What Is a Covenant?

A covenant is a formal agreement between two parties (Oxford English Dictionary).

The word comes from two Latin roots: com (“together”) and venire (“to come”). So the word literally means to “come together” (See Online Etymology Dictionary.)

God loves all of His children. He wants us to achieve our full potential, and He will send blessings to help each of us.

He is also willing to enter into a covenant relationship with us. If we choose to enter into covenants with Him, we receive promises from Him which we can rely upon. We also make promises to Him which gives us the opportunity to earn His trust.

One of the messages of the Book of Mormon is that anyone can enter a covenant relationship with God. The privilege is available to anyone who is willing to believe and repent:

As many of the Gentiles as will repent are the covenant people of the Lord;… for the Lord covenanteth with none save it be with them that repent and believe in his Son, who is the Holy One of Israel (2 Nephi 30:2).

When we make covenants with God, we receive His power:

I, Nephi, beheld the power of the Lamb of God, that it descended upon the saints of the church of the Lamb, and upon the covenant people of the Lord,… and they were armed with righteousness and with the power of God in great glory (1 Nephi 14:14).

We can be sure that God will always fulfill His promises:

He will fulfil all his promises which he shall make unto you, for he has fulfilled his promises which he has made unto our fathers (Alma 37:17).

The eternal purposes of the Lord shall roll on, until all his promises shall be fulfilled (Mormon 8:22).

One of the purposes of the Book of Mormon is to teach us that we are not alone—that God has not cast us off because of the covenants we and others have made with Him (Title Page).

President Russell M. Nelson shared the sorrow he feels for good people who are unwilling to enter a covenant relationship with God:

The Savior invites all to follow Him into the waters of baptism and, in time, to make additional covenants with God in the temple….
The anguish of my heart is that many people whom I love, whom I admire, and whom I respect decline His invitation….
How I wish I could visit with them and invite them to consider seriously the enabling laws of the Lord. I’ve wondered what I could possibly say so they would feel how much the Savior loves them and know how much I love them and come to recognize how covenant-keeping women and men can receive a “fulness of joy” (“‘Come, Follow Me,'” General Conference, April 2019).

Today, I will be grateful for the covenants I have been privileged to make with God. I will remember those covenants have strengthened my relationship with Him. I will remember that I can always rely on His promises. And I will remember that, by keeping my covenants, and through continual repentance, I can eventually receive a fulness of joy.

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