Old Testament Lesson 10: Birthright Blessings; Marriage in the Covenant

Testing the words of LDS leaders with Biblical Truth:

March 2010

Old Testament Gospel Doctrine Teacher’s Manual

Did Heavenly Father allow Same Sex Marriage during Old Testament times?

1. Abraham emphasizes the importance of marriage in the covenant (eternal marriage)…(Abraham wanted Isaac to marry someone of his own faith so he could marry in the covenant. This was necessary so the blessings of the Abrahamic covenant could be given to Abraham’s descendants.) Why is it important that we marry in the covenant? (If necessary, explain that in our day, the phrases marriage in the covenant, eternal marriage, and temple marriage are often used interchangeably.)
• How long has marriage in the covenant been a commandment of God? (It is an eternal ordinance that has been the Lord’s order in all ages when the fulness of the gospel has been on the earth. Adam and Eve were the first on this earth to enter into this ordinance.)

Test these LDS Words with Biblical Truth:

Certainly the fulness of the gospel was on the earth when Jesus and His Apostles lived. If the eternal covenant of marriage has been the Lord’s order in all ages since Adam and Eve, then Temple sealings would have been practiced in the Jewish Temple at the time of Christ.

But the only people allowed to go inside of the Temple were men! During Old Testament times there were three Temples which were all built on the same location at various times. The design for each was basically the same as stated in the books of the Chronicles, Kings as well as in the writing of Josephus.

Certainly, there were no Temple marriages taking place in these Temples—women were not even allowed inside!

There was an outer Court for Gentiles, one for women, and one for men. Only the Priests were allowed to enter into the Inner Court of the Temple. The Holy of Holies, which is where God’s presence dwelt, could only be entered by the High Priest on the Day of Atonement—one day each year.

To read more about “eternal” marriage, go to this blog Post: “Can Eternal Marriage Be Perfect?” written June 17, 2009; or, Click here:
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How do we become qualified for God’s callings and blessings?

• In determining the heir to the covenant, the Lord chose Isaac over his older brother Ishmael (Galatians 4:22–23), Jacob over his older brother Esau, Joseph over his older brother Reuben (1 Chronicles 5:1–2), and Ephraim over his older brother Manasseh (Genesis 48:17–20). What does this suggest about how we become qualified for God’s callings and blessings?

Test these LDS Words with Biblical Truth:

What DOES this suggest about how we become qualified for God’s callings?

The Lord chose Isaac as the heir to the covenant, over his older brother Ishmael before Isaac was even born! Before he had done anything!

“And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him. 20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful,” (Genesis 17:19-20)

The Lesson doesn’t give a Bible passage reference regarding why the Lord chose “Jacob over his older brother Esau”. But, the Book of Romans tells us why this happened:

“And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.” (9:10-12)

Reuben definitely lost his birthright because of his sin, but we are not told why the Lord gave Ephraim the birthright blessing over Manasseh.

It is amazing, though, to search the Bible and see how we become qualified to be chosen of God. God actually chooses the foolish, the weak and the base:

“For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:26-31)

Notice why God chooses whom He chooses: “That no flesh should glory in his presence.” And, “He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.”

To read more about why God chooses someone, go to this blog Post: “Do You Have An Eternal Family?” written April 24, 2009; or, Click Here:

Link to LDS Lesson:
https://www.lds.org/manual/old-testament-gospel-doctrine-teachers-manual/lesson-10-birthright-blessings-marriage-in-the-covenant?lang=eng