The most important thing "we can do in this life is to keep the promises or covenants we have made with the Lord," said Elder Richard J. Maynes of the Seventy. "When we keep our promises to the Lord, He allows us to progress spiritually."
Speaking Sunday afternoon, Elder Maynes said, "Covenants are promises we make to the Lord. They are extremely sacred in nature."
Elder Maynes highlighted the power of keeping covenants by describing a "dangerous and chaotic situation" in the history of the Nephites.
At a critical point when many Nephite cities had been lost and the balance of power seemed to be shifting toward the Lamanites, "a miraculous thing took place," he said. The 2,000 sons of those parents who had been converted by Ammon, "entered into a covenant . . . to protect the land; . . . that they never would give up their liberty. . . ."
Their entrance onto the field of battle changed the course of the war, Elder Maynes said. "Momentum swung back in favor of the Nephites."
Elder Maynes continued, "Helaman and his young stripling soldiers understood the importance of making covenants with the Lord. They were also recipients of the blessings that come to those who faithfully keep their covenants."
Elder Maynes then told of the Lani and Irenea Abasanta family in the Philippines who joined the Church 22 years ago. He described how this family of 17 children was a modern-day example of a family "that is doing their best to keep the covenants and live the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ."
In order to qualify for exaltation in the celestial kingdom, "we must gain the trust of the Lord here on Earth. We gain the trust of the Lord through earning it, and that is accomplished through our actual performance in living His gospel and keeping our covenants. In other words, we earn the trust of the Lord by doing His will, . . ." Elder Maynes said.
"All members of the (Church) have made promises to the Lord. We have promised to take upon ourselves the name of Jesus Christ, always remember Him, and keep His commandments. Faithful members of the Church keep those promises," he said.