Sister Jean A. Stevens: Focus on Covenants
Contributed By Marianne Holman Prescott, Church News staff writer
- Covenants with God help women to know who they really are.
“Temples are an expression of God’s love. He invites us all to come, learn of Him, feel His love, and receive the priesthood ordinances necessary for eternal life with Him.” —Sister Jean A. Stevens of the Primary general presidency
“When daughters of God focus on the temple and on their sacred covenants, God is able to send blessings in personal and powerful ways,” said Sister Jean A. Stevens, first counselor in the Primary general presidency, during the general women’s meeting held in the Conference Center on September 27.
Sharing the examples from the lives of her mother and father, Sister Stevens spoke of the power of their covenants and what a blessing keeping them—especially during difficulty—has been throughout their lives and in the lives of their posterity.
“Covenants with God help us to know who we really are,” Sister Stevens said. “They connect us to Him in a personal way where we come to feel our value in His sight and our place in His Kingdom. In a way we can’t fully comprehend, we are known and loved individually by Him. Just think of it—each of us holds such a place in His heart. His desire is that we will choose the path that will bring us home to Him.”
Beginning with baptism and continuing on the path to temple covenants and priesthood ordinances, individuals are promised the blessing of eternal life if they are prepared and keep the covenants they make throughout their lives.
“In all the seasons of her life, Mother was strengthened and blessed by her love of the Lord and by the covenants she faithfully made and kept. … Like my mother’s example to me, your choice to believe and keep covenants will leave a rich legacy of faith for those who follow you,” she said. “So dear sisters, how can we access the power and blessings of temple covenants? What can we do now to prepare for those blessings?”
Sister Stevens spoke of her travels throughout the world in which she has spent time with sisters of all ages and in all circumstances. She spoke of Mary, an 8-year-old girl who is excited about doing family history and has contributed more than 1,000 names for temple work; Brianna, a 13-year-old young woman who goes to the temple with her friends to perform baptisms for the dead; Anfissa, a busy young adult who makes time to attend the temple once a week; and Katya, a sister in Ukraine, who—before the temple in Kyiv was built—would travel for more than a day to attend the temple once a year. All of these women are examples of faithful sisters making the temple a part of their lives.
“If we are to receive all the blessings God so generously offers, our earthly path must lead to the temple,” she said. “Temples are an expression of God’s love. He invites us all to come, learn of Him, feel His love, and receive the priesthood ordinances necessary for eternal life with Him. Each covenant is made one by one. Every mighty change of heart matters to the Lord. And it will make all the difference to you.”
Sister Stevens said that it is as individuals go to “His holy house” that they can be “armed with His power, His name upon us, His glory round about us, and His angels have charge over us.”