Thursday, September 2, 2010

Jarom's Secret for Temporal Success

In each of the three classes that I'm teaching this semester, I've offered the same advice: Keep the Sabbath Day holy by, among other things not working (in this cause studying) on Sundays. As a carrot, I've held out the (previously mentioned) promise of the late President James E. Faust--that you can do more and higher quality work by laboring in six days than you can in seven. And then, a few days before class started, I discovered this remarkable passage in the little-read book of Jarom.

Jarom informs us that the Nephites of his day were wicked: "Behold, it is expedient that much should be done among this people, because of the hardness of their hearts, and the deafness of their ears, and the blindness of their minds, and the stiffness of their necks; nevertheless, God is exceedingly merciful unto them, and has not as yet swept them off from the face of the land" (3). These Nephites clearly are not righteous, and yet Jarom informs us that they "had waxed strong in the land" (5), which is to say that they had prospered temporally; they "became exceedingly rich in gold, and in silver, and in precious things, and in fine workmanship of wood, in buildings, and in machinery, and also in iron and copper, and brass and steel" (8).

Why did they prosper when they were so proud and hard-hearted? Because "[t]hey observed to keep the law of Moses and the sabbath day holy unto the Lord" (5), and the Lord has promised those who keep the Sabbath Day holy that he "will cause [them] to ride upon the high places of the earth" (Isaiah 58:14). Even though they were not broken hearted and, apparently, not truly invested in keeping the commandments, they were blessed for their obedience and prospered temporally.

So if you want to prosper temporally, keep the Sabbath Day holy. Hopefully that's not your only, or even primary reason for doing so--but it sure is a nice side benefit.


Becky said...

I learned that very same principle in college and have tried to stick by it ever since. My children have heard me talk about this very subject many times as I try to teach them the value of NOT doing homework on Sunday. I think you are doing your students a huge favor.

Aaron H. said...

Never mind Jarom. Let's hear the update to the proposed grading curve for Sabbath day observance. Did you get clearance to implement that? Did you do it without clearance? What's the word?

Jenny said...

I love your little pearls of wisdom!

Jo Jo said...

I must need to do better on that. Thanks.