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The LDS Daily WOOL© Archive - Covenants

"We are a covenant people. If there is a distinguishing feature about members of the Church, it is that we make covenants. We need to be known as a covenant-keeping people as well. Making promises is easy, but to follow through and do what we have promised is another matter. That involves staying the course, being constant and steadfast. It means keeping the faith and being faithful to the end despite success or failure, doubt or discouragement. It is drawing near to the Lord with all our hearts. It is doing whatever we promise to do with all our might--even when we might not feel like it." — Elder F. Burton Howard, "Commitment," General Conference, April 1996

"What did we agree to before we came here? If to anything, I suppose the very same things we agreed to since we did come here, that are legitimate and proper. The husband agreed to be a faithful servant of God, to do his duty to all that were placed under his charge. The wife, on her part, covenants that she will be a faithful and devoted wife, and will obey her husband in the Lord in all things. If this were so, it is all right; for it is just as we are taught on the earth." — Orson Hyde, "Journal of Discourses," Vol.7, p.316

"The blessings flowing from the observance of covenants are sufficiently great to recompense for all mere inconveniences." — "Messages of the First Presidency," Vol.6, p.288

Note: I find this a fascinating quote to ponder as it relates to the verses in Malachi foretelling the coming of Elijah the prophet in the last days to "turn the hearts of the children to their fathers" and vice versa.

"The world is reserved unto burning in the last days. He shall send Elijah the prophet, and he shall reveal the covenants of the fathers in relation to the children, and the covenants of the children in relation to the fathers." — "Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith," Section Six 1843-44, p.321

"Everyone who receives an ordinance must make a covenant, else the ordinance is not fully satisfactory. He who is baptized covenants to keep the law of the Church; he who is administered to for sickness, and the administrators, covenant to use their faith to secure the desired healings; he who receives the temple endowment covenants to use in his life that which he has been taught; he who is ordained to the priesthood agrees to honor it, and so on with every ordinance. That places covenants high, as they should be. Knowledge of itself has little saving power. Only as it is used does knowledge become of value. The man who learns and promises to use that knowledge is of value to society. To accept the plan of salvation without promising to comply with its requirements will result in something worse than ignorance. The world moves forward by the efforts of covenanted people -- who keep their covenants." — John A. Widtsoe, "Evidences and Reconciliations," p.197

"I bear witness that the Lord seeks to be in our lives. He has so arranged our mortal situation that we can have and know truth beyond the limits of our mortality. We are not left alone. How thankful we should be for covenants and ordinances, and priesthood power. Ordinances and covenants are means whereby we link ourselves beyond the veil and lay hold upon blessings in this life and beyond this life. When we keep our covenants and obey the ordinances, eternal consequences inevitably follow. The Lord says he is bound when we do what he says, and the Lord does not lie (see D&C 82:10)." — Richard G. Ellsworth, "Spiritual Experience", "BYU Speeches of the Year 1984-85," 23 July 1985

"Dear brethren of the priesthood, we must never forget for a moment that the covenants we have made to keep, the promises we have made with the Lord and with our Heavenly Father, are the most important decisions we have made in our lives." — Elder Robert D. Hales, April 1996 Conference (May Ensign) pg. 37

"I speak of the importance of keeping covenants because they protect us in a world that is drifting from time-honored values that bring joy and happiness. In the future this loosening of moral fiber may even increase. The basic decency of society is decreasing. In the future our people, particularly our children and grandchildren, can expect to be bombarded more and more by the evils of Sodom and Gomorrah." — James E. Faust, "Search Me, O God, and Know My Heart," "Ensign," May 1998, p. 18

"One of the great blessings of the restored gospel is the privilege of entering into sacred covenants with our Father in Heaven--covenants made binding by virtue of the holy priesthood. When we are baptized and confirmed, when brethren are ordained to the priesthood, when we go to the temple and receive our endowment, when we enter into the new and everlasting covenant of eternal marriage--in all these sacred ordinances, we make solemn commitments to keep God's commandments." — Joseph B. Wirthlin, "True to the Truth," "Ensign," May 1997, p. 16

"Ordinances are outward manifestations of inner covenants, commitments, and promises. Ordinances are not optional on the pathway to perfection. These include baptism and confirmation (see John 3:5; 2 Ne. 31:5-12); ordination to the Melchizedek Priesthood, for all males (see D&C 84:33-42); the temple endowment and the sealing ordinance (see D&C 132:15-24)." — Spencer J. Condie, "Agency: The Gift of Choices," "Ensign," Sept. 1995, p. 22

"One important aspect of a gospel covenant is that it commits the individual to the work of the Lord. A person making and keeping a covenant with God must sort out his values and actually work toward salvation, which is a much more involving process than mere intellectual assent. Furthermore, because gospel covenants are revealed from heaven, they are specific indicators of what God would have us do. Without revelation, we would not know how to please God--we would not know that we should be baptized, pay tithing, observe the Sabbath and the Word of Wisdom, be ordained to the priesthood, fast, pray, partake of the sacrament, or do ordinances for our dead. These are not the kinds of things men and women would do naturally. They require conscious and deliberate and willfull obedience. Divine covenants mark the path of duty and commit us to walk in it. They more fully distinguish the way of the Lord from the way of the world. They are the only way in which the saving ordinances of the gospel are administered to man, and the most sacred of these can be received only in the temple." — Robert J. Matthews, "Our Covenants with the Lord," "Ensign," Dec. 1980, p. 35

"The Apostle Peter describes the process of building a Christ-centered life as one of accepting the great and precious promises of the Lord in order to become 'partakers of the divine nature' (2 Pet. 1:4). As one accepts and is obedient to the covenants associated with our Heavenly Father's promises of a Savior, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and eternal life, one's nature is changed as virtue is added to faith, followed by knowledge (or testimony), temperance (or self-discipline), patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and charity (see 2 Pet. 1:5-8). King Benjamin describes the same process: one builds a Christ-centered life by yielding 'to the enticings of the Holy Spirit' and accepting the promises, both of which help one put off the natural man or woman and become a Saint through the Atonement, and become as a little child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, and willing to submit to all things (see Mosiah 3:19)." — Merrill J. Bateman, "Living a Christ-Centered Life," "Ensign," Jan. 1999, p. 7

"We are a covenant-making people. We make covenants at the waters of baptism. We renew those covenants each week as we worthily partake of the sacrament. We take upon ourselves the name of Christ; we promise to always remember Him and to keep His commandments. And in return He promises us that His Spirit will always be with us. We make covenants as we enter into the temple, and in return we receive the promised blessings of eternal life--if we keep those sacred covenants." - Sheldon F. Child, "As Good As Our Bond," General Conference, April 1997

"We are a covenant people. If there is a distinguishing feature about members of the Church, it is that we make covenants. We need to be known as a covenant-keeping people as well. Making promises is easy, but to follow through and do what we have promised is another matter. That involves staying the course, being constant and steadfast. It means keeping the faith and being faithful to the end despite success or failure, doubt or discouragement. It is drawing near to the Lord with all our hearts. It is doing whatever we promise to do with all our might—even when we might not feel like it.

"I once attended a funeral service with Elder M. Russell Ballard. A statement he made there has remained with me to this day. He said, 'Life isn't over for a Latter-day Saint until he or she is safely dead, with their testimony still burning brightly.' 'Safely dead'—what a challenging concept. Brothers and sisters, we will not be safe until we have given our hearts to the Lord—until we have learned to do what we have promised." - F. Burton Howard, "Commitment," Ensign, May 1996, 28

"Father in Heaven knows us as individuals. The covenants we make with Him are performed one on one. President Howard W. Hunter noted: 'I have always been impressed that the Lord deals with us personally, individually. We do many things in groups in the Church,... but... the most important things are done individually. We bless babies one at a time, even if they are twins or triplets. We baptize and confirm children one at a time. We take the sacrament, are ordained to the priesthood, or move through the ordinances of the temple as individuals—as one person developing a [personal] relationship with our Father in Heaven.... Heaven's emphasis is on each individual, on every single person' ('Eternal Investments,' address to CES religious educators, 10 Feb. 1989, p. 4). These individual commitments made directly with our Heavenly Father are things to celebrate. And to consecrate! Do you remember what happened when Alma invited his people to make these covenants? They celebrated! They 'clapped their hands with joy.' I wonder why our covenants so often feel more like obligations than privileges." - Bonnie D. Parkin, "Celebrating Covenants," Ensign, May 1995, 78

"We are a covenant people. I have had the feeling that if we could just encourage our people to live by three or four covenants everything else would take care of itself; we would not have to have anything else except to go forward with our program.

