At the age of 51, when most people are mentally moving toward retirement, I gave into God’s promptings and returned to school full time. Though I was employed full time and had five children still at home, I knew I needed to complete my education. The Lord’s goal for me? To work towards becoming a nurse.
Become a nurse? At my age? Though I knew age wasn’t a factor for Abraham or Noah it was a worry for me. What would people think? Would the professors and those who selected candidates for the nursing program discount me because of my age?
With those doubts ringing daily in my mind I decided I would do as the Lord was prompting and return to school.
The week school began our tiny branch found themselves in desperate need of an early morning seminary teacher. With hesitation the calling was extended to me. My stake president, branch president and husband all voiced concerns over my ability to take on the calling with my upcoming school schedule. I told them I needed the blessings that would come from teaching seminary each morning.
So with all that on my plate I went back to school and that first weekend I found myself overwhelmed by school work and looking at using Sunday to do my assignments. Against all sense of logic I decided I needed the Lord’s help more than I needed Sunday to study or do my work. I made the commitment that, regardless of what was facing me at school on Monday morning I would not study or do homework on Sundays. If I needed more time I would get up early on Monday morning but I would give the Sabbath to the Lord.
For two and a half years I kept that promise and never once did I study or do homework on Sunday. Often that meant getting up at 2:30 or 3 on Monday morning but Sunday was for the Lord.
After two and a half years of full-time school I completed all the prerequisites to apply to the bachelor’s nursing degree program with a 3.97. My cumulative GPA for an associate of science degree was a 3.93 and earned me one of three full-tuition waivers to complete the final two years of my education.
Was keeping the Sabbath Day a delight as Isaiah said? Yes! It was a time for me to relax my mind, enjoy my family and immerse myself in the Gospel.
"If thou turn away…from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight,…and shalt honour [the Lord], not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:
“Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord.” (Isaiah 58:13-14)
I know that promise is true. I am absolutely delighted by the help and blessings the Lord has given to me! I know there is no way I could have accomplished those kinds of grades, been accepted into a very competitive program and received a needed tuition waiver on my own. While working full-time, teaching seminary every morning and taking care of my family I needed His help and He gave it in greater abundance than I could have imagined or even designed.
Russell M. Nelson said, “The Lord gave us this special day, not for amusement or daily labor but for a rest from duty, with physical and spiritual relief.”
And, at the opening of this dispensation, the Lord told the world through his prophet Joseph Smith, “For verily this is a day appointed unto you to rest from your labors, and to pay thy devotions unto the Most High…And inasmuch as ye do these things with thanksgiving, with cheerful hearts and countenances…the fulness of the earth is yours.” (D&C 59:10 and 15)
Elder Nelson went on to say that “Faith in God engenders a love for the Sabbath; faith in the Sabbath engenders a love for God. A sacred Sabbath truly is a delight.”
I knew the Lord wanted me to return to school. I knew that He would help me if I honored my covenants and kept the Sabbath day holy. I have found out that a sacred Sabbath truly is a delight…not only for the spiritual blessings we receive but for the earthly blessings He gives us.
We may not readily see the miracles and blessings that come to us for putting aside the things of the world for one day but those blessings will accumulate like oil in our lamps until one day we will look back and know that because we gave the Lord one day a week He carried us and blessed us through seven days each week.
To read Elder Nelson's talk, go to: The Sabbath is a Delight