Old Testament 2022
February 7–13. Genesis 12–17; Abraham 1–2: “To Be a Greater Follower of Righteousness”

“February 7–13. Genesis 12–17; Abraham 1–2: ‘To Be a Greater Follower of Righteousness,’” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: Old Testament 2022 (2021)

“February 7–13. Genesis 12–17; Abraham 1–2,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2022

Abraham and Sarah

Illustration of Abraham and Sarah, by Dilleen Marsh

February 7–13

Genesis 12–17; Abraham 1–2

“To Be a Greater Follower of Righteousness”

As you read about Abram and Sarai (later called Abraham and Sarah) and their family, ponder how their examples inspire you. Record impressions about what you can do “to be a greater follower of righteousness” (Abraham 1:2).

Record Your Impressions

Because of the covenant God made with him, Abraham has been called “the father of the faithful” (Doctrine and Covenants 138:41) and “the Friend of God” (James 2:23). Millions today honor him as their direct ancestor, and others have been adopted into his family through conversion to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Yet Abraham himself came from a troubled family—his father, who had abandoned the true worship of God, tried to have Abraham sacrificed to false gods. In spite of this, Abraham’s desire was “to be a greater follower of righteousness” (Abraham 1:2), and the account of his life shows that God honored his desire. Abraham’s life stands as a testimony that no matter what a person’s family history has been, the future can be filled with hope.

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Ideas for Personal Scripture Study

Abraham 1:1–19

God will bless me for my faith and righteous desires.

Like many of us, Abraham lived in a wicked environment, yet he desired to be righteous. President Dallin H. Oaks taught the importance of having righteous desires: “As important as it is to lose every desire for sin, eternal life requires more. To achieve our eternal destiny, we will desire and work for the qualities required to become an eternal being. … If this seems too difficult—and surely it is not easy for any of us—then we should begin with a desire for such qualities and call upon our loving Heavenly Father for help with our feelings [see Moroni 7:48]” (“Desire,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2011, 44–45). As you read Abraham 1:1–19, consider how these verses demonstrate what President Oaks taught. Questions like these might help:

  • What did Abraham desire and seek after? What did he do to demonstrate his faith?

  • What are your desires? Is there something you feel you should do to purify your desires?

  • What challenges did Abraham face because of his righteous desires? How did God help him?

  • What message do these verses have for those whose family members do not desire righteousness?

See also Matthew 7:7; “Deliverance of Abraham” (video), ChurchofJesusChrist.org; “Educate Your Desires, Elder Andersen Counsels” (ChurchofJesusChrist.org).

Abraham 2:10–11

Who is included in the Abrahamic covenant?

When the Lord made His covenant with Abraham, He promised that this covenant would continue in Abraham’s posterity, or “seed,” and that “as many as receive this Gospel shall be … accounted thy seed” (Abraham 2:10–11). This means that the promises of the Abrahamic covenant apply to members of the Church today, whether they are literal descendants of Abraham or adopted into his family through baptism and conversion to the gospel of Jesus Christ (see Galatians 3:26–29; Doctrine and Covenants 132:30–32). To be counted as Abraham’s seed, an individual must obey the laws and ordinances of the gospel.

Genesis 12:1–3; 13:15–16; 15:1–6; 17:1–8, 15–22; Abraham 2:8–11

The Abrahamic covenant blesses me and my family.

Because all members of the Church are included in the Abrahamic covenant, you might want to spend some time pondering why this covenant is meaningful in your life. Record your thoughts about the following questions:

How can the promises found in Abraham 2:8–11 bless me and my family? (see also Genesis 12:1–3; 13:15–16).

What do I learn about the Abrahamic covenant from Genesis 15:1–6; 17:1–8, 15–22?

What do I feel inspired to do to help fulfill the promise that “all the families of the earth shall be blessed”? (Abraham 2:11).

You might consider that some of the earthly blessings promised to Abraham and Sarah, such as inheriting a promised land and being parents of a great posterity, have eternal parallels. These include an inheritance in the celestial kingdom (see Doctrine and Covenants 132:29) and eternal marriage with eternal posterity (see Doctrine and Covenants 131:1–4; 132:20–24, 28–32). It is “in the temple,” President Russell M. Nelson taught, that “we receive our ultimate blessings, as the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” (“The Gathering of Scattered Israel,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2006, 80).

See also Joseph Smith Translation, Genesis 15:9–12; 17:3–12 (in the Bible appendix); Bible Dictionary, “Abraham, covenant of”; “Thoughts to Keep in Mind: The Covenant,” in this resource.

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Ideas for Family Scripture Study and Home Evening

Genesis 13:5–12.What did Abraham do to create peace in his family? Perhaps your family members could practice being a peacemaker like Abraham by role-playing how to resolve conflicts that are likely to arise in your family.

Genesis 13:16; 15:2–6; 17:15–19.How can you help your family understand the Lord’s promise in these verses—that even though Abraham and Sarah did not yet have children, their posterity would be as numerous as the dust of the earth, stars in the sky, or sand on the seashore? (see also Genesis 22:17). Perhaps you could show family members a container of sand, look at the stars, or use the picture that accompanies this outline. How can we trust God’s promises even when they seem impossible?

Genesis 14:18–20.What do we learn about Melchizedek from Joseph Smith Translation, Genesis 14:25–40? (in the Bible appendix; see also Alma 13:13–19). How can we “[establish] righteousness” as Melchizedek did? (verse 36). What else about Melchizedek’s ministry inspires us?

Melchizedek blessing Abram

Melchizedek Blesses Abram, by Walter Rane

Genesis 16.Reading about Hagar could be an opportunity to discuss how the Lord helps us when we feel wronged. You might point out that “Ishmael” means “God hears.” When have we felt that the Lord heard and helped us when we felt wronged? (see Genesis 16:11).

For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.

Suggested song: “I Want to Live the Gospel,” Children’s Songbook, 148.

Improving Our Teaching

Be available and accessible. Some of the best teaching moments start as a question or concern in the heart of a family member. Let your family members know through your words and actions that you are eager to hear them. (See Teaching in the Savior’s Way, 16.)

Sarah looking at the sky filled with stars

God promised that Abraham’s and Sarah’s posterity would number “as the stars of the heaven” (Genesis 22:17). Pondering God’s Promise, by Courtney Matz.