“The Abrahamic Covenant,” The Pearl of Great Price Student Manual (2017)
“The Abrahamic Covenant,” The Pearl of Great Price Student Manual
This blessing specifically refers to the land “from the river of Egypt [not the Nile, but a river that separates Egypt from Israel] unto … the river Euphrates” (Genesis 15:18), which actually goes beyond the boundaries of what we usually call Canaan (or Israel, or Palestine). Since the time of Abraham, some or all of that extended area has been inhabited by Abraham’s posterity through Ishmael, Isaac, and the sons of Keturah. When the Lord renewed the covenant with Abraham’s grandson Jacob, he indicated that the children of Israel would have the land of Canaan as an inheritance but would also spread “to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south” (Genesis 28:14).
For example, the posterity of Jacob’s (Israel’s) son Joseph were promised a special land beyond Canaan where they would “push the people together to the ends of the earth” (Deuteronomy 33:17; see verses 13–17; see also Genesis 49:22–26). This prophecy refers to the Western Hemisphere, where the people of the Book of Mormon—who were descendants of Joseph—settled and where the gospel was restored in the latter days to those of the tribe of Ephraim who were mixed among the Gentiles. (Ephraim was Joseph’s birthright son; Brigham Young said that “Joseph Smith was a pure Ephraimite” [Discourses of Brigham Young, 322].) Furthermore, Joseph Smith taught that “the whole America is the Zion itself—from north to south” (“Discourse, 8 April 1844, in William Clayton Diary,” quoted in The Words of Joseph Smith, comp. Andrew F. Ehat and Lyndon W. Cook , 362; punctuation and spelling standardized), where it is prophesied that others of the lost tribes gather to receive their blessings of the Abrahamic covenant “by the hands of … the children of Ephraim” (D&C 133:32; see verses 26–34). The Lord even designated a place in North America for the city of Zion (see D&C 57:1–3), the place of the New Jerusalem (see D&C 84:2–5).
All of the tribes, or families, of Israel will yet receive inheritances in the land of Canaan, but the land has been noted especially as a gathering place for the tribe of Judah (see D&C 109:62–64).
Ultimately, this promise of an “everlasting” inheritance of land is fulfilled when the righteous inherit the earth in its glorified state (see Joseph Smith Translation, Genesis 15:9–12 [in the Bible appendix]; D&C 45:57–59; 63:20; 88:17–20).
Priesthood and Gospel Blessings
3. “I will multiply thee, and thy seed after thee, … and if thou canst count the number of sands, so shall be the number of thy seeds” (Abraham 3:14).
Salvation and Eternal Life