Tag Archives: respect

Mormon Congregation Attends Jewish Shabbat Service in Church Meetinghouse

Here is link to the page (sorry larger than I intended)   http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/mormon-congregation-attends-jewish-shabbat-service

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints joined a Jewish group for a Friday night Shabbat service in a Mormon meetinghouse in Irvine, California, Friday, October 13, 2017. It was the last time the Jewish congregation would meet at the Church stake center where it had been meeting for the past year, while its synagogue was undergoing renovation.“Giving Thanks to Our Mormon Friends” was the title of the Shabbat service sermon by Rabbi Richard Steinberg of the Shir-Ha-Ma’alot (SHM) Jewish congregation. More than 200 Jews and Mormons welcomed each other with expressions of gratitude, handshakes and Shabbat greetings.

President Tait Eyre of the Irvine California Stake heard the Jewish congregation needed a place to meet and offered the Church meetinghouse as an option. “Our purpose for doing this was to strengthen our relationship between our faiths,” said President Eyre.

The Jewish congregation met at the building on Friday nights and Saturday mornings as part of their Jewish Sabbath worship when the facilities were typically not being used. Rabbi Steinberg said the Mormon congregation “opened the door with love and kindness.”

Church leaders would be there to host the Jewish congregation each time they met in the building. Members who came to host would help clean, prepare classrooms and even join in the services.

Throughout the year, Rabbi Steinberg said he had gained a greater understanding of why Mormons want to share the truths they believe. Yet, he said they refrained from proselytizing “in order to achieve a higher religious value.” In his Shabbat sermon, Rabbi Steinberg pointed out that the Mormon missionaries in attendance had even assisted with their High Holy Days.

As an expression of gratitude, Rabbi Steinberg pronounced a blessing upon the Latter-day Saints in attendance. He said SHM plans to dedicate a space in its new synagogue in honor of the Church as a reminder that its “graciousness, hospitality and kindness are a model for all religions.” The Mormon congregation was also invited to attend the grand opening of the new synagogue.

Rabbi Steinberg expressed a hope that “the world around would see the friendship between these two communities as a model.”

“It’s been a remarkable feeling of closeness that has never faded for the entire year,” said Marty Hart from SHM, who attended Shabbat services and Torah study on a regular basis at the meetinghouse.

“I enjoyed it every time I attended,” said Kenny Giuliani, a Mormon who had opportunities to serve as a host. “Even though the way we worship may be a little different, one thing that definitely unites us is love and respect for others’ religious views and beliefs.”

“We all had the opportunity to learn, with appreciation and gratitude, that we have much more in common than many may have suspected and more around which we can unite,” said Larry Gassin, a Latter-day Saint who coordinated the building sharing for the year.

The Shabbat service ended with the congregation interlocking arms.


Judaism Provides Insights to Calling the Sabbath “A Delight”



In D&C 59:9, the Lord promises that our “joy may be full” if we make the Sabbath day a day of “rejoicing,” a day of “thanksgiving” with “cheerful hearts and countenances” (vs.15).


From antiquity, the Jews were known for remembering and observing the Sabbath day. The Lord said, “I gave them my Sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them.” He added, “I am the Lord your God; walk in my statutes, and keep my judgments, and do them; And hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the Lord your God” (Ezekiel 20:12–20).

The Hebrew name Shabbat is related to the Hebrew verb that means “rest, stop, or cease.” Thus, a part of the commandment to keep the Sabbath day holy is to remember it and to observe it with both worship and rest—rest from typical activities that filled the other days of the week.

The first Sabbath day was established when the Lord ceased the work of creation, blessed the day, and declared the day holy (see Genesis 2:2–3).

Eventually, ancient Israel identified this special day of the week as the “Sabbath of the Lord” (see Exodus 20:10).

The Lord, through the Prophet Isaiah, said He would honor those who remember and observe the Sabbath day. He also promised them that if they would speak of the Sabbath as a “delight,” they would find joy in the Lord. Further, the Lord promised Israel that He would make them “ride upon the high place of the earth” and that He would “feed [them] with the heritage of Jacob [their] father” (see Isaiah 58:13–14). The rich, symbolic language paints the picture of a conquering king riding across his land and enjoying the fruits of the land.

While attending Hebrew Union College as a graduate student, I learned a lot about the Sabbath day from my Jewish classmates. At one point, I was introduced to the story, “Joseph-who-honours-the-Sabbaths,” in the Babylonian Talmud (Tractate Shabbat, 119A).

Later, my wife, Jeni, found a children’s book, “Joseph Who Loved the Sabbath,” based on the story found in the Talmud (see Marilyn Hirsh, “Joseph Who Loved the Sabbath” [New York: Viking Penguin, 1986]).

In this modern retelling of the old story, we meet a poor Jewish laborer named Joseph. Even though he worked hard with few rewards, he found great joy in the Sabbath day. He worked all week to save as much as possible so he could purchase the best food, oil, and wine for his Sabbath day meal. Before the Sabbath, Joseph cleaned his little home and then went to the market to purchase the best items for the Sabbath. He returned home and dressed in his Sabbath day clothes. As the Sabbath progressed, he sang, read the scriptures, and shared a meal with family and friends. He then prayed, sang more Sabbath day songs, and played games. As the author states, “Joseph enjoyed the Sabbath.”

