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How would you make a covenant or two-way promise with God?


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I'm relying 100% on God to help me reach a not too distant goal (3-5 years).

I've offered to Him in prayer things I'm willing to offer in exchange for His guidance. Not small things but really big things.

I've also increased certain types of personal sacrifice as part of my request for His guidance.

But what do you do? or what would you do if you had a clear vision of what  you wanted, you worked hard and sacrificed to get there, how would you approach God without annoying Him w/ the same prayer/request every day?

While some may see this as me trying to bribe God or guilt trip Him or reverse-psychologize Him into giving me what I want, I'm not sure He's susceptible to those methods.

For those of you like some in my family who see the idea of covenanting w/ God outside of Church ordinances to be presumptuous and quite unacceptable, I'm just that type of heathen- can't help it...and I also like to think about where the BoM took place geographically, so be careful when working with my ilk. 

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31 minutes ago, PacMan said:

If you want a blessing, find the commandment upon which the blessing is to predicated and be obedient to that commandment. That’s a paraphrase from, I believe, President Nelson. 

And President Nelson may have been paraphrasing the Lord's revelation to Joseph Smith:  

"There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated— And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated."  (Doctrine and Covenants 130:20–21)
 

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8 hours ago, PacMan said:

There’s nothing we can do to bind God - except obedience to what he has asked us to do. 

D&C 82:10. “I, the Lord, Am Bound When Ye Do What I Say”

This verse shows a part of God’s basic nature: the way He deals with His children and the reason they can trust Him. Elder James E. Talmage said: “‘Mormonism’ has taught me that God holds himself accountable to law even as he expects us to do. He has set us the example in obedience to law. I know that to say this would have been heresy a few decades ago. But we have the divine word for it: ‘I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.’ (Doc. and Cov. 82:10.) He operates by law and not by arbitrariness or caprice.” (In Conference Report, Apr. 1930, p. 96.)

--

Surely we might suggest, pray, wrestle or day I say prevail w/ God in suggesting the specifications of the guaranteed non-optional mandatory blessing He is sending our way, since He's not able to withhold it and would otherwise cease to be God

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6 hours ago, The Nehor said:

God generally doesn’t bargain. Abraham tried it and it really didn’t go the way he planned.

Abraham was given everything he asked for re: the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Genesis 18 might be an example of Abraham prevailing w/ God

Abraham was willing to offer Isaac and was probably exceedingly glad that he didn't have to actually offer Isaac.

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7 hours ago, let’s roll said:

There’s some wise counsel in the Bible Dictionary entry on Prayer.  I commend it to you as you ponder upon the questions you’ve posed. 

Before the first generation of mankind had passed away, men began to call upon the name of the Lord (Gen. 4:26; Moses 5:4). Prayers, whether with (Gen. 12:8; 13:4) or without (Gen. 20:7; 32:9–11) sacrifice, were constantly offered by the patriarchs to God. The efficacy of the intercession of good men was recognized (Gen. 18:23; 20:7; Ex. 32:11).

Prayer is nowhere specifically commanded as a duty in the law, and prayers were not prescribed at the sacrifices except on two occasions: a confession of sin on the Day of Atonement (Lev. 16:21) and a thanksgiving when offering the firstfruits and tithes (Deut. 26:3, 13). It is, however, certain from the nature of things, and from the custom in later times, that prayer accompanied sacrifice.

Even in the times of the Judges, the children of Israel did not forget to cry unto the Lord, and a model of prayer is furnished by Hannah (1 Sam. 2:1). Samuel was recognized by his nation to be characteristically a man of prayer (1 Sam. 7:5, 8; 12:19, 23; Ps. 99:6). David’s Psalms, and the Psalms generally, breathe the highest spirit of prayer. The nation that possessed them must have been rich in teachers and examples of prayer. Remarkable prayers were prayed by Solomon (1 Kgs. 8); Hezekiah (2 Kgs. 19:14, etc.; Isa. 38:9, etc.); Ezra (Ezra 9:5); the Levites (Neh. 9:5, etc.); and Daniel (Dan. 9:3, etc.). “Making many prayers” was a part of the corrupt religion of Israel under the later kings (Isa. 1:15) and a marked feature of the religion of the Pharisees (Matt. 6:5; 23:14).

