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The New and Everlasting Covenant of Marriage.

The New and Everlasting Covenant of Marriage.
In the April 2015 Training on “Observance of Sabbath Day at Home,” Elder David A. Bednar said, “The basic purpose of all we teach and all we do in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is to make available the priesthood authority and gospel ordinances and covenants that enable a man and a woman and their children to be sealed together and happy at home.” He continued to cite President Boyd K. Packer, “Our ultimate purpose… is to unite parents and children in faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, that they are happy at home, sealed in an eternal marriage, linked to their generations, and assured of exaltation in the presence of our Heavenly Father.”  I invite you to ponder Doctrine and Covenants 131:1-2 “In the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees; And in order to obtain the highest, a man must enter into this order of the priesthood [meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage].”  What is, then, the new and everlasting covenant of marriage, and where does it start?
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The Covenant Path:

The Covenant Path:

When a man or a woman is taught the gospel and accepts it, they exercise faith in Christ, repent of their sins, and enter into the first covenant of the covenant path, baptism. Through baptism they enter on the path toward eternal life, which is the life God lives. They promise obedience to specific commandments and enter in those promises by entering into the waters of baptism, performed by the proper priesthood authority, dressed in white. Baptism, then, is the first step that leads to exaltation. It is an invitation to the temple to one day be sealed and happy with someone that will have entered into and kept the same covenants with their God. The promises of chastity, of honoring the Sabbath, of tithing faithfulness, are then means to prepare each one who starts on that path to exaltation. The cleansing power that comes with baptism is essential to prepare men and women to be worthy and prepared in all things to enter into the most sacred ordinance of marriage. Baptism and sealing are then of the same nature. They are ordinances of the Gospel; one calls for the other, and the other cannot be entered into without the first.

Priesthood Service:

Priesthood Service:

After baptism and receiving the Holy Ghost that will lead the traveler on the covenant path, men enter into the Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood and take upon themselves the sacred obligation of service. King Benjamin taught, “And now, for the sake of these things which I have spoken unto you—that is, for the sake of retaining a remission of your sins from day to day, that ye may walk guiltless before God—I would that ye should impart of your substance to the poor, every man according to that which he hath, such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and administering to their relief, both spiritually and temporally, according to their wants” (Mosiah 4:26).  After obtaining a remission of our sins, it is faithful service that keeps and makes us clean from the blood of this generation. It is countless acts of faithful visits to the one in need of comfort, of kindness or our substance given, that transforms us and fills our hearts with compassion and love. If we can serve the needy that are strangers to our own family, would we be kind to our own? If we learn to serve without pride and envy would we take the time to be kind with our wife or husband, and our children? If we teach the gospel with love to those that we visit, would we then teach our children at home to read the scriptures, pray and serve? Service in the priesthood is the second step in preparing for a happy marriage. As I have immersed myself in the service of God I have learned how to serve and bless my own family.

Consecration:

Consecration:

Then we enter the temple for more covenants that lead us to consecrate ourselves even more fully to the Lord. As we prepare for the sacred covenant of marriage, the strength of our relation with our Savior and our consecration to his work become an anchor for our souls that would keep us from looking anywhere else but towards eternal life. The temptations of this world will lose power as we truly learn to consecrate who we are and what we want to become to the Lord and to the establishment of His Kingdom.

Sealing:

Sealing:

We are now preparing ourselves to establish our own kingdom, our eternal kingdom, even our own family. We are prepared to enter the last ordinance of the new and everlasting covenant, which is marriage or the sealing.

As we have faithfully kept each step, not just by entering the covenant but by keeping it and making it who we are, the Holy Spirit of Promise validates in due time, based on our faithfulness, each of these covenants entered into and the associated blessings. 

A man and a woman who are faithful are then laying the foundation for their posterity to grow in the truth of the Gospel, guiding them on the covenant path.

Never Give Up:

Never Give Up:

Some might think, “I will never meet the right person,” or, “I’m too old,” or, “I have been divorced,” or they might consider many other circumstances of life that make this model look ideal but not realistic for them personally. Please do not give up; you are on the path of the “New and everlasting covenant of marriage” from the time of your baptism, and as you stay faithful to your covenants, they will guide you to the blessings you long for. Your baptism is the first step towards your eternal marriage, either here or hereafter.  Keep at it and be faithful. To those who see their love waiver, please strengthen your relationship with the Lord, both of you, and seek not to change the other one, but to put all your energy into changing yourself. As you do, week after week, renewing the covenants you have made, and coming to the Lord for help every Sunday as you partake of the sacrament, you can and will receive strength you didn’t know existed.

He Lives and Loves Us:

He Lives and Loves Us:

I have learned that after every storm there is clear sky as we persevere and come unto Christ. Youth and Young Single Adults, keep your focus.  Remember the white cloth you wore on the day of your baptism, and look forward to be dressed in white in the temple of your God. He Loves you and has restored his Church for you to be happy and sealed to someone that loves Him and will love you.  Be the kind of person that you would like to find. Believe in God; believe that He is, and that He knows all things (see Mosiah 4:9).  He has prepared the way for us to walk the path of covenants and we will be crowned with eternal lives. He lives. He loves you. He knows you personally and can help you be sealed and happy together now and forever.