Elders Quorum Lesson – Covenants – Darin Ragozzine – August 15, 2010 Intro: Small Groups: Definition/Aspects of “covenant” (write

on board)

covenant, etymology:
derived from the Late Latin word convenire (be appropriate to, fit, be correctly shaped; it agrees, came together, is agreed; meet, assemble; go to meet; resort to; sue, prosecute)

(same root gives “convene”, “convention”) Major Covenants: (baptism/GoHG/sacrament, oath and covenant of the priesthood, temple endowment, temple sealing, new and everlasting covenant) Commandments, like “informal covenants”: tithing, word of wisdom, Sabbath Day D&C 82:8-10 Ideas: ? Break into small groups, hand out definition of “covenant” from Gospel Principles manual, Bible Dictionary, Guide to the Scriptures, True to the Faith, Preach My Gospel? Commandments are like “informal” covenants. ?Main point: give self the commitment pattern, self-covenanting Commitment Pattern (Darin's version for self-use) Analogy: what does fluent mean? Recognize the influence of the Spirit (usually associated with scripture reading, prayer, church lessons) about the need to better live some principle or to take some specific action. Commit yourself to do what you feel prompted/impressed to do. Some people in some cases formalize this with a personal covenant with the Lord via prayer. Commit to something while feeling the Spirit so that when you're not feeling the Spirit you will still act correctly. Remind yourself of the commitment regularly. Act diligently to fulfill the commitment. Three potential outcomes: 1) Successfully fulfilled 1. Recognize blessings from commitment, as promised by God 2. This strengthens faith and encourages one to make and keep more selfcommitments, repeating and stregthening the process. 3. Eventually, the commited principle changes us and we become better. 2) Unsuccessful, but humble/teachable/willing to change 1. Often, lack of success is from failing to remember 2. Lack of success often recognized during another influence of the Spirit moment 3. Repent, ask forgiveness 4. Recommit (and continue with the rest of the process until successful) 3) Unsuccessful, but prideful/hard-hearted/stiff-necked 1. Question or reject received prompting.

Genesis 9:9–17. 4.2. Exodus 19:5–6. 2 Nephi 1). If we choose to obey the terms of the covenant. when we join the Church we make several covenants with God (see chapter 20 in this book). Noah. Lessens the ability to feel the Spirit. He made special covenants with Adam. God promises a blessing for obedience to particular commandments. and in some instances a penalty also is given. For example. and Lehi (see Moses 6:31–36. He withholds the blessings. 3. we receive promised blessings. which is Jesus Christ. . When His people make covenants (or promises) with Him. We promise to take His name upon ourselves. If we choose not to obey. Members of the Church are part of the Lord’s covenant people. He made a special covenant with Abraham and his descendants that blesses members of the Church and all nations of the earth today. We covenant with the Savior at baptism to take upon ourselves His name. He sets the terms of His covenants. (2009). Perhaps blame outside circumstances for inability or lack of desire to keep commitment.” Gospel Principles. the same shall be saved” (D&C 18:22). Ignore commitment until it is forgotten. They can better carry out His work on earth. Erodes faith and discourages one from making and keeping more selfcommitments. a covenant means a sacred agreement or mutual promise between God and a person or a group of people. God has also made special covenants with particular persons or groups. Must humble yourself and repent. and to obey His commandments. the Lord has made covenants with His children on earth. they know what He expects of them and what blessings they may expect from Him. see also chapter 47 in this book). Failure to receive the promised blessings. 5. In making a covenant. we make other sacred covenants and are promised exaltation for faithful obedience (see D&C 132. 7. the children of Israel. (See D&C 20:77–79.) When we receive temple ordinances. and He reveals these terms to His prophets. Within the gospel. to remember Him. We covenant with the Lord as we partake of the sacrament (see chapter 23 in this book). We are promised that the Holy Spirit will be with us. 6. The people who covenant with the Lord and with whom the Lord makes covenants are known as the Lord’s covenant people.81–86 The Nature of Covenants • What is a covenant? Why are Latter-day Saints called a covenant people? From the beginning. 52. The Lord’s Covenant People Next > < Previous View Print Listen “Chapter 15: The Lord’s Covenant People. weakening the entire process. He promises that “as many as repent and are baptized in my name. Enoch. and endure to the end.

