Blessings flow as sacred covenants are honored

Know covenants are indispensable to happiness

Partake of the sacrament- Don't let personal values erode

Speaking about the blessings that flow from covenants with the Lord, President James E. Faust asked Church members Saturday morning to always honor and keep sacred the saving covenants they make.

"If we do, [the Lord] has promised, `Thou shalt receive revelation upon revelation, knowledge upon knowledge, that thou mayest know the mysteries and peaceable things - that which bringeth joy, that which bringeth life eternal.' " (D&C 42:61.)

President Faust, second counselor in the First Presidency, noted that covenants are not simply outward rituals; "they are real and effective means of change."

He explained that many covenants are indispensable to happiness here and hereafter, and then enumerated several covenants.

"Among the most important are the marriage covenants made between husband and wife. From these covenants flow the greatest joys of life.

"The covenant of baptism," he continued, "with its attendant ordinance of confirmation, opens the gate for eternal life.

"The oath and covenant of the priesthood contains the promise by which worthy elders of the Church `shall receive all that the Father hath,' " he explained.

"Temple covenants are the basis for attaining the greatest blessings the Lord has for us."

President Faust also reminded Church members that they have "the great privilege" of partaking of the sacrament. "Renewing our baptismal covenants as we partake of the sacrament protects us against all manner of evil. . . . If we partake of the sacrament regularly and are faithful to these covenants, the law will be in our inward parts and written in our hearts."

President Faust said at times everybody must search their own souls and discover what they really are. "Our real character, much as we would wish, cannot be hidden. It shines from us transparently. Attempts to deceive others only deceive ourselves."

He noted that in his lifetime, he has seen the faithfulness of Church members increase. "Measured by fixed standards, there are greater manifestations of faithfulness than ever before." He said that on any given Sunday, percentage-wise, more than twice as many people partake of the sacrament than when he was growing up. More people are also contributing to the Church's welfare program through fast offerings, enjoying the blessings of the law of tithing and temple worship, and serving missions.

"But I wonder if we have become proportionately more Christlike," questioned President Faust. "Does our service come from a pure heart?

"I speak of the importance of keeping covenants because they protect us in a world that is drifting from time-honored values that bring joy and happiness. In the future this loosening of moral fiber may ever increase. The basic decency of society is decreasing. In the future our people, particularly our children and grandchildren, can expect to be bombarded more and more by the evils of Sodom and Gomorrah."

President Faust added that too many families are being broken up.

"Perhaps in our day and time it is more difficult to maintain moral strength and stand against the winds of evil that blow more fiercely than ever before. It is a sifting process."

He noted that President Hinckley has warned Church members from moving too far toward the mainstream of society.

"In our society many sacred values have been eroded in the name of freedom of expression. The vulgar and the obscene are protected in the name of freedom of speech. The mainstream of society has become more tolerant, even accepting, of conduct that Jesus, Moses, the Prophet Joseph Smith, and other prophets have warned against since the beginning of human history."

President Faust counseled members to not let their personal values erode - even if others think they are peculiar.

"Being spiritually correct is much better than being politically correct," he said.

The influences of Satan have constantly warred with God, President Faust continued.

"Ordinances and covenants help us to remember who we are and our duty to God," he explained. "They are the vehicles the Lord has provided to conduct us into eternal life. If we honor them, He will give us added strength."

In a world where Church members and their families are threatened by evil on every side, President Faust told his listeners to remember President Hinckley's counsel: " `If our people could only learn to live by these covenants, everything else would take care of itself.' "

President Faust said faithful members of the Church who are true to their covenants with the Master do not need every jot and tittle spelled out for them.

"Christlike conduct," he said, "flows from the deepest wellspring of the human heart and soul. It is guided by the Holy Spirit of the Lord, which is promised in gospel ordinances. Our great hope should be to enjoy the sanctification which comes from this divine guidance; our great fear should be to forfeit these blessings."

Subscribe for free and get daily or weekly updates straight to your inbox
The three things you need to know everyday
Highlights from the last week to keep you informed