Can You Be Counted On?
July 2016

“Can You Be Counted On?” New Era, July 2016, 14–15

Can You Be Counted On?

Bethany Bartholomew lives in Utah, USA.

When you say you’ll do something, what do you really mean?

Can You Be Counted On

Illustrations by Dan Schlitzkus

At the stake dance, a boy you like just asked you to dance. Yes! You start to walk onto the dance floor together. The slow song plays. The boy asks you a funny question about the color of your toothbrush or your favorite food. Before you give an answer, you stop dancing. You shrug your shoulders and say, “Actually, I don’t feel like dancing right now,” and you walk away.

Never gonna happen, right?

You probably wouldn’t ever dream of leaving a cute boy floundering on the dance floor, but have you ever said you’d do something and then put it off or just decided not to do it after all?

Sometimes it’s easy to be so busy doing everything that we forget what we’ve committed to do or don’t think it’s a big deal if we need to cancel last minute (except for in emergency situations). But practicing keeping commitments now will not only help you later in life (it’s a necessary life skill to have for work, school, callings, family, and everything else), but it’s also important as you make and keep covenants.

Check out these examples of commitments you might make each day that help you remain true to who you are—and thus true to your covenants.

Commitments You Might Be Keeping

  • Supporting your sports team by attending practices and games (while maintaining Sabbath-day standards, of course)

  • Going to Mutual, especially if you have an assignment

  • Doing group work at school

  • Cleaning your room when you say you will

  • Actually reminding your friend about that thing she asked you to remind her about

  • Paying your tithing

  • Showing up to work or Church meetings on time

  • Texting someone back instead of leaving someone hanging in the middle of a conversation

  • Accepting a challenge from a Church leader(#TempleChallenge, anyone?)and following through

  • Doing homework

  • Practicing[insert cool musical instrument here] for a certain amount of time each day

  • Going to seminary and doing your reading before class

  • Paying a friend back for the shake he bought you that time you forgot your wallet

  • Following through on your promise to take your little brother to the park

  • Comforting a friend having a rough day

  • Doing the dishes when it’s your turn

  • Giving your full attention to the person you’re talking to (no checking your phone)

You may not have committed to do all of these things, but think about what you have committed to do. Hopefully many of your commitments are spiritual ones. As you practice keeping those and other commitments, you’re preparing to better keep your most important commitments: your covenants. Keeping those significant commitments will bring you closer to Christ and bless your life. So keep practicing!