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'Covenants commit us to being unshakable in our devotion to God'

Speaking of God's love for each of His children and the part covenants play in the plan of happiness, Elder Jeffrey R. and Patricia T. Holland addressed hundreds gathered in the Marriott Center at BYU for Women's Conference, April 28-29.

Elder Holland of the Seventy and his wife were the keynote speakers for the fireside April 28. Speaking side by side, they offered remarks based on the topic, "Considering Covenants: Women, Men, Perspectives, Promises.""I wish to stress at some length that God is good, as any father worthy of the name will always be to his children," Elder Holland said. "My testimony tonight is that He does know us and does love us and that He hears our personal prayers. My testimony is that nothing in this universe is more important to Him than your hopes and happiness."

In referring to covenants, Sister Holland said: "The safety and surety of making covenants with God is anchored in the fact that He has prepared them for our exquisite joy. He won't hurt us, He won't trick us, He won't disparage or demean us. No one will be left alone or adrift or unanchored.

"It is His goodness - goodness which gives us a plan of safety and happiness, goodness which gives us a Redeeming Brother even at unspeakable Parental cost, goodness which gives us help in times of daily struggle and nightly sorrow. The glory of such compassion lights up the soul and wrenches away fear, anger and disbelief so majestically that we have to be, in effect, carried from the scene."

Elder Holland, former president of BYU, added: "That is why we can make covenants with such confidence, knowing with certainty God's power over darkness and danger and troubles of every kind. We should give gratitude from the depths of our soul for `a plan of happiness' which provides for escape from every personal mistake we have ever made and every dumb thing we have ever done."

Sister Holland explained: "Covenants are vital not only because they commit us to being unshakable in our devotion to God, which they do, but perhaps even more encouragingly, they remind us God will always be unshakable in His devotion toward us."

Elder Holland noted: "Covenants are binding, supernal, consummate contracts between God and His children. They are the solemn promises of Deity that heaven will pour out unmeasured blessings upon all who are faithful and honor the conditions of their pledge. An individual can swear on oath but only when God reciprocates in kind is there a covenant established."

In speaking of the role of women in the Church, Sister Holland said: "I believe the Brethren are looking to the women of the Church, the strong, valiant, ever-faithful women of the Church to be defenders of priesthood power. God has a view of women, who they are, what they do incomparably, and what eternally they will be. Women must seize that vision and embrace it, or they - and the human family with them - will perish."