Fasten Your Seatbelt (No. 21)
From his talk, The Power of Spiritual Momentum
Part of the President Nelson Series
All blue quotes by President Russell M. Nelson (unless otherwise noted).
Would you cross if God were on the other side of this bridge?
This is what covenants and ordinances do; they create the bridge that gets us across the gap between us and God.
“…we enter the covenant path by being baptized and making our first covenant with God.”
President Nelson also added a footnote comment to this statement along with his published Conference talk. Please notice how the prophet uses the word two-way.
two-way: reciprocal. cooperative. collaborative. bidirectional. give-and-take.
Footnote (5) To understand the covenant path, it is important to understand that a covenant involves a two-way commitment between God and one of His children. In a covenant, God sets the terms, and we agree to those terms. In exchange, God makes promises to us. Many covenants are accompanied by outward signs—or sacred ordinances—in which we participate with witnesses present. For example, baptism is a sign to the Lord that the person being baptized has made a covenant to keep the commandments of God.
So ordinances and covenants are an outward sign of three things:
- God’s terms
- our acceptance of those terms
- God’s promises
Each time we partake of the sacrament, we promise again to take the name of the Savior upon us, to remember Him, and to keep His commandments.
President Nelson adds two verses in his footnotes to accompany that quote.
77 O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those who partake of it, that they may eat in remembrance of the body of thy Son, and witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son, and always remember him and keep his commandments which he has given them; that they may always have his Spirit to be with them. Amen. (D&C 20:77)
- take Christ’s name upon you
- always remember Christ
- keep His commandments
- Christ’s Spirit is with you
What Is the Promise of Christ’s Spirit?
When we say amen to the Sacrament prayer (bread or water), they both end with the phrase, “that they may always have His (Christ’s) Spirit to be with them.”
It is a powerful phrase that means that we may always have the light, truth, and life force that enlightens and quickens our inner being.
The Spirit of Christ comes directly from Christ Himself.
Please note these powerful verses about what the Spirt of Christ is and does:
For the word of the Lord is truth, and whatsoever is truth is light, and whatsoever is light is Spirit, even the Spirit of Jesus Christ. (D&C 84:45)
So the Spirit of Jesus Christ is defined as truth and light itself.
6 He that ascended up on high, as also he descended below all things, in that he comprehended all things, that he might be in all and through all things, the light of truth; 7 Which truth shineth. This is the light of Christ…
11 And the light which shineth, which giveth you light, is through him who enlighteneth your eyes, which is the same light that quickeneth your understandings; (D&C 88:6-7)
The promise is we have the Spirit of Christ with us – a tremendous life force, influence, and empowerment.
Today might be the first time I realized the blessing on the water significantly differs from the blessing on the bread. It focuses on Christ’s atonement and our sanctification.
79 O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this wine to the souls of all those who drink of it, that they may do it in remembrance of the blood of thy Son, which was shed for them; that they may witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they do always remember him, that they may have his Spirit to be with them. Amen.
- think upon the blood which was shed for you
- always remember Christ (and His sacrifice)
This is a perfect chance to reflect, recognize, admit, confess, repent, and make new resolutions – which apply Christ’s atonement and saving power into your life in real-time, right during the Sacrament ordinance. We get this chance 50 times yearly; no one needs it less.
- Christ’s Spirit is with you
Interestingly, these same two Sacrament prayers are found in the Book of Mormon (Moroni 4 & 5). So, this ordinance has been around for a LONG time.
President Nelson Sums It Up
Later we make additional covenants in the temple, where we receive even greater promises. Ordinances and covenants give us access to godly power. The covenant path is the only path that leads to exaltation and eternal life.
Covenants serve as the necessary connection between our current circumstances and our aspirations for the future.