"The first of these is the covenant of the sacrament, in which we take upon ourselves the name of the Savior and agree to keep His commandments with the promise in His covenant that He will bless us with His spirit. If our people would go to sacrament meeting every week and reflect as they partake of the sacrament on the meaning of the prayers which are offered, . . . if they would listen to the language of those prayers, which were given by revelation, and live by them, we would be a better people, all of us would be. That is the importance of the sacrament meeting. The speakers are incidental. The great thing is that we gather together and partake of the sacrament together...." - Gordon B. Hinckley, "Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley" [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1997], p. 146

"Second, the covenant of tithing. It is a covenant. 'Why have ye robbed me? Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse... and prove me now herewith' (Mal. 3:10). The commandment to us is to pay our tithing. The promise on the other side of that contract, that covenant, is that He will stay the destroyer and open the windows of heaven and pour down blessings that there will not be room enough to receive them. I am one who believes in the literalness of that promise...." - Gordon B. Hinckley, "Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley" [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1997], p. 147

"If you remember only one thing I say today, remember to hold on to your covenants and celebrate them. My covenants are an expression of my faith; they are why I stand before you today. Covenants help me focus on the big picture and not just the immediate. As my sons have served missions, I have seen covenants further the work of the Lord. Covenants help me make a difference in the lives of others. My covenants are not negotiable. They make the choice of righteousness easier. I humbly pray that our covenants might become a greater source of celebration and strength in our lives; that we may walk uprightly and steadfastly, that when we most need the Lord's hand, it will be there waiting warmly. I treasure the covenants He has made with me and with all my heart hope to live faithful to them." - Bonnie D. Parkin, "Celebrating Covenants," Ensign (CR), May 1995, p.78

"The scope of our work can seem daunting, but as my recently baptized grandson can quickly tell you, a covenant is a two-way promise. We all know the scriptural teaching that where much is given much is required. (D&C 82:3.) Remember, though, that where much is required, much is also given. When we covenant with God and keep those covenants, all things are made possible. He gives us what we need to do His work." - Kathleen H. Hughes, "In Covenant with Him," Ensign (CR), November 2003, p.108

"Covenants—or binding promises between us and Heavenly Father—are essential for our eternal progression. Step-by-step, He tutors us to become like Him by enlisting us in His work. At baptism we covenant to love Him with all our hearts and love our sisters and brothers as ourselves. In the temple we further covenant to be obedient, selfless, faithful, honorable, charitable. We covenant to make sacrifices and consecrate all that we have. Forged through priesthood authority, our kept covenants bring blessings to fill our cups to overflowing. How often do you reflect that your covenants reach beyond mortality and connect you to the Divine? Making covenants is the expression of a willing heart; keeping covenants, the expression of a faithful heart." - Bonnie D. Parkin, "
With Holiness of Heart," Ensign (CR), November 2002, p.103

“What should men and women look for to distinguish the kingdom of heaven, the goodly pearl, from all other churches? There are many facets to this goodly pearl. …

“… covenants: (1) The gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is a covenant between God and his people. (2) When baptized by an authorized servant of God, we covenant to do God's will and to obey his commandments. (3) By partaking of the Sacrament we renew all covenants entered into with the Lord and pledge ourselves to take upon us the name of his Son, to always remember him and keep his commandments. (4) There is an oath and covenant which belongs to the priesthood wherein men receiving this holy power pledge themselves faithfully to keep all the commandments of God and to magnify their callings in the priesthood, which is God's gift of his power and authority unto them. (5) In connection with all ordinances pertaining to the temples of our God, men and women accept covenants and obligations which relate to the endowment and to the eternity of the marriage and family relationship. All these doctrines and more are necessary and vital to the salvation, exaltation and eternal happiness of God's children.” - Delbert L. Stapley, “Conference Report,” October 1965, First Day—Morning Meeting, p.14

No man who comprehends, believes, and lives according to gospel covenants will be inactive in the Church. When one understands the gospel of Jesus Christ—which is the Lord’s new and everlasting covenant—and realizes that he himself accepted it in the spirit world, fought for it in the war in heaven, and entered mortality pursuant to the Lord’s promise that if he here proves faithful he shall inherit eternal life—anyone who understands that has the needed background to understand the covenants entered into here in mortality. - Marion G. Romney, "According to the Covenants," Ensign (CR) November 1975

If we are true to our covenants, our Father in Heaven will grant us the blessing of “eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God.” “All that [the] Father hath” is promised to those who walk the path of faith and remain true to their covenants. Those “who [do] the works of righteousness shall receive [their] reward, even peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come.” - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "True to the Truth," Ensign (CR) May 1997

We enter into covenants by priesthood ordinances, sacred rituals that God has ordained for us to manifest our commitment. Our foundational covenant, for example, the one in which we first pledge our willingness to take upon us the name of Christ, is confirmed by the ordinance of baptism. It is done individually, by name. By this ordinance, we become part of the covenant people of the Lord and heirs of the celestial kingdom of God. - D.Todd Christofferson, "The Power of Covenants," Ensign (CR) May 2009

