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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Ch. 15: The Lord's Covenant People

from Gospel Principles:

When people make covenants (promises) with the Lord, they know what He expects of them and what blessings they may expect from Him.  The people who covenant with the Lord and with whom the Lord makes covenants are known as the Lord's covenant people. 

Within the gospel, a covenant means a sacred agreement or mutual promise between god and a person or group of people.  In making a covenant, God promises a blessing for obedience to particular commandments.  He sets the terms of His covenants, and He reveals these terms to His prophets.  If we choose to obey the terms of the covenant, we receive promised blessings.  If we choose not to obey, He withholds the blessings, and in some instances a penalty also is given.

Abraham (pictured above), an Old Testament prophet, was a very righteous man and kept all of the Lord's commandments.  Because of his righteousness, the Lord made a covenant with him and his descendants (see Galatians 3:26-29).  Abraham's blood descendants and those adopted into his lineage by accepting and living the gospel of Jesus Christ are included in this covenant.

The fulness of the gospel is called the new and everlasting covenant.  The Lord calls it everlasting because it is ordained by an everlasting God and because the covenant will never be changed.  He gave this same covenant to Adam, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, and other prophets, so in this sense it is not new.  But the Lord calls it new because each time the gospel is restored after being taken from the earth, it is new to the people who receive it.  As we keep our covenants, our Heavenly Father promises us that we will receive exaltation in the celestial kingdom (we'll discuss this more in chapter 47).

The greatness of that promise is hard for mortals to understand.  The commandments He gives are for our benefit, and as we are faithful we may forever share the blessings and beauties of heaven and earth.  We may live in His presence and partake of His love, compassion, power, greatness, knowledge, wisdom, glory, and dominions.

As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I accept the new and everlasting covenant.  I am one of the Lord's covenant people and for example, how I dress, act, and keep the commandments of God show my commitment to living this gospel.  It can get difficult to follow but certainly doable.  Let's remember that we are children of God and so we are already great.  May we honor our heritage and live worthy to receive the abundant blessings in store for us.

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