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 LDS.org; 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.
I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for all of us, and that if we make covenants through baptism and at the temple, and then do our best at keeping those covenants, that we can not only rejoice when we return to Our Father in Heaven, but we can rejoice on our path getting there!
by Lindi Salmond
To quote a good friend, life gets heavy.
|Photo from LDS.org; used by permission|
At some point in my misery Heavenly Father gently reminds me to return to Him, remember my covenants and give my burdens to him. If at this point I listen to his counsel and find him through scriptures, prayer, and temple attendance, my days become lighter. It is just like those first rays of sunshine breaking though an overcast sky.
To me this is especially true with temple attendance--it is the sunshine to my soul. When I find myself in the temple regularly and consistently, my days that used to be so heavy are now filled with light. They turn from the gray days of January to the bright, beautiful days of June.
It’s not that the hard things have gone away--we still have thunderstorms in June! But by focusing on my covenants, which in turn strengthens my relationship with my Savior, my burdens are no longer mine alone. Covenants do that for us; they yoke us to the Savior and, unlike yoking with regular animals that evenly share the burden, He does most of the heavy lifting!
When my days are bright, I can in turn find others to help on their way. When we say “rejoicing on the covenant path” I can’t help but picture myself linked arm in arm with my dear sisters, walking down the path of life. We are laughing together, serving each other in our times of need, worshiping together, and even crying with each other. That is true rejoicing to me, when we can help others, and in turn they lift us up as well. Our covenants put us all on the same path, giving us each other. I cannot think of a better gift.
As some of you know, I have Lupus, and with that comes all sorts of different things that I deal with. Most are just nuisances. I had been dealing with a cracking voice for a few months--think teenage boy, it wasn’t my favorite. One day I was sitting in Relief Society, and one of my favorite songs was being sung for our closing song. With the way my voice had been I couldn’t hit any high notes in songs. Usually, it didn’t bother me; I would just silently skip the parts I couldn’t reach, but I really wanted to sing this song. I pleaded with Heavenly Father to please let my voice work for just this one song.
As we started singing I was hopeful, but as we got to the first high part my voice failed. I was so disappointed, but that disappointment only lasted a second because as I sat there silent my sisters all around me continued singing, angels were singing to me. I felt as if He was saying to me, "You can’t do it right now, but they can do it for you." The love of my Savior for me was so strong at that moment, and it came through my ward sisters.
What is "Rejoicing on the Covenant Path"? To me, it is the description of this beautiful life we have been given the chance to live. Staying close to the Savior with the companionship of others as we all strive to return to the presence of our Heavenly Father and his Son, Jesus Christ. I am eternally thankful for this truth in my life.