Elder Winegar, With Perfume and Oil

Friday, May 19, 2023


It felt like I spent a lot of time working in people's yards this week. Something about the scent of dirt under my fingernails and the slight burns on the back of my neck remind me that summer is around the corner. The sun is coming out again and bringing with it the warmth and joy of the season. I testify that in contrast to the earth's fickle seasons, those who reverence God can always have confidence that, "the Sun of righteousness [will] arise with healing in his wings" (Mal. 4:2). Regardless of the temporal climate, we can always be filled with light, comfort, and joy as our broken hearts are repaired through the healing power of Jesus Christ, who is both the Sun of Righteousness and the Son of God.

I felt what it means to be a "[fisher] of men" this week (Matt. 4:19). In just one day of 7, we found 18 people who were ready to "let God prevail" in their lives. Needless to say, the Lord astonished me. Whether or not we choose to believe it, some interactions are orchestrated, or perhaps just nudged to happen just right. God wants us to meet the people who need our help and He wants us to meet the people who will help us.

One such individual who was so very ready to meet the representatives of Jesus Christ was our dear friend Thiago. He's a package delivery man who, unfortunately, drives a delivery truck with no air conditioning. As a result, he takes the occasional break to get out of his vehicle and cool off a bit. On one such break, by divine providence he was approached by two missionaries named Elder Petersen and Elder Winegar. 

At first I wasn't sure we should talk to him, seeing as he was in his work uniform, but as I described, when the nudge from the spirit comes you just put away whatever you're thinking and go. So, we did. Turns out he had been thinking a lot about the tumultuous condition of the world and was intrigued to hear that despite the ever shifting moral tectonics of our time, there was solid ground in Jesus Christ. We taught him of the unchangeableness of the Holy Ghost which delivers us from deception and grounds us in truth (2 Nephi 2:4; Jn 16:13). We further explained covenants, promises with God that allow His Spirit to abound in our lives. These promises also secure us steadfastly to, "the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God." Thus, through covenants we build ourselves upon a sure foundation insomuch that we will not falter under the pressures of a changing world. (Hel. 5:12).

With his interest piqued, we asked if he desired such blessings for himself and his family. He told us he did. We then invited him to enter into covenantal safety by being baptized in the name of Christ. He happily agreed and is preparing himself for baptism on the 8th of July.

Like Thiago, there will inevitably come a time in each of our lives when we will pine for rest in greener pastures and to walk by stiller waters (Hymn 108; Psalm 23). I testify that the Good Shepherd offers tranquility to all who will make covenants with Him. 

A covenant differs from a worldly promise in the fact that the terms of the agreement are set by God and are eternally binding, when officiated by those holding His authority. These covenants connect or seal us to God and those around us by divine power, ensuring that we will be together after this life. 

The scriptures teach that, "If a man marry a wife…by the new and everlasting covenant, and it is sealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of promise…it shall be done unto them…in time, and through all eternity; and shall be of full force when they are out of the world" (D&C 132:19). By similar ordinances the, "sealing of the children to their parents" is also made possible (D&C 138:48). Thus, we see through this patriarchal order, the possible "welding together" of the entirety of the human family and the perpetuation of earthly relationships for eternity (D&C 128:18). Indeed, those loving relationships that are our deepest wells of joy in this life need not be divided in death! (D&C 135:3).

Not only is it God's will for us to remain with each other forever, but perhaps even more significantly for us to "be with [Him] where [He is]; that [we] may behold [His] glory" (John 17:24). Through our covenants we can receive the sublime promise of being sealed to God. That we will be with Him where He is, enjoying the life He enjoys. When we are reunited with our earthly kin, our Saviour, and our Heavenly Father, "God shall wipe away all tears from [our] eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away" (Rev. 21:4).

I bear you my solemn and sure witness with the living prophets of these latter-days that, "The covenant connection we have with our Heavenly Father and His resurrected and living Son is the supernal source of perspective, hope, power, peace, and enduring joy" (David A. Bednar, April 2023). To those who have made covenants, I admonish you with all my love to keep them and qualify yourself for these magnificent blessings. To those who have not yet made covenants, the Lord is waiting with open arms to receive you.

My friends, stay strong.

Elder Winegar


Ease Up Kid—Hippo Campus

I See You—Phoebe Bridgers 

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