Lesson #12 How do I obtain a Covenant Relationship?
The covenant relationship is strictly personal. It does not require a public ordinance like water baptism. It is only between you and the Lord. You can not fool Him. He knows everything about you. If you are truly sincere then you can express to Him your desire to make a covenant to serve Him and keep His commandments (Mosiah 9:174-175). This desire must be with full purpose of heart with no hypocrisy and no deception but with real intent, repenting of your sins (2N 13:16).
We call 3N 5:39-40 Plan A and Plan B. Verse 39 is Plan A, the preferred sequence: repent and become as a little child and be baptized in My name. "Become as a little child" means come unto Me (3N 4:51) and represents the first step of the covenant relationship. Verse 40 is Plan B and appears to be the situation most of us are in. In this sequence, the second and third steps are reversed. The sequence is: "repent and be baptized in My name and become as a little child or ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God". This verse says that repentance and baptism are not enough to inherit the kingdom of God. To the best of my understanding, this verse is contrary to our common belief. We did not know about the covenant relationship. Water baptism is certainly necessary but it is a witness of what should have been the first step of the covenant relationship. How could it be a witness if it was never taught or known? Therefore, the Lord has provided Plan B so that we could take the first step of the covenant whenever we are ready. Then we will be ready for the third step, a necessary prerequisite for receiving the endowment.
Whatever our mindset is now, we will not be able to avoid making a covenant sooner or later. No matter how much we may dislike the idea of a covenant, we will eventually make a covenant, either with God or with the devil. The time for fence sitting will come to an end. God is completely in control of history and He will bring about events that will cause everyone to jump or fall off the fence and make a total comittment one way or the other. This is the very clear story of Lachoneus (3N2). In this story, which is a perfect type for the final seven-year period, Lachoneus is a type for Jesus Christ and the Gaddianton* leader is a type for the devil. Everyone in their known world, which is a type for everyone in our world now, became a part of one group or the other.
*This is not a misspelling. This is the spelling from the manuscripts as it appears in the Restored Covenant Edition of the Book of Mormon.