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How can I deepen my understanding of covenants?

We make covenants with our Heavenly Father when we participate in the ordinances of the gospel. When we make covenants, God sets specific conditions, and He promises to bless us as we obey those conditions. As we better understand our covenants, we will be able to honor them and receive the blessings promised by our Heavenly Father. 

Prepare yourself spiritually

Prayerfully study the scriptures and resources below, and consider how you can help the youth understand the covenants they have made and will one day make.

Mosiah 18:8–10; D&C 20:37 (Covenants we make when we are baptized)

D&C 20:77, 79 (Sacrament prayers)

D&C 84:33–44 (Oath and covenant of the priesthood)

Abraham 2:8–11 (Promises made to Abraham as part of the Abrahamic covenant)

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

The New and Everlasting Covenant of Marriage,” True to the Faith (2004), 98

Preach My Gospel (2004), 63–64, 85

Make connections

During the first few minutes of every class, help the youth make connections between things they are learning in various settings (such as personal study, seminary, other Church classes, or experiences with their friends). How can you help them see the relevance of the gospel in daily living? The ideas below might help you:

  • Invite the youth to share any gospel topics they have recently discussed at home or with their friends.
  • Show pictures of people making, keeping, or breaking covenants (see Gospel Art Book). Invite the youth to explain what a covenant is, why we make them, and the blessings we receive when we keep them. If they need help, refer them to “Covenant,True to the Faith, 44.

Learn together

Each of the activities below will help the youth learn how to deepen their understanding of covenants. Following the inspiration of the Spirit, select one or more that will work best for your class:

  • Invite each class member to read (in pairs or individually) a passage of scriptures that describes a covenant (such as the scriptures listed in this outline). As they read, ask them to make a list of the promises we make and the promises God makes in connection with the covenant. Give each youth the opportunity to teach the rest of the class what he or she learns about that covenant. What experiences can the youth share that show how God’s promises are fulfilled?
  • Ask the youth to choose a covenant (such as baptism, sacrament, or eternal marriage) and share everything they know about that covenant. Invite a class member to write what they say on the board. Invite them to deepen their understanding of this covenant by searching the scriptures (such as those suggested in this outline), True to the Faith, or Preach My Gospel.
  • As a class, read one of the scriptures passages suggested in this outline, and ask the youth to list the promises described in the scripture. Ask each class member to select one of these promises to study in more depth. They could find other scriptures that teach about that promise (using the footnotes or Topical Guide), or they could look for information in True to the Faith or other resources. Ask them to share with the class what they learn and how it will affect the way they live.
  • Invite a member of the bishopric or the full-time missionaries to visit the class and explain what they do to help people prepare to make covenants. How do the missionaries help people understand covenants? How do they encourage people to keep their covenants? Encourage the youth to ask any questions they have.

Ask the youth to share what they learned today. Do they understand how to deepen their understanding of covenants? 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

Encourage the youth to be prepared to share something next week that they learned about ordinances and covenants during their personal study.

Share your testimony of the blessings that come from diligent gospel study.