By Cordell and Janice Vail
04 Jan 2004
A weekly email gospel message for the descendents of Ammon and Winona Vail
Why is the Sabbath on Sunday?
Why is the Sabbath on Sunday?
Have you ever wondered why we have the Sabbath on Sunday and not on Saturday like the Jewish people. That is a question often asked of the missionaries. So I thought I would share with you some sources that help to explain why Peter changed the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday after Christ was resurrected.
The Life and Teachings of Jesus and His Apostles
Student Study Guide
"Because Jesus came forth from the grave on the first day of the week, to commemorate that day and to keep in remembrance the glorious reality of the resurrection, the ancient apostles, as guided by the Spirit, changed the Sabbath to Sunday. That this change had divine approval we know from latter-day revelation, in which Deity speaks of "the Lord's day" as such and sets forth what should and should not be done on that day. (See D&C 59:9-17) (McConkie, Doctrinal New Testament Cometary 1:841)
PAUL TELLS THE SAINTS TO GATHER ON FIRST DAY OF WEEK
1 Corinthians 16:1-2
1 ¶ NOW concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye.
2 Upon the first [day] of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as [God] hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.
David O. McKay, Gospel Ideals, p.397-398
Finally, our Sabbath, the first day of the week, commemorates the greatest event in all history Christ's resurrection, and his visit as a resurrected being to his assembled Apostles.
President David O. Mckay Confrence Report Oct 1956 page 90
Keeping holy the Sabbath day is a law of God, resounding through the ages from Mt. Sinai. You cannot transgress the law of God without circumscribing your spirit. . . .[O]ur Sabbath, the first day of the week, commemorates the greatest event in all history: Christ's resurrection and his visit as a resurrected being to his assembled Apostles. His birth, of course, was necessary, and just as great, so I say this is one of the greatest events in all history.
James E. Talmage, Articles of Faith, Ch.24, p.454
The first day of the week came to be observed instead of the seventh day as the Sabbath -- 1 Cor. 16:2. I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day -- Rev. 1:10.
I. the Lord's Day.x
B. H. Roberts, Defense of the Faith and the Saints, Vol.1, p.448-450
A justification for the regarding the first day of the week as the Christian Sabbath, or "The Lord's Day."
From Elder George W. Crockwell, laboring in Sioux City, Iowa, we recently received a letter in which occurs the following:
"There are a great many Seventh-day Adventists in this city, and in talking on the gospel with them I have been unable to confute their arguments, to my satisfaction, against our worshiping on the first day of the week. In reading the scriptures I find only the following passages that in any way refer to the matter, but they are not conclusive: John 20:19-26; Acts 2:1; Acts 20:6, 7; I Corinthians 16:1, 2; Revelation 1:10; Mark 2:27, 28; Luke 6: 5; II Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 2:15. Any information you may give me will be thankfully received; and allow me to suggest that a tract covering this question would undoubtedly be of material assistance to Elders laboring in sections of the country containing Adventists."
Seventh-day Adventists constitute a religious sect whose chief characteristics are that they believe in the personal and glorious coming of the Lord Jesus Christ; and that the holy day of worship appointed of God is the seventh day of the week instead of the first. Hence their name -Seventh-day Adventists.
