The circumscribed church, this post is based on a speech at the sacrament meeting on Sunday, May 8, 2016. After coming for a few days in the temple of Madrid, the idea of the importance of the house of Israel stood out in my concerns .
We do not know many details of the first three dispensations, but we do know that their work focused on the family or immediate population. Adam is a father who watches over his numerous descendants.
Bypassing these, the Lord calls Enoch. «Enoch was twenty-five years old when he was ordained under the hand of Adam; and he was sixty-five and Adam blessed him. « (D&C 107: 48).
Later he was called to preside and direct a dispensation of the gospel because «ever since the day that I created them, have they gone astray, and have denied me, and have sought their own counsels in the dark; and in their own abominations have they devised murder, and have not kept the commandments, which I gave unto their father, Adam. » (Moses 6:28)
Enoch’s success is evident when we read » And Enoch and all his people walked with God, and he dwelt in the midst of Zion; and it came to pass that Zion was not, for God received it up into his own bosom; and from thence went forth the saying, Zion is Fled. » (Moses 7:69)
Once Enoch and his people were moved, except Methuselah, he was called Noah to proclaim repentance. Noah was ordained to the priesthood «… Noah was ten years old when he was ordained under the hand of Methuselah.» (D&C 107: 52) , so that «… the Lord ordained Noah after his own order, and commanded him that he should go forth and declare his Gospel unto the children of men, even as it was given unto Enoch » (Moses 8:19) , however » they did not heed his words «
In both cases they are missionaries of the gospel, they try to make the people return to the Lord through the repentance. In these dispensations the work scheme is the same as from Adam. The radius of action of your message is that of your voice and your space that of your environment.
And so we come to Abraham. We find in the book of Abraham, a wonderful and extensive presentation of himself. I will not dwell on this book, whose membership in La Perla de Gran Precio is of all rights and in every way. The high value of this book can only be appreciated through a thoughtful reading. It is beautiful in its form and profound in doctrine.
Abraham receives the priesthood of Noah’s lineage through Melchizedek, «Which Abraham received the priesthood from Melchizedek, who received it through the lineage of his fathers, even till Noah» (D&C 84:14) . The priesthood was by paternal line and Abraham had to demonstrate his before Melchizedek to be ordained.
But Abraham appears before the most renowned high priest of his time looking for something even greater:
«… the right whereunto I should be ordained to administer the same; having been myself a follower of righteousness, desiring also to be one who possessed great knowledge, and to be a greater follower of righteousness, and to possess a greater knowledge, and to be a father of many nations, a prince of peace » Abraham 1: two
Abraham had already been called by God when he was ordained and either communicated it to Melchizedek or he had already been warned, everything indicates that he received something more than the priesthood. The keys necessary for a greater work.
The Covenant with Abraham
One of the most important changes designed in this covenant is belonging to their offspring or to their priesthood.
«… and in thee (that is, in thy Priesthood) and in thy seed (that is, thy Priesthood), for I give unto thee a promise that this rightshall continue in thee, and in thy seed after thee (that is to say, the literal seed, or the seed of the body) shall all the families of the earth be blessed, even with the blessings of the Gospel, which are the blessings of salvation, even of life eternal.» (Abraham 2:11)
The offspring of Abraham
We read here that the offspring of Abraham can be either by ordination to the priesthood (accepting the gospel) or by bodily descent. But he clarifies that from his bodily descent, the messiah will come with «the blessings of salvation, yes, of eternal life. »
His preparation, as president of his dispensation, began in his youth in the likeness of Joseph Smith.
The preparation of Abraham to be a foundation stone was intense. He knew what it was like to be on the altar of sacrifice as a victim. It was necessary to forge someone like that because the most important institution on earth would be based on it. The house of Israel.
The house of Israel
The Lord changed the name of Abram «Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.»(Genesis 17: 5) and confirmed about Jacob, who fought against an angel, this same covenant doing the same, «And God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name: and he called his name Israel.» (Genesis 35:10)
Israel means in Hebrew, «he who will reign with God» being this very significant, since it already suggests a future inheritance.
In Jeremiah we read how Jehovah speaks of this house «O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the Lord. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.» (Jeremiah 18: 6)
There was not a precedent like this before. The Lord addresses his people as someone with a name. Create Israel as an interlocutor. It is the circle where your people are contained. It is the name of your nation, before you even have land.
The house of Israel
The house of Israel is the oldest institution on earth. There is no living nation with or without territory older than her. The story of their constitution, their beliefs and their identity have survived everything, even time. The house of Israel has been present from Abraham to the present. Sometimes as a nation, sometimes in the desert, sometimes scattered. But today restored, in all its splendor. With all his strength.
The Book of Mormon tells us about it, about how it crossed the waters. How the covenant of Abraham and the laws of Moses, with the hope of Christ, took root in those lands. I do not extend in this, I refer to the published in the previous entries, «The allegory of the olive I and II»
Zenos compares Israel to an olive tree grown in Jacob 5. But he is careful to point out that the real strength is in the root of the olive tree, «And this I do that, perhaps, the roots thereof may take strength because of their goodness;» (Jacob 5: 59)
The house of Israel is a powerful institution and yet it can be hidden at certain times. The root is under the ground, apparently non-existent. And yet it beats all its potential awaiting a wise hand that knows how to take advantage of its strength.
That house is designed to provide the covenants and ordinances of Abraham to all those who are admitted to Israel. Those in contact with the root, increase in a knowledge that only this house can dispense. It is wonderful to see how that fruit of the olive tree ends up transforming the darkness from outside into light and truth. The morning as a symbol of the final destination of the fruit is amazing.
There is no other covenant over that of Abraham that concerns us. We are contained in it.
The circumscribed Church
«Listen to the voice of the Lord your God, even Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, whose course is one eternalround, the same today as yesterday, and forever..» D&C 35: 1
The correct location
To have a correct location as saints of the last days, we have to divest ourselves of our obsession to catalog everything according to time. Very natural thing in our culture, since time is the quotient par excellence in all our activities and judgments. But time is not the divider of the gospel, it is one more component and worth the redundancy, of temporal life.