One of the purposes of the Book of Mormon is to teach us about the covenants with the fathers, “Which is to show unto the remnant of the house of Israel what great things the Lord hath done for their fathers; and that they may know the covenants of the Lord” (Book of Mormon Title Page).
What are those covenants?
When God saved the Israelites from Egyptian bondage, He brought them to Mt. Sinai in order to enter into a covenant relationship with them. He covenanted that if they would be His faithful people, He would be their God and plant them in a Promised Land. God gave the Israelites the Ten Commandments (see Exodus 20) as instructions for how they should show covenantal loyalty to God so that they might prosper in the land.
As we know, the Ten Northern Tribes of Israel did not remain faithful. They consistently broke the Ten Commandments. They were not covenantally loyal or faithful to God. So God removed them from the land and they are now called the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. Later, the Tribes of Judah and Benjamin in the areas of Judah / Jerusalem, also rebelled against God. Again God removed faithless people from the Promised Land.
This is where Lehi comes in. God sent Lehi and his family to a new Promised Land with the command, “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall prosper in the land.” In other words, those who demonstrate covenant loyalty to God by showing faithfulness to Him through keeping the commandments will prosper in the promised lands where He has planted them.
The Book of Mormon contains many stories and examples of the consequences for fulfilling or not this covenantal call “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall prosper in the land.”
When you teach people from the Book of Mormon:
- How are you helping them to see what great things the Lord has done?
- How are you helping people to know the covenants of the Lord?
- Are you helping people to see that the Ten Commandments were God’s instructions for how to demonstrate covenantal loyalty?
- And when Jesus came to teach the Sermon on the Mount, do you help learners see that He updated the instructions for how to demonstrate covenantal loyalty?
- How do we show covenantal loyalty today?
More from Taylor Halverson
Look for my upcoming book The Covenant Path in the Bible and the Book of Mormon. (Tentative release early February 2020). Pre-order here.
- What is the covenant path?
- How do the Bible and the Book of Mormon reveal the covenant path?
- What does “it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do” mean in a covenantal context?
- What does Jesus mean when he says “be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect?” How is this covenantal language?
- What does the phrase “The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” mean as covenantal language?
- and much more!
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