5 Highlights for “Walking in Covenant Relationship With Christ” by Emily Belle Freeman

by | Oct 6, 2023

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5 Quotes Plus Discussion-Promoting Questions

See also Teaching Helps

Sister Freeman was the most requested General Conference talk besides President Nelson. Emily is a powerhouse, and I’m grateful for her impressive leadership and spirituality. She beautifully explains how a covenant path brings a personal relationship with Christ into our lives.

My favorite quote from this talk is: “Each time I cross the threshold of His house, I experience a deeper covenant relationship with Him. I am sanctified with His Spirit, endowed with His power, and set apart to build His kingdom.”

You can find her full talk here. Unless you opt to spend a lot of time on a particular quote, try to pick around 2 questions per quote. Choose the questions that resonate the most with you and make a meaningful discussion for your group of personalities. These highlights and questions fit with Lesson Template 1 or Template 2. You can also check out several other General Conference Talks with 5 Highlights.

All blue quotes by Emily Belle Freeman (unless otherwise noted).

Lesson Prep


  • I would probably teach quotes #2, #3, #5, #4, and #1 – in that order.
  • If I were teaching this lesson, I would cover #5 in the last 10-12 minutes of your lesson.
  • Please don’t worry if you only get through a couple of quotes. Spiritual discussion is golden; it resonates and teaches more than a lecture covering all points will.
  • If the discussion gets too secular, pull it back to the quotes and a spiritual tone…naturally and with tact.
  • Encourage discussion by accepting all reasonable answers. Validate people for participating and be thankful they spoke up. Engage with the answer in a conversational way whenever it feels natural. Never say, “We haven’t got to that part of the lesson yet.”

Printable Files


Quote #1 (hesitation)

Possible engagement tool: Ask your class to listen to the following quote and see if they ever felt like Enoch.

When the Lord called Enoch to journey through the land and testify of Him, Enoch hesitated. He was just a lad, slow of speech. How could he walk that path in his condition? He was blinded by what was broken in him. The Lord’s answer to what hindered him was simple and immediate: “Walk with me.” Like Enoch, we must remember that the One who was bruised and broken for us will allow mortality to do its work in us, but He doesn’t ask us to face those challenges alone. No matter the heaviness of our story or the current course of our path, He will invite us to walk with Him.

Possible quick discussion question: In what ways does Enoch remind you of yourself? Have you ever felt Enoch’s hesitation? What was the circumstance? If you were explaining to a friend, how would you describe being “blinded by what is broken in us”? Who does the Savior invite to walk with Him? Do you believe he invites YOU to walk with Him?

Quote #2 (relationship)

Possible engagement tool: Invite your class to listen to the following quote closely and pick out the keywords that stand out.

“…the Lord will answer each of us in our day of distress if we choose to tether our life with His. He has promised to walk with us in the way.

We call this walking the covenant path—a path that begins with the covenant of baptism and leads to deeper covenants we make in the temple. Perhaps you hear those words and think of checkboxes. Maybe all you see is a path of requirements. A closer look reveals something more compelling. A covenant is not only about a contract, although that is important. It’s about a relationship. President Russell M. Nelson taught, “The covenant path is all about our relationship with God.”

tether: secure, fasten, bind

Possible discussion questions: What stands out for you from this quote? What does Sister Freeman mean by “tether our life with His”? Why would Sister Freeman use the word “checkboxes”? What is the most important result of covenants and ordinances? (relationship with God)

Quote #3 (why)

Possible invitation to engage: Write “WHY?” on the board. Ask your class to see if they can hear the three “Whys” in Sister Freeman’s quote.

His is a mission of condescension. Jesus Christ will meet us where we are as we are. This is the why of the garden, the cross, and the tomb. The Savior was sent to help us overcome. But staying where we are won’t bring the deliverance we seek….the Lord doesn’t intend to leave any of us where we are.

His is also a mission of ascension. He will work within us to lift us up to where He is and, in the process, enable us to become as He is. Jesus Christ came to lift us. He wants to help us become. This is the why of the temple.

We must remember: it’s not the course alone that will exalt us; it’s the companion—our Savior. And this is the why of covenant relationship.

condescension: voluntary assumption of equality with a person regarded as inferior, courtesy, and warmth of a superior towards an inferior.

ascension: the process of rising to a position of higher importance, rank, or success; the action of climbing or moving upward

Isn’t it interesting that “condescension” is what Christ does, and “ascension” is what He wants to help us to do? He doesn’t have to do either; it’s all voluntary love.

Possible discussion questions: Which “why” stood out to you? How would you explain the condescension of Christ? What did Sister Freeman mean by Christ’s mission of ascension? What is the most important outcome of a covenant relationship for you? (accept all reasonable answers) In what ways have you felt Jesus Christ is your companion?

Quote #4 (endowed)

Possible engagement tool: Ask people if they can relate to any of the questions Sister Freeman asks.

I noticed people asking, Why should I walk a covenant path? Do I need to enter a house for making covenants? Why do I wear the holy garment? Should I invest in a covenant relationship with the Lord? The answer to these good and important questions is simple: it depends on what degree of relationship you want to experience with Jesus Christ. Each of us will have to discover our own response to those deeply personal questions.

Each time I cross the threshold of His house, I experience deeper covenant relationship with Him. I am sanctified with His Spirit, endowed with His power, and set apart to build His kingdom.

I love Emily’s response: …” It depends on what degree of relationship you want to experience with Jesus Christ. Each of us will have to discover our own response to those deeply personal questions.”

Possible discussion questions: How would you explain to a good friend why you want to visit the temple? What stands out for you from your temple attendance? Have you ever felt endowed with more power or wisdom when visiting the temple? Why is it wise to tell people you like a specific gospel principle or doctrine rather than tell them what they should do?

Quote #5 (ask and share)

“…I want to live in [a] committed covenant relationship with Him.

Perhaps you do too. Begin where you are. Don’t let your condition hinder you. Remember, pace or placement on the path are not as important as progress. Ask someone you trust who is on the covenant path to introduce you to the Savior they have come to know. Learn more of Him. Invest in the relationship by entering into covenant with Him. It doesn’t matter your age or your condition. You can walk with Him.

Thankfully, we walk this path together, calling out encouragement along the way. As we share our personal experience with Christ, we will strengthen personal devotion.

Possible activity: Invite your class to share their witness of Christ. (Assign 2-3 people beforehand and let them speak first.)

Possible discussion questions: How did you feel when listening to others speak of Jesus Christ? What happens to us when our relationship with Christ is current and strong? (Peace, confidence, well-being, strength) What does it mean to you to walk with Christ? (accept all reasonable answers) Why is it essential to speak of Christ?

And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins. (2 Nephi 25:26)

Summary

Summarize class discussion highlights and/or share your testimony and feelings about Sister Freeman’s talk. Thank your class for their excellent contributions and insights.

Final Comment

This lesson creates a significant opportunity for a memorable class discussion. Thank you for preparing this lesson and for preparing yourself. Your actions help gather Israel. We need these delightful words. If you would like some tips on how to feel more confident while teaching – try “9 Tips for More Class Participation.Please put the quotes in any order that makes sense to you.


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