In Moses 6:34 The Lord tells Enoch: “thou shalt abide in me, and I in you; therefore walk with me”. Enoch was about 65 years old when the Lord called him to preach repentance to the people. When called, Enoch replied that he was just a lad. Since I am a few years beyond that, I wish that 65 today was considered to be just a lad. But if you consider that all patriarchs from Adam to Jared, Enoch’s dad were all still alive; we can see why he questioned why the Lord would call him. I don’t know all that Enoch was feeling, but I have felt inadequate when receiving callings, but President Monson always said: “he whom the Lord calls, he qualifies”. The Lord knows us and our potential so we should never fear or doubt when a call is extended.
We know that Adam walked and talked with God in the Garden of Eden before the fall, in Moses 8:27 it says that Noah and his sons walked with God and in Genesis 6:9 the Lord tells Abraham to “walk before me”. All of prophets walked with God. In order to walk with God, they needed to be sanctified and cleansed from all their sins. They all made covenants with God and they received promises of eternal posterity and exaltation. We do this today when we are baptized and then enter into covenants in the temple. All of the prophets from Adam to Abraham were able to enter into the same covenants that we are given when we go to the temple for our endowment and sealing. We enter into the Abrahamic Covenant.
In our Come Follow Me lessons recently, we have been studying about the Abrahamic Covenant. Abraham sought for the blessings of the Fathers. In other words he sought for the covenants that were made to all the righteous patriarchs from Adam down to Seth, the son of Noah. He wanted the same blessings that come from being a greater follower of righteousness. The Lord blessed Abraham for his desires and promised that the covenant that he made with Abraham would continue with his posterity and that through them all the world would be blessed.
What is the covenant the Lord made with Abraham? Among other things it included four promises:
1. A promised land for his posterity
2. His posterity would be as numerous as the sands of the sea or the stars in the heavens
3. His seed would take the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the priesthood, to all the world.
4. Through his seed all the families of the earth would be blessed
These four promises can be ours when we enter into the same covenant that Abraham and those before him entered into. If we are faithful to this covenant, we can have eternal and never ending posterity; we can participate in blessing everyone on both sides of the veil as we participate in missionary and temple work. When we do these things, then we are walking with God on the covenant path.
President Henry B. Eyring speaking in General Conference said:
“What does it mean to walk with the Lord? It means to do what He does, to serve the way He serves. He sacrificed His own comforts to bless those in need, so that’s what we try to do. He seemed to take particular notice of people who were overlooked and even shunned by society, so we should try to do that too. He testified boldly yet lovingly of the true doctrine He received from His Father, even if it was unpopular, and so must we. He said to all, “Come unto me” (Matthew 11:28), and we say to all, “Come unto Him.” As priesthood holders, we are His representatives. We act not for ourselves but for Him. We speak not our words but His. The people we serve come to know Him better because of our service.” (Walk with Me, Henry B. Eyring, General Conference, April 2017)
Joseph Smith taught:
“that a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things, never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation; . . . When a man has offered in sacrifice all that he has, for the truth's sake, not even withholding his life, and believing before God that he has been called to make this sacrifice . . . Under these circumstances, then, he can obtain the faith necessary for him to lay hold on eternal life.” (Lectures on Faith 6:7)
Joseph is saying that in some way we will be tested, as Abraham was in being willing to sacrifice Isaac, to prove that we are willing to do all that the Lord will command us. Maybe our test will be waiting for children. Abraham waited almost 40 years for Isaac to be born after the promise was made.
Maybe our test will be children that rebel and fall away, like Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve taught their children the gospel and many of many chose to follow Satan instead. I can image what their family home evenings were like: “Mom, Able is breathing my air”. Or “you like Cain more because he is a gardener”! Finally Seth came along and proved faithful enough to carry on the covenant.
Maybe your test will be a career change. Think of Enoch; he was 65 years old when the Lord called him to change careers when he was called on a mission to preach the gospel to the people. It took him 300 years, but the city he founded was taken up.
Speaking of Zion being taken up, how would you like to be Methuselah? Can you imagine the conversation he had with his father, Enoch? “Hey son I have some bad news. Your mother and I and everyone else here in Zion are leaving you. We are going to go away, but you have to stay here with all the wicked people.” That would have been quite a test.
Noah spent 100 years trying to get the people to repent and avoid destruction. Many of his sons and daughters and their children perished in the flood. Only three sons and their wives went with Noah and his wife on the ark. I can just hear Noah saying to his sons: “If you three don’t stop fighting and go do your chores, I am going to stop this boat and you will have to swim for a while”.
And now we come back to Abraham. His father tried to have him offered as a sacrifice. He had to flee for his life to get away from his evil family. He tried his best to prove that he was willing to do everything the Lord commanded. It still took 40 years before Isaac was born and then he was commanded to offer him as a sacrifice. I am sure that it ripped his heart out to travel three days to the place of sacrifice. Can you imagine how he felt when Isaac asked where the sacrificial lamb was? But he passed the test and now we are, and all families of the earth, can partake of the Abrahamic Covenant.
Whatever our test in life is, our first priority, like Abraham, is to seek after the blessings of the fathers. We must become a greater follower of righteousness and thereby become the seed of Abraham. Our next duty is to help our family receive the same blessings. When we are sealed in the temple, our family members receive all the blessings of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – when they have proven themselves ready and worthy.
Once we have entered into the Abrahamic covenant, we need to endure to the end. Lehi saw four groups of people in his dream of the tree of life. One group did not even make it to the path that lead to the tree. There were three other groups that started on the path, one group got lost before getting to the tree, one group made it to the tree and partook of the fruit, but then fell away. Only one group managed to make it to the tree and partook of the fruit of the tree and were able to ignore the ridicule of the world and remained faithful. It is this last group that will receive all the blessings of the Abrahamic covenant.
Today members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are responsible for bringing the Abrahamic Covenant to all nations and families of the earth. It is through those of us who have entered onto the covenant path to share the blessings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and thus bring everyone to Jesus Christ. In doing so they become the seed of Abraham and heirs of the covenant.
Unlike Abraham when he was asked to sacrifice his only son and the Lord stopped him just before he drove the knife into Isaac’s heart. Our Heavenly Father did not stop His Only begotten Son when he blead for us in the garden of Gethsemane and died on the cross on Calvary. He had to withdraw his spirit from His Son so that the everlasting atonement of Jesus Christ could be finished.
We can all be partakers of the blessings of Christ’s atonement as we willingly enter into the same covenant path that the patriarchs of old desired. We can choose to be greater followers of righteousness and receive the blessings of the fathers. In doing so we become the seed of Abraham and heirs of the covenant.
God our Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ live and love us. They want us to have all the blessings that they have promised to us.
Your comments and questions are welcome