In preparation for a lesson on "Bearing One Another's Burdens", one night after family scriptures, I asked for examples of individuals or groups of people who have bore the burdens of another. Many good references were sited, but one captured my full attention. Emily (Daniel's girlfriend who was visiting at the time) reminded us of the Sons of Helaman who basically made a covenant to take up arms so that their parents could honor the covenant they had made to lay down their arms. I loved that relationship of making and keeping covenants to bearing another's burdens.
This morning in my personal scripture study, I was reading Alma 24 and gained further insight of what makes and keeps a covenant people. You know how I love patterns in the scriptures... well there is a significant one found in these verses and I likened it to our family. And yes children.......I am going to share my findings with you so go get your Book of Mormon and follow along!
vs.7-10 "I thank my God..." Each of these verses begin with those words. A Covenant Family Freely Expresses Gratitude.
vs.9-12 A Covenant Family Understands and Utilizes the Principle of Repentance. Verse 9, the people acknowledge their sins. Verse 10-11, they acknowledge their sins to God and seek forgiveness "...through the merits of his Son". Verse 12 They receive a remission of their sins and pledge to "...stain [their] swords no more".
vs.13-14. A Covenant Family Understands & Utilizes The Cleansing Power of the Atonement. Within these two verses we learn of the power of "...the blood of the Son"; the nature of God "...God has had mercy on us...that we night not perish", and the plan of salvation (see vers 14). On a personal note, I would love for you study verse 14 and enlighten me as to what it means to you?
vs.15-16 A Covenant Family Seeks to Be Purified. Regardless of what trials and temptations come our way, we continue to repent and keep our weapons buried "...deep in the earth, that[we]may be kept bright".
vs.17-19 A Covenant Family Renews Their Covenants Consistently. I love how the Anti-Nephi-Lehies renewed the covenant they had made. Verse 18 (1)."...They would give up their own lives...(2)they would give unto [a brother]...(3)rather than spend their days in idleness they would labor abundantly with their hands". A covenant family values the ordinance of the sacrament, drawing close to 'Him who saves', every single week. We return OFTEN to the temple and bless others as we assist in helping them make sacred covenants. I love that as members of the Jared Rust family, we are all of an age where we can be holders of a temple recommend. Please always be worthy of holding that recommend. And don't just hold it......USE IT!!! It is how we "labor abundantly" and honor our covenants .
vs.20-26 A Covenant Family Trusts in the Lord. I don't think there is a more beautiful display of trusting in the Lord than what is written in these verses. It is doubtful we will be required to lay down our life because of covenants we have made with the Lord, but we are required to trust Him and LIVE. He asks his covenanted people to serve in callings, raise children in the Christ-centered homes, build celestial relationships and truly cherish and serve each other.
That is all I have. I hope you have enjoyed this little scripture study time. I know I have. I would love to have your thoughts and teachings as well. So feel free to share.
I write....that my children may know the privilege and joy of belonging to a covenant family.