Project Conversion

Project Conversion


The Sabbath Day

posted by abowen

“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.” -Exodus 20: 8

Wow, that sounds familiar. Anyone remember my experience with Judaism in April?

In the great Judeo-Christian tradition, Latter-day Saints keep the Sabbath on the seventh day of every week, namely Sunday. We understand via Jesus Christ that the Sabbath is for man’s benefit (Mark 2: 27). The benefits include:

  1. Taking rest from our labors, just as God rested from creation on the seventh day.
  2. Spending more quality time with our friends and family.
  3. Spending more time in study of the Scriptures.
  4. A time of increased prayer and spiritual nourishment. Remember, prayer is a two-way conversation. This is a time when we set aside the daily grind and refresh ourselves with a deeper connection with our Heavenly Father.

In April, I took Sabbath rest literally within the Jewish context of the Law. This rest included suspension of all phone and internet/computer usage for the day. Being away from Project Conversion is painful; I put about 100+ hours into this each week and I love every minute of the journey. On the other hand, I discovered the time away from the technical/social aspects of the site gave me a chance to wind down and focus on the important things in my life at the time: God and family.

To honor that Sabbath tradition, I will reinstitute a computer/phone/internet freeze on the Sabbath for this month (I know, I’m cheating today). I challenge you to do the same. Of course this might not include Sunday or even a whole day, but I recommend setting aside time every week or just everyday to detach from the rush of the world.

A unique aspect of the Sabbath in the Latter-day Saints tradition is “Fast Sunday.” Fast Sunday occurs one Sabbath each month (usually the first Sunday) and involves going without food and drink for two consecutive meals. In addition, one makes a “fast offering” in which members participating in the fast give an offering which totals the approximate cost of those two meals to the church. The church will then use those funds to provide food, clothing, shelter, and medical care to those in need.

Not a bad idea!

One of the most controversial concepts within the Christian tradition is the tithe. You might remember it: that rule about giving 10% to the church? The same rule applies with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, however they differ in that there are no offering bowls passed around during service. The offering is discreetly made via envelope.

What many people often forget though, is that the tithe–in my opinion–doesn’t always require your money. My family and I are working on a budget that sets aside 10% of our income to give not only to church (or whatever I’m doing that month), but to a charity or cause. Perhaps a unique situation comes up where someone we know is hit hard by life. Bam. Guess where some of that 10% goes?

In this way, the tithe becomes a conscious action in our lives, not a cold and methodical process we perform out of habit. Saint Paul said in 2 Corinthians 9:7 “Let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.”

So my focus for the day? I purpose to spend time with God and family, to reconnect with and nourish those precious relationships we often cast aside and neglect throughout the busy week. Also, remember those in need, that we are all God’s children, and just as God wants us to be blessed, he wants us to bless those around us with our love, treasure, and time.



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Colin Faux

posted July 5, 2011 at 4:18 am


Local LDS leaders do not get paid for their ministry.  However many, if not all, General Authorities receive “living allowances” (term Gordon B Hinckley used).  Also, the LDS Church only states to give a “tenth of our increase” (from Preach My Gospel).  The LDS Church is intentionally vague with their statements on tithing because they expect it to be interpreted.  Some will give 10% pre-tax, some will give 10% post-tax.  Also, many Missionaries consider their 2-year missionary service (around the time they are 20) to be a tithe of their time.



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Colin Faux

posted July 5, 2011 at 4:18 am


Local LDS leaders do not get paid for their ministry.  However many, if not all, General Authorities receive “living allowances” (term Gordon B Hinckley used).  Also, the LDS Church only states to give a “tenth of our increase” (from Preach My Gospel).  The LDS Church is intentionally vague with their statements on tithing because they expect it to be interpreted.  Some will give 10% pre-tax, some will give 10% post-tax.  Also, many Missionaries consider their 2-year missionary service (around the time they are 20) to be a tithe of their time.



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Anonymous

posted July 4, 2011 at 1:52 pm


I understand how difficult such a concept might be to young ones. My daughters are 5 and 6. I think the important thing is that they see their family together and enjoying one another. That becomes the base, and the rest comes with time. Thank you for sharing your testimony!