Let this then be our covenant—whatever the past has been—let this then be our covenant, that we will walk in all the ordinances of the Lord blameless. Let this be our covenant, that we will keep the commandments of God and be living witnesses of the truth and divinity of this glorious work, which is destined to sweep the earth as with a flood and which shall cover the earth as the waters cover the sea. - Bruce R. McConkie, "I Know That My Redeemer Lives," Ensign (CR) December 1972

To be steadfast in Christ implies keeping covenants. Each week we renew our baptismal covenants to take His name upon us, to “always remember him,” and to “keep his commandments” (see D&C 20:77). We are steadfast in Christ when we do these things, and our spirits are lifted and our hearts are filled with love. Simply stated, when I keep my covenants, I feel hope and I feel love. - Susan W. Tanner, "Steadfast in Our Covenants," Ensign (CR) May 2003

Divine covenants make strong Christians. I urge each one to qualify for and receive all the priesthood ordinances you can and then faithfully keep the promises you have made by covenant. In times of distress, let your covenants be paramount and let your obedience be exact. Then you can ask in faith, nothing wavering, according to your need, and God will answer. He will sustain you as you work and watch. In His own time and way He will stretch forth his hand to you, saying, “Here am I.” - D. Todd Christofferson, "The Power of Covenants," Ensign (CR) May 2009

A periodic review of the covenants we have made with the Lord will help us with our priorities and with balance in our lives. This review will help us see where we need to repent and change our lives to ensure that we are worthy of the promises that accompany our covenants and sacred ordinances. Working out our own salvation requires good planning and a deliberate, valiant effort. - M. Russell Ballard, "Keeping Life's Demands in Balance," Ensign (CR) May 1987

Wherever you are on the path to inherit the gift of eternal life, you have the opportunity to show many people the way to greater happiness. When you choose whether to make or keep a covenant with God, you choose whether you will leave an inheritance of hope to those who might follow your example. - Henry B. Eyring, “A Priceless Heritage of Hope,” Ensign (CR) May 2014

Covenants save us from needless suffering. For example, when we obey the prophet’s guidance, we are keeping a covenant. He has counseled us to avoid debt, maintain a food supply, and become self-reliant. Living within our means blesses us beyond that obedience. It teaches us gratitude, restraint, unselfishness; it brings peace from financial pressures and protection from materialism’s greed. Keeping our lamps filled means that unforeseen circumstances do not hinder opportunities to declare with devotion, “Here am I; send me.” - Bonnie D. Parkin, “With Holiness of Heart,” Ensign (CR) November 2002

Making and keeping covenants means choosing to bind ourselves to our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ. It is committing to follow the Savior. It is trusting Him and desiring to show our gratitude for the price He paid to set us free through the infinite gift of the Atonement. - Linda K. Burton, “The Power, Joy, and Love of Covenant Keeping,” Ensign (CR) October 2013

When we covenant in the waters of baptism to “stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places,” we’re not talking solely about fast and testimony meetings. It may not always be easy, convenient, or politically correct to stand for truth and right, but it is always the right thing to do. Always. - M. Russell Ballard, “Standing for Truth and Right,” Ensign (CR) October 1997

Sisters, we keep our covenants when we share our life's wisdom to encourage another, when we visit teach with genuine compassion, when we help a younger sister know that her fresh perspective will bless us in Relief Society. We can do that! - Bonnie D. Parkin, "With Holiness of Heart," Ensign (CR), November 2002, p. 103

Each of us who have made covenants with God face challenges unique to us. But each of us shares some common assurances. Our Heavenly Father knows us and our circumstances and even what faces us in the future. His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior, has suffered and paid for our sins and those of all the people we will ever meet. He has perfect understanding of the feelings, the suffering, the trials, and the needs of every individual. Because of that, a way will be prepared for us to keep our covenants, however difficult that may now appear, if we go forward in faith. - Henry B. Eyring, “Witnesses for God,” Ensign (CR), November 1996, p.30

Like the Old Testament, the Book of Mormon records Hebraic treaty-covenants, but its overarching covenant is that of God with his people. In America, this covenant was under constant threat. As John the Baptist reminded Judah, a nation’s covenant with God could continue only so long as its individuals kept a true relationship with God. One of the reasons the Book of Mormon brings us nearer to God than any other book is because no other book more specifically ties the Christian ordinances of baptism and the sacrament to the covenant concept. No book does more to bring the national covenant down to a matter of individual responsibility. – Richard Lloyd Anderson, “The Restoration of the Sacrament (Part 2: A New and Ancient Covenant),” Ensign February 1992

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