A General Conference Odyssey post: Saturday morning session, April 1975
We live in a day and age where we absolutely need the Sabbath Day. Why? Because it is one of the key places on earth that continuously turns our hearts away from the world and toward our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Elder Mark E. Peterson spoke on The Sabbath Day, and it got me thinking about how I spend this holy day. I could stand some better understanding and improvement, so I offer these thoughts for you to reflect upon. There are many references that teach of the Sabbath Day; I only use three, which are listed below.
THE SACRAMENT FULFILLS THE COMMANDMENTS, WITNESSING UNTO THE FATHER “THAT THEY DO ALWAYS REMEMBER HIM, THAT THEY MAY HAVE HIS SPIRIT TO BE WITH THEM (D&C 20:77-79)
Elder Neil L. Anderson says, “Covenants bring not only commitments, but they bring spiritual power. … The Sacrament is a beautiful time to not just renew our baptismal covenants, but to commit to Him to renew all our covenants, all our promises, and to approach Him in a spiritual power that we did not have previously, as we move forward.”
Elder Quentin L. Cook says, “In this dispensation, the Sacrament prayer contains the principles that are essential as we focus on the ordinance of the Sacrament” which are to remember, bear witness, and keep His commandments.
Elder Peter F. Meurs says, “King Benjamin taught that … [we must put] off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord’ (Mosiah 3:19). Participation in the sacrament ordinance provides an opportunity to more fully yield our hearts and souls to God.”
The Sacrament is a blessing that we can partake every Sunday to spiritually strengthen us in this world of sin. If we are careful, we can have the Spirit with us Sunday evening, Monday, Tuesday; perhaps we can even stretch it all the way to Wednesday. Eventually, we might even be able to keep it with us until the following Sunday, but even if we can’t, we have each Sunday to look forward to, trying again, and again.
HONORING THE SABBATH DAY FROM THE REST OF THE WEEK SHOWS THE LORD WE DELIGHT IN HIM
Pres. Russell M. Nelson reminds us how we can delight in the Lord. He says, “The Lord’s commandment to hallow the Sabbath Day and to keep it holy, is a charge that we take very seriously, and literally. If we can really do that; If we can really do that, we will help our members to build faith in the Lord and deepen their conversion, to Him and to His Church.” 
Elder Petersen warns us how easy it is to set the Lord aside instead of overcoming the world.
“But in spite of all the Lord has said, mankind still trifles with his word, and either by neglect or outright disobedience they set aside his word with impunity and go on their merry way. One of the most glaring of our inconsistencies is our attitude toward the Sabbath day. It is a sacred day. It is holy, and we should not trifle with it.”
The Lord only asks for one day in seven, but that one day can be a powerful incentive to bring us out of the world and its evil influences. It is us who have something to prove to the Lord. He has already paid the price to save us, and He eagerly awaits our delight in His sacrifice. Our will must be offered to Him on the altar of sacrifice.
“If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words. Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord” (Isaiah 58:13-14).
Elder Meurs emphasizes the phrase “that they are willing” (Moroni 4:3). “This phrase has so much potential power for us. Are we willing to serve and participate? Are we willing to change? Are we willing to address our weaknesses? Are we willing to reach out and bless others? Are we willing to trust the Savior?”
Our will has to be broken in order to delight in the Lord. “And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, him will I baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost” (3 Ne 9:20).
TURNING OUR HEARTS AND TURNING THE HEARTS OF OUR CHILDREN IS THE GREATEST GIFT WE CAN OFFER THE LORD
Elder David A. Bednar says, “The basic purpose of all we teach, and all that we do, in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is to make available the priesthood authority and the gospel ordinances and covenants that enable a man and a woman and their children to be sealed together and happy at home. Period. Exclamation Point. End of Sentence.”
He makes it sound so simple. And it can be when we commit to setting the example, and teaching our children to love the Lord. And this starts early in the week as we teach our children “listening skills. … We need to be creatively persistent” (Rosemary M. Wixom).
This is where I became glued to what Elder Petersen was saying in his talk. If I really want to stay separate from the world, what do I have to be willing to do? How will I ever stay strong? Where do I get the strength to stay focused? He says,
“We constantly talk about the worldliness of the present day and speak of the fact that our young people face more serious temptations than did those of a generation ago, and this is probably true. Also, more parents seem to be caught up in the worldliness of today than was the case a generation ago.
What can we do to protect ourselves under these hazardous circumstances? How can we better help our young people to remain unspotted from the world?
The Lord gives us the answer and says that it can be done by sincerely observing the Sabbath day. Most people have never thought of it in this way, but note the words of the Lord in this regard: ‘That thou mayest more fully keep thyself unspotted from the world’—note these words—’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.’” (D&C 59:9.)
Keeping the Sabbath Day holy seems to be the secret weapon to staying separate from the world and fulfilling the covenants we make with our Savior. The scriptures teach us. We have been taught in General Conference. It is up to us to ponder these sayings, figure out our plan of action, and commit ourselves to turn our hearts toward the Lord regularly and consistently each Sabbath Day. And as we do so, our Sabbath Day will stretch throughout the week and from week to week, keeping us holier, and more full of the spirit.
 The Sabbath Day, Mark E. Petersen, April 1975
 General Conference Training on Sabbath Day Observance, April 2015
 The Sacrament Can Help Us Become Holy, Peter F. Meurs, November 2016
Additional General Conference Odyssey posts:
In every day as we are asked to do it Marilyn Nielson
LDS Conference April 1975 – Giving Our Lives Every Day J. Max Wilson