A feeling of faith and a desire to change and to repent were the first fruits of that message, followed by a desire to enter into the waters of baptism as a sign that we had 'entered in by the way'[i].
Through the ordinance of baptism, we covenanted with our Father in Heaven that we were willing to 'to mourn with those that mourn... and to stand as witnesses of God at all times'[ii], and to live according to the laws of the ordinances of the gospel. It is very common to think that because we have been baptized, everything is done and that we have reached our goal. In reality, however, the covenants that we made through the ordinance of baptism are only 'the gate by which [we] should enter'[iii].
I learned about the gospel together with my family in Barahona. One day, the missionaries came to our home. I was 11 years old. Somehow, I was delighted by what they taught us. Right now I do not remember all my feelings clearly, but what I can tell you is that I liked what they taught. We felt very good; they brought a very special spirit into our home. Thus, when the missionaries invited us to be baptized, I did not doubt; I accepted and entered the waters of baptism together with my mother. That was how I entered into the way and made my baptismal covenants with the Lord.
There are other important covenants that follow baptism, such as the Aaronic Priesthood and the Melchizedek Priesthood. Once we have been members of the Church for a year, we can go to the temple and make temple covenants there, including marriage and sealing together with our family for this life and for eternity. The promised blessings for obeying these covenants are eternal in scope.
Gospel Topics teaches us the following about covenants:
'A covenant is a sacred agreement between God and a person or group of people. God sets specific conditions, and He promises to bless us as we obey those conditions.'
There are covenants established by the Lord that are not necessarily derived from making an ordinance, such as the case of keeping the Sabbath day holy (Exodus 31:16).
There are other responsibilities as well that will come to us as members of the Church, which, though not derived from an ordinance, will bring us great blessings. These include the opportunity to hold callings; serve a mission; and keep the law of tithing, fasting, and offerings, just to name a few.
Keeping the commandments and being faithful to the covenants that we have made with Heavenly Father is the most meaningful way to show our love, both to Him and to Jesus Christ. As we mold our lives in accordance with these covenants, we will overcome the weaknesses of this world and lead our lives and those of our families toward a deeper communion with God.
The Savior declared, 'If ye love me, keep my commandments'[iv].
Samuel reminded Saul that '... to obey is better than sacrifice...'[v].
The Caribbean Area Presidency has invited all members to 'be more converted'[vi] by keeping the covenants that we have made with the Lord. A deeper conversion will show in the steadfastness with which we live each of the covenants that we have made with Him.
Brothers and Sisters, may we live according to our covenants. Let us not be moved to and fro by the waves of the sea[vii]. May we strive to reach 'the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ'[viii] so 'the times of refreshing'[ix] will come that Peter announced to those listening to him outside the temple.
The Savior said, 'These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace'[x]. There is no greater peace than that which comes from living His gospel. May the Lord bless us as we seek to live each day according to the covenants that we have made with Him.