Bonnie D. Parkin, second counselor in the Young Women General Presidency, observed that Heavenly Father blesses each of us personally. She knows this, “because Heavenly Father has reached His tender hand from the heavens to hold and help me. … Because I have made promises and covenants that have transformed my life as I’ve kept them” (Ensign, May 1995, page 78).
A covenant is a two-way promise between God and us. He initiates the covenant, sets its terms, promises to bless us (see D&C 82:10; D&C 98:3; D&C 130:20–21), and administers the covenant through His appointed priesthood. We promise to keep the covenant. As we do, the blessings we receive—and the effort we expend—not only further the Lord’s work, but also help us become more like our Father in Heaven.
Through making covenants, usually signified by an ordinance, we enter into a sacred relationship with Deity. For example, by being baptized and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, we are considered “the children of Christ” (see Moses 6:64–68; Mosiah 5:7). As such, we become “heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ” (Rom. 8:17). Receiving the sacrament reminds us of this covenant, invites us to remember Jesus, and promises that the Holy Ghost will be with us if we do. The temple ordinances allow us to make further covenants that help us mature spiritually and prepare us for exaltation in the celestial kingdom.
Having entered into covenants with God, we become emissaries of the gospel to all of Heavenly Father’s children. There are many ways we do this. Primary among them is missionary and family history work, along with striving to perfect ourselves and our families through means provided by the Lord. Our great calling is to come unto Christ and to help others do the same. Often that is done simply by being where we should be, doing what we have covenanted to do.
Rosemary Curtis Neider recalls a time, towards the end of a busy month, when her visiting teaching wasn’t done. She was tempted to just make telephone calls, but was prompted to make the visits instead. Sitting in the home of one less-active sister, Sister Neider was impressed to read to her about the visit of the Savior to the Nephites. “She concentrated longer than I had ever expected,” Sister Neider said, “and she kept saying, ‘Here, now, put a piece of paper in that page so I can find it again later. Oh, put one there, too.’
“What can I say? I felt the Spirit strongly in her home, and my complex, hurried schedule didn’t matter anymore. I felt gratitude and an increase of strength for many days afterward” (in To Rejoice As Women: Talks from the 1994 Women’s Conference, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1995, pages 67–68).
As women of covenant, we have every reason to “rejoice, and cleave unto the covenants which [we have] made.” For as we keep our covenants, we are promised “a crown of righteousness” (D&C 25:13–16).
Why is it important to make and keep covenants?
What are some covenants that have brought joy to your life?