Owing to the fact that modern Christians deny the continuation of revelation after the days of the apostles, and as they cannot point to any direct revelation, or positive apostolic institution in the New Testament by which the first day of the week was substituted for the old Jewish Sabbath, the seventh day, which Jesus during his lifetime honored by observing, the Adventists have other Christians at somewhat of a disadvantage in this controversy. The Elders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, however, need not be embarrassed by the arguments of Adventists, since the Church of Christ in this last dispensation has the warrant of God's word, by direct revelation, for keeping holy the Lord's day, that is, the first day of the week, as a day Of public worship and thanksgiving, a holy Sabbath unto the Lord. It is not our intention, however, to avoid a discussion of the question by thus placing it on entirely new ground, and making the success of the issue depend upon one's ability to make it clear that God has given such a revelation, although that is a position that can be consistently taken by our Elders. But we desire to point out the evidence we have (1) from the New Testament, and (2) from the practice of the early Christian church, for observing the first day of the week as a day of public worship, sanctified and set apart as the Lord's day. By doing so we shall be able to show at least that there is a very strong probability that the change from the seventh to the first day of the week was made by the Lord Jesus Christ himself, after his resurrection; that it was perpetuated by his apostles and the early Christian church; and then, in conclusion, shall cite the revelation referred to which, to the Latter-day Saints, changes this "probability" into fact and confirms with divine sanction our custom of worshiping on the first day of the week. By pursuing this course we shall draw the strong probability to be derived from the scriptures and the practice of the early church to the support of the revelation referred to, while the revelation, as already indicated, will transform the "probability" of the New Testament scriptures into positive fact.
James E. Talmage, Articles of Faith, Ch.9, p.178
Upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached to them -- Acts 20:7.
Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, Vol.2, p.61
AMONG FORMER-DAY SAINTS
Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, Vol.2, p.62
There is evidence that the members of the Church following the resurrection of Jesus changed their Sabbath from the last to the first day of the week and that Christians have followed it ever since. It is universally conceded that our Savior was in the tomb during the Jewish Sabbath, and that he came forth on the early morning of the first day of the week. All four of the evangelists have written that it was early on the morning of the first day when Jesus appeared to some of his disciples, and in the evening of that same day, when they were gathered with the doors shut for fear of the Jews, he appeared again and permitted them to handle, or feel, the marks of the wounds in his hands, side, and feet. On this occasion he instructed them. It was eight days later, or on the first day of the week when he appeared again and gave them further instruction and chided Thomas for his unbelief. This would indicate that the Lord himself had changed the date of the Sabbath, and from that time forth it should be the first day of the week. It is true that there is not much said in the New Testament about the change of the Sabbath, but common things seldom get frequent mention. There are references, however, which point definitely to the fact that the time of the Sabbath had been changed to the Lord's day.
In the Book of Acts this is recorded:
And upon the first day of the week when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.
SACRAMENT ADMINISTERED ON SABBATH DAY
Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, Vol.2, p.62-63
It should be conceded that they did not break bread, or, in other words, administer the sacrament, except on the Sabbath day. It also seems to be significant that it was on the first day of the week that Paul counseled the Corinthian members of the Church that each should "lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come."4 Likewise that the Lord would give to John the great revelation on the Lord's day, or the first day of the week, saying: "I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book."5
Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, Vol.2, p.62
It is also recorded that Ignatius, a disciple of the Apostle John, said:
Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, Vol.2, p.62
Every lover of Christ celebrates the Lord's day, consecrated to the resurrection of Christ as the queen and chief of all days.6
Dr. Adam Clark, in his Commentary treating Revelation 1: 10, says:
"The Lord's day" the first day of the week, observed as the Christian Sabbath, because on it Jesus Christ rose from the dead: therefore it was called the Lords day; and has taken place of the Jewish Sabbath, throughout the Christian world.
Dr. Thomas Scott, in his Commentary dealing with this same verse, says:
This was "on the Lord's day" which can be meant of no other, than the day on which the Lord Jesus arose from the dead, even "the first day of the week": and it is conclusive proof, that the first day was set apart, and kept holy, by the primitive Christians, in commemoration of the great event: for on what other account could it have been thus mentioned!
In the Commentary of Jameson, Fausett, and Brown on this same passage this is recorded:
. . . on the Lords day--Though forcibly detained from Church communion with the brethren in the sanctuary on the Lord's day, the weekly commemoration of the resurrection, John was holding spiritual communion with them. This is the earliest mention of the term "the Lord's day!" But the consecration of the day to worship, almsgiving, and the Lord's supper, is implied, Acts 20:7; One- Corinthians 16:2, cf. John 20:19-26. The name corresponds to "the Lord's supper," One- Corinthians 11:20. Ignatius seems to allude to "the Lord's day" (ad. Magnes, 9) and Irenaeus in the Quaest. ad Orthod. 115 (in Justin Martyr). Justin Martyr Apology 2:98 &c. "On Sunday we hold our joint meeting; for the first day is that on which God, having removed darkness and chaos, made the world, and Jesus Christ our Saviour rose from the dead. On the day before Saturday they crucified Him, and on the day after Saturday, which is Sunday, having appeared to His apostles and disciples, he taught these things." To the Lord's day Pliney doubtless refers (Ex 97, B 10), "The Christians on a fixed day before dawn meet and sing a hymn to Christ as God."