It was the custom to pray three times a day, as did David (Ps. 55:17), Daniel (Dan. 6:10), and the later Jews. Prayer was said before meat (1 Sam. 9:13; Matt. 15:36; Acts 27:35).

The attitude of prayer ordinarily was standing (1 Sam. 1:26; Neh. 9:2, 4; Matt. 6:5; Luke 18:11, 13); also kneeling (1 Kgs. 8:54; Ezra 9:5; Dan. 6:10); or prostrate (Josh. 7:6; Neh. 8:6). The hands were spread forth to heaven (1 Kgs. 8:22; Ezra 9:5; Ps. 141:2; Isa. 1:15). Smiting on the breast and rending of the garments signified special sorrow (Ezra 9:5; Luke 18:13). The Lord’s attitude in prayer is recorded only once. In the Garden of Gethsemane He knelt (Luke 22:41), fell on His face (Matt. 26:39), and fell on the ground (Mark 14:35). It is noteworthy that Stephen (Acts 7:60), Peter (9:40), Paul (20:36; 21:5), and the Christians generally (21:5) knelt to pray.

Prayers were said at the Sanctuary (1 Sam. 1:9–12; 1 Kgs. 8; Ps. 42:2, 4) or looking toward the Sanctuary (1 Kgs. 8:44, 48; Ps. 5:7; Dan. 6:10); on the housetop or in an upper chamber (Dan. 6:10; Acts 10:9). The Pharisees prayed publicly in the synagogues and at the corners of the streets (Matt. 6:5). The Lord prayed upon the tops of mountains (Matt. 14:23; Luke 9:28) or in solitary places (Mark 1:35).

As soon as we learn the true relationship in which we stand toward God (namely, God is our Father, and we are His children), then at once prayer becomes natural and instinctive on our part (Matt. 7:7–11). Many of the so-called difficulties about prayer arise from forgetting this relationship. Prayer is the act by which the will of the Father and the will of the child are brought into correspondence with each other. The object of prayer is not to change the will of God but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing (and required by eternal law) to grant but that are made conditional on our asking for them. Blessings require some work or effort on our part before we can obtain them. Prayer is a form of work and is an appointed means for obtaining the highest of all blessings. (emphasis added)

There are many passages in the New Testament that teach the duty of prayer (Matt. 7:7; 26:41; Luke 18:1; 21:36; Eph. 6:18; Philip. 4:6; Col. 4:2; 1 Thes. 5:17, 25; 1 Tim. 2:1, 8). Christians are taught to pray in Christ’s name (John 14:13–14; 15:7, 16; 16:23–24). We pray in Christ’s name when our mind is the mind of Christ, and our wishes the wishes of Christ—when His words abide in us (John 15:7). We then ask for things it is possible for God to grant. Many prayers remain unanswered because they are not in Christ’s name at all; they in no way represent His mind but spring out of the selfishness of man’s heart.

Book of Mormon references on prayer include 1 Ne. 18:3; Alma 34:17–28; Ether 2:14.

--

Surely we can ask for certain mandatory blessings to arrive at certain times and in certain magnitudes.

Edited by nuclearfuels
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10 hours ago, nuclearfuels said:

I'm relying 100% on God to help me reach a not too distant goal (3-5 years).

I've offered to Him in prayer things I'm willing to offer in exchange for His guidance. Not small things but really big things.

I've also increased certain types of personal sacrifice as part of my request for His guidance.

But what do you do? or what would you do if you had a clear vision of what  you wanted, you worked hard and sacrificed to get there, how would you approach God without annoying Him w/ the same prayer/request every day?

While some may see this as me trying to bribe God or guilt trip Him or reverse-psychologize Him into giving me what I want, I'm not sure He's susceptible to those methods.

For those of you like some in my family who see the idea of covenanting w/ God outside of Church ordinances to be presumptuous and quite unacceptable, I'm just that type of heathen- can't help it...and I also like to think about where the BoM took place geographically, so be careful when working with my ilk. 

