The other day I was talking with a friend about covenants. Hold on a second, just what exactly is a covenant? I like to think a covenant is a two-way promise. A pact, promise, or agreement you could say. A dictionary might say: “an agreement, usually formal, between two or more personsto do or not do something specified”. Now the context of the covenants we were talking about was a little different from most conventional covenants. Usually covenants, pacts, promises, or agreements are between two people or two groups or parties. We talked about how unfortunate it is that people sometimes have a less than reliable record on keeping their promises. Thus, we have lawyers, contracts, and an endless supply of paperwork. This got my mind thinking. The covenants I’d like to talk about have a little more purpose and power than conventional ones. When we make sacred covenants in the church we are not covenanting with another person in the church. We are covenanting with God. Unlike imperfect humans, God will not slack on his end of the deal. We might slack, but he will not. He will keep ALL, EVERYTHING, he promises to do. The Lord has stated, “I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise” (D&C 82:10). There are many covenants we can make with the Lord but one that comes to my mind is Baptism. Here is a simple explanation of baptism: when we are baptized by immersion we make a covenant with God. We promise to be a witness for His name, always remember Him, and keep His commandments. In return He promises us to always have the Companionship of the Holy Ghost (what an amazing blessing!) and to have our sins washed away. Of course we need to be baptized by proper priesthood authority; a lawyer might know the law but cannot pull someone over and give them a speeding ticket. In a similar respect Jesus went to John to be baptized and not one of the Pharisees or Jewish leaders. When we are baptized by proper authority all these blessings can be ours. Not to mention many other blessings that come from baptism and membership in Jesus Christ’s restored church on the earth today. Sounds Pretty good to me.
Well, Elder Freeman you just don’t understand, One might say. I have a lot going on. I have finals coming up. Plus I have been sick lately, and work has been keeping me extremely busy. Not to mention my family has been having financial problems recently. I definitely don’t have time to think about baptism nor prepare for it. Plus, I’m not even sure if The Church of Jesus Christ of latter-Day Saints is the one true church!
Even though these are all real concerns, and can cause a decision like baptism to seem like a huge step or choice, God will help you! This is something He has commanded of us. Why wait? If I offered you a vitamin that would improve your health dramatically would you wait for a later time to obtain the benefits? If we wait till all things appear to be lined up just perfectly it may be too late, or things may never line up. Why hold off on blessings? With all the hardships and trials we face in life the Gift of the Holy Ghost will help us! The countless blessings that result from keeping the commandments will make our lives much more easy and bearable. I know that when we put God first, when we put first priority on Him, everything else will fall into place; including Family, friends, finals, and health. When times seem the hardest what better time to decide to follow Jesus Christ. “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30). If you’re not sure that the LDS church is true or not, that’s okay. Take the time to find out for yourself. Ask your Heavenly Father if it is true. I know that it is. I know that making covenants with God blesses our lives. I know that this knowledge has changed my life and that it can change yours as well. Even if the time doesn’t seem right, why wait? There is no better time than now!
(Not an Actual number. Try mormon.org to learn more)