Doctrine & Covenants/Church History
Lesson 16
“Thou Shalt … Offer Up Thy Sacraments upon My Holy Day”

Lesson Highlights

A study of this lesson will help us strengthen our desire to keep the Sabbath day holy.

Scripture references for study:  D&C 59; Bible Dictionary, “Sabbath,” pages 764–65
    Note: Underlined scripture references have been hyperlinked to the LDS Scriptures at and will open in a new window.

Lesson 16 Handout (PDF)

The Lord Established The Sabbath

"And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made" (Genesis 2:2-3).

After Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt, the Lord handed down the great commandments that have guided the human family for centuries. The Fourth Commandment reads:  "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it." (Exodus 20:8-11)

The Lord during his mortal ministry faithfully practiced the Sabbath, though he was critical of those priests who had forgotten the purpose of the Sabbath.  "The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath" (Mark 2:27).

Historical Background - Section 59:

See The Journey of the Colesville Branch at for additional background information.

"The Sabbath is necessary for the maintenance of free institutions and morality. No one living in a Christian community has the right to undermine these, by his conduct, no matter what his personal views may be." (D&C Commentary, p357)

Remember the Sabbath Day


Keep Thyself Unspotted From the World.

Go To the House of Prayer.

Offer Up Thy Sacraments.

Rest From Your Labors.

Pay Thy Devotions Unto the Most High.

Confess Thy Sins.

Do That Which is Necessary With "Singleness of Heart."

Facebook post from February 5, 2017

The Lord Blesses Those Who Keep The Sabbath Day Holy

After speaking of that which is appropriate to do on the Sabbath, the Lord said:  "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—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; 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." (D&C 59:15-17)

As the Lord stated, "The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath" (Mark 2:27). This day is day that has been set apart for our benefit. We should approach it with the attitude of our Jewish brothers and sisters, " those who observe Shabbat, it is a precious gift from G-d, a day of great joy eagerly awaited throughout the week, a time when we can set aside all of our weekday concerns and devote ourselves to higher pursuits."

The attitude of my parents and grandparents has had great influence on my life. I know that appropriate Sabbath day activities make a difference in one's life. As a teenager, and continuing through college, I made a commitment to not study or do school work on Sunday. Only once from high school through college did I study on Sunday. My grades never suffered from not studying on the Sabbath. I have never accepted employment on Sunday and I have always been able to provide for my family. Living the Sabbath is a great blessing. We only deny ourselves those blessings when we fail to keep the Sabbath day holy.


Gospel Doctrine Notebook

Record your thoughts on the Lord's admonition to keep the Sabbath Day holy. What can you do in your life to more fully "observe" and "remember"?

Resources Used In This Lesson

Alive in Christ: The Miracle of Spiritual Rebirth by Robert H. Millet.

Conference Reports (CR).

Decisions for Successful Living by Harold B. Lee.

Doctrine & Covenants Commentary by Hyrum M. Smith and Janne M. Sjodahl.

Doctrines of Salvation by Joseph Fielding Smith.


History of the Church (HC).

Judaism 101, online encyclopedia of Judaism.

Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley.

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Changes last made on:  07 April 2017