Quotes on Covenants

See also: D&C 108:3

We go to the temple to make covenants, but we go home to keep the covenants that we have made.  The home is the testing ground.  The home is the place where we learn to be more Christlike.  The home is the place where we learn to overcome selfishness and give ourselves in service to others. — Elder J. Ballard Washburn, Ensign, May 1995, p. 12

If we will keep our covenants, our covenants will keep us spiritually safe. — Elder Neal Maxwell, Ensign, May 1987, p. 71

From the day of baptism through the spiritual milestones of our lives we make promises with God and He makes promises with us.  He always keeps His promises offered through His authorized servants, but it is the crucial test of our lives to see if we will make and keep our covenants with Him. — Elder Henry B. Eyring, Ensign, November 1996

A covenant made with God should be regarded not as restrictive but as protective. — Elder Russell M. Nelson, “Prepare for Blessings of the Temple,” Ensign, March 2002, pp. 21-22

The Latter-day Saints are a covenant people.  From the day of baptism through the spiritual milestones of our lives, we make promises with God and He makes promises with us.  He always keeps His promises offered through His authorized servants, but it is the crucial test of our lives to see if we will make and keep our covenants with Him. — Elder Henry B. Eyring, “Witnesses for God,” Ensign, November 1996, p. 30

There are two concepts we especially need to keep in mind as we prepare for the temple.  The first is covenant.  We need to remember that a covenant is a promise.  A covenant made with God should be regarded not as restrictive but as protective.  Covenants with Him protect us from danger.

. . . Keeping a temple covenant is not constraining but enabling.  It elevates us beyond limits of our own perspective and power.  It is like the difference between plodding through a muddy field and soaring through the skies in a supersonic jet.  Keeping a covenant with God is both protective and enabling. — Elder Russell M. Nelson, “Prepare for Blessings of the Temple,” Ensign, March 2002, p. 21

An eternal perspective helps us maintain complete fidelity to the covenants we make.  President Packer emphasized that “ordinances and covenants become our credentials for admission into [God’s] presence.  To worthily receive them is the quest of a lifetime; to keep them thereafter is the challenge of mortality.”  (“Covenants,” Ensign, May 1987, 24) — Elder Russell M. Nelson, “Prepare for Blessings of the Temple,” Ensign, March 2002, p. 22

All the sacrifice that the Lord asks of his people is strict obedience to our own covenants that we have made with our God, and that is to serve him with an undivided heart. — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 18:246

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.” — Elder D. Todd Christofferson, “The Power of Covenants,” Ensign, May 2009, p. 22

It has always been a wonderful testimony to me of the Prophet Joseph’s greatness and the greatness of all of our prophets, including and especially the Savior of the world in His magnificence, that in the midst of such distress and difficulty they could remain calm and patient, charitable and forgiving – that they could even talk that way, let alone live that way.  But they could, and they did.  They remembered their covenants, they disciplined themselves, and they knew that we must live the gospel at all times, not just when it is convenient and not just when things are going well.  Indeed, they knew that the real test of our faith and our Christian discipleship is when things are not going smoothly.  That is when we get to see what we’re made of and how strong our commitment to the gospel really is. — Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, CES Fireside, September 7, 2008

When the priest offers the scriptural prayer on the bread at the sacrament table, he prays that all who partake may “witness” unto God, the Eternal Father, “that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son.”  (D&C 20:77; Moro. 4:3)  This witness has several different meanings.

It causes us to renew the covenant we made in the waters of baptism to take upon us the name of Jesus Christ and serve him to the end.  We also take upon us his name as we publicly profess our belief in him, as we fulfill our obligations as members of his Church, and as we do the work of his kingdom.

But there is something beyond these familiar meanings, because what we witness is not that we take upon us his name but that we are willing to do so.  In this sense, our witness relates to some future event or status whose attainment is not self-assumed, but depends on the authority or initiative of the Savior himself.

Scriptural references to the name of Jesus Christ often signify the authority of Jesus Christ.  In that sense, our willingness to take upon us his name signifies our willingness to take upon us the authority of Jesus Christ in the sacred ordinances of the temple, and to receive the highest blessings available through his authority when he chooses to confer them upon us.

Finally, our willingness to take upon us the name of Jesus Christ affirms our commitment to do all that we can to be counted among those whom he will choose to stand at his right hand and be called by his name at the last day.  In this sacred sense, our witness that we are willing to take upon us the name of Jesus Christ constitutes our declaration of candidacy for exaltation in the celestial kingdom.  Exaltation is eternal life, “the greatest of all the gifts of God.”  (D&C 14:7)

That is what we should ponder as we partake of the sacred emblems of the sacrament. — Elder Dallin H. Oaks, General Conference, April 1985

The issue is not going to church; rather, the issue is worshiping and renewing covenants as we attend church.  The issue is not going to or through the temple; rather, the issue is having in our hearts the spirit, the covenants, and the ordinances of the Lord’s house.  The issue is not going on a mission; rather, the issue is becoming a missionary and serving throughout our entire life with all of our heart, might, mind, and strength. — Elder David A. Bednar, “Becoming a Missionary,” Ensign, November 2005, p. 45

When we make a covenant or agreement with God, we must keep it at whatever the cost. — President Spencer W. Kimball, “The Example of Abraham,” Ensign, June 1975, p. 6

The ultimate Latter-day Saint priorities are twofold:  First, we seek to understand our relationship to God the Eternal Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, and to secure that relationship by obtaining their saving ordinances and by keeping our personal covenants. Second, we seek to understand our relationship to our family members and to secure those relationships by the ordinances of the temple and by keeping the covenants we make in that holy place.  These relationships, secured in the way I have explained, provide eternal blessings available in no other way.  No combination of science, success, property, pride, prominence, or power can provide these eternal blessings! — Elder Dallin H. Oaks, General Conference, April 2001

Although our memory of it is withheld, before we came to this earth we lived in the presence of God, our Eternal Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ.  We shouted for joy when given the privilege of coming to this earth to receive a body and to move forward in God’s plan for our happiness.  We knew that we would be tested here.  Our determination was to live obediently to be able to return to be with our Father forever.  Part of that testing here is to have so many seemingly interesting things to do that we can forget the main purposes for being here.  Satan works very hard so that the essential things won’t happen.

The plan is really very simple when considered in its essence.  The Lord has told us that we are here to be tried – to be proven, to see whether we will be valiant and be obedient to His teachings.  You among all of the people on earth have the best possibility of doing that because you have access to the fulness of the restored gospel and the teachings of the Savior.  In quiet moments when you think about it, you recognize what is critically important in life and what isn’t.  Be wise and don’t let good things crowd out those that are essential.

What are the essential ones?  They are related to doctrine.  They are centered in ordinances and embrace critical covenants. Those ordinances are baptism and confirmation into His Church and kingdom on earth.  For men they include worthy ordination to the Melchizedek Priesthood and honoring and using it in service to others.  For each adult man and woman, they entail all of the ordinances of the temple, including one’s own personal endowment.  They embody the sealing ordinance of the temple where a man and wife are bound so that through obedience they can live together for time and all eternity.  When faithful, the children born to that union or later sealed to their parents are joined in love and rejoicing throughout all eternity.  To receive all of the blessings of His atoning sacrifice, we are only asked to be obedient to His commandments and to receive all of these essential ordinances. The Atonement will not only help us overcome our transgressions and mistakes, but in His time, it will resolve all inequities of life – those things that are unfair which are the consequences of circumstance or others’ acts and not our own decisions. — Elder Richard G. Scott, General Conference, April 1997

I wish to testify that there are forces which will save us from the ever-increasing lying, disorder, violence, chaos, destruction, misery, and deceit that are upon the earth. Those saving forces are the everlasting principles, covenants, and ordinances of the eternal gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.  These same principles, covenants, and ordinances are coupled with the rights and powers of the priesthood of Almighty God.  We of this church are the possessors and custodians of these commanding powers which can and do roll back much of the power of Satan on the earth.  We believe that we hold these mighty forces in trust for all who have died, for all who are now living, and for the yet unborn. — Elder James E. Faust, “The Great Imitator,” Ensign, November 1987, p. 33

What I am trying to teach is that when we keep the temple covenants we have made and when we live righteously in order to maintain the blessings promised by those ordinances, then come what may, we have no reason to worry or to feel despondent. — Elder Richard G. Scott, “Temple Worship: The Source of Strength and Power in Times of Need,” Ensign, May 2009

A Saint loves the Savior and follows Him in holiness and devotion.  Evidence of this kind of holiness and devotion is exemplified by consecration and sacrifice.  Sacrifice is the crowning test of the gospel. It means consecrating time, talents, energy, and earthly possessions to further the work of God.  In Doctrine and Covenants 97, verse 8, it concludes, “All . . . who . . . are willing to observe their covenants by sacrifice – yea, every sacrifice which I, the Lord, shall command – they are accepted of me.” — Elder Quentin L. Cook, “Are You a Latter-day Saint?” New Era, December 2009, p. 5

I ask everyone within the sound of my voice to take heart, be filled with faith, and remember the Lord has said He “would fight [our] battles, [our] children’s battles, and [the battles of our] children’s children” (D&C 98:37).  And what do we do to merit such a defense?  We are to “search diligently, pray always, and be believing.  [Then] all things shall work together for [our] good, if [we] walk uprightly and remember the covenant wherewith [we] have covenanted” (D&C 90:24).  The latter days are not a time to fear and tremble.  They are a time to be believing and remember our covenants. — Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, “The Ministry of Angels,” Ensign, November 2008, p. 30

