ABRAHAM, COVENANT OF
Abraham first received the gospel by baptism (which is the covenant
of salvation). Then he had conferred upon him the higher priesthood,
and he entered into celestial marriage (which is the covenant of
exaltation), gaining assurance thereby that he would have eternal
increase. Finally he received a promise that all of these blessings
would be offered to all of his mortal posterity
(D&C 132: 29-50;
Abr. 2: 6-11). Included in the divine
promises to Abraham were the assurances that
(1) Christ would come through his
lineage, and that (2) Abrahams posterity would receive certain lands as an eternal inheritance (Gen. 17; Gen. 22: 15-18; Gal. 3; Abr. 2). These promises taken together are called the Abrahamic covenant. It was renewed with Isaac (Gen. 26: 1-4, 24)
and again with Jacob (Gen. 28; Gen. 35: 9-13;
Gen. 48: 3-4). From Jacob, the covenat promises then
passed to Joseph (1 Chr. 5:1-2;
D&C 27:10) and then to Ephraim (Jer. 31:9; Dictionary
The portions of the covenant that pertain to personal salvation and eternal increase are renewed with each individual who receives the ordinance of celestial marriage (see D&C 132: 29-33). Those of non-Israelite lineage, commonly known as gentiles, are adopted into the house of Israel, and become heirs of the covenant and the seed of Abraham, through the ordinances of the gospel (Gal. 3: 26-29).
Being an heir to the Abrahamic covenant does not make one a chosen person per se, but does signify that such are chosen to responsibly carry the gospel to all the peoples of the earth. Abrahams seed have carried out the missionary activity in all the nations since Abrahams day. (Matt. 3: 9; Abr. 2: 9-11).
To fulfill the covenant God made with Abraham - having particular reference to the fact that the literal seed of his body would be entitled to all of the blessings of the gospel (Abr. 2: 10-11) - a number of specific and particular things must take place in the last days. The gospel must be restored, the priesthood must be conferred again upon man, the keys of the sealing power must be given again to mortals, Israel must be gathered, and the Holy Ghost must be poured out upon the gentiles. All this has already taken place or is in process of fulfillment.
See also Adoption; Gentiles.