The Everlasting Covenant
(Perspective of Promised Blessings of the Fathers)
presented by Don R. Hender
. . .
" . . . finding there was greater happiness and peace and rest
for me, I sought for the blessings of the fathers . . . " ~ Abraham
When Abram [Abraham] found that there
was great happiness to be found in God he sought for the blessings and
promises of the fathers [Adam . . . Noah] (Abraham 1:2). As Abram's or Abraham's own father
Tarah was not a righteous man, Jewish traditions has Abraham looking to the
household of Noah who according to many a chronigrapher was still living
in his early mid 900 years of age. And it may be concluded, if such is true,
that Abraham did indeed rise to the station of receiving the 'covenant
blessings of the fathers'.
Of course if Abraham had to go to Noah then the plural 'fathers' would have
to included Noah and those of the more ancient fathers even back unto Adam.
In speaking of whom Abraham received the priesthood from the Doctrine and
" . . . Abraham received the priesthood from Melchizedek, who
received it through the lineage of his fathers, even till Noah; and from
Noah till Enoch, through the lineage of their fathers; And from Enoch to Abel,
who was slain by the conspiracy of his brother, who received the priesthood
by the commandments of God, by the hand of his father Adam, who was the first
man——" ~ D&C 84:14-16
Now some would make Abraham's descent of prieshood authority a long list of
often 'unnamed' fathers pleading the concept that 'till So and So, through
the lineage of their fathers' does present that very concept of missing
named priesthood bearers down to eventually Abrham. But I'd rather make it
a shorter list, as it is clear from studying the scriptures that Abraham was
a high priest before he left Ur of Chaldeas and received the priesthood as a
relatively young man well before the age of 75.
In that 'short list' of priesthood linage I would include Melchizedek as the
D&C states that is where Abraham's priesthood came, but then considering
the facts of scripture that Abraham recieved his priesthood early and according
to Jewish tradition from being associated with the household of Noah, then I
am inclined to think that Melchizedek was also in that earlier time, a part of
the household of aging Noah, as Noah died at age 950 which allows a window of
opportunity for young Abraham to associate with Noah's house, seeking the
blessings of the fathers directly from the most ancient father of his day,
Noah and Noah's son Shem who I would make as Jewish tradition does, to be the
same as Melchezedek.
Now I will not take time to argue the identity of Melchizedek, rather I will
merely state the short list beginning with Abraham to Melchizedek to Noah to
Enoch to Abel to Adam. These are the 'fathers' which D&C 84:14-16 names and
these are they on that 'short list' of 'fathers' on Abraham's priesthood
pedigree I'll provide. Interestingly, Jewish tradition has Shem's death
when Abraham is 110 years old as also it has Melchizedek's departure also
so dated when Abraham was 110 years old.
But assuredly, there were unnamed intervining 'fathers' unnamed, as Abel was
killed before Seth was born when Adam was 130 years old. This also begs an
answer to who could Abel have ordained to the priesthood that Enoch's line
of priesthood came from Abel rather than his fathers? Enoch was born in the
622 year of Adam and he could have received his priesthood from his 3rd
great grandfather Seth, who lived until 1042 of Adam, but unless Seth 'stood
in the priesthood place of Abel' in the ordinantion, there seems to be no
named person from whom Enoch received his priesthood other than that is came
'through Abel'. Also there would have been at least one unnamed person in
Noah's priesthood lineage as the 'jump-gap' between Noah and Enoch leaves an
open number of years from when Enoch was taken up into heaven in 987 Adam's
time and Noah was not born until 1056 Adam's time, which leaves some 69 years
between Enoch's departure and Noah's birth. Thus barring a 'visitation return
by Enoch, Noah's immediate priesthood ordination came by way of at least one
interviening person between Enoch and Noah.
All this aside, the priesthood and the attached 'covenant' of God with man,
did come by way of the fathers. Adam was the 'first man' and presumeably to
whom the 'everlasting covenant' promises were established on earth in the
first place. From Adam that/those promised blessings of that covenant would
have passed through and by way of others, Abel would have been next in the
line of the covenant bearers though his life was cut short and that 'covenant'
position is reported to fall to Seth in Abel's stead. Perhaps Abel's name is
included on the 'fathers' priesthood list merely as to whom the covenant was
held by as opposed to the actual inline prieshood ordinantions.
At any rate from Abraham the covenant line from then to Isaac, then Jacob,
then Joseph and then Ephraim, whom we will connect to in this the latter day
and by whose descendants the 'Covenant of Abraham' and those associated blessings
are being taken to all the world as the fulfilling of the Covenant is proceeding forth.
Exactly What Are the Promised Covenant Blessings?
At this point we will establish a simple list of just what the 'covenant'
blessings of promise did entail, leaving the further detailed discussion to
such as the perspective of Abraham and the Abrahamic Covenant of the Everlasting
The matters related to the priesthood ordinances of the Abarhamic Covenant
would be that 1) the gospel by baptism (the covenant of salvation) would
be apart of the covenant. 2) The receipt of the priesthood, particularly that
of the higher Melchizedek prieshood would be conferred. 3) The priesthood
ordiance of 'Celestial Marriage' (the covenant of Exaltation) would be entered
into thus gaining the insurance of eternal increase. 4) Finally, the covenant
would include the promise that all of these covenant blessings would be
offered to all the covenanting person's mortal posterity. Further included in
the 'divine promises' would be the assurance that 5) Christ would come through
the lineage of the covenanting person if he were the bearer of the covenant
prior to the birth of the Redeemer. And 6) a last covenant blessing would be
the right to receive certain particular lands of promise as an eternal
inheritance. 7) And of course as part of the promises of the coveannt made
unto the fathers, there was the ultimate promise that the (a) promised
deliverer/redeemer would be provided which would enable mankind to be 'saved'
from the fall and this by such obedience to the laws, ordinances and
performances of the gospel plan.
From Heaven to Adam to Noah to Abraham and Beyond
In the Pre-mortal Heaven was the Plan of God, His promises of a Deliverer,
first made by that Man of Holiness, God the Father of Spirits, named
Elohim. There was a 'Deliverer' selected to act in behalf of and in the stead
of the Father in all things, from being the directed creator of temporal
creation to being our Ministering God, our Savior, Redeemer, eventual
King and Judge. The promises of the Everlasting Covenant were
made and outlined as to what the plan and responsibilities were. Then the
plan was put into effect and after the creation was Adam and Eve placed in
the Garden. When Adam fell that man might be, the covenant was renewed with
him and all the righteous 'fathers' from Adam to such as Enoch and even down
to and including Noah, father of all living from his time of beinging on. The
Everlasting Covenant of God has always been in effect for the benefit of man
to bring about our immortality and eternal life. This was the intended continued
purpose of the covenant made with Abraham and the blessing of all the nations
through his seed.