or as missionaries. the Lord made a covenant with him and his descendants. we have great responsibilities. There are no greater blessings than these. God’s Covenant with Abraham and His Descendants • What is the Abrahamic covenant? Abraham. These descendants. and Jacob (see Galatians 3:26–29). In speaking to Abraham. we enter into the covenant the Lord made with Abraham. When we are baptized into the Church.) Members of the Church Are a Covenant People • What blessings and responsibilities come to God’s covenant people today? For teachers: You can help class members or family members think more deeply about a question by giving them time to ponder. After they have had enough time. We can gain eternal life in the celestial kingdom. If we are obedient. an Old Testament prophet. Families can receive the blessings of the priesthood. Through them. He kept all of the Lord’s commandments. We have the right to receive help and guidance from the Holy Ghost. The Lord promised Abraham that through his descendants the gospel would be taken to all the earth. The Lord promised Abraham that he would have numberless descendants. in the community. The blood descendants of Abraham are not the only people whom God calls His covenant people. and shall be accounted thy seed [lineage]. was a very righteous man (see the picture in this chapter). two groups of people are included in the covenant made with Abraham: (1) Abraham’s righteous blood descendants and (2) those adopted into his lineage by accepting and living the gospel of Jesus Christ (see 2 Nephi 30:2). Isaac. He promised that all of them would be entitled to receive the gospel. all the families of the earth would be blessed (see Abraham 2:11). and shall rise up and bless thee. • How do the commandments and promises in the Abrahamic covenant apply to us? (Consider how this question applies in different settings. such as at home. in the workplace. would carry the gospel to all nations. through the power of the priesthood.• Think about the covenants you have made with God and the blessings He has promised you for keeping these covenants. as their father” (Abraham 2:10). ask for their responses. We are fulfilling this responsibility through the full-time missionary . Because of Abraham’s righteousness. and all of the ordinances of exaltation. we inherit the blessings of that covenant. Worthy males have the right to hold the priesthood. Thus. God said. “As many as receive this Gospel shall be called after thy name. the blessings of the priesthood. Along with the blessings we receive as the Lord’s covenant people. He refused to worship his father’s idols. God further promised that if they were righteous He would establish His covenant with all generations of Abraham’s children (see Genesis 17:4–8).

and dominions. our Heavenly Father promises us that we will receive exaltation in the celestial kingdom (see D&C 132:20–24. Noah. He has said: “Refrain from sin. we should keep His commandments. act. during the sacrament. greatness.program of the Church and the missionary work done by the members. The greatness of that promise is hard for mortals to understand. Enoch. • What does being the Lord’s covenant people have to do with how we dress. receive the Holy Ghost. For of him unto whom much is given much is required. It includes the covenants made at baptism. and follow and obey Christ to the end of our lives. The commandments He gives are for our benefit. compassion. Ezekiel 37:26). receive the covenant of marriage in the temple. power. we agree to repent. wisdom. In this sense it is not new. He gave this same covenant to Adam. and keep the commandments of God? Additional Scriptures and Other Sources • 1 Peter 2:9–10 (peculiar people) • D&C 54:4–6 (effects of covenants kept and broken) • D&C 132:7 (covenants made by proper authority) • D&C 133:57–60 (purpose of covenants) • D&C 35:24 (promises for obedience to covenants) . The New and Everlasting Covenant • What do we promise to do when we accept the gospel? What blessings does Heavenly Father give us as we keep these promises? The fulness of the gospel is called the new and everlasting covenant. This opportunity to preach the gospel to all the world belongs only to the Lord’s Church and His covenant people. and at any other time. see also chapter 47 in this book). am bound when ye do what I say. and he who sins against the greater light shall receive the greater condemnation” (D&C 82:2–3). but when ye do not what I say. The Lord calls it everlasting because it is ordained by an everlasting God and because the covenant will never be changed. be baptized. and other prophets. the Lord. knowledge. the covenant becomes void and we will stand condemned before God (see D&C 132:4). lest sore judgments fall upon your heads. receive our endowments. glory. If we reject our covenant after accepting the gospel. “I. ye have no promise” (D&C 82:10). As we keep our covenants. it is new to the people who receive it (see Jeremiah 31:31–34. As the Lord’s covenant people. We may live in His presence and partake of His love. Abraham. in the temple. But the Lord calls it new because each time the gospel is restored after being taken from the earth. The Lord said. and as we are faithful we may forever share the blessings and beauties of heaven and earth. When we accept the new and everlasting covenant.

