The Sabbath Day

 

       My Sheep
       Hear My Voice
       And I Know Them
       And They Follow Me

HOW DID JOHN J. CORNISH LIVE?
In reviewing the experiences of this humble servant of the Lord one can only marvel at the spiritual power manifested in his ministry. Reading his autobiography in an effort to discover the source of that almost incredible power, one is convinced that it was because he sought the guidance of God before each missionary endeavor, listened for further light, heeded unasked direction, and regardless of his own judgment and plans obeyed the Lord’s instructions to the letter.

Here was a man who literally walked and talked with God, who was on friendly terms with Him, and who did all those things that he knew were pleasing to his heavenly Father. It is little wonder that he baptized more than fifteen hundred people, and that his name is eulogized among members of the Reorganization on three continents..Their daughter, Bertha, says:

“My parents were very strict about Sunday observance. Saturday night I dressed my doll in her best white dress and laid her in her little bed until after the Sabbath was over. We were taught that Sunday was a day for rest and worship, that we were to do no unnecessary work but to prepare our food in quietness.

“Mother had a book entitled Sanlord Merton, one about dogs, and other good books which she read aloud to us. We also had the little Sunday school paper, Zion’s Hope, and we were happy. To crown the day Mother took us for a walk. Someone asked me, ‘Wasn’t that a miserable way to spend Sunday?’ We did not think so, because we were brought up in that way and believed that what our parents said was right.”

Brother J.J. scrupulously kept the financial law, and he taught his children to do likewise. Indeed the Saints of the Cornish settlement at Senlac, Saskatchewan, have been consistent tithe payers and inventory filers through the years. He religiously kept the Word of Wisdom, refrained from meat in hot weather, and refused hot drinks. His daughter Bertha, tells of his disappointment upon seeing the traveling ministers indulge in tea or coffee. He even had the temerity to question the late Joseph Smith (III) about his liking for a fragrant cup of steaming coffee.

Elder Cornish always tried to rise and retire early in order that his body and mind might be invigorated. At the age of seventy he was as lithe and active as a boy....

About five days before Brother Cornish’s death, his son James called to see him and was rather surprised to be greeted by “Good morning, my son James.” Surprised? Perhaps not, for James had prayed that if only for a few moments, his father might have his right mind and talk to him as of old. His prayer was answered. Brother Cornish told James that he was glad he had called, and that he had heard heavenly music and beautiful singing and had seen the portals of paradise. The light shone through the folds of the portals, but the portals were closed. Brother Cornish said that his work was finished, that he felt he was now in the way and wanted to go. He said that it would not be many days now and asked James to pray and ask others to pray that he might soon go to the paradise of God. He also asked James to be with him as much as possible till the end should come. The next day, for the first time, he was confined to his bed. He passed away four days later, June 24, seemingly without pain. Brother Cornish left this life with the confidence of Enoch and of Paul that he had pleased God and that he had kept the faith.

Since J. J.’s death, his son, Will Cornish, for the past several years nonresident of the Saskatchewan District, relates that he saw his sister Annie and his father in Paradise which was the most beautiful place that he had ever seen. His sister, who had been worn and prematurely aged before her death, now appeared as a young woman in perfect health and strength. His father smiled his old familiar radiant smile and said, “Willie, I would like to speak to you,” but the vision faded before anything further was revealed.1

 

No Working On The Sabbath In Uganda

She refused to let him pay his debt to her on the Sabbath.  She said it was God's day and a day of rest.

“How could you do this to your Maama Solome!
Didn’t I feed you a hundred times and take care of you like a son?”

The above July 1980 National Geographic  photo grabbed at my heartstrings. When I read the caption I knew he was someone she had tried to help. What had he done? I read on. So, she had befriended him like a son and he repaid her with stealing her valuable pots and pans--"No doubt a rarity in the dirt poor country," I thought.

Officials wanted to send him to a prison farm but Maama Solome was a Christian and let him off with a confession, repentance and his agreement to work in her garden for two months. What touched my heart so was that she refused to make him work on Sundays. She said Sundays are for church and rest. And she got her pots and pans back.

In far away Uganda, the principles of Christ are working. Maama refused to profane the Sabbath, and forgiveness and mercy are a part of her life. God’s spirit resides there in the jungle. The author said,  We could feel the peace of that place as tangibly as you feel the wind or the rain."

Today in 1998, the African Christians are being persecuted and massacred, mainly by Muslim fundamentalists.  If you are a Muslin and convert to Christianity, your own male family members are required to murder you.  If you are a Christian and won't convert to Islam, then they will cut your Achilles tendon, or sell you into slavery.   Islam is a part of the antiChrist.

Jerusalem 500 B.C.

How different a contrast this testimony from Uganda is from the Israelites of Jerusalem in the 500s B.C. Israel didn’t keep the Sabbath, among the many other pagan practices which brought the wrath of God upon them, and He sent them to Babylon for 70 years. An entire generation was born and died there.

When they came home it was time to obey. They were returning from the 70 years captivity in Babylon and knew they had to straighten up. God had spanked Israel, and now they were ready to listen. Their leaders entered into a covenant with God and themselves that they would obey their former instructions from God through Moses. One very critically important one that would distinguish them as belonging to God, was honoring the Sabbath.2 And God was so serious about it that He commanded that “whosoever doeth any work in the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.”

It was a sign forever between Israel (those who worship God) and God, that they acknowledge that God is sovereign and above all—that He made heaven and earth, and if any will not honor it, they will eventually, by their rebellion, be cut off from His presence.
Nehemiah, one on the great leaders heading up the work of bringing the Jews home, was angry when he saw them treading the wine-presses making wine on the Sabbath, and selling in their markets. Gentiles came into the city to sell their wares to Israel, and Israel bought them.
Nehemiah said, “Did not your fathers thus, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city; yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the Sabbath?”

He commanded the gates of Jerusalem to be shut as the Sabbath began, and couldn’t be opened until after the Sabbath. He also set his servants at the gates with orders that no one could bring in their wares to sell, so the merchants were lodged outside Jerusalem once or twice. Nehemiah went out and told them that if they came back he would have them beaten. They never came back again on the Sabbath.3

 

TV Turnoff

So how important is the Sabbath to us today? Are we under a different law? Has God changed His thinking about His day? He let me know His feeling about it one day—told me to turn off the TV on the Sabbath. I did, and the contention in our home decreased remarkably, even during the week. I was pleased and He was there.

I love the Pink Panther. My children know this. When Judy was a teenager she wanted to watch TV on the Sabbath. She gave me her best shot, “But Mom, the Pink Panther is on today.” I responded with, “Judy, God told us to turn off the TV on the Sabbath, and He didn’t add, ‘unless the Pink Panther comes on.’” We chuckled over that for years. And the TV stayed off. Years later I was impressed by the Spirit to drink Valerian Root tea daily “as faithfully as I had kept the Sabbath.” I was surprised, for one never knows when God is going to say something. He lets you know that He’s always there whether you’re aware of it or not, and I was pleased that He was pleased that I had accomplished something that He felt was important. It felt very good to know I had His approval.

 

Make Your Choice

Just how important is the Sabbath? Olive Hubbard knows.

"I had recently been baptized a member of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. When I began telling this wonderful gospel message to all my friends in the neighborhood, it was as if I had dropped a bombshell in their midst. I was so filled and thrilled with it that I wanted to share it with all of them! Nothing daunted me. They all said, 'What happened to you, Olive? I never heard you talk religion to anyone before, and now you are just full of it. It’s just not like you, you are different somehow!' I had a lot to learn and some very wonderful experiences in trying to convert my young friends and loved ones.

As a Baptist, I had always attended ball games on Sunday afternoon. So when a ball game came along, I thought nothing of it, but went to the game with our gang and did my best, cheering our side to win. That night when I knelt down to pray, the Lord wasn’t there; that was the first time that had happened to me since I was baptized. I knew I had done something wrong, so I sat up on the side of my bed and asked the Lord what I had done wrong that caused Him to leave me. He answered right back, 'Remember the Sabbath Day and keep it holy.' I said, 'All right, I will not go to any more ball games on Sunday.' I knelt down to say my prayer, and the Lord was there with me.

Soon after this experience, our gang wanted to go to Eureka Springs to a vaudeville and picture show. The parents wouldn’t let the young people go unless I went along. The young people were all insistent that I go with them. I considered by saying, 'Well, it isn’t the Sabbath, maybe it will be all right for me to go with them.' So I went. That night when I knelt down to say my prayer the Lord wasn’t there. I sat on the bed and asked the Lord if I had done wrong in going with the young people to the show. He answered me right back. He said,

'You are telling your friends and loved ones you now have something better than you had before. How can you prove it to them if you go on doing all the things with them you did before? You have lived a good clean life, you have set a good example before them. But now you must be better, do better, live on a higher plane. You are partaking of the things of the world; they separate you from Me. You can go to ball games, picture shows, and other pleasures of the world, and they alone will not send your soul to hell. But they will deprive you of My Spirit and keep you from receiving many manifestations of My Spirit that you could otherwise receive.
Here are the two ways before you; make your choice. You may choose the pleasures of the world and be deprived of many wonderful spiritual blessings. Come all the way with Me and you will receive many great and marvelous spiritual experiences you are not able to comprehend at this time.'

I answered eagerly, 'I want to go all the way with you!' I made a covenant with my Lord that night that insomuch as I could and whenever possible, I would refuse all the pleasures of the world to the best of my ability to do so and try to live for Him. I then knelt down to pray, and the Lord was there with me.

I feel that making this covenant with the Lord to shun worldliness and trying to keep my covenant has been the means of bringing me many wonderful blessings, so many almost unbelievable spiritual experiences. The dear Lord has blessed me with a great many experiences which makes me feel humble and unworthy of all He has given me." 4

Olive Hubbard's saw God when she was a little girl. He said, "I Will See You."

 Contents - Exit

Footnotes:
1. Taken from The Autobiography of John J. Cornish, printed in Into the Latter-Day Light. Price Pub.pp. 188-189, 201-202
2. Exodus 20:7-11, 31:17
3. Neh. 13
4. Restoration Voice July/August 1981