Covenants Guide Us Back to God

by Lindsay Wall 
Women's Conference Publicity Chair

I know that the covenants we make and keep can truly lead us back to our Heavenly Father. I remember thinking many times in my life, especially during trials, that I wish Heavenly Father would just tell me exactly what I need to do! I wished He would just lay it all out for me, and I would do it. Then, one day, I realized He already has!

He has given us these covenants and simple commandments as a guide to follow so that we can feel the Spirit, so we can be blessed here on earth and for all eternity. I know that Heavenly Father gave us covenants because He loves us and He wants every opportunity to bless us--and the blessings are even greater than we can imagine! Keeping our covenants really can make us rejoice in life! We can be at peace and know the steps we need to follow.
Photo from; used by permission

With that in mind, I also know that no matter how good we are at following and keeping our covenants, there are always going to be trials that make things hard. I know that not one of us is perfect and that the simple path He’s given us can seem really rough and full of temptation at times.

The best part, though, is that Heavenly Father has planned for that too. He’s molding us into who He wants us to be, and he’s also made a way for us to get back on course if we ever wander off. Keeping our covenants can get us through those hard times and make us stronger.

I know that our covenants were made for us to become closer to the Spirit, which helps us in every aspect of our lives. I know that there are so many things I, myself, need work on to become better at keeping my covenants, and I also know that that’s normal! This is the reason we’re here on earth--to be tested and to show that even when we falter, that we can get back up and try and do better at keeping our covenants the next day.

Feeling Joy, Peace, and Love on the Covenant Path

The publicity committee for the Women's conference has been asked to share how they are "Rejoicing on the Covenant Path."

by Debbie Allred 
We really can find joy, peace, and love when we strive to be on the covenant path. There have been times in my life that it has not been such an easy path, but I know in those hard times, if I am striving to do the best I can in keeping my covenants, that God and my Savior are there to make up the difference where I lack. They strengthen me as well as bear me up.

In my life, I have witnessed that sometimes my timing is not the same as theirs, so that is where having faith, trusting in them, and continuing to stay on the covenant path comes in.

That can be very hard at times. There have been many times I have had to continue to work through and strive to endure my trials because I understand that they are for my growth. I know that my trials always strengthen me as well as my relationship with God and my Savior. I am so grateful for a loving and all-knowing God who knows what I need before I do and allows me to learn and grow, even when it may be hard.

Covenants Are an Expression of God's Love

The chairs of the upcoming women's conference share their testimonies of what it means to them to "Rejoice on the Covenant Path."

by Emily Wensel 

When I think of rejoicing on the covenant path, I’m reminded of a walk I took a few months ago. I was on a back road by myself. I had some things on my mind and was praying out loud.

As I prayed, I began to look at this road as a path that led me back to my Heavenly Father. I started to think of all the times in my life when I felt closest to my Savior. As I began to recall these instances in my life, there was one consistent theme that kept me tied to Him, and that was my covenants.

The covenants and promises I've made with Him has allowed me the opportunity to strengthen my relationship with the Savior.
Image from; used with permission

I have recently come to know and appreciate one of the first covenants I made at eight years old as a newly baptized member of His church, and that is the covenant to always remember Him. This seems like a simple promise to make, and perhaps one that I have easily overlooked.

I have recently realized how much this simple covenant of always remembering Him throughout my day has blessed me and given me joy.

I have come to Him through words in the scriptures, through thoughts and feelings, and through conversations with friends and family. I have come to Him while at the grocery store, helping my kids with homework, taking a walk with a friend, doing the dishes, or talking with my husband.

I have spent the last several weeks relying on Him and His grace, more than I have in a long time. In turn He has blessed me with His spirit. I have also come to know and love the covenants and promises I make in the temple.

With all those beautiful covenants and promises I’ve made and continue to make on this path, I realize how simple they are. I am promising to him to do all that I can to come closer to my Heavenly Father through His Son. I am promising to give up things in my life so that I can more fully commit myself to Him. I do that by keeping my covenants.

Covenants: Giving Us Understanding, Hope, and Perspective

“Covenants with God help us to know who we really are.” 
Jean A. Stevens, “Covenant Daughters of God,” Nov. 2014

As we prepare for the women’s conference and our thoughts have been more focused on "Rejoicing on the Covenant Path," the stake Relief Society presidency wanted to share our testimony of our covenants and what they mean to us.

Tiffany McMinn

One day, many years ago, while I was serving as a missionary in the town of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, my companion and I were needing to get to the home of a sister and her son we were teaching (which was several miles from our apartment). The problem was that we were out of driving miles for the remainder of the month.