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Anonymous

posted July 4, 2011 at 1:52 pm


I understand how difficult such a concept might be to young ones. My daughters are 5 and 6. I think the important thing is that they see their family together and enjoying one another. That becomes the base, and the rest comes with time. Thank you for sharing your testimony!



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Jenni

posted July 4, 2011 at 1:14 am


I wholeheartedly agree with your interpretation of the law of the tithe. :)



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Jenni

posted July 4, 2011 at 1:14 am


I wholeheartedly agree with your interpretation of the law of the tithe. :)



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Art Sherwood

posted July 3, 2011 at 4:04 pm


Tithing and Fast Offerings are two very distinct principles in the LDS faith.  Tithing (generally 10% of our income, pre-tax) is used for the day-to-day operations of the church, the building of meeting houses, and other administrative purposes.  (Ever wonder why BYU tuition is so low?)  It does *NOT* go into the pockets of any of the church leadership.  All church leaders from local bishops all the way up to the Apostles and the Prophet himself give of their time and talents freely without receiving a dime in compensation.  Tithing is one of the prime tests of faith and their are great blessings promised to those who obey this spiritual law.  Malachi 3:8-11 illustrates this principle beautifully.  I have found that the blessings that come from obeying the law of tithing are some of the most tangible and easily recognisable of all the laws of God.  There has been more that one time in my life where at the beginning of the month, we clearly did not have enough money to make it through the month.  Even so, we paid our tithing trusting that the Lord would help us through.  Then, out of the blue, a check appears in the mail for some manufacturer rebate we had sent in for months ago and forgotten about for almost the exact amount that we were short that month.  The Lord takes care of those who keep His laws.

Fast Offerings, on the other hand, are for an entirely different purpose.  As you stated, the general guideline is to give the cost of the two meals that you are foregoing as part of your fast.  However, this is really just the minimum amount that you should give.  By foregoing those meals, you know you have at least that much to give, but you are encouraged to be generous in your fast offerings.  Those who have more should give more.  If it ever becomes “easy” to pay your fast offerings, it is probably time to increase them.  The fast offerings are given to the local bishop who uses these funds to help those in the local community who stand in need.  Any excess funds would then go on to church headquarters and dispersed to other areas of the world where there is need.  The church has a wonderful welfare and humanitarian program with very low overhead ensuring that nearly every penny of every dollar donated ends up in the hands of those who need it.



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Art Sherwood

posted July 3, 2011 at 4:04 pm


Tithing and Fast Offerings are two very distinct principles in the LDS faith.  Tithing (generally 10% of our income, pre-tax) is used for the day-to-day operations of the church, the building of meeting houses, and other administrative purposes.  (Ever wonder why BYU tuition is so low?)  It does *NOT* go into the pockets of any of the church leadership.  All church leaders from local bishops all the way up to the Apostles and the Prophet himself give of their time and talents freely without receiving a dime in compensation.  Tithing is one of the prime tests of faith and their are great blessings promised to those who obey this spiritual law.  Malachi 3:8-11 illustrates this principle beautifully.  I have found that the blessings that come from obeying the law of tithing are some of the most tangible and easily recognisable of all the laws of God.  There has been more that one time in my life where at the beginning of the month, we clearly did not have enough money to make it through the month.  Even so, we paid our tithing trusting that the Lord would help us through.  Then, out of the blue, a check appears in the mail for some manufacturer rebate we had sent in for months ago and forgotten about for almost the exact amount that we were short that month.  The Lord takes care of those who keep His laws.

Fast Offerings, on the other hand, are for an entirely different purpose.  As you stated, the general guideline is to give the cost of the two meals that you are foregoing as part of your fast.  However, this is really just the minimum amount that you should give.  By foregoing those meals, you know you have at least that much to give, but you are encouraged to be generous in your fast offerings.  Those who have more should give more.  If it ever becomes “easy” to pay your fast offerings, it is probably time to increase them.  The fast offerings are given to the local bishop who uses these funds to help those in the local community who stand in need.  Any excess funds would then go on to church headquarters and dispersed to other areas of the world where there is need.  The church has a wonderful welfare and humanitarian program with very low overhead ensuring that nearly every penny of every dollar donated ends up in the hands of those who need it.



