6 And now, these are the words which king Benjamin desired of them; and therefore he said unto them: Ye have spoken the words that I desired; and the covenant which ye have made is a righteous covenant.
7 And now, because of the covenant which ye have made ye shall be called the children of Christ, his sons, and his daughters; for behold, this day he hath spiritually begotten you; for ye say that your hearts are changed through faith on his name; therefore, ye are born of him and have become his sons and his daughters.
There is a close relationship between entering a covenant with God and having righteous desires. The people who heard King Benjamin’s speech went through the following sequence of actions:
- They humbled themselves.
- They prayed in faith, pleading for mercy, and received a remission of their sins.
- They received the Spirit of the Lord, which changed their hearts, so that they “had no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually” (Mosiah 5:2).
- They willingly entered a covenant with God to obey him for the rest of their lives.
Even though these events occurred in a sequence, note how Benjamin combines them as he summarizes what has just happened. His people have become the sons and daughters of Christ “because of the covenant” which they have made, “for ye say that your hearts are changed through faith on his name; therefore, ye…have become his sons and his daughters.”
If you were to ask, “Were they spiritually reborn because they made a covenant or because their hearts were changed?” the answer would be “both.” They were willing to promise to obey God because they had no more desire to do evil. The covenant was the external manifestation of the internal change. The two were inseparable.
Today, I will reflect on the symbolism of the covenants I have made with God. I will remember that I promised to obey and serve Him because I wanted to obey and serve Him. My covenants are the tagible expression of my genuine desires.