Tuesday, June 28, 2016

D. Todd Christofferson on blessings from obedience to covenants

Elder D. Todd Christofferson (b. January 24, 1945) was called to the Seventy in 1993, and as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 2008.
"As we walk in obedience to the principles and commandments of the gospel of Jesus Christ, we enjoy a continual flow of blessings promised by God in His covenant with us. Those blessings provide the resources we need to act rather than simply be acted upon as we go through life.... Obedience gives us greater control over our lives, greater capacity to come and go, to work and create. Of course, age, accident, and illnesses inevitably take their toll, but even so, our obedience to this gospel law enhances our capacity to deal with these challenges.
"In the covenant path we find a steady supply of gifts and help. 'Charity never faileth' (1 Corinthians 13:8; Moroni 7:46), love begets love, compassion begets compassion, virtue begets virtue, commitment begets loyalty, and service begets joy. We are part of a covenant people, a community of Saints who encourage, sustain, and minister to one another. As Nephi explained, 'And if it so be that the children of men keep the commandments of God he doth nourish them, and strengthen them' (1 Nephi 17:3)....
"Our covenants supply strength—they produce the faith necessary to persevere and to do all things that are expedient in the Lord. Our willingness to take upon us the name of Christ and keep His commandments requires a degree of faith, but as we honor our covenants, that faith expands. In the first place, the promised fruits of obedience become evident, which confirms our faith. Secondly, the Spirit communicates God's pleasure, and we feel secure in His continued blessing and help. Thirdly, come what may, we can face life with hope and equanimity, knowing that we will succeed in the end because we have God's promise to us individually, by name, and we know He cannot lie (see Enos 1:6; Ether 3:12)."
- D. Todd Christofferson, "The Power of Covenants," Ensign, May 2009, pp. 19-23
Click here to read the full talk

I love the concept of walking "in the covenant path" with God. Though obedience is often thought to be limiting and constricting, Elder Christofferson teaches that there is greater power and freedom, greater capacity and ability when we act in obedience to covenants.

Perhaps most importantly, covenants produce faith. It requires a degree of faith to begin in the covenant path, trusting that God will uphold His promises. But as we begin along that path, our faith is immediately strengthened, and it grows with every additional step we take.

  1. Obedience brings results or "fruits" and we grow in faith as we observe them
  2. We feel God's pleasure at our obedience as the Spirit communicates to us
  3. We know all will be will in the end because we trust in God's promises to us, and can therefore face life "with hope and equanimity"

What a marvelous promise and process that is!

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