“Safety in Keeping Divine Covenants,” Ensign, Oct. 2001, 57
As we make and keep sacred covenants, we are blessed with power to withstand adversity, resist temptation, and enjoy a fulness of gospel blessings. Elder Neal A. Maxwell of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles teaches, “If we will keep our covenants, the covenants will keep us spiritually safe” (“‘Overcome … Even As I Also Overcame,’” Ensign, May 1987, 71).
A covenant is a sacred two-way agreement between God and a person or a group of people. God sets the terms of His covenants. If we obey the terms of the covenant, we receive the blessings He promises. In a loving bond with us, He promises, “I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say” (D&C 82:10).
All of Heavenly Father’s commandments are based in covenants. Covenants are made through saving ordinances such as baptism, the sacrament, and those ordinances administered in the temple.
With every covenant we keep, specific blessings follow. For example, when we worthily take the sacrament and renew our baptismal covenant, we are promised that we will always have the Lord’s Spirit with us (see D&C 20:77, 79). Those who obey the terms of “the new and everlasting covenant” of celestial marriage are promised that “they shall pass by the angels, and the gods, … to their exaltation and glory in all things” (D&C 132:19).
As we bind ourselves to God by obeying sacred covenants, we are blessed with protective power against the adversary. Especially during times of trial, covenants can give us strength. Elder Henry B. Eyring of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explains: “The fruit of keeping covenants is the companionship of the Holy Ghost and an increase in the power to love. That happens because of the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ to change our very natures. … Greater spiritual power [comes] to those who accept covenants and keep commandments” (“Witnesses for God,” Ensign, Nov. 1996, 32).
A sister who was unable to attend church because of some difficult health challenges came to know how sweetly personal God’s covenants are. Because of these unusual circumstances, Aaronic Priesthood holders, at the direction of the bishop, came to her home to administer the sacrament. She knew they would be coming, but she did not anticipate the outpouring of God’s love she would feel as they knelt and blessed the bread and water—just for her. “I’ll never forget when they held the sacrament tray with one piece of bread and then one small cup of water on it. As I took the sacred emblems, I felt such a personal connection with my Savior. I knew that His Atonement really was for me. I felt of His mercy and His love. In every way, I was renewed and strengthened to meet the challenges that were uniquely mine.”
Fully aware of our human frailties and personal challenges, Heavenly Father gave us covenants to assure our safe passage through mortality. The more diligent we are in keeping our covenants, the more we find spiritual safety in our obedience to the Lord.