By Emma Nelson, a Laurel
I love the theme of "Rejoicing on the Covenant Path" because it is so important and applicable throughout our lives. Heavenly Father has asked us to do our best to keep our covenants, and through them comes joy. It is not always easy to find joy, especially during trials or hard times, but we need to trust our Heavenly Father and do what he has asked of us.
President Nelson said, “The highest compliment is to be called a covenant keeper.” This should be something we strive for, not because it is a compliment of the highest, but by keeping our covenants we show God how important our relationship with Him is to us.
Not too long ago I wasn’t sure if the Church was true. Every Sunday I would grudgingly go to church to renew my baptismal covenants and try to learn of Christ, not even knowing if He was there for me. After months of struggling, I was writing my frustration and feeling in my journal but got an overwhelming feeling of peace and love. I knew my Savior because I was renewing my baptismal covenants as I was trying to learn of Him. He has such a deep love for all of us that He will NEVER leave us on our own.
I’ve come to learn through trials that Christ lets us doubt to build us up stronger than we were before. Think about building muscles. As you work out your muscles, they are torn before they rebuild stronger. I feel we are like this as well. Sometimes we doubt, are torn, or broken, but by us always keeping our covenants, Christ helps to rebuild us stronger than ever.
Each week we renew our baptismal covenants, and each week we promise to take Christ’s name upon us. This means we will represent Christ and do our best to act as he would. My favorite Sunday tunes band is 4Ordained. In one of their songs they sing, “We are spiritual soldiers, who march proudly onward.” In order to march proudly onward, we need to focus on our day-to-day dealings and make our actions and choices some that Heavenly Father will be proud of. We are spiritual soldiers; Heavenly Father trusts us to keep our covenants.
In Doctrine & Covenants 98:14 it reads, “Therefore, be not afraid of your enemies, for I have decreed in my heart, saith the Lord, that I will prove you in all things, whether you will aided in my covenant, even unto death, that you may be found worthy.”
To break it down a bit:
- Enemies – These are not people we hate or have a grudge against, but rather anything or anyone who comes between you and God or shakes your testimony. In this scripture, God acknowledges your enemies but tells you not to fear.
- Unto death – He is asking us to keep our covenants throughout our whole lives. Not just in our 20s or 30s but try to be faithful until He calls us home.
- We will be worthy – Christ can continue to trust us and continue to enlist in our help to bring others to Christ if we keep our covenants to the best of our abilities.
We also need to serve our families on the other side by helping them receive their ordinances and keep their covenants. This will not only bless them, but your life will be filled with joy as you accomplish the Lord’s work. I know this is true and have felt His love and joy in my life. I encourage you to focus on your covenants because you WILL be blessed and find joy in your life.
I know this is the true church of Jesus Christ. He has called President Nelson to be the prophet on earth today, and I sustain him with all my heart. I know families are eternal because I have felt help from those beyond and know that when a family is sealed in the temple, it is for eternity.
Christ lives and loves us. He suffered for our sins, so he knows how to succor us. We can go to him, always. I bear you my testimony in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.