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AKANIMO - I want to ask if it is wrong to watch Soccer on sabbath day.You know they play premiership on sundays and some us are supporters of some of this Club.There was an argument about it in elders quorum today.I dont know if the church have a position on this or if it is even good to go watch it in viewing centres as it is the case in most places in Africa. Your opinion was led by the spirit will be appreciated sir with references and quotations as usual.

JOEL - Without a doubt if you were to ask any General Authority of the church about this he would say that we should not engage in nor observe sporting events on the Sabbath, which turns our thoughts and spirits away from the purpose of the Sabbath day. Here are a few quotes from Church leaders on the subject:

"He asks us to rest from daily work. This means we should perform no labor that would keep us from giving our full attention to spiritual matters. The Lord told the Israelites, “Thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle” (Exodus 20:10). Our prophets have told us that we should not shop, hunt, fish, attend sports events, or participate in similar activities on that day." (Gospel Principles Chap 24)

"There seems to be an ever-increasing popularity in disregarding the centuries-old commandment to observe and respect the Sabbath day. For many it has become a holiday rather than a holy day of rest and sanctification. For some it is a day to shop and buy groceries. The decision of those who engage in shopping, sports, work, and recreation on the Sabbath day is their own, for which they alone bear responsibility." (James E Faust, Ensign Oct 1986)

"Temptations to break the Sabbath are greater now than they used to be. Television is a challenge. I enjoy just about any athletic event, no matter who is playing whom. Some of the best games are televised on Sunday, and the temptation is great. Yet we simply cannot afford to be like those who justify regularly spending hours on Sunday in front of the tube watching sports—the plays, replays, and almost endless post game commentary—or other shows that are anything but spiritually uplifting." (Elder Joe J. Christensen. Ensign, Dec. 1994)

"We should refrain from shopping on the Sabbath and participating in other commercial and sporting activities that now commonly desecrate the Sabbath." (Published letter, Sept. 28, 1992, from First Presidency to all priesthood leaders directed to be read in sacrament meetings throughout the Church)

"We must not permit ourselves to think of the Sabbath day as a day on which to transact business of any kind. We must not think of the Sabbath day as a day on which to catch up with our work. We must not permit ourselves to use the Sabbath for amusements or for outings or for participating in or attending sporting events as such. (Elder Elray L. Christiansen Gen Conf April 1962)

So that's what our church leaders say, but in the end what one decides to do or not do on the Sabbath is a personal choice that each person must make for himself and his family. I know this is a big deal in the soccer world where many games are played on Sunday; same thing for American football which has the Super Bowl on Sundays; and there are many active Mormons on those teams who have to play on Sunday because it is their profession. Our family is very much into soccer so I know how it is. But our level of Sabbath day observance is directly proportional to the blessings we receive by living the principle. But we should not be commanded in all things (D&C 58:26), so I can only say that the choice is up to you, because only you know how such things effect your spirituality and worship on the Sabbath day.

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