Something that would be good to obtain, if you haven't already,  is a confirmation from the Holy Ghost that your objective is worthy and that a two-way covenant with God is the way to proceed. I also think pondering the brother of Jared's prayers for new and personal insight beyond the usual articles, lessons and talks might offer some assistance.

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10 hours ago, nuclearfuels said:

I'm relying 100% on God to help me reach a not too distant goal (3-5 years).

I've offered to Him in prayer things I'm willing to offer in exchange for His guidance. Not small things but really big things.

I've also increased certain types of personal sacrifice as part of my request for His guidance.

But what do you do? or what would you do if you had a clear vision of what  you wanted, you worked hard and sacrificed to get there, how would you approach God without annoying Him w/ the same prayer/request every day?

While some may see this as me trying to bribe God or guilt trip Him or reverse-psychologize Him into giving me what I want, I'm not sure He's susceptible to those methods.

For those of you like some in my family who see the idea of covenanting w/ God outside of Church ordinances to be presumptuous and quite unacceptable, I'm just that type of heathen- can't help it...and I also like to think about where the BoM took place geographically, so be careful when working with my ilk. 

I’m with Pac-Man on this one, I don’t think we can create covenants with God. I think they must come from Him.

I’m also reminded of the general conference talk given over a decade ago (by who I can’t remember anymore) where he said that you can’t use faith to create an outcome that is contrary to the will of Him who you have faith in.

That doesn’t mean you can’t “convince” God to help you achieve your goal but I think it does mean that you can’t force His hand in any way.  If it’s not His will. Then it’s just not.

Edited by bluebell
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56 minutes ago, bluebell said:

I’m with Pac-Man on this one, I don’t think we can create covenants with God. I think they must come from Him.

I’m also reminded of the general conference talk given over a decade ago (by who I can’t remember anymore) where he said that you can’t use faith to create an outcome that is contrary to the will of Him who you have faith in.

That doesn’t mean you can’t “convince” God to help you achieve your goal but I think it does mean that you can’t force His hand in any way.  If it’s not His will. Then it’s just not.

When I read the topic of this thread it made me think of the scripture that we should expect God to do something if we follow a certain commandment. It's never sat well with me, do you know what scripture that is? I'm going crazy trying to remember it.

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8 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

When I read the topic of this thread it made me think of the scripture that we should expect God to do something if we follow a certain commandment. It's never sat well with me, do you know what scripture that is? I'm going crazy trying to remember it.

If we do what God says we need to do to receive a blessing, then we can depend on that promise.  But God isn't a vending machine, where if we just hit the correct buttons then He gives us what we want.  

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19 minutes ago, bluebell said:

If we do what God says we need to do to receive a blessing, then we can depend on that promise.  But God isn't a vending machine, where if we just hit the correct buttons then He gives us what we want.  

I agree that God isn't a vending machine, or a "cosmic butler," and that we should be very reverent in approaching Him for things. But, I also believe that the righteous desires of our hearts matter to Him, and I think it's clear that many things do depend on us. I'm not a big fan of Elder McConkie's view in the Bible Dictionary article on prayer that we should only pray to align our will with His, and that His will won't be changed by any action/inaction or efforts on our part (paraphrase). That seems to be not really any different from Five-Point/TULIP Calvinism, to me.

For example, the Bible records two instances where Moses "talks God down from the ledge" and persuades Him not to wipe out the Israelites and start over with Moses' descendants (Exodus 32:7-14 and Numbers Numbers 14:11-20) --- "And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people," and "And the LORD said, I have pardoned according to thy word." I don't think the JST changes these, like in other passages that have God "repenting." I take from these (and other examples) that certain people who have "friend of God" status, like Abraham, have "standing" with God and can get Him to even change sometimes. This is a larger discussion of absolute vs. limited foreknowledge, of course. 

Like you, I would be very, very cautious about making covenants with God that I initiate. As far as the OP, I would first seek revelation from God on my 3-5 year long-term plan. If it seems that that is God's will, then I would simply do my best in working towards that, praying for help along the way. I don't think trying to formalize it as a personal covenant would add any more meaning or import to it. 

