“A Covenant in the religious sense,” the Universal House of Justice states, “is a binding agreement between God and man, whereby God requires of man certain behavior in return for which He guarantees certain blessings, or whereby He gives man certain bounties in return for which He takes from those who accept them an understanding to behave in a certain way.”4
Look at the example of a tree. It begins its existence in the form of a seed. Its purpose is to yield fruit. God has established a set of natural laws in which the tree takes part so that it can achieve its purpose. He gives capacity and blessings to the tree—the sun gives light, the soil offers nutrients, and the rain provides water. The tree uses these blessings to grow from a seed to a tree that yields fruit. This relationship defines God’s “covenant” with the tree.
A similar relationship exists between God and humanity. Our Covenant with God, however, centers around our spiritual, rather than our material, reality. And, unlike a tree that must obey the laws of nature, human beings have a free will. We can choose to accept or reject our part of the spiritual Covenant with God.
4 The Covenant, intro.