Fasting, Fast Sunday and Why It's Important

A few weeks ago, on a Sunday morning, I had posted on Facebook that one of my neighbours was accidentally torturing me as they were eating freshly baked Croissants and jam in the garden and the smell was wafting across their garden, to where I was sitting in my garden doing a bit of Scripture Study and I was fasting as it was a Fast Sunday. I posted to Facebook about the situation as a comment on my life, not as a complaint even though that is how I could be accused of dressing it.

It started a bit of a discussion amongst my friends and one commented that I should probably just eat something.The problem is of course, that Fasting is important within my religion (Latter Day Saint) and that of many other religions and I was fasting with a purpose that day not just because I fancied not eating for a meal or two.

Top Ender and Dan Jon Jr after Church ready for a meal in the garden

So, I thought I would write down a few thoughts about Fasting, Fast Sunday and why it's important.

For me as a Latter Day Saint, fasting is done regularly. We set the First Sunday of the month aside as our Fast Sunday and those who are wiling and able fast for two meals which means they abstain from food and water for twenty-four hours. Of course, we can also fast at other times during the month too, and many of us do.

Generally I eat my last meal before a Fast Sunday on Saturday evening with my family. I have a last drink of water and then say a prayer to dedicate my fast. I could be fasting for many things, for people who are ill, for situations in my personal life, situations in my friends personal lives, the reasons are many and varied but the point is the same. At the end of the fast, right before we eat our evening meal I pray again, giving thanks for the many blessings I have.

Dan Jon Jr is a Diabetic and therefore exempt from Fasting as are many others who suffer from illness or who are Pregnant, under the age of eight years old and of course nobody is forced to fast and on weekends where I may have been... weakened shall we say to spare your blushes, I have found that sometimes it is easier for me to not fast and sometimes it's easier for me to fast... I don't understand the female body.

Dan Jon likes to fast however, well his version of it. So after our meal on a Saturday is finished he would join me and Top Ender in prayer although he would continue with water as and when he needed it. For breakfast, he would have one slice of toast with a little butter instead of the slice with jam he normally likes to have. For lunch he would have a simple sandwich (with nothing else, like fruit or a biscuit) and then we'd all end our fast before our evening meal as I described above. We pray during the fast too, of course it's just that start and end prayer are more of a family thing.

A Family Selfie

I've mentioned a few reasons that we might fast that are problems, but really when it boils down to it, it's a show of humility to our Heavenly Father, it shows that we are willing to sacrifice earthly pleasures for blessings that are greater and have more meaning to us. The blessings are things which I can't really explain properly. Like, I once fasted for clarity in a situation and I got it. I once fasted for someone else to have an easier time and their situation relaxed a little and let them have the breathing space they needed.

The money that we save from not eating over these two meals, is usually donated and given as a Fast Offering, that is then used to help those who need help not just in our local area, but all over the world.

Hopefully that has explained a bit about why and how I fast and why I believe it is important.

If you want to know more about my religion, you can hear about Family Home Evening, Scripture Study, The Word of Wisdom, Visiting Teaching and Relief Society and General Conference!