When I was on my mission, the idea of “covenanting” became popular for a while. The idea was that a companionship would set some goals and say, essentially, “Okay, Lord, this is what we're going to do, and in return we expect such-and-such results (usually a certain number of baptisms).” A member of the Area Presidency did a mission tour and forcefully put a stop to the practice. I have often heard it taught that, in a covenant, God sets the terms and our options are to accept or to reject them. We do not have the right to set the terms of the covenant.
The story of Jacob seems to put a little twist on this idea, though. In Genesis 28:20-22, we read:
And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, So that I come again to my father's house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God: And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God's house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.
This sure sounds like Jacob is setting the terms of a “deal” with God: “You do all these things for me and I'll worship you, build a house for you, and even pay tithing. How can you refuse?” There are other scriptural passages that run similarly, and we hear the same kind of language in war stories told by general authorities (“Lord, if I get out of this alive, I'll serve you for the rest of my life”).
Is this offensive to God? Does he get upset when his children try to make a deal with him? And if King Benjamin is right that “if [we] should serve him with all [our] whole souls yet [we] would be unprofitable servants,” then why would God honor such a request? Yet he appears to do so in the case of Jacob. Would he not do similarly today?