Elder Renlund counsels students to strengthen spiritual bond with God through covenants

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Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve spoke to the BYU campus community about the power of making covenants with God in a devotional on Tuesday, March 5.

Elder Renlund emphasized the secure promise of immortality through the Savior’s resurrection and the importance of covenants. According to him, covenants are non-negotiable pledges that transform, save and exalt us when we make and keep them. 

Elder Dale G. Renlund spoke to the BYU campus community on Tuesday, March 5. His remarks addressed the strength of making multiple covenants with God. (McKenna Jensen)

“A covenant is a pledge that we should prepare for, clearly understand and absolutely honor,” Elder Renlund said. 

According to Elder Renlund, the phrase “covenant path” encompasses a series of several promises that draw us closer to our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. He said that journey begins with baptism, followed by the essential step of receiving the Melchizedek Priesthood for men. The covenant path continues with the temple ordinances, which embody five covenants. 

“These five covenants, however, are not separate. You can’t choose to make a subset of the five. You make all five or none,” Elder Renlund said. 

Elder Renlund used exercise bands to illustrate how each covenant serves as a binding loop, which draws people closer to the Savior and His unbreakable promises. 

Three individuals, representing all the children of God on Earth, stepped in for the exercise band object lesson. Each loop of the bands represented one covenant. The three individuals had a different number of loops, and those with more found it increasingly difficult to separate their hands.

“Each covenant adds a bond, drawing us closer to and strengthening our connection with God,” Elder Renlund said. 

With his cardiologist background, Elder Renlund compared risk factors for heart disease and the potential risk of not making multiple covenants. He clarified while certain health risks are beyond our control, making covenants is a choice within our agency. The metaphor of the exercise bands illustrated that making multiple covenants decreases the risk of growing distant from God.

Sister Renlund and Kate McConlogue at the devotional. Elder Renlund used exercise bands to teach about making multiple covenants with God. (McKenna Jensen)

“We further decrease our risk to separate ourselves from God because the bond is stronger and draws us closer,” Elder Renlund said. “In other words, making multiple covenants along the covenant path helps us mature in our discipleship.”

Elder Renlund broke down the baptismal, endowment and sealing ordinances with their associated covenants. Understanding the facets of our covenants is what converts the soul, Elder Renlund said. 

Elder Renlund encouraged those who are baptized to prepare to receive their temple endowment. He also invited all to intently focus on their covenants as they partake of the sacrament weekly and to focus on what they can control.

“God established multiple covenants to bless us, not to condemn us. Focusing intently on the covenants we have made and preparing for the next one is the best way to prepare to receive all that Heavenly Father has. It is how we think celestial,” Elder Renlund said.

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