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Why are covenants important in my life?

We make covenants when we receive ordinances such as baptism, ordination to the priesthood, and temple ordinances. A covenant is a sacred agreement between God and His children. God sets specific conditions, and He promises to bless us as we obey these conditions. Making and keeping covenants qualifies us to receive the blessings God has promised. When we choose not to keep covenants, we cannot receive the blessings. Our covenants guide the choices we make and help us resist temptation.

Prepare yourself spiritually

Prayerfully study these scriptures and resources.  How can you help the young men desire to make and keep covenants?

Exodus 19:5; D&C 35:24; 90:24 (Blessings come when we keep covenants)

Mosiah 5; Alma 46:10–37 (Examples in the Book of Mormon of people making and keeping covenants)

D&C 82:10 (The Lord is bound when we obey)

Russell M. Nelson, “Covenants,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2011, 86–89

Jeffrey R. Holland, “Keeping Covenants: A Message for Those Who Will Serve a Mission,” New Era, Jan. 2012, 2–5; or Liahona, Jan. 2012, 48–51

D. Todd Christofferson, “The Power of Covenants,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2009, 19–23

Covenant,” True to the Faith (2004), 44

Let the young men lead

A member of the quorum presidency (or an assistant to the bishop in the priests quorum) conducts the quorum meeting. He leads the young men in counseling together about quorum business, teaches them their priesthood duties (from the scriptures and the Duty to God book), encourages them to share their experiences fulfilling their duty to God, and invites an adviser or other quorum member to teach a gospel lesson. He could prepare by filling out a quorum meeting agenda during a presidency meeting.

Begin the learning experience

Choose from these ideas or think of your own to review last week’s lesson and introduce this week’s lesson:

  • Ask the young men to think of the previous lesson and take turns sharing a single sentence that summarizes what they learned from that lesson. How did they apply what they learned?
  • Invite a young man to come to the front of the room. Demonstrate what a covenant is by making a simple promise to him in exchange for a simple action on his part (for example, promise to give him a small reward if he will recite an article of faith). Allow the young man to complete the action if he chooses, and fulfill your promise as well. Help the young men define covenant (see the third paragraph of Elder Russell M. Nelson’s talk “Covenants”), and ask them to explain how this example is similar to and different from covenants we make with God.

Learn together

Each of the activities below will help the quorum members understand why we make covenants. Following the inspiration of the Spirit, select one or more that will work best for your quorum:

  • Invite a quorum member to teach a portion of this lesson. He could do this as part of his Duty to God plan to learn and teach about covenants and ordinances (see “Understand Doctrine,” page 18, 42, or 66).
  • Invite the young men to imagine they are trying to help a friend of another faith understand covenants. Invite them to study “Covenant” in True to the Faith or the scriptures listed in this outline and prepare ways to explain covenants to their friend. Invite them to role-play teaching each other. Ask them to include in their explanation the reasons covenants are important to them.
  • Invite the young men to individually search Mosiah 5, marking words or phrases that impress them about making and keeping covenants. Ask them to write on the board what they find. On the board, write, “Keeping my covenants is important to me because ________.” Invite each young man to complete the sentence.
  • Show a picture of Captain Moroni raising the title of liberty (see Gospel Art Book, 79). Ask the young men to identify some of the details in the picture and briefly tell the story it depicts (see Alma 46:10–37). What covenants did the Nephites make (see verses 20–22)? Why did the people choose to make these covenants despite the danger they faced? How did their covenants influence the outcome of the battle? Ask the young men to list the covenants they have made. How do these covenants help us overcome challenges and temptations?
  • As a quorum, read, watch, or listen to the story at the beginning of Elder D. Todd Christofferson’s talk “The Power of Covenants.” How did Pamela’s covenants help her deal with tragedy she faced? Assign each young man to read one of the remaining sections of the talk, looking for answers to the question “How can my covenants strengthen and protect me?” Ask the young men to share what they find. Invite them to discuss specific situations they could face during the coming week in which they could find strength or protection in their covenants.
  • Write on the board the words “Covenants” and “Missionary Work.” Invite the young men to each read a section of Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s article “Keeping Covenants: A Message for Those Who Will Serve a Mission.” Ask them to look for the relationship between covenants and missionary work. Invite the young men to share with each other what they learn from Elder Holland’s message. How does his counsel affect what they will do as they prepare to serve full-time missions?

Ask the young men to share what they learned today. Do they understand covenants better? What feelings or impressions do they have? Do they have any additional questions? Would it be helpful to spend more time on this doctrine?

Invite to act

The young man who is conducting concludes the meeting. He could:

  • Share what it means to him to make a covenant.
  • Encourage other quorum members to share their impressions about what they have learned with a family member.