On Fast Sunday, members of the church are encouraged to fast for two consecutive meals; most members of the church choose to skip the first two meals on Sunday, though some skip the last meal on Saturday and the first meal on Sunday. Members are also encouraged to give the money they save by not eating as a fast offering which will be used by the church to help the needy. The Sunday date is in marked contrast to most other Christian denominations that encourage fasting but invariably exempt Sundays.
On Fast Sunday, the regular sacrament meeting is known as fast and testimony meeting, where rather than predetermined speakers on particular subjects, the members are given the chance to voluntarily bear testimony to one another of gospel truths and to share spiritual experiences they have had. Any interested non-members of the church are welcome to participate in Fast Sunday activities.
Fast Sunday was not always on the First Sunday of Each Month. Starting in 1896, Fast Day was set to be the first Sunday of the month, instead of the first Thursday. Since then it was commonly referred to as Fast Sunday. When a conference is held on the first Sunday of the month than fast Sunday may either be the preceding Sunday or following Sunday after the conference. Such is always the case in April and October as General Conference is almost always held on the first Sunday of the month. Also many stakes have there conference scheduled on first Sunday of the month as well and have similar fast Sunday schedules as general conference. On occasion ward conferences and temple dedications may also cause a change in the fast Sunday schedule.
In addition to the regular fast Sunday schedule often individuals and wards or stakes may have additional special fasts for things such as: moisture for farmers, health for individuals, employment, missionary and temple work as well as any other reason.
Modern LDS leaders have affirmed the need for a Fast Day, as Gordon B. Hinckley Stated: