3 Nephi 3:8
Why Make and Keep Covenants?
the type of swearing that is referred to in this verse is an oath or a pledge. Satan copies the Lord in this practice of pledging obedience. The other type of swearing is profanity using the Lord's name in vain.
An oath is a covenant. We should be covenant keepers with the Lord.
Swearing, Swear, Sware, Sworn
OCTOBER 2013 | The Power, Joy, and Love of Covenant Keeping
By Linda K. Burton Relief Society General President
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland explained that “a covenant is a binding spiritual contract, a solemn promise to God our Father that we will live and think and act in a certain way—the way of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. In return, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost promise us the full splendor of eternal life.”2 In that binding contract, the Lord sets the terms and we agree to keep them. Making and keeping our covenants is an expression of our commitment to become like the Savior.3 The ideal is to strive for the attitude best expressed in a few phrases of a favorite hymn: “I’ll go where you want me to go. … I’ll say what you want me to say. … I’ll be what you want me to be.”4
Nephi saw in vision the significant blessings the Lord bestows upon covenant keepers: “And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld the power of the Lamb of God, that it descended … upon the covenant people of the Lord, … and they were armed with righteousness and with the power ofGod in great glory.”5
I recently met a dear new friend. She testified that after she had received her temple endowment, she felt strengthened with the power to resist temptations she had previously struggled with.
As we keep our covenants, we also receive courage and strength to help us bear one another’s burdens. A heartbroken sister had a son who was experiencing a difficult mortal challenge. Because of her faith in her Relief Society sisters as covenant keepers, she courageously invited them to fast and pray for her son. Another sister expressed how she wished she had asked for similar prayers from her sisters. Years before, her own son was struggling. She wished she had invited them to help her family bear this burden. The Savior said, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”6We know that the Lord always rejoices “in the soul that repenteth,”9 but we desire above all to have our children follow the counsel of President Henry B. Eyring to “start early and be steady” in making and keeping covenants.10 Not long ago a thought-provoking and sincere question was raised in a council of priesthood and auxiliary leaders: do we really expect eight-year-olds to keep their covenants? As we counseled together, it was suggested that one way to prepare children to make and keep sacred baptismal covenants is to help them learn to make and keep a simple promise.
Faithful parents are entitled to know how to best teach to meet the needs of their children. As parents seek and act on personal revelation, counsel together, minister and teach the simple principles of the gospel, they will have power to strengthen and protect their families. Other family members can also help. My cute grandpa taught us the importance of keeping promises through a simple song. It went something like this: “Before you make a promise, consider well its importance. Then when made, engrave it upon your heart. Engrave it upon your heart.” That little song was taught with love, conviction, and power because Grandpa engraved his own promises on his heart.2. Keeping covenants is essential for true happiness.
President Thomas S. Monson taught, “Sacred covenants are to be revered by us, and faithfulness to them is a requirement for happiness.”14In 2 Nephi we read, “And it came to pass that we lived after the manner of happiness.”15 Earlier in this same chapter we learn that Nephi and his people had just built a temple. Surely they were joyful covenant keepers! And in Alma we read, “But behold there never was a happier time among the people of Nephi, since the days of Nephi, than in the days of Moroni.”16 Why? Again we learn in a previous verse that they “were faithful in keeping the commandments of the Lord.”17 Covenant keepers are commandment keepers!3. Keeping our covenants demonstrates our love for the Savior and our Father in Heaven.
Of all the reasons we ought to be more diligent in our covenant keeping, this reason is more compelling than all—love. A verse in the Old Testament is one that touches my heart as we consider the principle of love. Who of us is not moved by Jacob and Rachel’s biblical love story as we read, “And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her”?21 Sisters, do we keep our covenants with that kind of deep and devoted love?
“If we fully appreciated the many blessings which are ours through the redemption made for us, there is nothing that the Lord could ask of us that we would not anxiously and willingly do.”23 According to this statement by President Joseph Fielding Smith, covenant keeping is one way to express our love for the incomprehensible, infinite Atonement of our Savior and Redeemer and the perfect love of our Father in Heaven
continued from Sister Burton's talk above
D&C 25:13 13 Wherefore, alift up thy heart and brejoice, and cleave unto the covenants which thou hast made.