The incomparable gifts of our Savior, Jesus Christ, place us forever in His debt. His perfect righteousness and unfailing compassion give us a pattern to follow, and His Atonement overcame physical death and made it possible for us to be resurrected. His Atonement also made it possible for us to inherit eternal life if we repent and receive the saving ordinances.
How can we even begin to demonstrate our love and gratitude to the Savior? The Lord said: “Every person who belongeth to this church of Christ, shall observe to keep all the commandments and covenants of the church” (D&C 42:78). We honor the Savior in the way He has asked us—by obeying His commandments and keeping our covenants.
Beginning with baptism, each of us makes intensely personal covenants with the Lord. As we do so, we receive certain promised blessings. Because the Lord is perfect, we know He will keep His promises to us: “My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips” (Ps. 89:34). But because we are imperfect, we must always strive to be not only covenant-makers, but also covenant-keepers, repenting and exercising faith in Jesus Christ’s power to forgive and exalt us.
Bonnie D. Parkin, while a counselor in the Young Women general presidency, observed: “So often we talk of making and keeping covenants, but exactly what are they? At baptism, we demonstrate that we ‘are willing to bear one another’s burdens, … mourn with those that mourn; … comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and … stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places’ (Mosiah 18:8–9). And that’s just the beginning! In the temple, we further covenant to be obedient, to sacrifice, to keep ourselves worthily pure, to contribute to the spreading of truth, to be chaste, to pray, to live the gospel, and to be forever faithful” (“Celebrating Covenants,” Ensign, May 1995, 78).
Two members of the St. Niklaas Branch, Antwerp Belgium Stake, demonstrate what it means to keep these gospel covenants. Jeanine Craet joined the Church about 25 years ago. Her faithful service, even in times of extreme trial, became a beacon for many, including her neighbor Paula Buysse, who was baptized after Sister Craet shared her testimony with her. Years later, Sister Craet was stricken with a brain hemorrhage and fell into a coma. Sister Buysse, who was serving as Relief Society president, spent hours at her friend’s side, talking, reading, and singing to her. When Sister Craet finally emerged from her coma partially paralyzed, Sister Buysse helped nurse her. Sister Craet slowly regained her ability to speak. During her first Sunday back at church, Sister Craet bore her testimony. While confined to a wheelchair, she thanked the Lord for His blessings and asked Him to help her recover—so she could continue to serve Him.
Because we have promised to take upon us the Lord’s name, to obey His commandments, and to keep our covenants, our acts of Christlike service and faith will bring glory and honor to the Savior’s name. And He, in turn, will bless and strengthen us.