The phrase “keeping your covenants” can sound intimidating, but it’s simpler than you might think.
Here’s a question you might have heard in Primary or when you joined the Church: What happens when we’re baptized? One answer: We covenant with God. Not too bad, right? How about this one: What are some examples of covenants we make with God? Hmm, harder. What about this question: What everyday things help us keep those covenants? Now that’s a good question.
When we’re baptized, we make covenants with God. One thing that can help is to look at covenants in the scriptures and then find small, everyday ways to apply them in our lives. Let’s look at some examples.
“Take upon you the name of Jesus Christ.”
Taking the name of Christ upon us manifests itself in several ways. One of the simplest is that we become members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Another is that we are willing to do what Christ would do and share our knowledge of the gospel with others. Here are some ways you can show that you have taken Christ’s name upon yourself:
- Find opportunities to serve others for Him.
- Fulfill your callings and Church assignments. For young men, home teaching is a responsibility to represent Christ and serve the people you are assigned to visit.
- Ponder what it means to be a Christian and how you can better be a “peaceable follower of Christ” (see Moroni 7:3).
- Make your faith known by sharing your testimony with friends and family and posting gospel-related messages on social media.
“Mourn with those that mourn.”
If you’re reading this and thinking, “Does this mean I have to cry a lot?” don’t worry. The prophet Alma also uses the phrase “comfort those that stand in need of comfort” (see Mosiah 18:9), which gets at the heart of this promise. It’s really all about compassion, not crying (though sometimes we cry with others during tough times). To keep the promise to comfort and strengthen others, try these ideas:
- Listen to someone who has lost a loved one and express your love for him or her.
- Say something nice to someone who looks lonely or depressed.
- Write an encouraging note to a friend when you know he or she has had a hard day.
- Help others get over a disappointment by letting them know how great they are.
“Covenant keepers are commandment keepers!” —Linda K. Burton
“Have a determination to serve Him to the end.”
Serving “to the end” might sound kind of gloomy. But this covenant really means that we make a firm decision to always do our best to keep the commandments and serve God. You can have this determination by doing some of the following:
- Continue to work hard at your callings and Church assignments, even when you don’t think your efforts are making a difference.
- Make solid decisions about the commandments. List things that you will always do and things that you will never do, then stick to your list. For example: I will always pay my tithing. I will never smoke.
- Find some way to serve every day.
- Pray to recognize the people you can serve.
“Stand as a witness.”
The scriptures say that we should stand as witnesses “at all times and in all things, and in all places” (see Mosiah 18:9). With the growing gap between the Church’s standards and the world’s ways, it’s more important than ever to follow the commandments and be a witness. For example:
- Live the standards in For the Strength of Youth.
- Invite friends to come to church, Mutual activities, family home evening, and other activities where they can feel the Spirit.
- Bear testimony of the blessings of the gospel when friends ask you questions about the Church.
- Don’t lower your standards or make exceptions to the commandments.
“Always remember Him.”
When we’re baptized we promise to “always remember” the Savior. We hear that promise every week when we partake of the sacrament. Here are some ways you can always remember Him:
- Have regular prayer. Pray in your heart, but also take the time to pray out loud.
- Partake of the sacrament weekly.
- Forgive others when you feel hurt or offended.
- When making decisions, think about what Christ would do.
- Place a visual reminder of Christ where you can see it and remember Him.
Helping Others Keep Their Covenants
“Take a moment to think of another [son or] daughter of God who needs encouragement to get back on the covenant path or who needs a little help to stay on the path. Ask your Father in Heaven about [him or] her. … He knows [him or] her by name. … Be patient and continue in faith and prayer on [his or] her behalf, and act on the promptings you receive.” —Carole M. Stephens, first counselor in the Relief Society general presidency, “We Have Great Reason to Rejoice,” Ensign, Nov. 2013, 117.
This article originally appeared in the February 2014 New Era.