Monday, June 29, 2009

Covenants for All Members: It's Time for a Review

A while back I read over Elder Christofferson's conference talk, The Power of Covenants. What a powerful message. Among many things it got me thinking that I may not actually know, by heart, all of the covenants I have made and I realized that it can be pretty hard to keep a promise when I am not exactly sure what promises I have made. It was a wake up call.

I then remembered that there was some type of list of covenants in the Eternal Marriage Manual and so I headed there for a refresher course and came across this quote that again assured me that this search was a necessary one:

Elder Ballard said, “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” (Ensign, May 1987, 14).

Elder Ballard is very clear here that we must review the covenants we make so that we can have balance and so that we can repent and change. And I really liked his last line where he says that we need to have good planning and a diliberate, valiant effort. It made me realize that the making and keeping of covenants isn't as simple as I may have made it out to be. I need to review, plan, and valiantly act. And the real kicker I discovered was that I need to know.

So here is a list of the covenants and promises that all members of the church make and should try to keep (later posts will focus on temple covenants and priesthood covenants):

Baptism -

We covenant to:

• Come into the fold of God.
• Take upon ourselves the name of Jesus Christ.
• Stand as a witness for Jesus Christ.
• Always keep the commandments.
• Bear one another’s burdens.
• Manifest a determination to serve God unto the end.
• Manifest by works that we have repented of our sins.
• Prepare to receive the Holy Ghost for the complete remission of sins.

Blessings Promised:

1. We qualify for membership in Christ’s Church.
2. If we are worthy, the Lord promises to:
• Pour out His Spirit upon us.
• Redeem us from our sins.
• Raise us up in the First Resurrection.
• Give us eternal life.

See 2 Nephi 31:17–21; Mosiah 18:8–10; D&C 20:37; Articles of Faith 1:4.

Gift of the Holy Ghost –

Covenants we make with God:

In order to qualify for the gift of the Holy Ghost we must fulfill the covenants of baptism, continue in humility and faith, and otherwise be worthy of the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost (see Articles of Faith 1:4).

Blessings Promised:

1. We are confirmed as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
2. We receive the right or privilege to enjoy the continual companionship of the Holy Ghost. We can receive inspiration, divine manifestations, spiritual gifts, and direction from the Holy Ghost continually. We also receive blessings by receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost as the Holy Ghost bears witness of Jesus Christ and of divine truths, provides spiritual guidance and warnings, and enables us to discern right and wrong.
3. We are sanctified or cleansed by the power of the Holy Ghost and are born of God as we continue faithfully. Through this baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost, individual hearts and desires are cleansed
and spirits are made pure. Receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost is the culmination of the process of repentance and baptism (see 2 Nephi 31:13, 17; 3 Nephi 27:20).
4. We know the gift of the Holy Ghost is the key to all of the spiritual gifts found in the Church, including the gifts of prophecy and revelation, healing, speaking in tongues, and translating and interpreting tongues.

Sacrament -

We Covenant to:

• Renew our baptismal covenants.
• Recommit to take upon ourselves the name of Jesus Christ, always remember Him, and keep His commandments. Partaking of the sacrament is a time for personal introspection, repentance, and rededication.

Blessings Promised:

1. The Lord forgives sins we repent of.
2. The Lord promises that we may always have His Spirit to be with us.

See 3 Nephi 18:28–29; Moroni 4–5; D&C 20:75–79; 27:2; 46:4.
Let us come to know and review the covenants we have made. Let us plan well and delibaretly act on the covenants we have made. Let us remember the blessing and power that our covenants can bring.


Katie said...

What an inspired post! I think that often we just go through the motions, and forget exactly what it is we have covenanted to do. Thanks for the reminder!

Anonymous said...

OK, so what does it mean to be "worthy" and to "qualify" for God's presence in the life of an LDS church member?

What about the grace of God? None of us are worthy, doesn't the Bible say that we all fall short?

Pokemon said...

I hope that the anonymous commenter will be back to read an answer. I do not have the time to answer at the moment but I will leave an answer on this comment sometime soon, so please check back.

Pokemon said...

My response to the anonymous question is too long to be posted here so I am posting it as a blog post instead. I hope that you are able to read it.

Momof3 said...

great view. Well meeded by me at least. can't wait to see the next installments

Anonymous said...

We are asked to be worthy, not perfect, but worthy. Heavenly Father knows us individually.
Great reminder of our covenants and the blessings associated with it. Thanks for sharing