When God created Adam and Eve and placed them in the Garden of Eden, two things were immediately instituted: the family and the Sabbath. The family represents the most basic of all social groups, with husband and wife as the two-fold foundation. Although the family is basic and seemingly insignificant in the larger context of society, herein lies the key to the success of the business, the church, society, and government. Members of society, government, and church are but ambassadors of the various families they come from. They will attend school, work with others, lead in enterprises, and rule governments. If they come from strong family backgrounds where ethical principles have been established, they will rule governments with selfless service and successful policies. If their homes are weak, the enterprises they lead will likewise lack in principle and goodness.
The second institution established at Creation was the Sabbath. Immediately after the creation of humanity was the establishment of the Sabbath. This was not the result of chance. It was God’s plan that family and the Sabbath be linked together so that “on this day more than any other, it is possible for us to live the life of Eden” (Education, 250). Through the observance of the Sabbath, families were to establish foundational tools that would serve as a blessing to each member of the home and as a benefit to the communities and entities they would represent.
The fact that the Sabbath was established at Creation implies that even in a perfect paradise, the Sabbath had a useful purpose in the development of Adam and Eve in their perfection. “It was God’s plan for the members of the family to be associated in work and study, in worship and recreation, the father as priest of his household, and both father and mother as teachers and companions of their children” (Education, 250–251).
However, the results of sin have changed life and perverted our associations. Opportunities for holy companionship and communion have become more difficult to develop in today’s societies.
Through love for fallen humanity, God instituted labor but also put boundaries to the burdens of employment. His command is “work shall be done for six days, but the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord” (Ex. 31:15). Through an everlasting covenant, God has established the Sabbath as a means by which His children may experience a piece of heaven on earth, while also being a blessing to those they come in contact with.