Priesthood Session during the October 1975 conference was filled with talks about bringing less active members back to the fold and retaining those who are struggling. I especially loved when Elder Marriott G. Romney spoke of the power thatunderstanding our Covenants and our relationship with God can have. He made a rather bold declaration:
No man who comprehends, believes, and lives according to gospel covenants will be inactive in the Church. When one understands the gospel of Jesus Christ—which is the Lord’s new and everlasting covenant—and realizes that he himself accepted it in the spirit world, fought for it in the war in heaven, and entered mortality pursuant to the Lord’s promise that if he here proves faithful he shall inherit eternal life—anyone who understands that has the needed background to understand the covenants entered into here in mortality.
I am persuaded that failure to appreciate the significance of the “new and everlasting covenant” of the gospel is the root-cause for the inactivity of thousands of our Church members. If you pres;id(ents of elders quorums w;ill “teach” your inactive members “according” to the covenant and convert them, you will have little trouble in teaching the covenants entered into in this life. Without such knowledge one has no goal in life, no objective. Therefore, other covenants have no meaning.
Elder Romney boldly promises that no man who understand his Covenants will fall away. But that bold proclamation is filed with truth. Ultimately, most inactivity comes due to a lack of ultimately understanding of the true significance of membership in the Church.
I really do believe that if we truly had an eternal perspective and knew who we are and where we are going, that it would not be hard to be baptized and to remain active.
So often, we know about the plan in abstract and then lose sight of it. We forget it as soon as temptations come. We are fareweather believers in the Plan of salvation. Unfortunately, that simply isn’t good enough. We need the fortitude to overcome struggles and trials. And that only comes through abiding faith and knowledge by the spirit.