Lesson 22: Covenants Guide Our Actions

Aaronic Priesthood Manual 1, (2002), 76–78


Objective

Each young man will strive to fulfill the covenants he has made and use them to guide his actions along the path to eternal life.

Preparation

  1. 1.

    Materials needed:

    1. a.

      Scriptures for each young man.

    2. b.

      Pencils for marking scriptures.

  2. 2.

    Write the following scripture references on slips of paper: 1 Nephi 11:21–22; 1 Nephi 12:16; 1 Nephi 11:25; 1 Nephi 12:17; 1 Nephi 11:36; and 2 Nephi 31:18.

  3. 3.

    Practice drawing the chalkboard illustration of Lehi’s dream (see page 77).

  4. 4.

    Ask a young man who is a good reader to be prepared to read Lehi’s dream: 1 Nephi 8:2, 5–13, 19–28.

  5. 5.

    Study the account of Lehi’s dream found in 1 Nephi 8. You may also want to read some of the cross-references.

  6. 6.

    This lesson provides the basic scripture references for teaching young men to make and keep covenants with the Lord. You may want to add video or audio helps that are available in your area. An excellent choice would be “Baptism—A Promise to Follow Jesus” on Family Home Evening Video Supplement (53276).

Suggested Lesson Development

Introduction

Scripture and discussion

  • What is the greatest gift Heavenly Father has to give us?

Have a young man read Doctrine and Covenants 14:7 to find the answer to this question. Suggest that the young men mark this verse.

Explain that about six hundred years before the birth of Jesus Christ, Lehi had a marvelous dream that tells us how to obtain eternal life.

Chalkboard and discussion

Have the assigned young man read 1 Nephi 8:2, 5–13, 19–28. As he reads, develop the following chalkboard illustration. Encourage the young men to mark important passages.

Draw Lehi’s dream on the chalkboard in the following sequence:

  1. 1.

    The tree

  2. 2.

    The river of water

  3. 3.

    The iron rod

  4. 4.

    The strait and narrow path

  5. 5.

    The mists of darkness

  6. 6.

    The great and spacious building

  7. 7.

    Many people—some on the path, some not

Lehi’s vision

Scripture and discussion

To find out what each part of Lehi’s dream represents, pass out the following scripture references. Have each young man look up his scripture and be prepared to tell what that part of Lehi’s dream represents.

  1. 1.

    1 Nephi 11:21–22 (The tree and fruit represent the love of God or eternal life.)

  2. 2.

    1 Nephi 12:16 (The river represents the depths of hell.)

  3. 3.

    The first half of 1 Nephi 11:25 (The rod of iron is the word of God.)

  4. 4.

    2 Nephi 31:18 (The strait and narrow path is the way to eternal life.)

  5. 5.

    1 Nephi 12:17 (The mists of darkness are the temptations of the devil.)

  6. 6.

    The first sentence of 1 Nephi 11:36 (The great and spacious building is the pride and vanity of the world.)

Each Young Man Has Made Sacred Covenants

Scripture, chalkboard, and discussion

As disciples of Christ we have tremendous responsibilities as well as great potential. As we have discussed, Lehi saw a strait and narrow path that represents the process of becoming like Heavenly Father and gaining eternal life.

To read about how we follow the path that leads to the tree of life, have a young man read 2 Nephi 31:17–18.

  • How does a person get on the strait and narrow path? (By repenting and being baptized.)

Explain that when we are baptized, we enter into a covenant with Heavenly Father. He promises us that if we do certain things we will partake of the fruit of the tree and receive eternal life.

To help the young men learn about the promises we have made that will help us stay on the path to eternal life, have them read Moroni 4:3 and Mosiah 18:8–10.

  • What did we promise to do when we were baptized? List the following points on the chalkboard: (1) to take the name of Jesus Christ upon us, (2) to always remember Jesus Christ, (3) to keep the commandments, (4) to bear others’ burdens, (5) to mourn with others, (6) to give comfort, (7) to stand as a witness for God.

Discuss the meaning of each of these promises, helping the young men to understand how they can fulfill them. Emphasize that in all of these covenants we have promised to put Christ and his teachings at the center of our lives.

  • If we keep these promises, what does Heavenly Father promise to give us? (His Spirit—the Holy Ghost.)

  • How will the Holy Ghost help us achieve eternal life? (The Holy Ghost will guide us and help us stay on the strait and narrow path.)

Additional Covenants Are Essential for Eternal Life

Discussion

Explain that as we grow older, we are given the opportunity to make additional covenants that are essential to receiving exaltation.

  • What are these other covenants? (Receiving the Melchizedek Priesthood, receiving our temple endowment, and being married in the temple.)

Every covenant or promise we make to the Lord will help us stay on the strait and narrow path so we may become like Heavenly Father and attain eternal life.

Scripture and discussion

To find out what the Lord says about covenants, have a young man read Doctrine and Covenants 82:10.

  • What does the word bound mean?

  • When is the Lord not bound to keep his part of the covenant?

  • How long is the Lord bound to give us his promised blessings?

  • What must we do to receive the blessings of eternal life? (Keep the Lord’s commandments.)

Conclusion

Scripture

Have the young men read Psalm 89:34. Emphasize that we must have that same resolve to keep our covenants. Explain that even though we are not perfect, we must honestly try to keep our promises to the Lord at all times.

Challenge

Express confidence in the ability of the young men to be true to their covenants. Explain that one of their greatest challenges is to always remember that they are the sons of God and have the potential of becoming like him.

Challenge the young men to ask Heavenly Father to help them better understand the covenants they made at baptism and to commit themselves to live worthy of making future covenants as they advance in the priesthood and receive their endowments in the temple.