Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Fullness of the Earth - An Unusual Blessing of Keeping the Sabbath

Here’s an interesting blessing that is given to Sabbath-keepers in the Doctrine & Covenants:
13 And on this day thou shalt do none other thing, only let thy food be prepared with singleness of heart that thy fasting may be perfect, or, in other words, that thy joy may be full….
15 And inasmuch as ye do these things with thanksgiving, with cheerful hearts and countenances, not with much laughter, for this is sin, but with a glad heart and a cheerful countenance—
16 Verily I say, that inasmuch as ye do this, the fulness of the earth is yours, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and that which climbeth upon the trees and walketh upon the earth;
17 Yea, and the herb, and the good things which come of the earth, whether for food or for raiment, or for houses, or for barns, or for orchards, or for gardens, or for vineyards;
18 Yea, all things which come of the earth, in the season thereof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart;
19 Yea, for food and for raiment, for taste and for smell, to strengthen the body and to enliven the soul.
20 And it pleaseth God that he hath given all these things unto man; for unto this end were they made to be used, with judgment, not to excess, neither by extortion.
21 And in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things, and obey not his commandments. (Doctrine & Covenants 59:13,15-21)
I read these verses today out loud to my husband as part of our family scripture study and I began to wonder how keeping the Sabbath holy could bring us the fullness of the earth. In my mind it didn’t seem like those two were logically connected in any way. (Usually I’ve found that most blessings are logically connected with the commandments they are attached to, so I always look for that so I can understand the commandments better.)

I brought it to my husband attention and asked him about it, and I thought about it, and then the next time I read through again, my eye happened to catch something.

…And inasmuch as ye do these things with thanksgiving, with cheerful hearts and countenances…

It hit me that keeping the Sabbath holy involves a lot of giving thanks to God, and when we notice our blessings and express gratitude liberally (especially for the spiritual opportunities of the Sabbath), we feel those things are more valuable to us and our contentment grows. In this way, we find ourselves feeling rich, as if we have everything. We become more sensitive to how the Lord works in our lives. We also appreciate the material goods we have and feel content.


In The Doghouse said...

Keeping the Sabbath holy is an outward express of an inward commitment to live the first three laws in the "Big 10". It shows your relationship with the Father by outward actions. It requires a submission of your will to be in line with His will. This submission of will allows you to "subdue" your earth, just as Jesus Christ did by following the will of the Father. This process allows us to receive all that He hath. Our attitude in living this commandment has everything to do with our will.
Great insights as always.