God gives the conditions for the covenant. D&C 97: 8. God in his good pleasure fixes the terms. Judg. D&C 136: 4. D&C 42: 78. 11: 1). They are willing to observe their covenants by sacrifice. and men agree to do what he asks them to do. but they do not act as equals in the agreement. then ye shall be a peculiar treasure. D&C 78: 11-12. who deliberately broke their covenant and lied unto God (Acts 5: 1-11). God sets specific conditions.” 651 Sometimes denotes an agreement between persons (1 Sam. “Covenant”. The same word is sometimes rendered “testament. 31: 16. 1 Ne. 23: 18) or nations (1 Sam. Ye are children of the covenant. With thee will I establish my covenant. For example. Remember his holy covenant. more often between God and man. 7: 31. D&C 54: 6.Moro. All those who receive the priesthood receive this oath and covenant. and He promises to bless us as we obey those conditions. 6: 18. D&C 84: 39-40. members covenant with the Lord at baptism and renew those covenants by partaking of the sacrament. The power of God descended upon the covenant people of the Lord. we cannot receive the blessings. The Lord’s people are a covenant people and are greatly blessed as they keep their covenants with the Lord. The shedding of the blood of Christ is the covenant. He who breaks this covenant shall lose his office and standing in the Church. Members of the Church who make such covenants promise to honor them. Guide to the Scriptures. Mosiah 5: 5. D&C 132. 19: 5. Blessed are they who have kept the covenant. “Covenant. The marriage covenant can be eternal. 9: 37). : An agreement between God and man. Gen. and in some instances we suffer a penalty as a consequence of our disobedience. Angels fulfill and do the work of the covenants of the Father. Moro. 15: 18 (3 Ne. 21: 7. Baptism is a testimony that man has entered into a covenant with God to do his will. 3 Ne. Principles and ordinances are received by covenant.• Hebrews 8:6 (Jesus Christ is the mediator of a better covenant) • Bible Dictionary. 10: 33. True to the Faith: Covenant A covenant is a sacred agreement between God and a person or group of people. 1 Ne. 2: 1. Ex. Ps. 20: 25-26. The covenant made to Abraham will be fulfilled in latter days. 14: 14. Make no covenant with them nor their gods. 16: 5. Keep the sabbath for a perpetual covenant. Every person who belongs to this Church of Christ shall observe to keep all the covenants. God then promises men certain blessings for their obedience. Mosiah 18: 13. Morm. Benjamin’s people were willing to enter into a covenant with God to do his will. 11-12. Ex. My Saints have made a covenant with me by sacrifice. Keep my covenant. that we will walk in all the ordinances. This shall be our covenant. All the saving ordinances of the priesthood are accompanied . Ex.” The gospel is so arranged that principles and ordinances are received by covenant placing the recipient under strong obligation and responsibility to honor the commitment. I will never break my covenant with you. Luke 1: 72 (D&C 90: 24). When we choose not to keep covenants. but in this latter case it is important to notice that the two parties to the agreement do not stand in the relation of independent and equal contractors. 23: 32. 50: 5 (D&C 97: 8). They make further covenants in the temple. which man accepts. Thus the severe consequences to Ananias and Sapphira.

D&C 82:10. you made a covenant when you were baptized.by covenants. and you renew that covenant each time you partake of the sacrament (see Mosiah 18:8–10. D&C 20:37. Ordinances. Marriage. Additional references: Jeremiah 31:31–34. you have entered into the oath and covenant of the priesthood (see D&C 84:33–44). 97:8. Always remember and honor the covenants you make with the Lord. Sacrament. your greatest fear should be to forfeit these blessings. Mosiah 5. you will “receive revelation upon revelation. For example. Moroni 10:33. 77. Priesthood. knowledge upon knowledge. The temple endowment and the sealing ordinance also include sacred covenants. Temples . You will be inspired by the Holy Ghost. Your greatest hope should be to enjoy the sanctification that comes from this divine guidance. that thou mayest know the mysteries and peaceable things—that which bringeth joy. Then you will not need to be commanded in everything you do (see D&C 58:26–28). As the Lord has promised. If you have received the Melchizedek Priesthood. 98:13–15 See also Abrahamic Covenant. 79). Baptism. and Christlike conduct will be part of your nature. that which bringeth life eternal” (D&C 42:61).

came together. resort to. it agrees. prosecute) (same root gives “convene”. be correctly shaped. meet.covenant. go to meet. sue. “convention”) . etymology: derived from the Late Latin word convenire (be appropriate to. assemble. is agreed. fit.

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