What is a covenant? In the Church, a covenant is a mutual promise that we make with Heavenly Father. To covenant means to “come together,” or to be bound together by promises. Sometimes it is a promise that we make in our hearts. Even when we make a covenant in our hearts with Heavenly Father, there are things we do to show that we have made those promises.
Baptism is the occasion for one of the first covenants we make with Him. Being baptized shows that we want to keep His commandments. Some of the promises we make when we are baptized are that we are willing to take upon ourselves the name of Jesus Christ, that we will always remember Him, and that we will keep His commandments. The Lord promises us that He will give us His Spirit to always be with us.
Think about just the first part of our baptismal covenant. What do you think it means to take His name upon us? Most of us already have two names. We have a given name, like Elizabeth, or Marco, or Mei-Li; and we have a family name, like Smith, or Garcia, or Chen. When we take the name of Jesus Christ upon ourselves, it means we are part of His family. We are ready to be known as Christians. We are willing to “stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things and in all places” (Mosiah 18:9). We want to act like Christ and follow Him.
Jesus has given us guidelines to help us follow Him. He expects us to love each other, to bear one another’s burdens, to mourn with those who are sad, and to comfort those who need comfort. That’s what He did when He was on the earth. If we want to be called by His name, we will try to do these things, too. When you help your mother tend the baby so that she can fix dinner, you are bearing another’s burdens. When you put your arm around your little brother and tell him that you’re sorry that he hurt himself, you are giving comfort. When your heart is sad because your friend’s father is very ill, and you reach out to her in love, you are mourning along with her.
Each week when we take the sacrament, we renew the covenant we made at baptism. Each day as we choose the right and follow Jesus, we are keeping our covenant and growing in faith. As we keep the covenant we have made, the Lord’s Spirit will be with us, and one day we will be worthy to go to the temple and make other very important covenants with Heavenly Father.
Instructions: Make a “movie” of your life-to-be. Mount [the image below] on heavy paper, fill in the blank, cut out the display frame and two picture strips, then tape Picture A over Picture B (if you’re a girl; vice versa, if you’re a boy). Cut the two dashed-line slots in the display frame. Insert the left side of the picture strip from behind into the right slot and then into the left slot. (Optional: You may now want to tape the left edge of the title picture to the right edge of the last picture to make a continuous reel.) Pull the strip or reel through the display frame to show your personal story.
My Faith in Jesus Christ Grows When I Make and Keep Sacred Covenants
Make a Movie of Your Personal Story
I, ________________________, covenant with the Lord when …
(write your name)
I am baptized.
I take the sacrament.
I go to the temple.