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Teaching Ideas
Article of Faith 10
Destiny of God's People
Because of his righteousness and desires to bless others and his willingness to enter into a covenant relationship with God, the Lord established his covenant with Abraham (1).  Abraham  received the ordinances and covenants associated with baptism, the Holy Priesthood and eternal marriage.  In so doing, he promised obedience and service and to fulfill his responsibilities to have children and raise them in the ways of the Lord.  The Lord, in return, promised him temporal and spiritual blessings, the temporal being in the likeness of the spiritual.

First, Abraham was promised a numberless posterity.  This was fulfilled with his earthly posterity, but its ultimate fulfillment is in the keeping of the eternal marriage covenant and in becoming exalted and being like God, having eternal increase.  It is realized through striving to learn through the experiences of marriage and parenthood how to have an eternal relationship and how to be an eternal parent.  As we make and keep the same covenants, we become the spiritual seed of Abraham and receive the same promises and blessings.

Second, Abraham was given a promised land for him and for his posterity.  This too was fulfilled temporally, but its ultimate fulfillment is in the promise of eternal life in the celestial kingdom.  As we repent and make and keep our covenants, we are led from a life of sin and bondage to a life of freedom and abundance with God. 

Third, Abraham was promised that through his seed and through the priesthood he held, all of the families of the earth would be blessed.  This fulfilled his desire to be of service and make a difference in the world.  It is through the priesthood and more particularly through the everlasting covenant of marriage that all of the families of the earth are blessed.

Jacob, whose name was later changed to Israel, was the grandson of Abraham.  Because he learned to let God be his god and direct his life, he prevailed with God to receive the same promises made to Abraham and to his father Isaac.  We can also prevail with God and receive the same promises if we are willing to let God prevail in our lives, to obey him, to serve him and to make and keep covenants with him.

Many of the children or posterity of Israel forgot God, and after repeated efforts by God to reclaim them, they were scattered.  Jacob was promised that in the last days, his seed would be remembered and would be gathered in again, both temporally and spiritually, to their lands of promise.  God promised to gather his seed first to the gospel of Jesus Christ and then to use them to help in the gathering of the rest of the human family in preparation for his second coming.  Those who join the Church who are not direct descendants of Jacob are adopted into the house of Israel.

Zion is used to refer to a people who are pure in heart, who obey and serve out of a pure love for God and their fellowmen.  This condition was achieved by the people of Enoch whose city was taken up to heaven.  It was supposed to be the condition of the Jerusalem of old (Salem, meaning "city of peace"), but because of idolatry and wickedness, this goal was not achieved.  It is also to be the condition of the New Jerusalem which is to be established in the land of Missouri.  Just as the promised land of Jerusalem of old waits to be redeemed, the New Jerusalem of our day waits to be redeemed until we as a people are ready to live by its principles and until the Lord decrees that it is time (2).  This will be the governing place during the millennium.

We believe that Christ will soon come again, not as he came in obscurity at his first coming, but in power and glory.  Prior to and at his coming, great destructions will take place in the which the wicked will be destroyed.  This will cleanse the earth of all wickedness and prepare it for the reign of Christ for a thousand years.  The gospel will spread throughout the earth, and temple work will be the focus of our service.  The peace and love that accompany a Zion society will prevail during this time.  It will become a true paradise.

Don't Miss This by David Butler and Emily Belle Freeman, Genesis 12-17, Abraham 1-2.
2  The Articles of Faith
by James E. Talmage, page 347.

(For additional insights, read The Articles of Faith by James E. Talmage.  Also listen to Don't Miss This, Old Testament on YouTube by David Butler and Emily Belle Freeman.)
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