Is it part of the mormon religion to not work on Sundays? If so, how strictly followed is it?

Anonymous from Edmonton,

5 Responses to “Is it part of the mormon religion to not work on Sundays? If…”

November 19, 2010

Hello anonymous and thanks for your question. It is part of the Mormon religion not to work on Sunday. We are encouraged by our church leaders to keep Sunday as holy as possible. Sunday, the sabbath day, is a day for rest. As Mormons, we follow it stricly but no one is forced into not working on a Sunday. There are many Mormon men and women, who hold down proffessional jobs such as doctors, nurses, police persons, etc, who may be rostered to work on a Sunday. The church understands this and so does our Heavenly Father. If Mormons find themselves working on a Sunday then they would often keep that day with as much reverence as they can. Mormons don’t work on a Sunday as a sign of respect to Heavenly Father. The Bible tells us of a commandment in which God ask his children to keep the sabbath day holy. Another reason why we don’t work on a Sunday is that we attend church (sacrament meeting), and many members have responsibilities in the church like teaching Sunday school. These are just some of the reasons why we do not work on Sundays. I hope this answers your question.

November 19, 2010

The theology of the LDS church says yes we should rest on the sabbath day. More than that, we also believe that we shouldn’t shop, go to movies, etc on the sabbath as doing so causes a demand for merchandise which causes others to work.

Granted there are situations and employment where some LDS people do work on Sunday, i.e. a doctor or someone in the medical field may need to work, but that is usually in line with Christ’s teachings. He healed a man on the sabbath to which the Pharisees had a fit about.

A testimony of his reply is found in Matthew: “And he said unto them, what man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out? How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days.”

So we don’t actively seek to work on Sunday, but there are exceptions in mortality. ‘Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings and he shall direct your path for good….’

Pamela Dean Bonta
November 21, 2010

As latter day saints we are taught to keep the sabbath day holy. This includes not working on the sabbath. Many latter-day saints choose professions that enable them to not have to work on the sabbath, myself and my husband included. I am a teacher; he is a university professor and writer. Some people work in professions where work is required to be done every day, such as home-care workers, nurses, EMTSs and emergency personnel. Some of these people work their scheduled shifts because without their work, other people’s lives are in danger or severe discomfort. Others are fortunate to be able to make arrangements with their employers so that their shifts do not fall on a Sunday. Others do not have any of these options and therefore must make decisions as to whether their careers or jobs are acceptable for the sabbath day and then be at peace with themselves for the decisions they have made. Many LDS also strive to not do any activities that cause another person to have to work on the sabbath day, such as going shopping, visiting amusement parks, eating at restaurants, etc. Again, this is a personal choice but is highly encouraged by the church, as shown in elder Tingey’s article “The Sabbath Day and Sunday Shopping“. As the prophet Joseph Smith once said, “I teach them correct principles, and they govern themselves” (“The Organization of the Church,” Millennial Star, nov. 15, 1851, p. 339). The correct principle is that the sabbath day is to be kept holy. We are given guidelines. It is up to each of us to determine our own conduct.

January 30, 2011

If you believe in the ten commandments, you were probably taught not to work on Sunday, or Saturday if you believe that’s the Sabbath. It’s not a mormon-specific thing. Even Muslims believe in taking one day a week for rest and worship. Orthodox Jews don’t even walk more than a certain number of steps or turn on the lights on Shabbat. As mormons we do observe this more strictly than many other Christian churches, restricting our activities to only church, or family-building activities.

But if your ox is stuck in the mire, do you let him struggle all day and possibly break his leg? Or do you pull him out?

If you have to work Sundays to be employable, or because your job requires it, or if you have to go shopping for something you need that can’t wait til monday… Of course you can work, or shop. God does not ask us to cripple ourselves to serve him. He understands extenuating circumstances.

We simply try to make sure none of those situations arise.

Elder Moxley
November 21, 2010

Yes it is part of our religion not to work on Sundays. We try to follow this standard with any labor or profession that could reasonably be reserved for another day of the week, to leave us free for focusing on the Lord’s work and resting on Sunday. When I worked as a custodian for several office buildings, I would sometimes work especially long hours Saturday evening to leave Sunday open. However, my sister who works as a nursing assistant, provides necessary daily care to her elderly patients. Leaving her patients unattended on Sunday would be entirely inappropriate and negligent, so she continues to work shifts on Sundays. Finding this balance requires finding the higher law that Jesus Christ taught.

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