Okay, big question that I haven’t really quite formulated yet. Here are a few things I know but I’m not sure exactly how they connect:
1) There is some chosen seed that will be preserved until the end of the world
2) That might mean one specific line still. Even though it appears to me that it also means all of Israel collectively. But it can’t mean that exactly, since some specific people who are Israel don’t have kids…. So how does that work?
3) All those who embrace the gospel become Abraham’s seed, by adoption. But does that then mean they also have the promise that their seed will be preserved? I don’t think so…
4) Even though all those who embrace the gospel become Abraham’s seed, this doesn’t replace the idea that Abraham has the promise given to the fathers concerning the seed (Abr. 1:1-4), or that there is a literal descending line from Abraham on. This doesn’t make up for some unfortnate circumstance, which is what it could be doing. But the Bible records the promise being renewed with Issac, with Jacob, and with Joseph (and see this reference in the Book of Mormon: 2 Nephi 25:21)
So my question is, how does this fit in with the sealing ordinance we receive in the temple?
1) It connects us with the blessings of Abraham, but what does that mean?
2) It connects generations in some way, and I assume it fulfills what D&C 128 talks about – a welding link.
3) But obviously a temple marriage doesn’t always equate with having children.
So, how does it connect us to Abraham exactly? Is it that we join into the larger family which has the promise of not dying out? We become relatives to that chosen line? Is there still a chosen line?
In some ways it sounds like Joseph Smith is a part of that line and that his posterity will fulfill that. Some would say that is strange since they aren’t all believing latter-day saints. But for most of history the chosen line didn’t believe and that’s why we needed those restorations over and over again (Noah, Abraham, Moses, etc.). And see these verses from D&C 86:
8 Therefore, thus saith the Lord unto you, with whom the priesthood hath continued through the lineage of your fathers—
9 For ye are lawful heirs, according to the flesh, and have been hid from the world with Christ in God—
10 Therefore your life and the priesthood have remained, and must needs remain through you and your lineage until the restoration of all things spoken by the mouths of all the holy prophets since the world began.
11 Therefore, blessed are ye if ye continue in my goodness, a light unto the Gentiles, and through this priesthood, a savior unto my people Israel. The Lord hath said it. Amen.
So, something’s up there. Joseph is more than just the right guy at the right time. He has a lineage that makes him a lawful heir, “according to the flesh.”
So again, how does that match up with the temple ordinances we receive and how do I teach this all to the YW??? 🙂