The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, or Mormon Church, observes Sunday as its holy sabbath or weekly day of rest. Its sabbath practices, including work-related rules and regulations, closely mirror those of various evangelical and conservative sects of Christianity. Except in critical places such as hospitals, Mormonism teaches that it is best to eschew Sunday labor.
Mormons draw on texts from the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, as well as their own Book of Mormon, to justify the church's position on Sunday work. The church cites God's observance of the sabbath in the Genesis creation story to bolster their position. It also points to Old Testament Jewish laws imposing the death penalty on those who disobeyed sabbath law. The church also cites New Testament verses, including those in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, suggesting that Christians should not work on Sundays. Finally, it points to the Book of Mormon's claim that observing the sabbath can help protect Mormons from evil.
Mormonism teaches that reserving Sunday for worship and rest helps refresh followers so they can be more productive workers between Monday and Saturday. The church holds that, although draconian Old Testament laws regulating sabbath labor are no longer binding, Mormon sabbath guidelines are timeless and can bolster the spiritual growth of members. Exceptions to labor rules are made when it comes to sectors understood as essential, such as medicine and law enforcement.
The Mormon church encourages members not to engage in behavior that requires others to work on Sundays. Toward this end, it emphasizes that church members should avoid both shopping and patronizing food service establishments. It encourages members to eschew practices as basic as filling a gas tank or buying an ice cream cone. The church feels this sets a positive example for non-Mormons and sets Mormons apart as God's chosen people.
Mormons believe that their sabbath traditions reflect those of the coming end of days, called the Zion of the Millennium, in which Mormons will live and work without worldly temptations. The church teaches that Mormons will practice an idealized version of the sabbath during what they view as an approaching historical epoch. Even so, they insist that Mormons can easily receive blessings from God by refraining from Sunday labor before the Zion of the Millennium is established.
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