Creation, Dedication, Liminality, Book of Mormon, Temple, Sabbath


The Creation narrative, found in various places within the canon of scripture of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, describes the institution of two different types of time. The first type of time is established in the “fourth day” with the placement of the astronomical bodies, which act as markers “for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and for years”—that is, common time (Genesis 1:14; Moses 2:14). The second type of time is established in the “seventh day,” when the Lord rests from his labors. Situated as it was at the conclusion of the physical creation and marking what could be considered the beginning of the social creation (such as the naming of the animals, the institution of marriage, and the production of clothing), this event is described as a day of divine rest and represents the institution of sacred time (see Genesis 2:2–3; Moses 3:2–3; Abraham 5:2–3). The Lord’s rest is often interpreted as a cessation of work or activity, but this is not fully accurate. At least two activities were associated with this restful period, or sacred time—namely, the Lord’s blessing and sanctifying of the earth—with a third activity, that of assembly, implied.

Original Publication Citation

“And God Blessed the Seventh Day and Sanctified It”: The Sabbath at Creation, Dedications, and Christ’s Theophany in 3 Nephi,” in Sacred Time: The Sabbath as a Perpetual Covenant, ed. by Gaye Strathearn (Provo and Salt Lake City, UT: Religious Studies Center and Deseret Book, 2023), 1-24

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



Deseret Book and Religious Studies Center




Religious Education


Ancient Scripture

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor