The calling and ordaining of two new apostles during General Conference manifests that God continually looks after the welfare of His people and makes sure that we receive continuous revelation from Him through His apostles. We were graced by the presence of these newly-ordained apostles during General Conference and been edified by their words.
One of Elder Gerrit W. Gong’s most powerful statements during conference, was that, “our covenants and our Savior’s Atonement enable and ennoble. Together, they help us hold on and let go. Together, they sweeten, preserve, sanctify, redeem.” We hear about the enabling power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ often. We know that we can experience the power of His Atonement as we repent and seek forgiveness, comfort those who are troubled and oppressed, forgive ourselves and others, cast our burdens at His feet, and lose ourselves in the service of our fellowmen. On the other hand, we rarely hear that our covenants also have enabling power.
The need for moral and spiritual power to thrive in this world is inevitably increasing. The source of this power is God and access to this power is through our covenants with Him. Elder D. Todd Christofferson taught that, “in these divine agreements, God binds Himself to sustain, sanctify, and exalt us in return for our commitment to serve Him and keep His commandments.” Our covenants with God enable us to weather the storms of life with perseverance, overcome life’s challenges with sustained hope, and recognize the subtle enticements of the adversary. Our covenants give us power to dispel mists of confusion about moral values that the world often tries to distort, and raise our views to see the things of eternity. When we live true to our covenants with God, our lives will be elevated to a great spiritual degree and we will gain the attributes of Godliness that we so desire.
As we seek to keep our covenants, we may find ourselves falling short of our commitment. In these trying times, we can take comfort and access the enabling power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ as we turn to God for forgiveness and the cleansing of our souls. In many scriptural accounts, the Lord shows mercy to all those who offer up a broken heart and a contrite spirit. So will He also show mercy unto us as we look to Him for guidance and correction.
The guidance and correction that we seek often come from the prophet of God. Elder Ulisses Soares testified of the power given to the prophets to become the mouthpiece of God here on Earth. He recounted an experience when He witnessed the hand of the Lord in bringing to pass a miracle and they were right where God needed them to be. Prophets are the instruments by which God performs many mighty miracles. They speak the words of God by the power of the Holy Spirit. The Lord has given us prophets in our day to declare unto us the mind and heart of God regarding all things pertaining to our salvation and exaltation. Elder Ulisses added that “[h]aving prophets is a sign of God’s love for His children.” When we follow the counsel of the prophets, we will feel the love of God in our lives, and our confidence that He is mindful of us will increase.
As we continue to seek inspiration from the words of God spoken by the mouth of His servants during General Conference, may we be blessed with a renewed commitment to pattern our lives in accordance with the covenants we have made with God. May we also find peace and comfort that the grace of God through the Atonement of Jesus Christ is sufficient for all those who come unto Him in faith.