We had bikes to ride, but the only road to this sister's house was off the old highway. There were no back roads or side streets—she lived on a private dirt road that came right off this somewhat busy highway.

Feeling brave (and a little invincible as missionaries) we decided to ride our bikes to this appointment. There was no sidewalk to ride on—just a white painted line with cars zooming by on the road just to our left, and ditches, drop offs, and gravel just off to our right.
Image by Alan Levine (public domain, Flickr)

I remember focusing on keeping my front bike tire right on that straight white line as I rode. If I did that, I was fine.

But, if I took my eyes off that white line (even for a second) I would get wobbly and begin to veer off, putting myself at risk to get struck by a car or crash my bike into a ditch.

I have thought many times about that thrilling bike ride that got us to where we needed to go. I’ve thought about how that white line was the safest and really the only path to our destination.

I believe my covenants are like markers (or that white line) on a path that guides me on my journey home to my Heavenly Father. They direct me and give me power and strength as I put my focus on them. They give me understanding, hope, and perspective of where I am headed. They keep me safe and protect me from the evil distractions in the world.

Though I still have a long ride ahead of me, my covenants are helping me change, and, through Jesus Christ, become who my Heavenly Father intended me to be.

The Power of Covenants

Image from Used with permission.
"In times of distress," said Elder Todd D. Christofferson in his April 2009 general conference talk, The Power of Covenants, "let your covenants be paramount and let your obedience be exact."

Elder Christofferson related a story about how covenants strengthened a family in Peru, where a massive earthquake that all but destroyed the coastal cities of Pisco and Chincha. Wenceslao Conde, the president of the Balconcito Branch of the Church in Chincha, immediately set about helping others whose homes were damaged.

When Sister Condes was asked about their own home, home, she replied that it and all of their belongings were gone--yet she was still smiling. How? She responded:
“I have prayed and I am at peace. We have all we need. We have each other, we have our children, we are sealed in the temple, we have this marvelous Church, and we have the Lord. We can build again with the Lord’s help.”
Click the link above to read the full talk and ask yourself:

What is it about making and keeping covenants with God that gives us the power to smile through hardships, to convert tribulation into triumph, to “be anxiously engaged in a good cause, … and bring to pass much righteousness” (D&C 58:27)?

How do our covenants give us strength in times of distress as well as in regular daily life?

The Miracle of the Christmas Yard Inflatables

by Deija Peterson

Our family will never forget the Christmas of 2017. It was the "miracle of the yard decoration blowups," all because one inspired sister ministered to our daughter.

Our daughter Charlie was diagnosed with epilepsy at 18 months. Hundreds of seizures a day caused her to be severely developmentally delayed. Last year, just after Thanksgiving, we put an inflatable snowman in our yard, and to say Charlie loved it would be an understatement.

I shared a video on Instagram of Charlie singing and dancing as she watched the snowman fill with air and come to life. A sister in our ward saw the video and had an idea. She talked to neighbors, and soon her idea spread. During an already busy holiday season, with budgets tight, neighbors went out and bought Christmas inflatable yard decorations. On a planned night, many earthly ministering angels all went outside in the cold and plugged in the decorations, for the love of one little girl.

As we drove into the neighborhood that night, Charlie saw the street full of inflatables.

What Ministering Looks Like

We invite you to think about what ministering like the Savior would look like in your life. Has someone ministered to you in an especially meaningful way? Do you have a story of a time you were inspired to serve someone? Let us know! We'll share your stories in the coming weeks. Submit a story by clicking on the "Send Us Your Story" tab above, or email (Names can be withheld on request.)

The Blessings of Covenants

From; used with permission
As we look forward to hearing from Sister Linda Reeves about "Rejoicing on the Covenant Path" next month, we invite you to prepare yourself spiritually.

As Sister Bonnie Oscarson said in this talk at 2015 BYU Women's Conference, covenants are an exchange of love between God and us. Covenants associated with baptism and the temple are evidence of God's love for His children. We honor our covenants with God when we love and serve others.

Click on the link above to read the talk, then consider: What covenants have I made with the Lord? How can I better rejoice in them?

Light the World This Christmas

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is encouraging members to #LightTheWorld again with simple acts of service and Christlike love during the 2018 Christmas season.

The 2018 theme, “Light the World, Give as He Gave,” is influenced by President Russell M. Nelson’s call to minister in “new, holier ways” (“Let Us All Press On,” Apr. 2018 general conference).

