Tag Archives: Abrahamic Covenant

Study updates/summaries

  1. I reviewed Moses 4-5 and other related scriptures, and I’m quite convinced that there’s some really interesting and real and important stuff going on there.
  2. Kylie pointed out to me that Gen 4:26 has similar language, and fits in well with what I’ve been thinking about priesthood
  3. We had a study group night on the connections between Moses 4:22 and Moses 5:23 (both talking about desires and rule). I gained a lot from that.
  4. The Book of Mormon is soooo clear about the Abrahamic Covenant. As I’m rereading 3rd Nephi with my daughter, I’m struck by how clearly Christ is teaching them — sometimes repeating the same thing over and over in the same 2 or 3 chapter block.
  5. Today I just looked up “Gentiles” in the D&C out of curiosity, just to learn a bit. I noticed a few places that sound a lot like The Book of Mormon, a few places that just use “Jew and Gentile” as a way of saying everyone, but then a few interesting ones that I’m just starting to think about. Like D&C 86:11.

Abrahamic Covenant in the JST/Book of Moses

This morning I was hoping to quickly review my reading of the Abrahamic Covenant in the Book of Moses. I was embarrassed that I had to look up an old post I had written in order to remember it. ūüė¶ ¬†But here’s the old post, for anyone who’s interested (or really, so I can have the link handy ūüôā )

Old Testament Gospel Doctrine Lesson 7: The Abrahamic Covenant (and how it relates to Adam & to us)

Joe has been working on the Abrahamic Covenant from the perspective of Genesis, and how that perspective plays out in Isaiah, Paul, and the Book of Mormon. It’s interesting to see how his work is similar but in many ways different from what I see going on the Book of Moses/JST. I’m interested to see what else he/we learn as his project moves forward.

Timeline in 3 Nephi 21

Christ says he’s going to give a sign, that the people may know the time when the things Isaiah says about the gathering are about to take place.

The gathering is also referred to as “the covenant,” because God covenanted to always remember Israel. Gathering them out of the nations after they have been scattered and married into other nations for hundreds (even thousands) of years¬†is a miraculous achievement and proof that God still remembers scattered Israel long after everyone on earth (even Israel itself) has forgotten who they are.

  • v.2-6: The sign happens when the things that Christ is telling the Nephites/Lamanites¬†now (and will continue to tell them¬†by the Holy Ghost) are made known to the Gentiles,
    • And this means the Gentiles¬†are aware of the Nephite/Lamanite¬†descendants¬†as a remnant of Israel
    • And not only that, when these things that are being told now, and will be, and will be written, are then¬†given to them, that is, their descendants
    • Because, well, it is wisdom that Gentiles will be here in this land, so that they can give them to their descendants,
      • And that is because then the Gentiles might see God’s power, and when they see it, they might repent and become numbered as if they were Israel too
  • v.7: This is the sign he gives the Nephites/Lamanites: when these very things that they are hearing and writing down are beginning to be known by their own descendants — that is the sign that things in Isaiah about gathering are already beginning to be fulfilled.
  • v.22-24 If the Gentiles repent, God will establish a Church among them, and the Gentiles will be able to “come in unto the covenant and be numbered among this remnant”
    • Then they will help gather the remnant — and any other members of Israel — in order to build a city — a New Jerusalem.
    • Then, after that, they will help gather Israel into the city.
    • And after that, the power of heaven will be in the city — and then even God will come and dwell in the New Jerusalem
  • v.26-28 And also,* the Father will do an even bigger work: He will begin to gather in “all the dispersed” of Israel, even the tribes which are lost
    • The Father will begin to prepare the way that they will not only be gathered, but will come to Christ so that they can pray to the Father
    • ¬†The Father will begin to work among all nations, so that the way is prepared for him to gather home all Israel to the land of their inheritance


*It is unclear to me when the things in v.26-28 are happening in this timeline. (1) The words “and then” could be that¬†these things happen¬†after the city is built and Israel is gathered and Christ has come to be with them. One thing is accomplished, and then the next marvelous work begins. (2) The words “even when this gospel shall be preached among the remnant of this people” could mean that we are showing another marvelous work that will begin at the same time as the events in v.22-24. That is, the events in v.26-28 could be happening in parallel with the events in v.22-24. I don’t think that I have a preferred reading as of yet.