Elder James E. Talmage Articles Of Faith page 407
The Church accepts Sunday as the Christian Sabbath and proclaims the sanctity of the day. We admit without argument that under the Mosaic law the seventh day of the week, Saturday, was designated and observed as the holy day, and that the change from Saturday to Sunday was a feature of the apostolic administration following the personal ministry of Jesus Christ. Greater than the question of this day or that in the week is the actuality of the weekly Sabbath, to be observed as a day of special and particular devotion to the service of the Lord.
Elder Joseph Fielding Smith Conference Report April 1963 page 21
We Believe, Sabbath Day
My beloved brethren and sisters, I want to talk to you briefly on our responsibilities in regard to the Sabbath day. In the beginning the Lord chose the last day after the creation as the Sabbath, and that continued until the resurrection of Christ. After the resurrection of our Savior, the Sabbath day was transferred to the Lord's day or the first day of the week, contrary to the ideas of some professed Christians.
Lord of the Sabbath
Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p.452
LORD OF THE SABBATH (See CHRIST, LORD, SABBATH.)
Christ is the Lord of the Sabbath (Mark 2:23-28; Luke 6:1-12); he gave it, and he directs what men must do thereon to be saved. (Ex. 16:29; D. & C. 59:9-20.) The Sabbath bears record of Christ: from Adam to Moses it was the 7th day to signify that our Lord rested on that day from his creative labors (Ex. 20:8-11); from Moses to Christ, the Sabbath day was a different day each year to commemorate our Lord's leading of the children of Israel out of bondage (Deut. 5:12-15); and from the apostolic day until now, the Sabbath has been the first day of the week to point attention to our Lord's resurrection on his holy day.
Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p.658 SABBATH
Sabbath observance is an eternal principle, and the day itself is so ordained and arranged that it bears record of Christ by pointing particular attention to great works he has performed. From the day of Adam to the Exodus from Egypt, the Sabbath commemorated the fact that Christ rested from his creative labors on the 7th day. (Ex. 20:8-11.) From the Exodus to the day of his resurrection, the Sabbath commemorated the deliverance of Israel from Egyptian bondage. (Deut. 5:12-15.) As Samuel Walter Gamble has pointed out in his Sunday, the True Sabbath of God this necessarily means that the Sabbath was kept on a different day each year. From the days of the early apostles to the present, the Sabbath has been the first day of the week, the Lord's Day, in commemoration of the fact that Christ came forth from the grave on Sunday. (Acts 20:7.) The Latter-day Saints keep the first day of the week as their Sabbath, not in imitation of what any peoples of the past have done, but because the Lord so commanded them by direct revelation. (D. & C. 59.)
See also ACTS 20:7
Bruce R. McConkie, The Promised Messiah, p.396
3. Christ is also the resurrection and the life. He is the firstfruits of them that sleep. He burst the bands of death, and in a way incomprehensible to us the effects of his resurrection pass upon all men so that all are raised from the grave. His atonement is the crowning event of all history, and the resurrection is the triumphant climax of the atonement. How those of all ages should rejoice in the fact of our Lord's coming forth in glorious immortality to live and reign forever with his Father. How important it is for all men, if they are to follow in his footsteps, so that they also shall live and reign in celestial glory, how important it is for them to have always in remembrance the atonement and resurrection that makes this possible. How shall this be done? Again it is through Sabbath worship. And so the Lord appointed the day of the resurrection, the first day of the week, to be the new Sabbath, the day of remembrance and worship. It is still called the Sabbath, which means day of rest, but it is also now called the Lord's day, meaning the day on which he rose from the dead. This is the day on which the saints worshiped in the meridian of time. (Acts 20:7.) And it is the day on which the Lord has commanded us to pay our devotions to him in an especial manner, although we are to remember him on all days. (D&C 59:9-17.)
