Joe has encouraged me, and I think I am seeing why now, to look at the various passages about the Abrahamic Covenant in the context in which they were received. For example, the JST passages I have been looking at were received when things were developing in the practices of the newly formed Church. D&C 42 was received close to the parts about Enoch, for example. How were these things informing each other?
Also, when we read Micah’s baby blessing this week, it made me think about how we have progressed in our understanding of covenants, etc., and how that is reflected in the language of our children’s blessings. Emma’s, for example, doesn’t mention the Abrahamic Covenant at all (we began our study of that about the time Jacob was born), but, her blessing uses other language that means the same thing. She is told she was born at this time and in these circumstances to be “a blessing and a comfort to the world.” That could mean lots of things, but whatever it means, it is a fulfillment of the promise that Abraham’s kids will bless the all the families of the earth. She is going to be part of the work of the Abrahamic Covenant, but we hadn’t studied the covenant enough for it to be put into that language for us. Does that make sense? I think I see how to understand Joseph’s developing ideas. The principles and promises are there from the beginning, but God uses language that will make the most sense to him at the time. As he learns more, more specific words can be used. I’ve seen it in our own revelations through blessings – baby blessings, and blessings to me. It’s a delight to learn more and more and then have those things we learn return back again in words specific to us in blessings!
Anyway, I don’t know how much work I’ll put into it right away, but I do want to do as Joe suggests – present a story of Joseph’s developing understanding of the Abrahamic Covenant, from Moroni’s words recorded in D&C 2, through the Book of Mormon, and on to the retranslation of the Bible starting first from Adam to Abraham, then to the NT, and then back again to the OT, and all the sections of the D&C received along with that. What a great story that would be! Joseph figuring out the Abrahamic Covenant. And I’d learn a ton, too!
Lots of work, and lots of kid’s needs in the meanwhile. But alongside them I’ll do some learning this semester and we’ll see what I can figure out!