Fulness of the Gospel

We are working out a really interesting reading during study group tonight.

We looked up fulness in an 1828 dictionary and the first definition talked about something that isn’t vacant; nothing in it is vacant. For whatever reason, this made us think about how perhaps fulness means no person is left out. That is, rather than fulness of the gospel meaning all principles are restored, what if it means all the people are gathered?

We are looking at 3 Nephi 16:10 tonight. Notice that when the Gentiles reject the fulness of the gospel, they are full instead of pride and hypocrisy. One reading is that rather than full of gospel they are full of pride. Another reading is that when they reject the fulness — that not just Gentiles are saved but also Israel is redeemed — when they reject this, then they are (or it’s because they are) full of pride.

What if it means fulness as in the Abrahamic Covenant — no one is meant to be left out. This gospel is for everyone. Or this gospel is strong enough for everyone.

Notice how the Gentiles are critiqued in 2 Nephi for not caring about the Israelites (What thank ye the Jews?) and also they don’t want more scripture from another Israelite people: A Bible! A Bible!

The gospel plan was meant for everyone. The Abrahamic Covenant gave Abraham’s seed the job of teaching everyone else. The gospel was meant to save everyone who would be saved: fulfilling that potential, that promise, is fulness of the gospel. Fulness of the plan.

Abraham 2! That connects Abrahamic Covenant and the Gospel.

Tangents: Nice jokes here about A Bible! A Bible! and what we might say: Book of Mormon! We need no Bible! or A manual! A Manual! ūüôā

Another reading might be that the gospel is the good news of faith repentance baptism Holy Ghost, and in the Book of Mormon those things are filled up more fully than in the general Christian understanding. So it’s not that the Book of Mormon is more “complete” but rather it is more “abundant.”

A few notes from Study Group on D&C 84:39

  • The words “oath” and “covenant” from D&C 84:39 are clearly drawn from Hebrews, as any one in Joseph’s time would have recognized.
  • Note that God made oath and covenant, that it’s His (D&C 84:40). Not actually a covenant we make¬†with God! This is one sided when it is made, and then we are told/asked to¬†receive¬†it.
  • D&C 132:22-25 are very worth looking at, as well as JST Genesis 14!
  • The language of confirmed is related to oaths and covenants in Bible.
  • Where else does “oath and covenant” come up together, as a phrase? In the Book of Mormon! But it always means oaths and covenants of robbers, bad secret society. Is the priesthood meant to be thought of as the “good” secret society? The one that counters the bad?
  • The consequence for breaking an oath or covenant in a bad secret society is usually death! Severe consequence. D&C 84:41 is also severe.
  • Interesting that it’s not about this life, as D&C 132 talks about (hard time this life, ok in next)
  • The good secret society. It is a fundamental change in how we relate to other people. [Tangent here about how even when we as Latter-day Saints don’t understand all that this gospel is or how deep and wonderful the covenants are, there is still a change in how we relate to others. There are all sorts of “fringe benefits”that come even from the watered-down version of things. And the real vision is still buried in there, still being carried along by the church members even though we don’t realize it.
  • Now, some notes/thoughts from what Don shared with us:
  • “According to” usually means we’re referring to something just talked about, or to something clearly established. This “accords” with that previous thing.
  • This seems to accord with Hebrews, which refers back to Psalms
  • But also, look at Gen 14 “order of the covenant” also “oath by himself”
  • JST Hebrews was worked on only 7 months earlier, and Joseph had just gone back through it about this time. So not only would the audience have thought about Hebrews, Joseph was thinking about Hebrews a lot during this time
  • Some sort of “everlasting covenant” talked about in stories of David and others but Hebrews might be only place in NT (Heb 13:20).
  • The JST of Hebrews 9 changes testament to covenant
  • JST Hebrews 7:19 adds “without an oath” Law was administered¬†without an oath
  • JST Deut 10:2 adds “save words of everlasting covenant of priesthood” (second tablets did not have words of the covenant)
  • So with JST changes,¬†Deut says law did not have words of covenant, and Hebrews says law did not have oath
  • D&C 84:25 God took Moses and priesthood out from them (=took words of covenant & no oath?)
  • Similar to 1 Ne 13 – took plain and precious from gospel, even many covenants. Then took from book.
  • D&C 132:19 – what is “it”? ¬†everlasting covenant (later in 19: as hath been sealed upon their heads)
  • b/c everlasting covenant from JST Gen 14 = godhood, this makes sense.
  • D&C 132:19 and JST Gen 14 both use¬†principalities and powers
  • D&C 84:42 “by mine own voice” also in JST Gen 14:29 and Hebrews (and Alma 13 – called)
  • Oaths – Hebrews talks about Abraham’s oath, and Christ’s priesthood oath
  • “confirm” talked about in Hebrews 7 and D&C 84:39-42
  • D&C 132:59 by mine own voice Aaron Hebrews also says called of God
  • back to covenants taken out: Covenant given to Adam etc, then missing until Abraham, then missing until Moses, then missing until Christ, then missing until Joseph Smith
  • covenant is received, as we emphasized earlier. Given by God, oath made by God. Receive covenant, receive oath, over and over. Alma 13, God ordains. God calls. D&C 84:40, D&C 66: ¬†, D&C 132:27.
  • Consequences come after that is clear D&C 132:27, D&C 84:41
  • In 1831 office of high priest given, thought of as sealing lots of things, even sealing up to eternal life
  • D&C 84 was in 1832 developed, but think context of sealing up to eternal life
  • Joseph Smith’s later discourses, Moses’s people won’t accept last stage the gift of eternal life. Why did they reject? don’t know. D&C 84 says same thing didn’t want to enter God’s rest, see face to face. See discourses maybe March 1844
  • Receive everlasting covenant, not obey everlasting covenant.
  • Joseph Smith’s creativity with everything (laws on polygamy, etc.) may reflect his position of receiving this higher law and power, like Nephi (in Helaman), Enoch, etc. They had power to move rivers, mountains, create famines, etc.
  • did Joseph’s confidence come from lost 116 pages? God has many ways of doing His work, He is wise, I can’t ruin it, in for the ride

