Our prophet leads and guides us in these latter days. It’s hard to believe that it has been a year since President Russell M. Nelson invited us to post daily on social media about the things we are grateful for. Did you hear about how the #givethanks hashtag overwhelmed the social media algorithm and changed what people saw on their feeds? That’s the thing with covenant people heeding prophetic counsel: we can change the world.
This holiday season, we have another invitation from President Nelson to learn more about our temple covenants. This invitation may not change the entire world, but it will change us.
Learning About Covenants
In the October 2021 general conference, President Nelson gave this plea:
To each of you who has made temple covenants, I plead with you to seek—prayerfully and consistently—to understand temple covenants and ordinances. Spiritual doors will open. You will learn how to part the veil between heaven and earth, how to ask for God’s angels to attend you, and how better to receive direction from heaven. Your diligent efforts to do so will reinforce and strengthen your spiritual foundation.
I’ve given this plea some thought, trying to better understand my covenants, yearning to claim the associated promised blessings.
What does it look like for you to respond to this plea? What questions do you have about this invitation? What sources will you seek in order to prayerfully understand your temple covenants and ordinances? You may find the Church’s article about temple covenants to be a useful starting place.
Which of the prophetic promises will you claim? And how will you know it?
Asking for Angels
Of these prophetic promises, I have focused on the one about angels. I am learning how to ask for God’s angels to attend me and my family.
Just a few days ago, I sent my seven-year-old daughter off to school with a hug, kiss, and these words: “I pray that angels will attend you and that you will know who they are.”
My heart felt heavy that morning as I waved her off to second grade. Some days can feel hard when you’re little and learning to navigate the world. My daughter has a lot of questions about the world, and is trying to figure out her place.
Oh how I long for her baptism day, so she can receive the Holy Ghost and have His sacred companionship, always. In the meantime, I pray for her to know and recognize angels round about her, to bear her up (see Doctrine and Covenants 84:88).
On that morning, as I felt all of my mama heart heaviness, a thought occurred to me: I can name my daughter’s angels, name them one by one. They are her ancestors. I can teach her who they are and how to recognize them.
Suddenly I started to write down the names of her grandmothers for three generations. Each has passed through the veil. With each woman’s name, I associated a characteristic that might be recognizable to my daughter.
Would she feel Grandma Charlotte encouraging her to show interest in others? Or Ruth’s natural ability to quietly meet unseen needs? How about Norma and her love for music and dancing?
This quiet moment slowed time. As I wrote each name, picturing each face, I felt the veil part. I imagined each of these women, some I have never met in mortality. In my heart, I could see them huddled around my daughter: protecting, encouraging, and lifting her. Nurturing her in who she is meant to become.
And then I gave thanks. For the angels in my life. For a prophet who consistently invites us to focus on the important things. For the power of those on the other side of the veil who are cheering us on.
As you sit around your Thanksgiving table this year, I hope you’ll try to imagine those that are gathering with you. Those that are seen and unseen. Acknowledge them. And give thanks for their influence.
As you live your covenants and connect with your angels, you will also connect with Christ.