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11 minutes ago, rongo said:

I agree that God isn't a vending machine, or a "cosmic butler," and that we should be very reverent in approaching Him for things. But, I also believe that the righteous desires of our hearts matter to Him, and I think it's clear that many things do depend on us. I'm not a big fan of Elder McConkie's view in the Bible Dictionary article on prayer that we should only pray to align our will with His, and that His will won't be changed by any action/inaction or efforts on our part (paraphrase). That seems to be not really any different from Five-Point/TULIP Calvinism, to me.

For example, the Bible records two instances where Moses "talks God down from the ledge" and persuades Him not to wipe out the Israelites and start over with Moses' descendants (Exodus 32:7-14 and Numbers Numbers 14:11-20) --- "And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people," and "And the LORD said, I have pardoned according to thy word." I don't think the JST changes these, like in other passages that have God "repenting." I take from these (and other examples) that certain people who have "friend of God" status, like Abraham, have "standing" with God and can get Him to even change sometimes. This is a larger discussion of absolute vs. limited foreknowledge, of course. 

Like you, I would be very, very cautious about making covenants with God that I initiate. As far as the OP, I would first seek revelation from God on my 3-5 year long-term plan. If it seems that that is God's will, then I would simply do my best in working towards that, praying for help along the way. I don't think trying to formalize it as a personal covenant would add any more meaning or import to it. 

I agree.  

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14 hours ago, nuclearfuels said:

I'm relying 100% on God to help me reach a not too distant goal (3-5 years).

I've offered to Him in prayer things I'm willing to offer in exchange for His guidance. Not small things but really big things.

I've also increased certain types of personal sacrifice as part of my request for His guidance.

But what do you do? or what would you do if you had a clear vision of what  you wanted, you worked hard and sacrificed to get there, how would you approach God without annoying Him w/ the same prayer/request every day?

While some may see this as me trying to bribe God or guilt trip Him or reverse-psychologize Him into giving me what I want, I'm not sure He's susceptible to those methods.

For those of you like some in my family who see the idea of covenanting w/ God outside of Church ordinances to be presumptuous and quite unacceptable, I'm just that type of heathen- can't help it...and I also like to think about where the BoM took place geographically, so be careful when working with my ilk. 

Doesn't work that way- in essence you are trying to trap God into doing what YOU want him to do, or blame Him for not delivering on what you might pretend you thought He said.

"Five grand for xyz?  Make it 55 hundred and you've got a deal" is just not the way He works.

Maybe what YOU want is not what is best for you, or He has other plans for your life.   And it's not like you can have a real tw-way discussion because what you think he is saying might be just your interpretation.

I am presuming you are not quite on Abraham's spiritual level, but of course I could be wrong.   Maybe you talk to him face to face daily but if that is the case, you would not be asking this question- you would already have talked to Him about it instead of coming to us internet yahoos for spiritual advice.  :)

 

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14 hours ago, nuclearfuels said:

I'm relying 100% on God to help me reach a not too distant goal (3-5 years).

I've offered to Him in prayer things I'm willing to offer in exchange for His guidance. Not small things but really big things.

I've also increased certain types of personal sacrifice as part of my request for His guidance.

But what do you do? or what would you do if you had a clear vision of what  you wanted, you worked hard and sacrificed to get there, how would you approach God without annoying Him w/ the same prayer/request every day?

While some may see this as me trying to bribe God or guilt trip Him or reverse-psychologize Him into giving me what I want, I'm not sure He's susceptible to those methods.

For those of you like some in my family who see the idea of covenanting w/ God outside of Church ordinances to be presumptuous and quite unacceptable, I'm just that type of heathen- can't help it...and I also like to think about where the BoM took place geographically, so be careful when working with my ilk. 

You can ask our Father in heaven for whatever you want... we generally refer to that as "praying"... but you should realize that you don't have any promises or covenants on those things you ask for unless or until he tells you he will give you those things.

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19 hours ago, nuclearfuels said:

Abraham was given everything he asked for re: the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Genesis 18 might be an example of Abraham prevailing w/ God

Abraham was willing to offer Isaac and was probably exceedingly glad that he didn't have to actually offer Isaac.

He got what he asked for but didn’t get what he wanted.