Bruce R. McConkie, The Mortal Messiah, Vol.4, p.261 - p.262
It is now Sunday, April 9, A.D. 30 -- the 17th of Nisan -- the day of the resurrection. It is the first day of the week -- "according to Jewish reckoning the third day from His Death." According to Jewish tradition, "the soul hovered and the body till the third day, when it finally parted from earthly tabernacle," and it was on that day that "corrupted was supposed to begin." Up to that time relatives and friends were in the habit of "going to the grave, . . . so as to be sure that those laid there were really dead." (Edersheim 2:630-31.) These Rabbinical concepts grew out of Hosea's statement, "in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight." (Hosea 6:2.)
The Sabbath Day
There has been considerable difference of opinion among Christians as to whether they should worship on the seventh day of the week (Saturday), the Sabbath of the Jews, or the first day of the week (Sunday), the day upon which Christ arose from the tomb, called in Holy Writ, the Lord's day. It therefore seems proper that in the restoration of his church in this dispensation, the Lord should express himself on this subject. He did so in a revelation to the Prophet Joseph Smith given in Zion, Jackson County, Missouri, August 7, 1831, from which we quote:
And that thou mayest more fully keep thyself unspotted from the world, thou shalt go to the house of prayer and offer up thy sacraments upon my holy day;
For verily this is a day appointed unto you to rest from your labors, and to pay thy devotions unto the Most High;
Nevertheless thy vows shall be offered up in righteousness on all days and at all times;
But remember that on this, the Lord's day, thou shalt offer thine oblations and thy sacraments unto the Most High, confessing thy sins unto thy brethren, and before the Lord. (D&C 59:9-12.)
From this revelation, we learn that the Lord designates "the Lord's day" as "my holy day." Again, it is through the revelation of the Lord to his prophet of this dispensation that this truth is made plain, rather than through a study of ancient scriptures or of history. However, let us turn to the scriptures of old to learn that this revelation of the Lord in the reestablishment of his church upon the earth in this dispensation in no way conflicts with instructions and revelations given by the Lord through his prophets of former days.
History of the Sabbath Day
Let us pursue a brief study of the history of the Sabbath day:
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.)
From this account it is clear that "God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work." But from a study of the scriptures it would appear that the first commandment given through any of the prophets that the people should observe this as a day of worship was that which was given through Moses about 2500 years after the creation. In Deuteronomy we learn why God gave the commandment to the children of Israel at that time:
The Lord our God made a covenant with us in Horeb.
The Lord made not this covenant with our fathers, but with us, even us, who are all of us here alive this day. . . .
Keep the sabbath day to sanctify it, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee. . . .
And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the Lord thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the Lord thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day. (Deuteronomy 5:2-3, 12, 15.)
From this scripture it is apparent that this was a new covenant the Lord made with Israel in Horeb; that he had not made this covenant with their fathers; that he made this covenant so that they might remember that they were servants in the land of Egypt; and that the Lord their God brought them out through a mighty hand and by a stretched-out arm, and therefore the Lord their God commanded them to keep the sabbath day.
This commandment to observe the sabbath day was incorporated in the law of Moses, as were also the sabbatic year and the forty-ninth and the fiftieth-year sabbath.
Speaking of the law of Moses, the apostle Paul stated: "Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith." (Galatians 3:24.)
If the law of Moses, therefore, were the schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, it would seem perfectly reasonable to assume that when Christ came, there would be no further need of the schoolmaster.
Israel's Sabbath to Cease
When we understand that the law of Moses, including its sabbaths, was a schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, we are better able to understand why the Lord permitted his prophet Hosea to declare that he would cause Israel's sabbaths to cease: "I will also cause all her mirth to cease, her feast days, her new moons, and her sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts." (Hosea 2:11.)
