“Sharing Time: A Sacred Promise,” Friend, Mar. 2000, 12
Do you know what a covenant in the Church is? It is a sacred promise, an agreement between Heavenly Father and His children. Since the time of Adam and Eve, Father in Heaven has made covenants with His children to help us live righteously and be worthy to live with Him again.
In the scriptures, we learn about many people who made covenants with the Lord. When the people of Alma gathered at the waters of Mormon, he invited them to be baptized, to make a covenant (see Mosiah 18:8–13). The people were so happy that they clapped their hands with joy. They wanted to show their love for Heavenly Father, and their desire to keep His commandments, by being baptized.
Alma taught his people what they must do to keep and honor their baptismal covenant. He said that they must be willing to be called God’s people and to obey His commandments. He told them that they should help one another and comfort one another. They were to be “witnesses of God” (Mosiah 18:9). That means that they would tell others about Heavenly Father and about how much He loves each of His children. If they did these things, the Lord would bless them with His Spirit. Alma’s people learned that Heavenly Father loves us and wants us to make a sacred covenant with Him.
We begin our journey back to Him by making a covenant and being baptized. When Jesus was baptized, He made a covenant that He would be obedient to Heavenly Father’s commandments (see 2 Ne. 31:5–8). When you are baptized, you make that same covenant to serve Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Then, when you are confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you covenant to take His name upon you, to always remember Him, and to keep His commandments. Just like the people of Alma, you promise to be a witness of the Savior—to tell others about, or testify of, Him. When you keep your part of the baptismal covenant, you will always have His Spirit to be with you. That is God’s promise to you.
To make a mobile to help you remember your baptismal covenant, mount page 13 on heavy paper, then color and cut out the figures. Using string or yarn, attach each figure to a clothes hanger or decorative hook, and display the mobile where you can see it each day.
When I Am Baptized, I Make a Sacred Covenant
And now, because of the covenant which ye have made ye shall be called the children of Christ, his sons, and his daughters (Mosiah 5:7).
I become a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
I am baptized by immersion.
I receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
I promise to testify of Jesus Christ.
I promise to serve others.
I promise to serve God and keep His commandments.
(Note: CS = Children’s Songbook)
1. Plan with the music leader to integrate music into the following activity. Divide the children into four groups and assign each group to look up and then read aloud one of the scriptures listed with “The Fourth Article of Faith” (CS, p. 124). Have the children identify which principle or ordinance of the gospel is mentioned in their assigned scripture. Discuss the principles of faith and repentance and the ordinances of baptism and the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. Have the whole Primary sing the song; each group could stand and sing the phrases of the song that correspond to their scripture.
Give each child a large sheet of paper that you have divided into quarters. Invite the children to illustrate the principles and ordinances that are taught in the song. Sing the song again and bear testimony of these principles and ordinances. Encourage the children to use their papers to share this song with their families.
2. Help the children memorize Mosiah 5:7 by printing the scripture on paper, cutting it into separate words, and placing the words in an envelope. Make a set for each class. Have each class put the words in correct order and tape them to a sheet of paper. With the teacher’s guidance, each class could memorize the scripture by quietly repeating it several times, then removing a word or two after each repetition. When all the classes are ready, they could repeat the scripture together from memory.
Sing-a-story (see Teaching, No Greater Call, pp. 174–175) about becoming a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Possible songs in the CS: “Faith” (pp. 96–97), “Repentance” (p. 98), “When Jesus Christ Was Baptized” (p. 102), “The Still Small Voice” (pp. 106–107). Finish by bearing your testimony and inviting the children to express their testimonies as they sing “The Church of Jesus Christ” (p. 77).
3. Assign one of the following scriptures to each class, or divide the children so that all ages are represented in each group. Have them read the scriptural account, then plan how they will share the story with the other children. For example, they could prepare a dramatization, pantomime the account for the other children to guess, do a choral reading, or pretend to interview the main characters. (See Teaching, No Greater Call, pp. 163, 165–166.) As they plan, they should answer as many of these questions as possible: Where does this event take place? Who was baptized? Who performed the baptism? Did those who were baptized keep their baptismal covenants? What can we learn from this example? Scriptures: •JS—H 1:68–73 •Moses 6:64–68 •Mosiah 18:7–15 •Alma 23:1–6, 17 •Acts 2:1–11, 37–46. Invite all the children to stand and sing an appropriate song, such as “The Church of Jesus Christ” (CS, p. 77) between each presentation. Finally, read together Matt. 3:16–17, about the events of Jesus Christ’s baptism, and bear testimony of His divine mission and His example to us. Conclude with “Beautiful Savior” (CS, pp. 62–63) or “I Feel My Savior’s Love” (CS, pp. 74–75).
4. For younger children: Make sets of the finger puppets below for each child and have them use the puppets as they learn “The Fourth Article of Faith” (CS, p. 124).
5. Additional Friend resources on covenants: Friend to Friend, Sep. 1995, pp. 6–7; “Abraham Covenants with the Lord,” Aug. 1998, p. 34; “Keeping My Promise,” Aug. 1998, pp 12–13, 11; “Baptism: My First Covenant,” May 1997, pp. 12–13. See also “The Lord’s Covenant People,” Gospel Principles, pp. 95–99.