Wal-Mart: open or closed Sundays?

Written by: Sam Dalton, @_SamDalton

Chris Goyette and Sam Dalton | Scroll Illustration

Chris Goyette and Sam Dalton | Scroll Illustration


A Rexburg woman, Cindy Lemon, started a petition Jan. 28 to have the new Wal-Mart closed on Sundays and has over 200 signatures.

Lemon said she started the petition through change.org.

“I believe that the Rexburg community is over 90 percent LDS,” Lemon said. “That being said, one of our major beliefs is that we believe in honoring the Sabbath day, which includes not shopping and not working where possible. It is a whole lot easier for people to not work if the business is closed and there are not a lot of jobs in Rexburg. With Wal-Mart coming in with so many jobs, I thought I would ask and see if it was a possibility.”

Hannah Spratling, a freshman studying exercise physiology, said she thinks it would be a good idea to close Wal-Mart on Sundays so people observe the Sabbath, but that everyone has their own choice.

Lemon said she was confident she would receive public support when she started her petition. She did not expect the backlash she has received, but is hopeful there are still members of the community who are supportive and want to see this change happen.

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The petition, “Making Wal-Mart values and Rexburg values work together,” has seen an increase from 211 signatures on Feb. 3 to 244 signatures Feb. 13. “Keeping Rexburg Walmart open on Sunday,” a counter petition started by Stephanie Westover of St. Anthony, Idaho, on change.org, has had an increase from 590 signatures Feb. 3 to 657 on Feb. 13.

“I don’t want Wal-Mart to close on Sundays because I like to shop on Sundays,” Westover said. “I have rheumatoid arthritis, and I am unable to stand in lines or walk in crowded areas, so Sundays are nice because it is less crowded.”

Westover said she feels Lemon’s petition is ridiculous if she expects a large corporation like Wal-Mart to close its doors on Sunday, for her religious beliefs.

Samantha Calder, a junior studying accounting, said she feels Wal-Mart should not have to make the decision whether its customers shop on Sunday. It is the customers’ choice.

“Not everyone in this area is LDS,” Westover said. “Some practice the Sabbath on Saturday, or Friday, or some not at all.”

Lemon said she first went to the local Wal-Mart about changing store hours and was directed to their corporate offices. A representative told Lemon that store hours have been changed in the past in other locations and that if there is enough community support, the company would look into making a change.

“As the Lord’s covenant people, we have covenanted that we won’t shop on a Sunday, and that’s our right not to,” said Isa Curran, a freshman majoring in general studies. “If somebody forced us to shop on a Sunday, then that’s the same as forcing others not to shop on a Sunday.”

Lemon said the community of Rexburg needs the students of BYU-Idaho and their support.

“We need them to sign this petition,” Lemon said. “This petition really was started with them in mind and we want to help them as much as they help us, and I think that if we work together as a community we can do this.”

Westover said it is good to do what Jesus Christ invites but that people should not force their religion on others.

“There is a lot diversity in our community of wonderful people,” Westover said. “No one group is better than the other or deserves special treatment based on their faith.”

'Wal-Mart: open or closed Sundays?' have 6 comments

  1. February 23, 2016 @ 9:12 pm Timothy

    If nobody shopped there on Sundays, the business would take the hint and close for the day. Walmart doesn’t need to be open. If you plan ahead, you will not need to buy anything except emergency items on Sunday. Diapers and formula are not emergency items. Be prepared. Walgreens has everything you should need and they require less people to keep it open. If you really want places to be closed, have the members follow the teachings. If none of the employees are going to work on Sunday, it will close.


    • March 3, 2016 @ 10:40 pm Allie

      you are aware non members also live in shop? the world doesnt revolve around members.


  2. February 23, 2016 @ 9:52 pm Landon

    “I believe that the Rexburg community is over 90 percent LDS,” Lemon said. “That being said, one of our major beliefs is that we believe in honoring the Sabbath day, which includes not shopping and not working where possible.” Is it also not the belief of all Americans and Mormons that the rights of others should not be trampled? LDS members can stick to their major beliefs and choose to not work on Sundays or to not be employed by companies who would require that of them. The community being comprised by 90 percent LDS should be considered irrelevant. Since when is it right for the majority to impose their beliefs on the minority? That supposed 10 percent should not be forced to participate in the beliefs of the greater 90. “…. [rules] in which the majority rule cannot be based on justice, even as far as men understand it”-Henry David Thoreau


    • February 25, 2016 @ 10:26 pm Garrett

      But this is home of BYU-Idaho where we try to force everyone to obey.


  3. March 1, 2016 @ 1:27 pm Sarah

    This is completely ridiculous. The last time I checked, we were able to choose for ourselves what we personally felt was right. How are we able to “repent” when we have people trying to make choices for us? It isn’t true repentance. Why didn’t this “issue” come up when the other Walmart was open on Sundays? I have been miserable battling a disease and I’ll have to get some medicine and food that subsides my symptoms that only Walmart has. Very selfish thing she is trying to do! I will happily sign the petition to keep it open.


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