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23 hours ago, bluebell said:

I’m with Pac-Man on this one, I don’t think we can create covenants with God. I think they must come from Him.

I’m also reminded of the general conference talk given over a decade ago (by who I can’t remember anymore) where he said that you can’t use faith to create an outcome that is contrary to the will of Him who you have faith in.

That doesn’t mean you can’t “convince” God to help you achieve your goal but I think it does mean that you can’t force His hand in any way.  If it’s not His will. Then it’s just not.

The god Nuclear wants is Maximón. 

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On 12/3/2020 at 8:59 AM, CV75 said:

Something that would be good to obtain, if you haven't already,  is a confirmation from the Holy Ghost that your objective is worthy and that a two-way covenant with God is the way to proceed. I also think pondering the brother of Jared's prayers for new and personal insight beyond the usual articles, lessons and talks might offer some assistance

Didn't the Brother of Jared ask for what Jared suggest, which were specific blessings and that arrived at spacific times and took specific dhapes? 

Please dont' confound our langauge vs. If we're confounded please let us all speak the same new langauge

Please guide us to a new land vs any land or let is stay here Babel and live in peace

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On 12/3/2020 at 9:19 AM, bluebell said:

I’m with Pac-Man on this one, I don’t think we can create covenants with God. I think they must come from Him.

I’m also reminded of the general conference talk given over a decade ago (by who I can’t remember anymore) where he said that you can’t use faith to create an outcome that is contrary to the will of Him who you have faith in.

That doesn’t mean you can’t “convince” God to help you achieve your goal but I think it does mean that you can’t force His hand in any way.  If it’s not His will. Then it’s just not.

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/2003/04/give-thanks-in-all-things?lang=eng 

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On 12/3/2020 at 10:18 AM, Tacenda said:

When I read the topic of this thread it made me think of the scripture that we should expect God to do something if we follow a certain commandment. It's never sat well with me, do you know what scripture that is? I'm going crazy trying to remember it.

1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, my servants, that inasmuch as you haveforgiven one another your trespasses, even so I, the Lord, forgive you.
 
D&C 82:10. “I, the Lord, Am Bound When Ye Do What I Say”. This verse shows a part of God's basic nature: the way ...
 
Apr 7, 2016 — I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise. Doctrine & Covenants 82:10. Read in ...
DC 82:10 when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise. Boyd K. Packer. I would like to tell the young people of an experience I had when I was a very young ...
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6 minutes ago, nuclearfuels said:

Didn't the Brother of Jared ask for what Jared suggest, which were specific blessings and that arrived at spacific times and took specific dhapes? 

Please dont' confound our langauge vs. If we're confounded please let us all speak the same new langauge

Please guide us to a new land vs any land or let is stay here Babel and live in peace

Yes, but he didn’t make a deal for it.

I don’t think we can change the will of God via prayer but I do believe prayer is one of the factors God works in when He makes a choice. Not because He changes his mind but because the prayer is part of the reality He takes into account when acting. I also suspect there is some sense in which God has limited power to work miracles and the like that He would like to work due to the rules of this sphere of existence but that is a pet theory and not part of my general faith. If I am wrong I will laugh at myself and move on.

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On 12/3/2020 at 12:46 PM, mfbukowski said:

Doesn't work that way- in essence you are trying to trap God into doing what YOU want him to do, or blame Him for not delivering on what you might pretend you thought He said.

"Five grand for xyz?  Make it 55 hundred and you've got a deal" is just not the way He works.

Maybe what YOU want is not what is best for you, or He has other plans for your life.   And it's not like you can have a real tw-way discussion because what you think he is saying might be just your interpretation.

I am presuming you are not quite on Abraham's spiritual level, but of course I could be wrong.   Maybe you talk to him face to face daily but if that is the case, you would not be asking this question- you would already have talked to Him about it instead of coming to us internet yahoos for spiritual advice.  :)

 

I am definitely not on Abraham's level. :)

Faith Precedes the Miracle by President Kimble, pp3-5, 10-11 as quoted from in the BoM Student Manual on Chapter 50 (Ether 11-15) resonates with  my goal here. Perhaps covenant is too strong a word but only time will tell

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