Everlasting Covenant

“Everlasting Covenant,” Topics and Questions (2023)

Abraham kneeling in prayer

Gospel Study Guide

Everlasting Covenant

Our new and never-ending covenant with God

Has a loved one ever promised to do something for you that would really bless your life? How did you feel when they kept that promise?

Heavenly Father also makes amazing promises to us. This happens when we make sacred promises, or covenants, with Him as we receive the saving and exalting ordinances of His gospel. Since even before the world was created, God has promised that we can return and live with Him if we will follow His Son, Jesus Christ. This everlasting covenant was made first with Adam and then renewed in following dispensations.

President Russell M. Nelson has taught how we are blessed when we choose to enter a covenant relationship with God: “Once we make a covenant with God, we leave neutral ground forever. God will not abandon His relationship with those who have forged such a bond with Him. In fact, all those who have made a covenant with God have access to a special kind of love and mercy. … Because of our covenant with God, He will never tire in His efforts to help us, and we will never exhaust His merciful patience with us.”1

What Is the Everlasting Covenant?

The everlasting covenant, also known as the Abrahamic covenant, is the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ and includes all the ordinances and covenants that we need to obtain salvation and exaltation (see Doctrine and Covenants 66:2). “It is ‘new’ whenever the Lord renews or restores it, and it is ‘everlasting’ because it does not change.”2 The everlasting covenant was established on the earth with Adam and was most recently renewed by God through the Prophet Joseph Smith as part of the Restoration of the gospel in the latter days (see Doctrine and Covenants 1:17–23).

Topic overview: Abrahamic Covenant

Related gospel study guides: Restoration of the Gospel, Covenants and Ordinances, Temples, Marriage, Patriarchal Blessing, Gathering of Israel

Section 1

Keeping the New and Everlasting Covenant Prepares Us for Eternal Life

youth outside temple

The Lord has restored the everlasting covenant, which is the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, “to be a light to the world” and “to prepare the way” for His coming (Doctrine and Covenants 45:9). To receive the everlasting covenant, we put God first and make and keep gospel covenants with Him. President Nelson taught that our covenants, beginning with the covenant we make at baptism, “will lead us closer and closer to [God]” and that they can bind us to Him with “everlasting ties.”3

The everlasting covenant that we enter into with God is made forever binding when we keep it. If we remain faithful to this covenant throughout our lives, we can be exalted and return to live in Heavenly Father’s presence with our families.

Things to think about

  • Study Doctrine and Covenants 133:57–62, about the Lord restoring the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. What might it mean that it was brought forth “in plainness and simplicity”? Consider how this simple yet beautiful4 everlasting covenant prepares you to obtain eternal life. How does understanding this potential encourage you to assist the Lord in His work of salvation and exaltation?

Activities for learning with others

  • In Doctrine and Covenants 22:1–4, the Lord states that He renewed His everlasting covenant with the early Saints. Read the section heading and these verses together, and discuss what you learn about the significance of a “new” covenant. What is meant by “dead works”? Talk about what you learn from verse 3 about the importance of the Restoration of the gospel and the everlasting covenant.

  • Because of Jesus Christ and His Atonement, we can gain eternal life if we keep our covenants with Him. President Nelson taught: “Those who make sacred covenants and keep them are promised eternal life and exaltation, ‘the greatest of all the gifts of God’ (Doctrine and Covenants 14:7). Jesus Christ is the guarantor of those covenants (see Hebrews 7:22; 8:6). Covenant keepers who love God and allow Him to prevail over all other things in their lives make Him the most powerful influence in their lives.”5 Talk about how you can let God “prevail over all other things” in your life. How will that help you receive eternal life, and why is receiving exaltation worth the effort?

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Section 2

God Has Restored the Promises of the Abrahamic Covenant in Our Day

Helena Montana Temple

The Abrahamic covenant is another name for the everlasting covenant. It was established before the foundation of the world and refers to the covenants God makes with His children. Its name comes from the covenant Jehovah made with Abraham (see Genesis 17:1–8; Abraham 2:6–11). In that covenant, God promised Abraham great blessings for living righteously. Those blessings included an eternal posterity, the right to the priesthood, and a land of inheritance throughout eternity (see Genesis 13:14–17; Abraham 2:8–11).

