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FHE: Covenants

Conference Talk:
For more information on this topic read “The Eternal Blessings of Marriage,” by Richard G. Scott, Ensign, May 2011, 94.

Thought:
I have no power to describe the peace and serenity that come from the assurance that as I continue to live worthily, I will be able to be with my beloved [wife] and our children forever because of . . . the covenants we had made in the temple.

(Richard G. Scott, “The Eternal Blessings of Marriage,” Ensign, May 2011, 94.)

Song:
“I Love to See the Temple,” Children’s Songbook, p. 95.

Scripture:
And this shall be our covenant—that we will walk in all the ordinances of the Lord. (Doctrine and Covenants 136:4)

Lesson:
Write the following letters on a piece of paper large enough to show to your family.

ENNVATCOS

See if family members can use all the letters to form a word. (The word is “covenants.”) If they are having a difficult time figuring out the word, tell them the word can be found in D&C 97:8. After they have discovered the word, have them read D&C 97:7–9. Then ask how this word pertains to the message of the verses. Ask:

• What is a covenant? (A sacred promise with God in which God tells us how He would like to bless us and the conditions we must live to receive those blessings. We promise to keep those conditions or commandments.)
• According to verse 8, what should be the condition of our hearts and our spirits?
• What kinds of covenants have we made with God?
• What has God promised if we keep our covenants?

Share the following story from Elder Boyd K. Packer about a recently released stake president who said, “I was happy to accept the call to serve as stake president, and I am equally happy to accept my release. I did not serve just because I was under call. I served because I am under covenant. And I can keep my covenants quite as well as a home teacher as I can serving as stake president.”

Elder Packer said, “This president understood the word covenant. . . . [He] had learned that exaltation is achieved by keeping covenants, not by holding high position. . . .

“Ordinances and covenants become our creden tials for admission into the Lord’s presence. To worthily receive them is the quest of a lifetime; to keep them thereafter is the challenge of mortality.” (Ensign, May 1987, 24.) Ask:

• From what Elder Packer said, how do we achieve exaltation?
• What is the “quest of a lifetime”?
• What covenants do you still need to receive?
• What is the “challenge of mortality”?
• What can you do to better keep your covenants?

(Dennis H. Leavitt and Richard O. Christensen, Scripture Study for Latter-day Saint Families: The Doctrine and Covenants, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2004], p. 211.)

Story:
“Her Mother Died Before the Salt Lake Temple Was Completed”
Heber J. Grant

I shall always be grateful, to the day of my death, that I did not listen to some of my friends when, as a young man not quite twenty-one years of age, I took the trouble to travel all the way from Utah County to St. George to be married in the St. George Temple. That was before the railroad went south of Utah County, and we had to travel the rest of the way by team. It was a long and difficult trip in those times, over unimproved and uncertain roads, and the journey each way required several days.

Many advised me not to make the effort—not to go all the way down to St. George to be married. They reasoned that I could have the president of the stake or my bishop marry me, and then when the Salt Lake Temple was completed, I could go there with my wife and children and be sealed to her and have our children sealed to us for eternity.

Why did I not listen to them? Because I wanted to be married for time and eternity—because I wanted to start life right.

Later I had cause to rejoice greatly because of my determination to be married in the temple at that time rather than to have waited until some later and seemingly more convenient time.

Some years ago . . . I was out in one of the stakes attending a conference, and one of my daughters, who was the representative of the Young Women’s general board at the conference, said: “I am very grateful to the Lord that I was properly born—born under the covenant, born of parents that had been properly married and sealed in the temple of the Lord.”

Tears came into my eyes, because her mother died before the Salt Lake Temple was completed and I was grateful that I had not listened to the remarks of my friends who had tried to persuade me not to go to the St. George Temple to be married. I was very grateful for the inspiration and determination I had to start life right.

(Leon R. Hartshorn, Classic Stories from the Lives of Our Prophets, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1971].)

Activity:
Play a coin toss game.

Get five containers (cups, glasses, jars, or pans). Label the containers “Tithing,” “Baptism,” “Sacrament,” “Temple,” and “Celestial Kingdom.” Place a piece of tape on the floor where family members will have to stand. You might want to make a closer tape line for younger family members.

Place the containers in a row, the “Tithing” container being closest to the line and “Celestial Kingdom” the farthest away.

Have family members take turns trying to throw a coin into the containers. Each person has to successfully throw a coin into the “Tithing” container before he can try the next container. When a person misses, the next player takes a turn.

Play until everyone has reached the celestial kingdom. Explain that family members progress toward the celestial kingdom by making and keeping covenants.

(adapted from Allan K. Burgess and Max H. Molgard, Fun for Family Night: Church History Edition, [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1992], p. 115.)

Refreshment
Poppyseed Cake

  • 1 (18.25-ounce) package yellow cake mix
  • 1 (3.4-ounce) vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1⁄2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon rum flavoring
  • 1⁄2 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 1⁄4 cup poppy seeds
  • 1⁄4 cup powdered sugar, optional


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a Bundt pan and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine cake and pudding mixes, eggs, sour cream, water, rum flavoring, melted butter, and poppy seeds. Blend well on low speed and then beat at medium speed for 5 minutes.

Pour batter into prepared Bundt pan. Bake about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool in pan 15 minutes. Turn out onto cake rack and cool completely. Sift a light dusting of powdered sugar over cake, if desired. Makes 14 servings.

(Lion House Cakes and Cupcakes, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2011], p. 117.)

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