Tuesday, February 25, 2014

the why

Meghan has to teach again this Sunday. I recommended this article from the December 1980 Ensign. I have used it so many times as a source for talks and lessons.

My favorite part:

Why Covenants?
The purpose of the gospel is to educate, perfect, and sanctify man, lifting him to the status of a god in celestial glory. A person cannot lift himself or herself by individual effort alone but must be lifted by the power of the atonement of Jesus Christ. This power does not operate in its fulness unless one is wholeheartedly willing to be so lifted.
One important aspect of a gospel covenant is that it commits the individual to the work of the Lord. A person making and keeping a covenant with God must sort out his values and actually work toward salvation, which is a much more involving process than mere intellectual assent. Furthermore, because gospel covenants are revealed from heaven, they are specific indicators of what God would have us do. Without revelation, we would not know how to please God—we would not know that we should be baptized, pay tithing,  observe the Sabbath and the Word of Wisdom, be ordained to the priesthood, fast, pray, partake of the sacrament, or do ordinances for our dead. These are not the kinds of things men and women would do naturally. They require conscious and deliberate and willfull obedience. Divine covenants mark the path of duty and commit us to walk in it. They more fully distinguish the way of the Lord from the way of the world. They are the only way in which the saving ordinances of the gospel are administered to man, and the most sacred of these can be received only in the temple.

The Lord requires certain duties of all members of his Church, but each must also struggle with his own nature and personality. Timid souls must learn to be brave; overzealous natures must develop patience; rebellious persons must learn to conform; the slothful must become diligent; the spiritually uncultured must be refined; and all must learn self-discipline. The covenant relationship encourages us to deal with these personal weaknesses; every gospel covenant ties the individual closer to the Lord Jesus Christ, who has the power to help us turn weaknesses into strengths (see Ether 12:27).

No comments: