Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Preparing Children to Make and Keep Covenants

When I wrote my first post, I shared this picture of me getting ready to enter into the covenant of baptism.   That was a happy and cherished day.  This has become a beloved photo, and looking back, was the perfect way to start this blog.
Since then, I've gained new insights into the covenants that I have made, and I've turned my attention to helping my children place their feet squarely on this path as well.
What is the covenant path?:  Bishop Gary E. Stevenson has said, "In our lives...certain things are absolutely essential...These spiritual markers are the essential God-given...ordinances of the gospel," which include: baptism and confirmation, priesthood ordination, and temple ordinances.
Someone in a recent General Conference suggested that we make a list of the upcoming essential ordinances that are needed by our family members in order to help our children progress in the gospel.
Being more of a visual person, I thought it would be fun to have a visual reminder of the covenants that our family has made over time.  So I decided to start a "Covenant Path Wall" in our home.
So far, I've only gathered two photos for my wall (Guy's baptism and mine).  I just got it started today, but I already love it.

Soon, we'll have Scarlett and Autumn up there, and hopefully a photo will surface from Steve's baptism day as well, in addition to photos from our special days in the Lord's temples.  
Even with just two photos, it makes my heart smile every time I walk by this wall, and I can tell that it will help us all to focus on and rejoice in the covenant path that we are so blessed to be traveling on together.

Last fall, Sister Burton shared some lovely hints about helping to prepare children to make and keep temple covenants in her talk "The Power, Joy, and Love of Covenant Keeping."

I am including her list here as a reminder to myself of her suggestions:

What are some ways we can create such a home to prepare our children to make and keep temple covenants?
    We can discover together what it means to be worthy of a temple recommend.
    We can discover together how to listen to the Holy Ghost. Because the temple endowment is received by revelation, we need to learn that vital skill.
    We can discover together how to learn through the use of symbols, beginning with the sacred symbols of baptism and the sacrament.
    We can discover together why the body is sacred, why it is sometimes referred to as a temple, and how modest dress and grooming relates to the sacred nature of temple clothing.
    We can discover the plan of happiness in the scriptures. The more familiar we are with Heavenly Father’s plan and the Atonement in the scriptures, the more meaningful temple worship will be.
    We can learn the stories of our ancestors together, research family history, index, and perform vicarious temple work for deceased loved ones.
    We can discover together the meaning of terms such as endowment, ordinance, sealing, priesthood, keys, and other words related to temple worship.
    We can teach that we go to the temple to make covenants with Heavenly Father—we return home to keep them!12
Let us remember the concept of “good, better, and best” as we teach.13 It is good to teach our children about the temple. It is better to prepare and expect them to make and keep covenants. It is best to show them by example that we cheerfully cleave to our own baptismal and temple covenants! 


  1. Have you shared with your children their Hatch pioneer ancestors like Ira Stearns Hatch who was a missionary companion to Jacob Hamblin, etc?

    1. Sure have...Steve is a descendant of Orin Hatch...Ira Stearns' brother. Best of buds, Ira accidentally shot out ORin's eye while they were both trying to excavate a skunk! And now generations later, here we are!

  2. I love the idea of a Covenant Path Wall. That is such a good idea. Thanks for the links to talks and your thoughts.
    Blessings and hugs for this one!

  3. Great idea! Thank you for your inspiring blog.