In order to qualify for exaltation in the celestial kingdom, we must gain the trust of the Lord here on earth.
Today we will be likening the scriptures unto ourselves in an attempt to understand covenants, importance of keeping them, and the power that is given to those that keep their covenants with the Lord.
1. Why: Joseph Smith said, "And may God enable us to perform our vows and covenants with each other, in all fidelity and righteousness before Him, that our influence may be felt among the nations of the earth, in mighty power, even to rend the kingdoms of darkness asunder, and triumph over priestcraft and spiritual wickedness in high places, and break in pieces all kingdoms that are opposed to the kingdom of Christ, and spread the light and truth of the everlasting Gospel from the rivers to the ends of the earth." (Teachings of Joseph Smith, Covenants)
Anti-Nephi-Lehi or the people of Ammon
Nephite Perception: Alma 26: 23-25 Their days have been spent in the grossest iniquity… Let us destroy them
History: Alma 18: 39-42, Alma 19, 12-13, 14-16, 33-35, Alma 22:16-18, Alma 23: 2-5,
Covenants: Alma 24:18- Testimony to God and men that they never would use weapons for the shedding of blood.
Rather than shed blood, they would give up their own lives.
Rather than take away from a brother they would give unto him.
Rather than spend their days in idleness they would labor abundantly with their hands.
Reward: Alma 23:6- As many of the Lamanites as believed and were converted unto the Lord, never did fall away.
2,000 sons of Helaman
Covenants: Alma 53:17- To fight for the liberty of the Nephites
To protect the land unto the laying down of their lives
They never would give up their liberty, but… to fight… to protect the Nephites and themselves from bondage
Character: Alma 53:20-21, Alma 56: 44-47, Alma 57: 20-21
History: Alma 53:9-16, Alma 55-58
2. In the midst of this dangerous and chaotic situation, righteous men were sought after to lead the Nephite armies—men like Moroni and Helaman. These Nephite leaders understood that their nation's ability to defend itself was in direct proportion to their obedience to the Lord. They constantly struggled to motivate the population to remember the Lord and keep His commandments. (Richard J. Maynes)
Reward: Alma 56: 56- Not one soul of them fallen to the earth… never were men known to have fought with such miraculous strength; and with such mighty power
Alma 57: 25-26- Many fainted because of loss of blood, but not one soul of them did perish, neither was there one soul among them who had not received many wounds. "And we do justly ascribe it to the miraculous power of God, because of their exceeding faith in that which they had been taught to believe… whosoever did not doubt… they should be preserved by his marvelous power."
Alma 58:39- The Lord has supported them, yea, and kept them from falling by the sword, insomuch that even one soul has not been slain
3. Helaman and his young stripling soldiers understood the importance of making covenants with the Lord. They were also recipients of the blessings that come to those who faithfully keep their covenants. (Richard J. Maynes)
4. We have also taken upon ourselves sacred obligations. We have done this in the waters of baptism and in the temples of the Lord. We call these obligations covenants. Covenants are promises we make to the Lord. They are extremely sacred in nature. The most important thing we can do in this life is to keep the promises or covenants we have made with the Lord. When we keep our promises to the Lord, He allows us to progress spiritually.
5. Brothers and sisters, we are all looking forward to the day when we can return home to our Heavenly Father. In order to qualify for exaltation in the celestial kingdom, we must gain the trust of the Lord here on earth. We gain the trust of the Lord through earning it, and that is accomplished through our actual performance in living His gospel and keeping our covenants. In other words, we earn the trust of the Lord by doing His will. (Richard J. Maynes)
Written by Craig Conover on 4/24/05.
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