Abrahamic Covenant & the Restoration…


You know, just me, trying to rethink how to teach the Abrahamic Covenant again…

I am teaching YW this month about the Apostasy and Restoration. Before we really get into those topics listed at lds.org, however, I very much would like them to have an idea of the covenant passed from Adam down to Noah, from Noah to Abraham, and from there to us. Then all the topics make a lot more sense. Why do we need the Book of Mormon? for example, will make more sense when we can see the overarching plan of the Covenant in restoring Israel and blessing the whole world, you know, stuff like that. 🙂

This is how I’ve laid it out before:

http://feastuponthewordblog.org/2012/11/17/the-family-of-adam-and-eve-the-abrahamic-covenant/

And I found this nice article today by Kent Jackson, that describes it a bit differently than me but think it’s still among the better resources I found:

http://www.lds.org/ensign/1990/02/the-abrahamic-covenant-a-blessing-for-all-people?lang=eng

And this one by Elder Nelson:

http://www.lds.org/ensign/1995/05/children-of-the-covenant?lang=eng

Every place you go to read about the Abrahamic Covenant at lds.org seems to have a different “list” of what is in the covenant. (My post had its own list too 🙂 ). Here is another one:

http://www.lds.org/scriptures/gs/abrahamic-covenant?lang=eng

This one was more all-encompassing:

http://www.lds.org/scriptures/bd/abraham-covenant-of?lang=eng

Last night, Joe and I had a fantastic conversation about what the “Covenant” meant to Jews, and so how early Christians also understood it. When we look at Nephi’s vision in 1st Nephi, we both notice that Nephi specifically says that the Great and Abominable Church will “take away” many covenants. Then a later verse says that things were taken out of the book. It could be read as a two-step process. First they take it away from understanding (it isn’t taught, or taught as not important), then later it’s simply removed because it no longer makes sense. It’s one way to read the text, anyway.

The way we were talking about it last night is that the early Christian church, because so many of them were Gentile, played down the importance of the Covenants the Jews had. Then Christianity spreads all over the West, and that is the view even the early Latter-day Saints inherited. Along comes the Book of Mormon, to remind everyone of the Covenant and to encourage all these Gentiles to actually take the message of the gospel back to Israel, who have been forgotten by the Gentile Christian church. That “forgetting” is what happened in the early Church; that is what was “taken out” of the scriptures. Was it actually, literally removed? That’s an open question to me. I think perhaps it was “taken out” of discourse, ie, not talked about, and so a doctrine of the gospel without the covenant was developed and that is how we read the scriptures. It’s hard even for us Latter-day Saints, even with the Book of Mormon and all of Joseph’s teachings, to see the Covenant clearly (as evidenced by me writing yet another post trying to sort all of this out).

 

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