When I think of progress, I tend to think of something tangible—something I can physically see or touch. In college, for example, I studied, took tests, and attended classes for four years until I was able to hold a diploma in my hands that represented all the progress I had made. You can also measure progress through other everyday things like checking off daily “to-do” tasks that make you feel productive.
There are many types of progress that one can make in life, but as I was recently preparing to teach Relief Society (for the first time ever), I started to wonder if I was lacking when it came to spiritual progress. I was teaching about a general conference talk given by Sister Jean B. Bingham, former Relief Society General President, about how making covenants helps to prepare us for eternal glory.1
I kept thinking, “Well, I can’t physically see or touch eternal glory, so how can I even know if I’m progressing on the covenant path?”
Lately I’ve felt a bit stuck. As a young single adult who has been baptized and received her endowment but hasn’t been sealed in the temple, I sometimes feel like I am at a standstill on the covenant path. I feel like I’m a board game piece that can’t move forward no matter how many times I roll the dice. I want to get married and make covenants with God and my eternal companion, but what do I do in the meantime?
How do I know if I’m moving forward?
I felt so inadequate to teach a lesson about the covenant path when I was uncertain of how I could move forward on the path myself. I had a lot of questions, so I started seeking out answers in the scriptures. And I was surprised to discover a treasure trove of truths. I truly enjoyed reading as I studied Gospel Topics, followed footnotes, and felt the Spirit guiding me to the specific answers I needed at that exact moment.
At one point I felt an overwhelming feeling of peace and actually looked up at the light in my room because I felt a sort of brightness around me.
That’s when the Spirit brought the words, “This is how,” to my mind.
Those words were the answer. I changed my perspective and realized that just by reading my scriptures I had progressed closer to Heavenly Father that day, and I could continue every day as I took steps to come closer to Christ. I recognized how keeping my covenants was helping me become more like Him, little by little.
I felt like I was finally moving my game piece forward on the board game of life.
In our everyday lives, we face a lot of uncertainty, and it can be hard to see any progress being made. But it’s truly in our everyday moments where we choose to keep our covenants with God that we are moving forward on the covenant path. When we read our scriptures, when we minister to and serve others, when we pray, when we take time to go to the temple, and ultimately when we wake up every morning and choose to live as disciples of Christ—these are the keys to progress.
By seeking Christ, we take another step toward Heavenly Father on the covenant path.
Since that moment of personal revelation, I have made a more sincere effort to study and learn more about the gospel. I’ve changed my focus to daily progress to understand how my choices lead to eternal progress.
Elder Michael A. Dunn of the Seventy has taught that simply doing “one percent better”2 makes all the difference in progress. And looking back, striving to do a little better each day really has put my movement on the covenant path in perspective. And I’ve noticed many blessings:
Deeper love for the gospel
Excitement about scripture study and spiritual habits
More time to serve others
Deeper understanding of my divine potential
More hope and joy about life
Some days I feel like I am not progressing as much as I would like, and I am still faced with a lot of uncertainty about the future. But as I align my will with God’s, I feel gratitude for this time because I am learning and growing and deepening my faith, which means I really am progressing every day—receiving the blessings of God’s promises, focusing on the Savior’s gift of repentance, and moving forward on the path, one move at a time.
If you are struggling to see your progress on the covenant path or recognize the power your covenants offer you, remember the words of Sister Bingham:
“Don’t let detractors or distractions pull you away from eternal truths. Study and ask trusted sources for greater understanding of the sacred significance of the covenants you have made. Go to the temple as often as you can and listen to the Spirit. You will feel sweet reassurance that you are on the Lord’s path. You will find the courage to continue as well as to bring others with you.”3
I know without a doubt that if we choose every day to remember and keep our covenants, no matter where we are on the covenant path, we can progress, grow, receive blessings we never even dreamed of, and continue making our way back to our Heavenly Father every single day.