- Like a coin with two sides, all the saving ordinances are accompanied by covenants with God. God promised us blessings if we faithfully honor those covenants.
Covenants are made with our Heavenly Father but we need the Savior to help us continue on the right path after making those covenants. The atonement is a key part to helping us honor the covenants we make throughout our lives.
- We not only need the ordinances and covenants to return to our Father, but we also need His Son, Jesus Christ, and His Atonement.
- Through His Atonement, Jesus Christ redeemed us from the consequences of the Fall of Adam and made possible our repentance and eventual exaltation. Through His life, He set the example for us to receive saving ordinances, in which “the power of godliness is manifest.”
The Savior set the perfect example for each of us. Some wonder why we are tempted after making covenants but even the Savior was tempted. We can learn from His example that temptations are part of our earthly experience. We can also learn that overcoming those temptations are one of the challenges we face in life. Making covenants allows the spirit to be a greater part of our lives and the light that comes from the Spirit will strengthen us and help us to overcome temptation.
- After the Savior received the ordinance of baptism to “fulfil all righteousness,” Satan tempted Him. Likewise, our temptations do not end after baptism or sealing, but receiving the sacred ordinances and honoring the associated covenants fill us with marvelous light and give us strength to resist and overcome temptations.
Elder Wakolo speaks about being shepherds to ourselves and to others. He warns us that being a casual shepherd can lead us lost souls. We should not be casual in the way we keep and make sacred covenants.
- When we are casual shepherds of our own soul and others’ souls, casualties are likely. Casualness leads to casualties. I invite each of us to be a faithful shepherd.
One important thing we can do to overcome our casualness is to participate in the sacrament on a weekly basis. The sacrament reminds us of the covenants we have made and encourages us to stay on the path we have committed to live.
- The sacrament is an ordinance that helps us stay on the path, and worthily partaking is evidence that we are keeping the covenants associated with all the other ordinances.
Finally, Elder Wakolo invites us to reflect on our personal covenants and encourages us to consider what we can do to make, keep, and honor the covenants we have made.
- I invite each of us to ask ourselves, “What ordinances, including the sacrament, do I need to receive, and what covenants do I need to make, keep, and honor?”
Covenants and ordinances naturally go together. Our Heavenly Father has given us these things to help us have light in our lives and encouragement to continue on the right path. We cannot make this journey through life on our own. Our Savior is there to help lift us, encourage us, and make it possible for us to be forgiven when we stumble. Today, I am going to participate in the ordinance of the sacrament and I am going to reflect on my covenants and ask myself, how can I honor those covenants more than I have been.