Personal Response by Richard Neitzel Holzapfel
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons or Latter-day Saints) accept the traditional Christian Sabbath, which is held on the , for worship. Additionally, members of the
Mormon Church gather on other days of the week to study, pray, and participate in church meeting and activities. Because little authoritative information has survived from the past, we cannot say with reasonable certainty when and why early Christians moved from a weekly gathering on the Jewish Sabbath, the seventh day of the week, to the first day of the week. However, most scholars do agree that early Christians did gather together one day a week to worship and commemorate Jesus’ resurrection.Eventually, without question, Sunday became the official Christian Sabbath between the fourth and fifth centuries.
Mormons naturally chose to worship on Sunday from the very beginning in 1830, when the Mormon Church was organized in New York, because it was the traditional day for such activities in the United States. However, for Latter-day Saints, the day was officially sanctioned by the Lord when Joseph Smith, the first president and prophet of the Mormon Church, received a revelation approving the day: “For verily this is a day appointed unto you to rest from your labors, and to pay thy devotions unto the Most High” (Doctrine and Covenants 59:10). The day was Sunday, August 7, 1831. Since then, Mormon congregations have gathered together for their weekly worship service on Sunday, except where local tradition provides another day for such meetings. For example, Latter-day Saints meet on Saturday (Jewish Sabbath) in Israel and on Friday in some Muslim countries. Today, Latter-day Saints rest from their weekday labors and gather together on one day a week to work in the Lord’s vineyard to minister to each other and to worship the Lord in prayer, song, and scripture study. Additional Resources: Craig Harline, Sunday: A History of the First Day from Babylonia to the Supper Bowl (New York: Doubleday, 2007).