The Abrahamic covenant was passed on through Abraham’s son Isaac (see Genesis 26:1–4) and then Isaac’s son Jacob (see Genesis 28:1, 13–14). The Lord changed Jacob’s name to Israel (see Genesis 32:28) as a sign of His continual covenant with Jacob and his posterity. God has restored the promises of the Abrahamic covenant in our day (see Doctrine and Covenants 38:17–20; 86:8–11; 132:29–33).

Things to think about

  • What does it mean to you to be part of the Abrahamic covenant? Consider these truths: You made a covenant with God when you were baptized. You renew that covenant and make a new covenant every time you partake of the sacrament. How can you make the temple a focus in your life so you can more fully participate in the fulness of the gospel?

  • Read Abraham 1:2, and consider what you learn about Abraham’s character. What might it mean to be a “greater follower of righteousness” in our day? Why do you think Abraham “sought for the blessings of the fathers”? How have you been blessed through the Abrahamic covenant? What can you do to receive the blessings of this covenant?

Activity for learning with others

  • Study the faithful examples of gospel living from Abraham and Sarah and their righteous family (for instance, you might read some of the following passages together: Genesis 17:1–19; 18:1–19; 22:1–18; 24; 32:1–28; 33; 46:1–7; Isaiah 51:1–3; Galatians 3:27–29; 2 Nephi 8:1–3). Then read John 8:39. You could each draw or paint a picture or write a poem expressing your gratitude for blessings that have come to you or that can come from keeping the everlasting gospel covenant as Abraham and Sarah did. You could then share your picture or poem with each other.

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Section 3

Those Who Are Baptized Become Children of the Covenant

members singing hymns

All those who are baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints become children of Abraham, or “children of the covenant” (see 3 Nephi 20:25–26). These Church members can inherit the same promises made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Israel) as they seek to make and keep sacred covenants in the house of the Lord (see Doctrine and Covenants 132:29–32).

The posterity of Abraham carries a responsibility to minister to God’s children so all people can enjoy the blessings of salvation and eternal life (see Abraham 2:9–11). Whenever we help gather Israel on either side of the veil,6 we help individuals receive the blessings of the everlasting covenant and help fulfill the promise that God made with Abraham (see 1 Nephi 22:8–12; 3 Nephi 20:29–31).

Things to think about

  • In Mosiah 5:1–8, we learn how the people of King Benjamin accepted his teachings about the gospel of Jesus Christ. What were they willing to do at that point? What does it mean to you to be one of the “children of Christ”? What might it mean that Christ has “spiritually begotten you”? How has your heart been “changed through faith on his name”?

  • President Emily Belle Freeman talked of the importance of walking in a covenant relationship with Christ and summarized the promise God made with Jacob: “I am with you. I will keep you safe. I will bring you home again. I will not leave you. I will keep my promise to you.” She then explained: “Jacob had a choice to make. He could choose to live his life simply acquainted with the God of his father, or he could choose to live life in committed covenant relationship with Him.”7 Ponder what it means to you to live your life in a committed covenant relationship with Christ. What would you be willing to start doing or stop doing so you can strengthen your covenant relationship with Him?

Activities for learning together

  • Read Helaman 5:12 and these words from Brother Jan E. Newman: “We teach our children to bind themselves to [Christ] through sacred ordinances and covenants so that when the oppositional storms and floods come, as they surely will, they will have little effect upon them ‘because of the rock upon which [they] are built.’”8 What are some of the “oppositional storms and floods” that might come our way? Discuss how your covenants can help protect you and your family from the “mighty storm” of the adversary.

  • Read this statement by Elder Neil L. Andersen: “We are all ‘children of the covenant’ stretching across the earth in nations and cultures on every continent, numbering in the millions, as we await the glorious return of our Lord and Savior. Shining as a light to those around us, we consciously shape our desires, thoughts, choices, and actions. Seeking with all our heart to know and love the Savior, we separate ourselves from the world through covenants with God, being distinct, uncommon, and special, as we honor Him and His teachings without isolating ourselves from others who believe differently.”9 Discuss how we can “[seek] with all our heart to know and love the Savior” and keep our covenants with God.

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