D&C 107 thoughts, after re-reading D&C 84 blog comments

I re-read everything we’d written at Dews From Heaven on D&C 84’s verses on lineage, and then now I am working through D&C 107. I’m noticing some interesting things!

  • We noticed before that sometimes the priesthood goes through “lineage of his fathers” and sometimes there is a list of names. Well! In D&C 84 and in D&C 107, Melchizedek seems to be a sort of changing point. It appears that previous to Melchizedek the priesthood always went father-to-son, but with Melchizedek something changes. It is with him that the name of the priesthood gets changed too. Is this because a “church” organization had developed that was different than family? (D&C 107 says the church called the priesthood after Melchizedek.) Does D&C 84 point out that Esaias was blessed by Abraham but not necessarily ordained, because Melchizedek was the leader of the church and Esaias would have been ordained by him? (or by God, I guess, as D&C 84 says)
  • In D&C 107, verse 40 sounds like it is picking up from verse 3 in a way. The “order” of this priesthood sounds like it is referring to the “order of the Son of God.”
  • what about “blessed” referring to “chosen seed”? In D&C 107 ordination and blessing seem to be two separate events or actions. What does blessed refer to? Just a blessing of counsel — or something specific? What about being blessed as in being sealed into the family line? What about blessed as in what Abraham sought after – the blessings of the fathers, and the right to administer the same?


  • I think I was a bit to hasty with the idea of “father to son.” D&C 107 and D&C 84 complicate that idea. D&C 84 just says “lineage of his fathers” and D&C 107 says that Adam himself ordained most of the patriarchs. I have to remember that¬†Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, Jared, Enoch, and Methuselah were all alive together at the same time! And each of those men were ordained by Adam himself. So, that being the case, there isn’t really a problem with one list going back to Abel and one back to Seth. Both were ordained of Adam, just like at least six others within “the lineage of the fathers.” In other words, I was confused by there being two different fathers passing the priesthood on to their own sons and somehow this being one family line. But rather, I see that Adam ordains —¬†the father,¬†the patriarch ordains his sons. And grandson. And great-grandson. And great-great-grandson. ūüôā And so this really isn’t a
    “passing on” anyway. It is an inclusion in a group (a priest-hood). So maybe D&C 107’s reference to father to son might simply mean patriarch to descendants?