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Mandy Adams

posted July 3, 2011 at 1:02 pm


I think keeping the Sabbath day holy is one of the hardest things for me and my family to adhere to.  I have 3 boys 12, 10, 8.  They have a hard time understanding why we cannot play outside and ride our bikes or even play video games.  Although the 12 year old is beginning to get the deeper understanding of the concept.  We try to have a “family” movie, play games all as a family.  On occasion we will let them play video games but they have to be games that does not involve killing or harming anyone or anything in anyway.  This is also a time that my husband and I do geneology.  We want to find our ancestors and learn more about who we are and what made our family the way it is. 

I am excited to hear about you “Family Home Evening” experience for Monday night!

I am not able to go to Fast and Testimony meeting today. So I would like to bear my testimony to our Ward here today!

I know that my Savior, Jesus Christ, suffered in the Garden of Gethsemene not only for my sins, but for all my heart aches, my dissapointments, my frustrations, my everything.  I owe my life to my Savior.  I know that I have a Father in Heaven who worries about me and loves me and wants what is best for me just like my mortal father.  I know that He lives.  I know that He is watching me and wants me to return to live with Him and Father.  I know that Father is watching and waits for me to talk to Him and wants to send blessings my way.  I have many blessings that I have already received from Him already.  I know that the Book of Mormon is a literal history of the native North and South American people.  I know that Joseph Smith saw God the Father and Jesus Christ in the Garden that beautiful morning.  I know that he became the first prophet of God’s church on Earth in this dispensation.  I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has a living prophet today, just like Abraham, Noah, Daniel, and Moses.  I know that we get direction through our living prophet in this day and age.  How do I know these things?  I have prayed to my Father and asked, and He answered.  I have prayed about each and everything I have mentioned above and got an answer to each question.  Father likes when we ask Him things.  In James, it says If a man lacks wisdom let him ask of God who gives to all men liberally…… This really works!  He wants us to know for ourselves not just take someone elses word for it.  Ask and Ye shall receive, knock and it shall be opened unto you…….

I saw these things in the name of Jesus Christ Amen!



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Mandy Adams

posted July 3, 2011 at 1:02 pm


I think keeping the Sabbath day holy is one of the hardest things for me and my family to adhere to.  I have 3 boys 12, 10, 8.  They have a hard time understanding why we cannot play outside and ride our bikes or even play video games.  Although the 12 year old is beginning to get the deeper understanding of the concept.  We try to have a “family” movie, play games all as a family.  On occasion we will let them play video games but they have to be games that does not involve killing or harming anyone or anything in anyway.  This is also a time that my husband and I do geneology.  We want to find our ancestors and learn more about who we are and what made our family the way it is. 

I am excited to hear about you “Family Home Evening” experience for Monday night!

I am not able to go to Fast and Testimony meeting today. So I would like to bear my testimony to our Ward here today!

I know that my Savior, Jesus Christ, suffered in the Garden of Gethsemene not only for my sins, but for all my heart aches, my dissapointments, my frustrations, my everything.  I owe my life to my Savior.  I know that I have a Father in Heaven who worries about me and loves me and wants what is best for me just like my mortal father.  I know that He lives.  I know that He is watching me and wants me to return to live with Him and Father.  I know that Father is watching and waits for me to talk to Him and wants to send blessings my way.  I have many blessings that I have already received from Him already.  I know that the Book of Mormon is a literal history of the native North and South American people.  I know that Joseph Smith saw God the Father and Jesus Christ in the Garden that beautiful morning.  I know that he became the first prophet of God’s church on Earth in this dispensation.  I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has a living prophet today, just like Abraham, Noah, Daniel, and Moses.  I know that we get direction through our living prophet in this day and age.  How do I know these things?  I have prayed to my Father and asked, and He answered.  I have prayed about each and everything I have mentioned above and got an answer to each question.  Father likes when we ask Him things.  In James, it says If a man lacks wisdom let him ask of God who gives to all men liberally…… This really works!  He wants us to know for ourselves not just take someone elses word for it.  Ask and Ye shall receive, knock and it shall be opened unto you…….

I saw these things in the name of Jesus Christ Amen!



report abuse
 

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