Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Support of a Covenant

This is my beautiful San Diego LDS Temple.  Our stake has a tradition twice a year.  We call it our "Offering in Righteousness".  Our adults commit to spending as much time in the temple as possible during that week.  The personal sacrifice that you make is your own.  There isn't a minimum requirement of time you must spend there in order for it to "count".  Whatever you are able to offer is sufficient.  Of course, it is hoped that our stake members would take this opportunity to give up as much of their leisure time, and perhaps valued time, in the temple.  It's a tremendous week of service.  There are many of us who spend close to 12 hours at a time during this week, and some attend multiple days.  Some have taken time off of work to make this offering.  The greater the sacrifice, the greater the blessings for ourselves and those we are serving.

There is much going on in the background during this week.  Many of us are making sacrifices for each other in order for us to be able to attend the temple.  Some of us can't make it there without help. Some of us need babysitters.  Some need a ride.  Some need families to be cared for and carpools to be driven.  In order for this week to work for everyone, our stake members must support each other and pitch in.  That "pitching in" is part of the offering.  This is how we show respect for and support to covenants others have made in the temple.  We, as a whole, make it possible for as many of us to get there that week. We need each other.

I was very touched by the Nephites who were willing to open their land to the Anti-Nephi-Lehi's (Alma 27).  The Nephites accepted them into their land knowing of their covenant to the Lord to never shed the blood of men ever again.  The Nephites gave them the land of Jershon to inhabit, and they set up their Nephite armies between Jershon and the land of Nephi, so they could defend them from being killed by the wicked Lamanites.  The Nephites were in full support of protecting their brethren militarily.  They stated, "...This we do for our brethren, on account of their fear to take up arms against their brethren lest they should commit sin." (Alma 27:23)  The Anti-Nephi-Lehi's, now called the People of Ammon, in turn, supported their Nephite brethren by giving them a portion of their substance to assist them in maintaining their army.   By the Nephites participating in defending the people of Ammon, they become a part of this covenant.  It is a "pitching-in offering". 

In seminary today, we talked about how we can support others who are trying to live righteously.  How can we help our fellow "brethren and sisters" stay converted to the Lord?  Maybe it is ourselves who need the help to stay afloat. Would we be willing to accept help from a friend without being embarassed or without taking it as someone being judgmental?  Maybe by us "pitching in" and helping others keep their covenants, that keeps us on track as well.  We concluded that we're in this together.  You help me; I help you.  This is how it works.  This is how the Lord meant for it to work.  This how we bear testimony to each other of the importance of covenants to the Lord. 

Isn't this how we become like these people? 

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