D&C 110 and keys

11 After this vision closed, the heavens were againopened unto us; and Moses appeared before us, and committed unto us the keys of the gathering of Israel from the four parts of the earth, and the leading of the ten tribes from the land of the north.

Jenny, Candice, Kim, and I are currently studying “keys” in our D&C 84 project. I’m thinking about keys lately as specific assignments. If you do a search for “key” and look through the many references, you’ll see that there are at least a dozen – maybe two dozen – different, named keys. “Key of the bottomless pit” was one that surprised me. Also “key of the house of David.” And one I’ve seen before but I always really enjoy: Moroni has the “keys of the record of the stick of Ephriam.”

So tonight I decided to look at section 110, where several angels appear to give Joseph Smith keys. Here’s what stood out to me tonight:

11 After this vision closed, the heavens were again opened unto us; and Moses appeared before us, and committed unto us the keys of the gathering of Israel from the four parts of the earth, and the leading of the ten tribes from the land of the north.

I don’t think I realized before how cool this really is. I think before I had seen it as Moses opening up the way for modern day saints to get to work. Something like, Moses comes and uses the key to open the door. But rather, the keys are given to Joseph (and Oliver?). It’s now his assignment. And also he is in charge of opening and closing that work. Or so it seems! That’s very different than how I had read it before.

12 After this, Elias appeared, and committed the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham, saying that in us and our seed all generations after us should be blessed.

Whoa! Notice that Elias¬†doesn’t¬†give Joseph any keys. He “committed” something. What does that mean? A commission? And how do you commit a dispensation? And further, why is this the¬†gospel of Abraham? First of all, there is more than one gospel? Second, why isn’t this the covenant of Abraham? (The Abrahamic Covenant?). Should I be hearing the word gospel in the sense of “good news” — the good news of Abraham is that all families will be blessed?

And finally, in Joseph and Oliver, and their seed, all the generations after them will be blessed. Fascinating! They begin the next watershed of Abrahamic blessings.

13 After this vision had closed, another great and glorious vision burst upon us; for Elijah the prophet, who was taken to heaven without tasting death, stood before us, and said:

14¬†Behold, the time has fully come, which was spoken of by the mouth of Malachi (‚ÄĒtestifying that he [Elijah] should be sent, before the great and dreadful day of the Lord come‚ÄĒ

¬†15¬†To turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers, lest the whole earth be smitten with a curse‚ÄĒ)

16 Therefore, the keys of this dispensation are committed into your hands; and by this ye may know that the great and dreadful day of the Lord is near, even at the doors.

I added the italics and parenthesis to try to figure out what Elijah actually said. But I think with the “your” and “ye” in verse 16, and the “he” in the end of verse 14, that my reading is not a bad one.

Elijah does come to give a key. But what key? The keys of this dispensation. What does that mean? First I think I just say “Everything else they needed for this latter day dispensation.” But since tonight I’m reading more carefully for talk about keys, I have a different idea.

What if Elias shows up and¬†commits¬†the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham to them, and then Elijah comes and¬†gives them the keys of that very dispensation¬†so that they can do what they were committed to doing? Elijah uses the word “dispensation” just like Elias did, and if you read this as a play-by-play then as soon as Elias leaves, Elijah shows up and talks about “this dispensation.” I think rather than hearing that word as a term for a time period, I think we ought to think about what is going on in this section. I assume that we only use that word as a term for a time period because it is a time in which the gospel is dispensed. But if that’s the case, the time term is a later usage derived from the more literal or originary use of dispense. So I think it might be a really, really good reading here to see Elijah as talking about the same thing that Elias was talking about.

If that’s the case, then what I see here is that Elias comes and says that they are going to be the next step in the Abrahamic Covenant, meaning that their families are going to bless all the families after them. How is that to be accomplished? Well Elijah shows up and says it’s time to focus the fathers on the children (just what Elias committed to them) but also the children to the fathers. What are the keys of the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham? I don’t know! ūüôā Surely, it seems, they must include the sealing ordinances of the temple, and also baptism for the dead. But I imagine a lot more, too.

Anyway, as far as keys go, I think I want to say that Moses gave him one key, and Elias and Elijah together gave him another set of keys. That’s pretty cool.