Good morning. As you all know, baptism is the first vital step of our life long journey on the covenant path. This step was so vital, even Jesus himself was baptized to pave the way for the rest of the world. When we are baptized we take on the sacred name of Jesus Christ, and receive the gift of our constant companion, the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost allows us to see the difference between living the way God expects us to live and the way the world expects us to live. He gives us strength and courage to act the way Jesus would, despite what the world around you may say. As disciples of Jesus Christ we are instructed to be in the world, but not of the world. This means that even though we live in this world, we should choose not to participate in worldly events, that can cause us to stray from the covenant path.
Elder Dale G Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, shared that there are 5 steps to staying on the covenant path. Step #1 know who you are. Recognizing yourself as a child of God will help you know of your worth and be a constant reminder to you of the plan Heavenly Father has for you. At school many of my peers don't have the privilege of knowing that they are children of god. This causes them to engage in activities that cloud their judgment and ultimately change their lives forever. Acknowledging the standards that you strive to live as a child of God will help you not to participate in worldly activities and help keep you on the covenant path.
Step #2 seek to know God's will. Heavenly Father is prepared to help us with our journey, however, we have work to do, we must seek him. Praying daily can help us develop the relationship that we need in order to stay in tune with the spirit. In seminary we often say, “ if you want to speak to god pray, if you want god speak to you search the scriptures.” Listening to the whisperings and promptings of the Holy Ghost is another way we can seek him.
Step #3 align your will with Heavenly Fathers. Set yourself with the same standards as him. Knowing of His plan will make it easier to keep your mind clear. It is important to set standards and not lower them for any reason. For example, you have chosen to attend a party where alcohol will be served. Beforehand, you remember the plan Heavenly Father has for you and you decide that you will not accept any drink at the party. Since you set this standard beforehand the decision to not partake of the drink was easier than it would have been, had you not kept these standards in mind and set your course to stay on the covenant path. Step
#4 make and keep sacred covenants. We can do this by exercising faith in him and remembering the promises we have made to God. We can also renew many of those covenants, especially those we made at baptism, right here, each week as we choose to partake worthily of the Sacrament. The 5th and final step is endure to the end. Heavenly Father sacrificed his only Son so that we would all be able to have eternal life. It's not always easy to go against what the world wants us to do as there are countless pressures from those around us. But despite this we must focus on the eternal perspective. This path, the covenant path, was specifically paved for you and for me, and if we simply trust in the Lord we are promised countless blessings. Brothers and sisters in these latter days it is important to listen to the promptings of the holy ghost and remember your worth. I know and testify that If we do these things we shall not perish but have everlasting life. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.