepsi will copy his brother in a more meaningful way—by serving a mission.

Jimmy served in the Papua New Guinea Mission and arrived home just before his brother received his call to the same mission.

Making the Grade

Dale Stephens, a deacon from Kaitaia, New Zealand, was named the most outstanding student at a special week-long conference for gifted students on New Zealand’s North Island. Dale took classes in debating, maths, and hieroglyphics while he attended the conference.

Dale uses his talents in his Church callings, too. He currently serves as deacons quorum president and is active in dance and song festivals for his ward and stake.

Full-Blast Fun

Youth in the Walla Walla Washington Stake participated in a service-project youth conference last summer, but most youth will agree that it’s hard to say who had more fun—those who gave service or those who received it. They visited a camp for disabled children at a nearby mountain retreat and helped with a day of sports, craft activities, and a dance.

The highlight of the evening was a “prom,” complete with modest formal dresses for the girls and boutonnieres for the boys. Because some of the campers have hearing impairments, the music was played full-blast—something that both the hearing and nonhearing participants seemed to enjoy.

At the conclusion of the day, when the campers were off to their cabins, the LDS youth prepared to leave by holding a testimony meeting. They agreed that going to the camp wasn’t just a service experience; it was a fun experience—one they want to repeat very soon.

Copycat `

Copying articles from the New Era and keeping them in a binder is a great way to make your own reference book on gospel topics. Color copies of Mormonads make great miniposters to send to friends or keep in your locker. Copying and sharing art and information from the New Era is encouraged as long as—

  • The copies will be used only at church or at home.

  • Copies are not being sold for any reason.

  • Copies are made in compliance with local and state regulations.

Photography by Craig Dimond