Last fall I attended a brunch with our Stake Primary President. The pumpkin pancakes were delicious, but what she taught has really stuck with me: she stressed the importance of helping lead the Primary children in our stewardship to the Covenant Path.
Ever since that brunch I have been thinking about the Primary children with that bigger vision in mind. I started a review of “covenant path” teachings on lds.org: I’ve shared the best links at the bottom of this post. In particular, I’ve been rethinking our Baptism Preview. I wanted to be sure the imagery and message truly teach the idea that baptism is the beginning of the covenant path. As David A. Bednar said, “As we stand in the waters of baptism, we look to the temple.”
Thankfully, I found a wonderful image from The Friend (one of their amazing “Bright Ideas”) which perfectly captures this focus. Find the original here. I reworked some of the titling and we’ll be using it as the cover of our Baptism Preview program, booklets, and invitations. Our event isn’t until February but I thought I’d share this part of our preparation here in case you want to use it too.
We’ll be holding our Baptism Preview at the stake center near the font and discussing many of the same topics that are normally covered–all the logistics of what to expect and what to prepare. However, rather than a “Great to Be 8” focus, I think we’ll be talking about baptism as the beginning of a journey. I haven’t ironed out all the details yet, but I’m thinking a backpack, compass and flashlight for decoration, granola bars and gatorade for refreshments. I think my comments will be about how baptism equips you for your journey on the covenant path: with a flashlight (the Holy Ghost) to see the way, a map (the scriptures) to guide you, a walking stick for help (parents, teachers, leaders and church to give you support if you need it). I think you get the picture.
I think this image will really help reinforce the covenant path theme. You can download this letter size, full color PDF below.
I anticipate that we’ll be using the report folders with a clear front and three prong fasteners inside, like this. So this image will be visible through the clear cover.
In case you don’t already know I’m nuts, this next download will convince you. If you are doing some kind of booklet or report cover, you may need the image to be justified to the right so that the image doesn’t get cut off by the edge of the cover. So the download below leaves a full inch on the left of white space for the binder, leaving your image fully visible. Like this:
Inside of our report folder booklet, I’ll be using almost the same baptism booklet as the one I wrote 10 years ago! The original version of the baptism booklet is available here along with a few links to some cool coloring pages in The Friend. I may make a few changes to personalize the booklet with more references to the covenant path, but it will be very similar to the original (and I won’t get to that until much later this month). This part of the booklet is designed to be printed in black and white. I think only one color page per booklet is more than enough 🙂
Next is the program cover. It’s a slightly narrower version of the same image. If you have a photo editing program you’re comfortable with, I would add your ward name to the top blue rectangle and the date on the bottom! That’s what we’ll be doing for sure. But even without any adjustments, it would work just fine as is. Print off one side in full color, then make your own program and photocopy it on the inside.
And finally an invitation. It’s meant to be cut in half vertically. I have two versions, one that is completely blank which would be easy to modify with invitation details with photo editing software. The second is meant to be printed without any modifications and then you can fill in the details with a pen–super simple for the least tech savvy amongst us.
Here are the best of the teachings I’ve been reading through as I formulate my thoughts about The Covenant Path. There is so much to think about with this avalanche of content, but I like the idea of having all the links in one spot. Enjoy!
“As we stand in the waters of baptism, we look to the temple. As we partake of the sacrament, we look to the temple. We pledge to always remember the Savior and to keep His commandments as preparation to participate in the sacred ordinances of the temple,” David A. Bednar, Honorably Hold a Name and a Standing, April 2009 Ensign.
“Clearly, when we baptize, our eyes should gaze beyond the baptismal font to the holy temple. The great garner into which the sheaves should be gathered is the holy temple” (Neal A. Maxwell in John L. Hart, “Make Calling Focus of Your Mission,” Church News, Sept. 17, 1994, 4).
“Covenants with God help us to know who we really are. They connect us to Him in a personal way through which we come to feel our value in His sight and our place in His kingdom. In a way we can’t fully comprehend, we are known and loved individually by Him. Think of it—each of us holds such a place in His heart. His desire is that we will choose the path that will bring us home to Him.”
Jean A. Stevens, Covenant Daughters of God, Ensign Nov. 2014.
“Beginning with our baptism, we make covenants as we follow this path to eternal life, and we stay on the path by keeping them. …
“… The promptings of the Holy Ghost will always be sufficient for our needs if we keep to the covenant path. Our path is uphill most days, but the help we receive for the climb is literally divine. We have three members of the Godhead—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost—helping us because of the covenants we have made.
“To remind us of those covenants, we partake of the sacrament each week. In the prayer offered on the bread, we ‘witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that [we] are willing to take upon [us] the name of thy Son, and always remember him and keep his commandments which he has given [us]; that [we] may always have his Spirit to be with [us]’ [D&C 20:77]”
Jeffrey R. Holland, What I Wish Every New Member Knew—and Every Longtime Member Remembered, Ensign, Oct 2006.
In Proverbs we read the admonition, “Ponder the path of thy feet” (Prov. 4:26). Eliza R. Snow said: “We stand in a different position … ; we have made covenant with God, we understand his order” (Millennial Star, Sept. 1871, p. 578). These covenants include the counsel to Emma Smith recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants to “lay aside the things of this world, and seek for the things of a better” (D&C 25:10).
I am dedicated to that charge.
The path, straight and narrow, was marked by Jesus Christ. Isaiah called it the “highway … of holiness” (Isa. 35:8). I testify to you today that the Lord has trusted the women of this church with most-sacred works on the path to perfection.
Elaine Jack, Ponder the Path of Thy Feet, Oct 1993.
The Power, Joy, and Love of Covenant Keeping. Linda K. Burton, Oct. 2013.
Covenants and Ordinances. Jorge A. Rojas, Ensign Nov 1991.
Covenants. Russell M. Nelson, Oct 2011.
Your Covenant Path, designed for youth.
Tomorrow I have a bookmark that we’ll be including as part of the Baptism Preview as well. Stay tuned, I think you’ll like it!