This year’s campaign, detailed at, encourages people to find ways to share their time, love, and resources with those in need. Beginning with a worldwide day of service on December 1, 2018, the campaign features four weekly themes and videos—encouraging you to light the world, your community, your family, and your faith.

For service ideas, see the downloadable advent calendar.

You're Invited: Stake Women's Conference 2019

Please save the date!
Layton South Stake Relief Society women's conference 

"Rejoicing on the Covenant Path" 

Saturday, January 26, 2019, from 12-2 PM at the stake center

Keynote speaker 

Sister Linda Reeves 

previously Second Counselor in the General Relief Society Presidency, 
now Assistant to the Matron at the Bountiful Temple

Laurels invited
A light lunch will be served
See you there!

Meet the New Stake RS Presidency

L-R: Janae, Shauna, Andrea, Tiffany
Dear Sisters of the Layton South Stake,

In the short time we have been serving as the new Stake Relief Society Presidency, we have felt such an increase of love for you amazing women. This past month we were able to visit all of the ward Relief Society Sunday meetings to put faces with names and get to know our sisters a little better. As we have visited each ward, we have been humbled by your goodness. From inspired discussions and deep-hearted testimonies shared, to discussing who needed extra prayers for the upcoming week--you sisters have inspired us! Thank you for all you do. We love you!

Tiffany McMinn
Shauna Cleverly
Janae Poulson
Andrea Dover

About Us

Enjoy these stories written by family members about our new stake Relief Society presidency.

Strengthened for a Heavy Burden

by Marisa Sharpe 

On a recent family reunion, the last morning was spent riding motorcycles. There were many people and only four motorcycles, so we were taking turns. When it was my turn, I rode off in the direction of an old railroad line. Similar to the Rails to Trails trail, the rails had been removed, and there was a gentle slope on either side of the long, straight track. On the top, there was some fine-grade gravel. 

After I had ridden about 2.5 miles, I decided my turn was probably over and I should head back. However, there was no real place for me to turn around, and the track was narrow. I would have to go down the slope to have enough space to turn around and then get back up on top of the track.

After I turned around and as I was getting back on top of the track, my front wheel caught in the gravel, and I tipped the motorcycle over. Fortunately, the bike didn't land on me, and I thought it would be as simple as lifting the bike up and getting back on. I bent down and grabbed the motorcycle and pulled. It. was. so. heavy. I took a deep breath and thought strong thoughts and pulled again. It was so heavy! I couldn't even move it a centimeter.

I began to consider my options. I could wait for someone to realize I had been gone for a long time and come looking for me, but no one knew which direction I had gone. I could walk back and get help, but that would take a long time, and I knew others were waiting for a turn.

I was completely alone in a remote part of Idaho. I felt I had no choice but to try again and somehow dig in my heels more. The third time I attempted to lift the motorcycle, I actually felt the motorcycle become lighter! It was still very heavy and I still had to pull with all my strength, but it was possible! I did it. I got back on, started the engine, and rode back to my family.

I know this is how the Atonement of Jesus Christ works in our lives. Our burdens are heavy to bear, and sometimes we can't lift them on our own. Some burdens come from choices we have made, and we have to suffer the consequences. Some burdens are from choices others have made, and we are affected by their behavior and choices.

If we work with all our might, the Lord can make the burden lighter. It may still be heavy, but we will be able to bear it. Maybe we will get stronger, or maybe the burden will become lighter, but through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we will be able to do it!

I'm grateful to have experienced this miracle, and I love my Savior and need His help so much to lift the motorcycles in my life. I'm grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ and what it means to me.

What Does Christ Offer Me?

Several women in our stake share their testimonies of what Jesus Christ means to them. (This video was shown at the 2018 stake women's conference.)

Serving Like the Savior

Families and individuals in our stake are jumping in to #LightThe World with acts of service.

Miriam Franson:
Used by permission.
I can hardly believe it's December 1st!! We've been excited to start the #LightTheWorld month of service...doing what we can to serve like the Savior. In my ideal world (and a different season of life) I'd have printed out super cute printables, and have a great plan for what we'd do already outlined. But we hit this morning with none of that in queue! But as we read about "freely giving" like Christ did, I remembered we had some candy canes in the trunk left from something else and the kids are headed off to school ready to "give" to someone they thought could use it. One thing I'm learning more and more is that if we wait to serve until it can be in a perfectly cleaned house, or a perfectly planned moment, or a perfectly created package it will rarely (for me anyway) happen. But the Savior just asks us to give with our heart from whatever we have and wherever we are. And like with the loaves and the fishes, He will multiply our efforts.