A covenant is a two-way promise between Heavenly Father and his children. The covenants he makes with his children are sacred and holy. When he makes covenants with us, his children, he promises glorious blessings to us. When we make covenants with him, we show our love for him and promise to keep his commandments.
The baptismal covenant is the first gospel-ordinance covenant you make with Heavenly Father. When you make this sacred covenant, you show your love for him. You also promise, or covenant, to take the name of Jesus Christ upon you, to always remember him, to keep his commandments, to bear testimony of him, and to love and serve him by loving and serving others (see Mosiah 18:8–10; D&C 20:37).
After you make your baptismal covenant by being baptized, you are confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and are given the gift of the Holy Ghost. Heavenly Father always blesses you with his Spirit when you keep your baptismal covenant. Each Sunday you can remember and renew this covenant as you partake of the sacrament.
Color the poster, “Baptism—My First Covenant,” on page 5. Carefully remove the page from the magazine. Fill in the blanks with your name and your baptism date or the year when you will be baptized. If you have already been baptized, write the names of the priesthood holders who baptized and confirmed you and list the promises you and Heavenly Father have made to each other. Draw a picture of yourself or glue a small photo of yourself in the center square. Hang your poster in your room, or place it in your journal or personal history book.
Recite with the children the fifth article of faith. Tell them that Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery knew that baptism was necessary but did not know who had the authority to baptize them. Read the first sentence of Joseph Smith—History 1:68 [JS—H 1:68]. Invite a priesthood brother to tell about the ordination of Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery by John the Baptist. Have each child draw a picture of this important event. Suggest that the children share this story and their drawings with their families.
Sing “Baptism” (Children’s Songbook, 100; Sing with Me, B-4) and “When I Am Baptized” (Children’s Songbook, 103; Tambulilit, June 1994, 12). Have the children share how their baptism is similar to and different from the Savior’s. Share your feelings about the significance of your own baptism.
Invite an adult member of the ward to share his or her feelings about his or her baptism, or ask the bishop or branch president to explain the baptismal interview.
For additional stories on baptism and covenants, see “Carrie’s Covenant,” Tambulilit, October 1994, 4; “A Good Name,” The Friend, October 1995, 10; “New Day Rising,” The Friend, May 1997, 10.