A Q&A about Covenants

“A Q&A about Covenants,” New Era, July 2016, 16–19

A Q&A about Covenants

A Q&A about Covenants

Photographs of the Fort Lauderdale Florida Temple and the Oakland California Temple

As you think about your covenants, you may still have a few questions about what it really means to live them. Don’t stress! Check out these frequently asked questions to see if any answers help you on your search for knowledge.

Understanding my covenants

What are covenants?

Social interaction

“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” (Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Keeping Covenants: A Message for Those Who Will Serve a Mission,” New Era, Jan. 2012, 3).

What you can do:

When you make a covenant, you are making a commitment to the Lord. As you practice keeping everyday commitments, you’re preparing to better keep very special spiritual commitments prescribed by God—your covenants. Whether you’ve agreed to practice the violin for 30 minutes every day or accepted the assignment in bishopric youth committee to invite a less-active member to a Mutual activity, what commitments can you practice keeping this week? (See more on pages 14–15.)

What covenants have I made?

“What have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon you?” (Mosiah 18:10).

What you can do:

Sacrament, Partaking of

Did you catch that last part regarding covenants at baptism? It says, “that ye have entered into a covenant with him, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments.” Think about the sacrament prayers, too (see D&C 20:77, 79 and Moroni 4–5). When you were baptized, you covenanted to take upon yourself the name of Jesus Christ, keep His commandments, and always remember Him. And you make this same covenant each time you take the sacrament. You can make goals to help you remember the Savior each day, whether it’s putting your favorite general conference quotes about the Savior in your school notebook or talking to your friends more about your beliefs. Be sure to read and think about how to live other parts of your covenants mentioned in Mosiah 18:8–9 as well.

How do I prepare for future covenants?

Preparing for the Temple

Memphis Tennessee Temple

Photograph of the Memphis Tennessee Temple

“We become worthy [to obtain a temple recommend] by steadily and steadfastly obeying the commandments. This obedience begins in childhood and intensifies through experiences in the Aaronic Priesthood and Young Women during the years of preparation. Then, hopefully, priests and Laurels set goals and specifically prepare themselves to be endowed and sealed in the temple” (Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Coming to Ourselves: The Sacrament, the Temple, and Sacrifice in Service,” Ensign, May 2012, 35).1

What you can do:

Prayer. Youth. Female

You can start making goals now that will help you prepare to participate in temple ordinances and make and keep the associated covenants. Pick a standard in For the Strength of Youth that you want to practice living better this week. Or you can work on remembering your morning prayers more often or studying your scriptures every day. Any spiritual goal, no matter how small, is one more step on the road to the temple. And of course, having a limited-use temple recommend and attending the temple now will help you stay worthy and focused to prepare for temple ordinances in the future.

Preparing to Receive the Melchizedek Priesthood


“The Aaronic Priesthood is ‘an appendage to the greater, or the Melchizedek Priesthood’ (D&C 107:14). It is often called the preparatory priesthood. As a priesthood holder serves in the Aaronic Priesthood, he prepares to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood, to receive the blessings of the temple, to serve a full-time mission, to be a loving husband and father, and to continue in lifelong service to the Lord” (“Aaronic Priesthood,” What you can do:

Young men, everything you do in the Aaronic Priesthood is helping you prepare to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood. As you help prepare, pass, or bless the sacrament, you’re preparing. As you work on your Duty to God, you’re preparing. As you home teach, you’re preparing. As you build family unity and love at home, you’re preparing. Creating patterns of faithful priesthood service now will keep you on the covenant path that leads to even greater future blessings.

Preparing for Temple Marriage

“Some young people profess their goal is to be married in the temple but do not date temple-worthy individuals. To be honest, some don’t even date, period! … Please get ‘anxiously engaged’ [D&C 58:27] in spiritual and social activities compatible with your goal of a temple marriage” (Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Choose Wisely,” Ensign, Nov. 2014, 47).

What you can do:


Marriage? That’s too far away to worry about, right? Nope! Once you’re 16, you can start preparing now by going on group dates with other young men and women who help you keep your standards. You can also set goals to learn a new skill or activity. Having a variety of interests can be fun and can help you meet new people. No matter what your age, you can work on skills and habits that will create a happy home (see “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” at lds.org/go/familyNE716).

How do I keep my covenants?

The Sacrament

“When worthy Church members take the sacrament, they promise to take upon them the name of Christ, to always remember him, and to keep his commandments. Through this ordinance, Church members renew their baptismal covenants” (Guide to the Scriptures, “Sacrament,” scriptures.lds.org).

What you can do:

Once you’re baptized, you can keep your covenants by worthily partaking of the sacrament each week. Set a goal to turn your thoughts to the Savior during this sacred weekly ordinance, whether by reading hymns or the sacrament prayers in Doctrine and Covenants 20 or by pondering quietly. (See more on pages 10–12.)

Daily Living

“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. …

“The greatest compliment that can be earned here in this life is to be known as a covenant keeper” (President Russell M. Nelson, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Covenants,” Ensign, Nov. 2011, 88).

What you can do:

It’s the little things that help you make daily covenant-keeping decisions. All of them bring you closer to Heavenly Father and the Savior and show your commitment to Them and your desire to become like Them. What daily covenant-keeping decision can you work on this week?