Can we accept the scriptures as the word of God and question that this prophecy of Hosea should be fulfilled and that the Lord would truly cause Israel's sabbaths to cease? When Hosea's prophecy was fulfilled, the way was obviously opened for the introduction of a new sabbath.
A New Sabbath, the Lord's Day
The Savior understood that a change was to be made in the Sabbath:
And he said unto them, The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath:
Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath. (Mark 2:27-28.)
Jesus did not come to break the law but to fulfill it. Thus, in him, the Jewish Sabbath was fulfilled, as was the remainder of the law of Moses, which was the "schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ." Hence, when Christ came, he became also Lord of the sabbath. He himself declared that he came to fulfill the law: "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil." (Matthew 5:17.)
Since Jesus came to fulfill the law, why should some still want to retain it? Why should they not prefer to accept that which Jesus brought to take the place of the law, which includes the new Sabbath, the first day of the week or the Lord's day (Sunday), the day upon which Jesus arose from the tomb? "The Lord's day" is the day he directed his saints in this dispensation to worship him. (See D&C 59:12.)
John, the beloved disciple of the Lord, while banished upon the Isle of Patmos "for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ," wrote: "I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet." (Revelation 1:10.)
Why should this day be called "the Lord's day," if it were not a sacred day? Remember, "the Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath."
Because the day on which the Sabbath was observed was changed, the apostle Paul realized that the saints would be criticized, as they were for other practices to which the Jews objected: "Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days." (Colossians 2:16.)
This warning from the apostle Paul would have been entirely uncalled for were the saints worshiping on the Jewish Sabbath, for the Jews then would have had no occasion to judge them on this matter.
The Saints Worshiped on the First Day of the Week
There is no record that the saints observed the Jewish Sabbath as a day of worship following the resurrection of the Savior. The apostles did, however, meet with the Jews in their synagogues on their Sabbath to teach them the gospel. (See Acts 13:13-44; 17:1-2.)
The records are quite complete, however, in indicating that the saints often met to worship on the first day of the week (Sunday), the Lord's day, or the day that Jesus arose from the tomb:
Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. (John 20:19, 26.)
And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight. (Acts 20:7.)
Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye.
Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come. (1 Corinthians 16:1-2.)
The following scripture is particularly significant, since the day of Pentecost was the day following the Jewish Sabbath:
And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon
each of them.
And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to peak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:1-4. See also Leviticus 23:15-16.)
What consistent explanation can be given for the fact that the saints met to worship on the first day of the week -- Sunday, the Lord's day, the day upon which the Savior rose from the tomb -- instead of on Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, except that the Lord did cause the Jewish Sabbaths to cease, as the prophet Hosea declared he would? Jesus instituted a new Sabbath, the Lord's day, thus becoming "Lord also of the Sabbath."
Greek Bible Designates the First Day of the Week as a Sabbath
This conclusion is further sustained by the fact that the first day of the week (Sunday) is called a Sabbath eight times in the original Greek Bible. Had the Bible, therefore, been correctly translated, much of the present confusion in this matter would have been eliminated. Why would the first day of the week (Sunday) be called a Sabbath in the Bible if it were not a Sabbath? And how did it become a Sabbath other than as we have explained? "In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week. . . ." (Matthew 28:1. In Greek, "Sabbath" instead of "first day of the week.")
This text may be confusing because of its reference to two Sabbaths, unless one keeps in mind the fact that the Christian Sabbath (first day of the week) follows immediately the Jewish Sabbath (seventh day of the week). Hence the reference to two Sabbaths.
And very early in the morning the first day of the week. .. (Mark 16:2. In Greek, "sabbath" instead of "first day of the week.")
Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week.
. . . (Mark 16:9. In Greek, "Sabbath" instead of "first day of the week.")
Now upon the first day of the week. . . . (Luke 24:1. In Greek, "Sabbath" instead of "first day of the week.")
