Monday, May 14, 2012

The Covenant of Father Abraham (2 Nephi 8)

To prepare for this posting on 2 Nephi chapter 8 (compare Isaiah 51 and 52: 1-2) I read the chapter several times, and I still pretty much look like this...

Isaiah is just a difficult fellow to understand, and that's all there is toot.  This chapter is basically about The Lord's promises to Israel that, though they are being scattered at that time, and will continue to be, He is still mindful of them, and they will be redeemed and brought back into His presence where they will be happy.  I'll mention a couple verses, K?

2 Nephi 8: 2
2.  Look unto Abraham, your father, and unto Sarah, she that bare you; for I called him alone, and blessed him.

3.  For The Lord shall comfort Zion, He will comfort all her waste places; and He will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of The Lord.  Joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving and the voice of melody.

Abraham is very important to the house of Israel, as well as all people everywhere, the world over.  The wilderness and the desert are symbolic of apostasy, where the people are cut off from the word of their God.  The Garden of Eden was a place where Heavenly Father and Christ had a personal and face to face relationship with Adam and Eve.  Making the wilderness like Eden and her desert like the garden of The Lord is like unto returning from being a lost and wandering loser to that blessed state.  When Jesus Christ says in verse 1, "...for I called him alone, and blessed him," this is referring to the covenants that The Lord made with Abraham and his descendants.

The Abrahamic Covenant is of paramount importance in understanding the gospel of Jesus Christ.  In a profoundly inadequate nutshell, this covenant is basically God's promise to Abraham that he would father a great nation, and that this nation, though they'll be kicked around a lot, will bring everlasting salvation to all of God's children.  This was (again, humungously dumbed down because I don't understand it well enough to explain it) and will be brought to pass through some of these things:

The Prophets of the Old Testament were descended from Abraham.

The Savior Jesus Christ was descended from Abraham.

The Apostles of Jesus Christ of the New Testament were descended from Abraham.

The Prophets of the Book of Mormon were descended from Abraham.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ was restored to the earth after centuries of apostasy to a modern day prophet, Joseph Smith, who was a descendant of Abraham.

Part of the restoration of the Gospel was a restoration of the Priesthood to the earth.  The Priesthood is the authority to act in God's name, and is vital in administering the saving ordinances.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is now going forth to all nations.  Those who join The Church are either already part of the house of Israel and are being found and gathered back in, or they are not a part of the house of Israel and are being adopted into it.

That's me on the right in Danville, KY in 1987

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints builds Holy Temples, in which the work is done vicariously for those that are deceased, that they too may come unto Christ, or into the house of Israel. For the billions of folks who have lived on the earth and have passed on into the next realm of existence, they can learn of Jesus Christ and gain a testimony of His saving Atonement there, and then the necessary saving ordinances (baptism, endowment, eternal marriage) are done in their behalf here on earth.

The LDS Temple in Washington D.C.  It's my favorite.
Here's a passage from the Doctrine and Covenants about Priesthood, handed down from the days of Abraham until the Great Apostasy following the deaths of Christ's Apostles, and restored to Joseph Smith in 1830 by the Apostles Peter, James and John.

D & C 84: 19-22
19.  And this greater priesthood administereth the gospel and holdeth the key of the mysteries of the kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God.

20.  Therefore, in the ordinances thereof, the power of godliness is manifest.

21.  And without the ordinances thereof, and the authority of the priesthood, the power of godliness is not manifest unto men in the flesh;

22.  For without this no man can see the face of God, even the Father, and live.
Well, like my old pal Albert used to say...
So, I'll leave it at that.  Just know that Heavenly Father loves all of His children.  Here comes a

2 Nephi 8: 11
11.  Therefore, the redeemed of The Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy and holiness shall be upon their heads; and they shall obtain gladness and joy; sorrow and mourning shall flee away.

That's good enough for me.

Peace be with you...

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