Porter’s Promise

From “We Have Great Reason to Rejoice,” Ensign, Nov. 2013, 115–16.

Carole M. Stephens
Those who want to be baptized need to be willing to serve the Lord by serving others.

When my father-in-law passed away, our family gathered together to greet people who came to pay their respects. Throughout the evening, as I visited with family and friends, I often noticed our 10-year-old grandson, Porter, standing near my mother-in-law—his granny. Sometimes he was behind her, watching over her. Once I noticed his arm linked with hers. I watched him pat her hands, give her little hugs, and stand by her side.

For several days after that experience, I couldn’t get this picture out of my mind. I was prompted to send Porter an email. I told him what I had seen and felt. I also reminded him of the covenants he had made when he was baptized, quoting Alma’s words in Mosiah chapter 18:

“And now, as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light;

“Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, … that ye may have eternal life—

“… If this be the desire of your hearts, what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon you?” (verses 8–10).

I explained to Porter that Alma taught that those who want to be baptized need to be willing to serve the Lord by serving others—for your whole life! I said: “I don’t know if you realized it, but the way you showed love and concern for Granny was keeping your covenants. We keep our covenants every day as we are kind, show love, and take care of each other.

“I just wanted you to know I’m proud of you for being a covenant keeper! As you keep the covenant you made when you were baptized, you will be prepared to be ordained to the priesthood. This additional covenant will give you more opportunities to bless and serve others and help you to prepare for the covenants you will make in the temple.

“Thank you for being such a good example to me! Thank you for showing me what it looks like to be a covenant keeper!”

Porter replied back: “Grandma, thanks for the message. When I was always hugging Granny, I didn’t know that I was keeping my covenants, but I felt warm in my heart and felt really good. I know that it was the Holy Ghost in my heart.”

I also felt warm in my heart when I realized that Porter knows that when he keeps his covenants, he will “always have [Heavenly Father’s] Spirit to be with [him]” (D&C 20:77). This is a promise made possible by receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Be a Covenant Keeper!

When I am baptized, I promise to …

Show love and kindness,

Always remember Jesus Christ,

Comfort those who are sad,

Keep Heavenly Father’s commandments,

And tell others about Heavenly Father.

In return, Heavenly Father promises me …

That I will always have the Holy Ghost to guide me!