We believe that the fourth commandment, along with the others, is unchangeable and valid for all people. The Sabbath day was instituted by God after six days of creation, blessed and hallowed, and distinguished in that God rested on it. It was given as a memorial of creation and a day of rest for mankind. Therefore, it is also designated as the Lord’s day. God enjoins us to keep this day holy by resting from work, worshiping Him, and performing religious service. The Sabbath is also a symbol of redemption, a sign of sanctification, a testimony of obedience, and a foretaste of eternal life in God’s kingdom. The divine rest day is the special sign of His obedient children in the end times. Ge! nesis 2:1-3; Exodus 20:8-11; 31:15; Leviticus 23:3; Mark 2:27, 28; Luke 16:17.
On Friday (preparation day) all preparation for the seventh day should be finished. This includes food preparation for the Sabbath day, house cleaning, preparing one’s clothing, and bathing, so we can begin the Sabbath day in peace and quiet. Exodus 16:23.
“There is another work that should receive attention on the preparation day. On this day all differences between brethren, whether in the family or in the church, should be put away. Let all bitterness and wrath and malice be expelled from the soul. In a humble spirit, ‘confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.’ James 5:16.” -Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 356.
Concerning travel we read: “In order to reach the churches that need our help, and to give them the message that God desires them to hear, it may be necessary for us to travel on the Sabbath; but so far as possible we should secure our tickets and make all necessary arrangements on some other day. When starting on a journey we should make every possible effort to plan so as to avoid reaching our destination on the Sabbath.” -Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 360.
On the Sabbath, we are to abstain from all secular and business travel, conversation, and activities. Our conversation should be of a spiritual character and be for God’s praise and our spiritual edification. Isaiah 58:13, 14.
“God has directed that the sick and suffering be cared for; the labor required to make them comfortable is a work of mercy, and no violation of the Sabbath; but all unnecessary work should be avoided.” -Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 296.
We also request that our children be exempted from attending secular school on the Sabbath.
In harmony with the order of creation, a day begins and ends at sunset. Therefore, the Sabbath begins on Friday evening at sunset and ends on Sabbath evening at sunset. Genesis 1:5; Leviticus 23:32; Luke 4:31, 40.