Keeping covenants brings blessings in mortality
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Maria Louisa Torres of the Relief Society General Board recently spoke with a large ward's Relief Society president. This sister, a single member with a stressful full-time job, said sometimes her duties seem especially daunting. She told Sister Torres that on a particular Sunday, neither of her counselors were able to be with her, and the assigned teacher called to say she would not be able to teach because she was sick.
The Relief Society president became very disheartened, lonely and felt forsaken. She sat down in Relief Society wondering how she could ever overcome those feelings and render a message that could uplift the sisters in attendance at Relief Society, when she herself was in great need of spiritual comfort.
Then she noticed an unusual occurrence. The room was filled with more than the usual amount of sisters. One sister noticing the absence of both the teacher and counselors quietly approached her to ask, "Is there anything I can do?" Another sister began to pass out the hymn books, and still another sister prepared the room. The opening hymn, "Lord, I Would Follow Thee" renewed her.
This Relief Society president, who had not planned to conduct that day, stood to conduct. Her secretary handed her a detailed outline with the announcements.
Having prepared spiritually by reviewing the lesson for that week, the Relief Society president was able, by the Spirit, to lead the sisters in a discussion based on the principles of the chapter. Reflecting upon the lesson that day, she said, "It was a great lesson and the Spirit was there."
At the end of the lesson a dear, quiet, timid, faithful sister came and cleared everything away. The Relief Society president said, "I just loved her for it! These simple, thoughtful acts made all the difference to me."
Sister Torres said this Relief Society president realized that on that day she had been the one ministered to. She felt renewed in her efforts to do all in her power to serve the sisters. She understood that the shared love they felt for one another in Relief Society helped them to overcome the unforeseen mishaps that occurred that day. They all went away from the meeting feeling united, spiritually refreshed and renewed, able to face the new week. "The sisters in her ward had worked together to give their contribution to the building of the kingdom," Sister Torres said.
Sister Linda K. Burton and her counselors in the Relief Society general presidency, Sister Carole M. Stephens and Sister Linda S. Reeves, are grateful when Latter-day Saint women worldwide "cleave unto covenants" they have made in the temple and at baptism. "God promises blessings that are conditional on the person faithfully fulfilling the covenant," according to the Church Handbook 2. "As Church members honor and keep their covenants, they are greatly blessed in mortality and become eligible for exaltation."
"At this point you may be thinking, 'But what about me and my contribution? I'm not Eve or Mary or even Lucy Mack Smith. I'm just regular, plain old me. Is there something about my contribution that is significant to the Lord? Does He really need me?' Remember, the righteous who are not highly visible are valued too and, in the words of a Book of Mormon prophet, are 'no less serviceable unto the people'" (Alma 48:19). — Elder M. Russell Ballard, BYU devotional, March 13, 2001
"Every sister in this Church who has made covenants with the Lord has a divine mandate to help save souls, to lead the women of the world, to strengthen the homes of Zion, and to build the kingdom of God." — Elder M. Russell Ballard, BYU devotional, March 13, 2001
"As we have considered the critical need to strengthen families and homes, we have felt that the Lord would have us encourage His beloved daughters to cheerfully cleave to their covenants. When covenants are kept, families are strengthened." — Sister Linda K. Burton, Relief Society general meeting, Sept. 29, 2012
"It isn't enough to just be on the journey; we must be awake to our duty and continue with faith as we draw upon the comforting, strengthening, enabling and healing power of the Atonement." — Sister Carole M. Stephens, Relief Society general meeting, Sept. 29, 2012
"When we are confirmed, we receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, the right to have the constant influence of a member of the Godhead to guide us, to comfort us and to protect us." — Sister Carole M. Stephens, Relief Society general meeting, Sept. 29, 2012