Should I Go Shopping on the Sabbath?

What does The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints teach about how to keep the Sabbath day holy?  Well, many things, and yet very little.

Heavenly Father doesn’t want us to be “commanded in all things,” meaning that he wants us to learn and grow and decide for ourselves north-salt-lake-chapel-769469-gallerywhat is right.  Doctrine and Covenants 58:26.  Because of that, you won’t find a list of exactly what is appropriate and what is not.  Mormons are Christians and so we try to keep the Sabbath day holy.  As with anything on this site, I am not trying to declare doctrine, but share what I have learned in the hope that it might help others make their own decisions.

When I was a Young Men President years ago, I worked with a  fantastic group of Priests.  They faced varied pressures from their peers in school, made mistakes, learned from those mistakes, and grew their testimonies as they should have.  My wife and I had decided early on in our marriage that we wanted to make our home an inviting place for our children to come and bring their friends to spend time.  Our children at the time were both under four years old.  We practiced on these Priests.

We did our best, with our meager budget, to make our home inviting.  Something worked.  Fridays and Saturdays we would often have one or more of them stop popcorn-390294_640by to just hang out.  Our little ones loved the attention, and the Priests loved having a home away from home.  On more than one occasion we were in bed for the night when there would come a knock on the door at 10:30 or so, and one or more of them would be standing there with a date, having run out of plans for the evening but not quite ready to take the wonderful gals home, and so they came to our place.  I would hop in the car to go rent a movie and Laura would pop popcorn and make Crystal Light.  We had wonderful evenings together.

One Sunday, the Priests wanted to come over and grill burgers with us.  I had fixings for burgers and also buns, but no meat.  I told them if they could come up with hamburger from one of their houses, we could grill at my house that evening.  They assured me they could round up some hamburger.
fast-food-632447_640The evening was fun.  The Priests and some of the Laurels were over, we ate dinner together and sat on the patio in the evening shade and talked and laughed for hours. At the end of the evening, when the youth were all gone, I was cleaning up the kitchen and found the grocery bag that they had used to carry the package of burgers.  Inside was a receipt dated that same afternoon.  That SUNDAY afternoon.

My lesson the following week was on the Sabbath.  Yes, of course I taught that lesson out of order.  We made a list on the board of activities that might be appropriate or not for Sundays.  I made sure to elicit the appropriate response on not buying items on Sundays, but did not let on that I knew their secret.  Instead, I simply took the receipt and passed it around the room, without comment, as our discussion continued.  One by one, their faces showed recognition of what they had done (or what they realized I knew they had done).  I do not recall discussing it explicitly.  In fact, our dear Bishop, who was an elderly gentleman, was there in the room and never had an idea as to what was happening.  Somehow, the receipt was enough of a lesson in itself.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.