Part 2: Thriving as Covenant-Keeping Latter-day Saints (Read Part 1 HERE)
In the Book of Mormon, there was a time where the Nephite people were being influenced by a crafty and persuasive voice. A man named Amalickiah was going among the people promising them great power and influence if they would help him overthrow the government and support him as king. It must have been a very compelling argument because the scriptures tell us the following:
“[…] There were many in the church who believed in the flattering words of Amalickiah, therefore they dissented even from the church.”
THE POWER OF COVENANTS
As this precarious situation was taking place, Moroni, chief commander of the Nephite army, became very upset about what was going on with his people. Maybe some of you may have felt like Moroni. Have you felt troubled as people you love and care about have decided to leave the gospel path? Have you watched in anguish as friends or loved ones have suffered with severe depression, self-loathing, anxiety or suicide? Have you said to yourself, “Something has to change!”; “This isn’t right!”?
I believe we can learn much from Moroni’s response:
“And it came to pass that he rent his coat; and he took a piece thereof, and wrote upon it—In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children—and he fastened it upon the end of a pole.
And […] he went forth among the people, waving the rent part of his garment in the air, […] crying with a loud voice, saying:
Behold, whosoever will maintain this title upon the land, let them come forth in the strength of the Lord, and enter into a covenant that they will maintain their rights, and their religion, that the Lord God may bless them.”
God, religion, freedom, peace, and family – these are the objects that Moroni chose to stir up the hearts of the faithful. He implored the people to come forth “in the strength of the Lord, and enter into a covenant.”
Moroni knew the power of covenant keeping and that by doing so God would pour out his blessings and protection upon them.
Can we not apply this lesson to our day? Stephen M. Jones taught the following about the power of covenants:
“[Covenants] bind us to God and to each other with the promise that all of the blessings He possesses will be ours to share with our families across generations through our obedience and faithfulness. […] Covenants act as a compass to the soul, guiding and correcting our present course and helping us navigate toward future possibilities.”
Covenants literally bind us to God and to each other. They are our compass to help us reach our vast, eternal potential as God’s children. When we abide by our covenants we are blessed with power from on high to endure the challenges we face in our lives. Covenants protect us from the influence of outside voices that would keep us from reaching our eternal potential and destiny. This is why it is the mission of North Star to help empower individuals and families to make and keep sacred covenants as they address the complexities of sexual orientation and gender identity. As we learn to do this, we will find the hope and joy President Hunter promised us – we will truly flourish and thrive.
PROJECT THRIVE – ARE YOU INTERESTED IN HELPING?
To assist you in this endeavor, I announced at our recent conference the creation of a new North Star initiative called Project THRIVE. This project will feature the creation of a gospel principle based framework designed to specifically address the common challenges and pitfalls regularly experienced by men and women navigating the complexities of sexual orientation and/or gender identity and their LDS faith. The framework will highlight key gospel principles that have helped members of the North Star community live authentically, find peace, and make and keep covenants. Individuals will be encouraged to apply these principles in a personal, unique way under the guidance of personal revelation from God.
The creation of this framework will be a process and will require many dedicated hands. If you are passionate about helping individuals in our community find peace and joy through living the restored gospel – we need your help! I have included below a link where you can apply to join the first team which will create the SSA Men resources. If this message has touched your heart, I pray you will consider joining our efforts. We will be needing volunteers in other demographics in the near future.
President, North Star International
INTERESTED IN HELPING? CLICK HERE