Our covenants supply strength – they produce the faith necessary to persevere and to do all things that are expedient in the Lord.  Our willingness to take upon us the name of Christ and keep His commandments requires a degree of faith, but as we honor our covenants, that faith expands.  In the first place, the promised fruits of obedience become evident, which confirms our faith.  Secondly, the Spirit communicates God’s pleasure, and we feel secure in His continued blessing and help.  Thirdly, come what may, we can face life with hope and equanimity, knowing that we will succeed in the end because we have God’s promise to us individually, by name, and we know He cannot lie  (see Enos 1:6; Ether 3:12). — Elder D. Todd Christofferson, “The Power of Covenants,” Ensign, May 2009, p. 21

We have made covenants, solemn, sacred, holy covenants, pledging ourselves before gods and angels.  We are under covenant to live the law of obedience.  We are under covenant to live the law of sacrifice.  We are under covenant to live the law of consecration.  It is our privilege to consecrate our time, talents, and means to build up his kingdom.  We are called upon to sacrifice, in one degree or another, for the furtherance of his work.  Obedience is essential to salvation; so, also, is service; and so, also, are consecration and sacrifice. — Elder Bruce R. McConkie, “Obedience, Consecration, and Sacrifice,” Ensign, May 1975, p. 50

We are a covenant people.  We have entered into contract with God our Eternal Father.  We have taken upon ourselves the name of his Beloved Son and agreed to keep his commandments.  He has covenanted with us that we should be his sons and daughters, that he should be as a shepherd to us, and that we should have his Holy Spirit to abide with us.  I love to read of those great everlasting promises as they are set forth in our scriptures. — President Gordon B. Hinckley, Liahona, June 1986

We should not be discouraged or depressed by our shortcomings.  No one is without weakness.  As part of the divine plan, we are tested to see whether we master weakness or let weakness master us.  Proper diagnosis is essential to proper treatment. The Lord gave us this remarkable assurance:  “Because thou hast seen thy weakness thou shalt be made strong”  (Ether 12:37).  But wishing for strength won’t make us strong.  It takes faith and work to shore up a weakened cord of integrity. — Elder Russell M. Nelson, “Integrity of Heart,” Ensign, August 1995, p. 19

The fruit of keeping covenants is the companionship of the Holy Ghost and an increase in the power to love. — Elder Henry B. Eyring, Ensign, November 1996, p. 32

We should renew our covenants before God and the holy angels, that we will, God being our helper, serve him more faithfully during the ensuing year than we have in the past, that our public and private life, our actions and the spirit and influence we wield may be in keeping with the motto, “The Kingdom of God or nothing.” Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Lorenzo Snow, pp. 191-92

Perhaps our covenants, our sacred covenants that we always remember and consistently and earnestly strive to honor, become the blood on our doorposts in anticipation of the latter-day Passover.  In ancient Israel, protection against physical death was afforded to the obedient.  In our latter-day Israel, protection is available through our covenants against the spiritual perils that are so prevalent amidst the onslaught of sin and evil in an increasingly wicked world.  Consider the last verse in the 89th section of the Doctrine and Covenants, which we all know refers to the Word of Wisdom:  “And I, the Lord, give unto them a promise, that the destroying angel shall pass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them.  Amen.”

This revelation is not talking about the children of Israel.  It is talking about us in this latter day as we are obedient to the instruction we have received.  In the time of the children of Israel, they offered sacrifice in anticipation of the infinite sacrifice of the Only Begotten Son and participated in the feast of the Passover as a reminder of how the children of Israel were protected from the destroyer on that fateful night.  In this latter day we are commanded to offer the sacrifice of a broken heart and a contrite spirit, and we feast at the sacrament table each week. — Elder David A. Bednar, BYU-Idaho Devotional, 22 March 2002

There is not a man or woman, who violates the covenants made with their God, that will not be required to pay the debt.  The blood of Christ will never wipe that out, your own blood must atone for it; and the judgments of the Almighty will come, sooner or later, and every man and woman will have to atone for breaking their covenants.  To what degree?  Will they have to go to hell?  They are in hell enough now.  I do not wish them in a greater hell, when their consciences condemn them all the time.  Let compassion reign in our bosoms.   Try to comprehend how weak we are, how we are organized, how the spirit and the flesh are continually at war. — Discourses of Brigham Young, 3:247

I feel sometimes like lecturing men and women severely who enter into covenants without realizing the nature of the covenants they make, and who use little or no effort to fulfill them. Discourses of Brigham Young, 396