The first day of the week. . . . (John 20:1. In Greek, "Sabbath" instead of "first day of the week.")
Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week. (John 20:19. In Greek, "Sabbath" instead of "first day of the week.")
And upon the first day of the week. . .. (Acts 20:7. In Greek, "Sabbath" instead of "first day of the week.")
Upon the first day of the week. . . . (1 Corinthians 16:2. In Greek, "Sabbath" instead of "first day of the week.")
From the foregoing, it should be clear that the writers of the New Testament fully understood that the first day of the week (Sunday) was a Sabbath day, and that it was the day upon which the saints met to worship.
Early Christians Worshiped on the First Day of the Week
The early church historians stated that the first day of the week, the day on which the Lord arose from the tomb, was held sacred by the Christians as a day of worship. This, together with the evidence we have already submitted, refutes the claims of some that the change from Saturday to Sunday was instituted by Constantine, Emperor of Rome:
. . . It is indeed true, that Constantine's life was not such as the precepts
of Christianity required; and it is also true that he remained a catechumen
(unbaptized Christian) all his life, and was received to full membership in
the church, by baptism at Nicomedia only a few days before his death.
Footnote 25 . . . . That Constantine, long before this time, A.D. 324, declared himself a Christian, and was acknowledged as such by the churches, is certain. It is also true, he had for a long time performed the religious acts of an unbaptized Christian, that is, of a catechumen; for he attended public worship, fasted, prayed, observed the Christian Sabbath and the anniversaries of the martyrs, and watched on the vigils of Easter, etc. (Mosheim's Church History, Book 2, Century 4, Part 1, Chap. 1:8.)
. . . The Christians of this century, in piety, assembled for the worship of God and for their advancement of the first day of the week, the day on which Christ reassumed his life; for that this day was set apart for religious worship by the apostles themselves, and that, after the example of the church at Jerusalem, it was generally observed, we have unexceptionable testimony. (Mosheim's Church History, Book 1, Century 1, Part 2, Chap. 4:4.)
Those who were brought up in the ancient order of things, have come to the possession of a new hope, no longer observing the Sabbath (Jewish or seventh day), but living in the observance of the Lord's day (first day) on which also our life was sprung by him and his death. (Epistle to the Magnesians, 101 A.D., Chap. 9, Ignatius.)
On one day, the first day of the week, we assembled ourselves together. (Barderaven, A.D. 130.)
And on the day which is called Sunday, there is an assembly in the same place of all who live in cities, or in country districts; and the records of the Apostles, or the writings of the Prophets, are read as long as we have time. . . . Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly, because it is the first day on which God, when He changed the darkness and matter, made the world: and Jesus Christ our Savior, on the same day, rose from the dead. . .. (Justin Martyr, Apologies, 1:67 A.D. 140.)
He, in fulfillment of the precept according to the gospel, keeps the Lord's day. (Clement of Alexandria, Book 7, Chap. 12, A.D. 193.)
We neither accord with the Jews in their peculiarities in regard to food nor in their sacred days. (Apologies, Sec. 21, A.D. 200.)
We ourselves are accustomed to observe certain days, as for example, the Lord's day. (Origen, Book 3, Chap. 23, A.D. 201.)
But why is it, you ask, that we gather on the Lord's day to celebrate our solemnities?
Because that was the way the Apostles also did. (De Fuga XIV:11, 141,200 A.D.)
It will thus be seen that through the revelations of the Lord to the Prophet Joseph Smith in directing his saints of this dispensation to observe as a day of worship the Lord's day (Sunday), the first day of the week, he only confirmed his approval of the practice of the saints of former days, as fully sustained by Holy Writ and the early church historians. If they had been in error in abandoning the seventh day (Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath), in favor of the Lord's day (Sunday, the first day of the week), the Lord would surely have so indicated, for in restoring the gospel he did not hesitate to correct mistakes that had been made by alleged church leaders through the ages.
NOTE: Nothing in any of these Sunday Sermons is intended to represent the official doctrines of the Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They are strictly instructions and teachings from Cordell and Janice Vail to their family.
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