April 17, 2016

To: Members of the Riverside California Stake

As we conclude our Ward Conferences this year we express gratitude to the many faithful saints who have embraced our 2016 theme, “Make the Exercise of Faith Your First Priority.” We promise an increased measure of spiritual power as you make personal and family prayer, scripture study, family home evening, temple worship and Sabbath Day observance a priority and a delight in your homes.

Regarding Sabbath Day observance, Elder Russell M. Nelson shared that it wasn’t until later in his life that he learned from the scriptures, “the Sabbath constituted a sign between me and my Heavenly Father.” He said, “When I had to make a decision whether or not an activity was appropriate for the Sabbath, I simply asked myself, ‘What sign do I want to give to God?’ That question made my choices about the Sabbath day crystal clear.” (Gen. Conf. Apr 2015)

As you consider what sign you desire to show your Heavenly Father on the Sabbath Day, we ask you to exercise your faith by accepting these four invitations:

  1. Arrive early for Sacrament Meeting and be in your seats 8-10 minutes prior, to enjoy the blessings of the beautiful prelude music in preparation for the quiet, tender promptings of the Spirit that accompany this meeting.
  2. Reserve friendly chatter and visiting for the foyers, thereby preserving our chapels as spiritual, reverent sanctuaries, lest we intrude when someone is struggling to feel the delicate promptings of the Holy Ghost.
  3. Maintain a spirit of reverence throughout Sunday worship services. Reverence does not mean absolute silence, but suggests a devotion, love and respect for holy places. Boyd K. Packer said, “Our sacrament and other meetings need renewed attention to assure that they are truly worship services in which members may be spiritually nourished.”
  4. Place electronic devices on airplane mode during Sacrament Meetings. These devices are often a distraction and can interfere with our individual worship during this important hour of spiritual renewal.

We promise as you observe these simple invitations you will experience increased spiritual strength and renewal in your life. May the Lord bless you more fully on this His Holy Day.