And now, because of the covenant which ye have made ye shall be called the children of Christ, his sons, and his daughters; for behold, this day he hath spiritually begotten you; for ye say that your hearts are changed through faith on his name; therefore, ye are born of him and have become his sons and his daughters.
And under this head ye are made free, and there is no other head whereby ye can be made free. There is no other name given whereby salvation cometh; therefore, I would that ye should take upon you the name of Christ, all you that have entered into the covenant with God that ye should be obedient unto the end of your lives.
The message of the second chapter of 21 Days Closer to Christ by Emily Freeman is "Covenant." As I've been pondering this theme over the past week or so, the topic of "covenants" has presented itself to me several times.
- Last Friday, I participated in a sealing session at the temple, and the sealer referenced a scripture in the Doctrine & Covenants.
Verily I say unto you, blessed are you for receiving mine everlasting covenant, even the fulness of my gospel, sent forth unto the children of men, that they might have life and be made partakers of the glories which are to be revealed in the last days, as it was written by the prophets and apostles in days of old (D&C 66:2).The point of the scripture (at least one of its points) is that the term "everlasting covenant" means the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Beyond that, though, I love the "why" as explained in this verse, that is, the reason that we make and keep covenants is so we can have life (and have it fully)!
- The lesson in the women's meeting at church on Sunday referenced an address by Elder Russell M. Nelson from General Conference in October 2011. The title of that talk is "Covenants." Here is a passage I particularly like:
When we realize that we are children of the covenant, we know who we are and what God expects of us. His law is written in our hearts. He is our God and we are His people. Committed children of the covenant remain steadfast, even in the midst of adversity.Interestingly, those ideas correlate to some of what I've been thinking about as I've read Ann Voskamp's beautiful book about experiencing God's grace through gratitude One Thousand Gifts.
- In Sunday School - which I taught - we discussed the "knowledge of the goodness and the mysteries of God" (1 Nephi 1:1) that comes to us as we recognize the hand of the Lord in our daily lives. One of the scriptures we read was 1 Nephi 14:14.
And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld the power of the Lamb of God, that it descended upon the saints of the church of the Lamb, and upon the covenant people of the Lord, who were scattered upon all the face of the earth; and they were armed with righteousness and with the power of God in great glory.What great blessings can be ours if we keep our covenants!
- In 2 Nephi 3:4, we find the sentence "And great were the covenants of the Lord which he made unto Joseph." We recently read this chapter aloud together as a family, and I was reading when we got to this verse. As I read, my voice voice began to waver, and my eyes filled with tears. (My family is used to that kind of reaction from me!) What this sentence had brought to memory was the song "Close Every Door" from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. That song is my favorite song in one of my most favorite musicals - and my favorite line is "children of Israel are never alone." Truly, the covenant people of the Lord are never alone!