by Emily WenselWhen 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 LDS.org; 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.
I’m promising to serve more and to love more. I’m promising to fulfill my calling the best I can. I’m promising to keep His commandments--every single one. As I do these things, they become blessings and not burdens on a checklist. They bring me joy because they bring me to Him.
He is the ultimate source of love, peace, joy, and healing. There is peace in Christ. These things I know, and I am grateful each time I can testify of my love and appreciation to my Savior.
by Melanie AdamsI don’t know how I grew up nearly missing the boat on major gospel topics, but I did. Not until my late 20s did I grasp some core gospel truths, and at 48 I feel I am finally rooting a bit and beginning to understand the doctrine of Jesus Christ.
I grew up in a normal family, who pretty regularly did family home evening, occasionally studied scriptures, nightly had family prayer, and faithfully went to church and activities. Yet I wandered in my beliefs for a stretch of time.
When my husband converted at age 30, we were both endowed a year later, and we took our two children to the temple to be sealed.
I was terrified to go to the temple even though it was the arrival of a long-awaited goal. Little did I know it was just the beginning of growth.
Our temple prep teacher comforted me about not feeling righteous enough to go to the temple. He assured me the temple was a holy house of the Lord, where He could strengthen me and witness his love for me.
|Photo from LDS.org; used with permission|
Our teacher explained through the plan of salvation there will be no perfect people in the celestial kingdom, but repentant people. The temple is the same.
Best advice ever! It has taken me some time to understand the expression of God’s love that covenants are. They give me strength and hope because God has faith in me and a plan for me.
Covenants help me become a new creature in Christ; I can be more Christlike in my heart, might, mind, strength, character, and way of life. My covenants help me more clearly prioritize my life and give me desire when my willingness is waning.
Elder Christofferson refers to the equanimity we gain through covenants. It’s true. When I intentionally try in my daily life to honor my sacred promises, I feel I can endure all things through Christ. God heals me and makes my burdens light.
In Him I find my value and worth. When I am fulfilled, I feel more love for others. Why would I want to live without all this?
My covenants bring me comfort, peace, hope, direction, understanding, freedom, and strength. Eternity is now, and I am grateful for the blessings we can receive now and forever.
God loves us so.