Sorab, Joseph’s mean-tempered, selfish employer, dreamed one night that everything he owned would eventually go to Joseph who worked so hard for him. When Sorab woke from his dream, he sold his land, home, and livestock, purchased a giant red ruby, and got in a ship to get as far away from Joseph as possible. However, the ship sank in a great storm, and the red ruby popped out of Sorab’s hat where he had placed it for safekeeping. What we don’t know yet is that the giant red ruby was swallowed by a fish.

Sometime later, as Joseph went for his weekly trip to the open market, he heard someone yell to the crowd, “Who will buy this large and beautiful fish?” When Joseph saw the fish, he cried, “This is surely the finest fish in all the world!”

Joseph purchased the fish and prepared it for his special Sabbath meal. When he cut the fish open to serve it to his family and friends, Joseph found the giant red ruby. After selling it, he was able to purchase Sorab’s land, home, and livestock. He became rich and shared his blessings with all his family and friends each Sabbath day.

As in the story, I found that my Jewish classmates and professors had a very special feeling for the Sabbath. I was drawn to the joy and delight they found in remembering and observing the Sabbath day. It was not the Sabbath I had known but rather one that made me feel I could do better.

In the Restoration, the Lord re-emphasized the importance of the Sabbath day in a revelation received on Sunday, August 7, 1831 (see Doctrine and Covenants 59). In this important revelation, the Lord gives additional reasons and blessings associated with Sabbath day observances that can help us appreciate the “Sabbath of the Lord.”

He says that remembering and observing the Sabbath day will help us keep ourselves “unspotted from the world” (Doctrine and Covenants 59:9). He promises that our “joy may be full” if we make the Sabbath day a day of “rejoicing,” a day of “thanksgiving” with “cheerful hearts and countenances” (vs. 15).

Like the promises in Isaiah, the Lord tells us in section 59 that “the fulness of the earth” is ours (vs. 16). In this important Sabbath day revelation, the Lord informs us that the things of the creation were made for His sons and daughters, both “to please the eye and to gladden the heart” (vs. 18). We are to use the resources He provides as a result of the creation “for food and for raiment, for taste and for smell, to strengthen the body and to enliven the soul” (vs. 19).

Ultimately, the Lord promises all those who remember and observe the Sabbath day a reward beyond that of the giant red ruby that Joseph found in the belly of a fish, “even peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come” (vs. 23).

Richard Neitzel Holzapfel is a professor of Church History and Doctrine at Brigham Young University.


Elder Oaks Concerned ‘Worldly Gifts’ Overshadow Religious Aspects of Christmas Holiday

Apostle speaks about Christmas observance to business professionals

Elder Dallin H. Oaks, an apostle in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, asked Christians to consider their observance of Christmas and to focus more on Jesus Christ. He made the remarks at the BYU Management Society Christmas devotional in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, December 9, 2015.

“Even in secular terms, His life has had greater impact on every part of this world and its history than any life ever lived,” Elder Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles told the network of business professionals.

“No one who has ever lived has more monuments to His life and teaching than He,” Elder Oaks said of Jesus Christ. “The greatest art and music of the Western world has been devoted to celebrating the birth and the life and the mission of Jesus Christ. Kingdoms have been founded and overthrown to serve His purposes, as the leaders of that time supposed. … Millions have given their lives, and, more importantly, millions have patterned their lives after the Lord God of Israel, Jehovah, Jesus Christ, our Savior.”

He told the group that we live in “peace and prosperity when we follow His teachings,” but “virtually every unhappiness and sorrow in the world is traceable to failures to follow His teachings.”

“We must not forget our worshipping and witnessing of the Savior of all mankind,” he emphasized. “For centuries, Christmas has been a celebration of Jesus Christ and the significance of His ministry. But in recent years it has become a secular holiday with observances that overshadow or replace Him and His ministry.”

Elder Oaks contrasted features of Christmas observances past and present: the Savior vs. Santa Claus, worshipping vs. spending, attending religious services vs. attending bowl games and Christian Christmas music vs. Christmas music unrelated to the Savior.

He continued, “As I view our recent history — say the last century — religious observances of the birth and mission of the Savior have evolved from Christ-centered observances into a tremendous holiday of gift-giving. The focus on worldly gifts has gradually and now almost decisively overshadowed the religious aspects of the Christmas holiday.”

“The gift that Christ gives is the greatest gift ever given, and it is available to each of us. That is the gift we should celebrate at this and every Christmas,” Elder Oaks concluded.

To learn more about Elder Oaks’s address, read the full transcript.

What is Religious Freedom


Church Calls for Laws That Protect Religious Freedom

Balance is the key word here. Then love &respect for others.

Stevie Turner

Reader, writer, blogger, reviewer and rocker (not necessarily in that order).

Mitch Teemley

The Power of Story

Judy's Family History

A family history and genealogy blog

Genealogy Lady

Connecting history to the present generation

Family History eBooks

create share enjoy

Little Tidbits of Genealogy

A Little Something Every Day

cluster genealogy

discovering your family history through cluster genealogy

%d bloggers like this: