Sunday, February 16, 2014

Lesson 9: Jehovah Makes Covenants with Abraham

Lesson 9: Jehovah Makes Covenants with Abraham

Primary 6: Old Testament, (1996), 35–38

Abraham's Travels

The covenant God made with Abraham13 and later reaffirmed with Isaac14 and Jacob15 is of transcendent significance. It contained several promises, including:
  •   Jesus the Christ would be born through Abraham’s lineage.
  •   Abraham’s posterity would be numerous, entitled to an eternal increase, and also entitled to bear the priesthood.
  •   Abraham would become a father of many nations.
  •   Certain lands would be inherited by his posterity.
  •   All nations of the earth would be blessed by his seed.16
  •   And that covenant would be everlasting—even through “a thousand generations.”17
For the teacher:

Travel to the Promised Land --Ur





inherit the blessing of Abraham


(timeline of ancestors)
President Kimball's quote


To help the children understand that as God’s covenant people we each have the responsibility to live the gospel and share it with others.


  1. 1.  Prayerfully study:
    •  Abraham 1:1–20—Abraham seeks the blessings of the priesthood. He is persecuted by false priests and is saved by Jehovah.
  2. Abraham 1: In the land of the aChaldeans, at the residence of my fathers, I, bAbraham, saw that it was needful for me to obtain another place of cresidence;
     And, finding there was greater ahappiness and peace and rest for me, I sought for the blessings of the fathers, and the right whereunto I should be ordained to administer the same; having been myself a follower of brighteousness, desiring also to be one who possessed great cknowledge, and to be a greater follower of righteousness, and to possess a greater knowledge, and to be a father of manydnations, a prince of peace, and edesiring to receive instructions, and to keep the commandments of God, I became a rightful heir, a fHigh Priest, holding the right belonging to the fathers.
     It was aconferred upon me from the fathers; it came down from the fathers, from the beginning of time, yea, even from the beginning, or before the foundation of the earth, down to the present time, even the right of the firstborn, or the first man, who is cAdam, or first father, through the fathers unto me.
     I sought for mine aappointment unto the Priesthood according to the appointment of God unto the bfathers concerning the seed.
     My afathers, having turned from their righteousness, and from the holy commandments which the Lord their God had given unto them, unto the worshiping of the gods of the cheathen, utterly refused to hearken to my voice;
     For their ahearts were set to do bevil, and were wholly turned to the god of cElkenah, and the god of Libnah, and the god of Mahmackrah, and the god of Korash, and the god of Pharaoh, king of Egypt;
     Therefore they turned their hearts to the sacrifice of theaheathen in offering up their children unto these dumb idols, and hearkened not unto my voice, but endeavored to take away my blife by the hand of the priest of Elkenah. The priest of Elkenah was also the priest of Pharaoh.
     Now, at this time it was the custom of the priest of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, to offer up upon the altar which was built in the land of Chaldea, for the offering unto these strange gods, men, women, and children.
     And it came to pass that the priest made an offering unto the god of Pharaoh, and also unto the god of Shagreel, even after the manner of the Egyptians. Now the god of Shagreel was the sun.
     10 Even the thank-offering of a child did the apriest of Pharaoh offer upon the altar which stood by the hill called Potiphar’s Hill, at the head of the plain of Olishem.
     11 Now, this priest had offered upon this altar three virgins at one time, who were the daughters of Onitah, one of the royal descent directly from the loins of aHam. These virgins were offered up because of their virtue; they would not bbow down to worship gods of wood or of stone, therefore they were killed upon this altar, and it was done after the manner of the Egyptians.
     12 And it came to pass that the priests laid violence upon me, that they might slay me also, as they did those virgins upon this altar; and that you may have a knowledge of this altar, I will refer you to the representation at the commencement of this record.
     13 It was made after the form of a bedstead, such as was had among the Chaldeans, and it stood before the gods of Elkenah, Libnah, Mahmackrah, Korash, and also a god like unto that of Pharaoh, king of Egypt.
     14 That you may have an understanding of these gods, I have given you the fashion of them in the figures at the beginning, which manner of figures is called by the Chaldeans Rahleenos, which signifies hieroglyphics.
     15 And as they lifted up their hands upon me, that they might offer me up and take away my life, behold, I lifted up my voice unto the Lord my God, and the Lord hearkened and heard, and he filled me with the vision of the Almighty, and the angel of his presence stood by me, and immediately bunloosed my bands;
     16 And his voice was unto me: aAbraham, Abraham, behold, my bname is Jehovah, and I have heard thee, and have come down to deliver thee, and to take thee away from thy cfather’s house, and from all thy kinsfolk, into a strange dland which thou knowest not of;
     17 And this because they have turned their ahearts away from me, to worship the god of Elkenah, and the god of Libnah, and the god of Mahmackrah, and the god of Korash, and the god of Pharaoh, king of Egypt; therefore I have come down to bvisit them, and to destroy him who hath lifted up his hand against thee, Abraham, my son, to take away thy life.
     18 Behold, I will lead thee by my hand, and I will take thee, to put upon thee my name, even the Priesthood of thy father, and my power shall be over thee.
     19 As it was with aNoah so shall it be with thee; but through thy ministry my bname shall be known in the earth cforever, for I am thy God.
     20 Behold, Potiphar’s Hill was in the land of aUr, of Chaldea. And the Lord broke down the altar of Elkenah, and of the gods of the land, and utterly destroyed them, and smote the priest that he died; and there was great mourning in Chaldea, and also in the court of Pharaoh; which Pharaoh signifies king by royal blood.
    •   Abraham 2:1–21—All of the gospel blessings are promised to Abraham and his seed.
  3. Chapter 2

    Abraham leaves Ur to go to Canaan—Jehovah appears to him at Haran—All gospel blessings are promised to his seed and through his seed to all—He goes to Canaan and on to Egypt.
    Now the Lord God caused the afamine to wax sore in the land of Ur, insomuch that bHaran, my brother, died; but cTerah, my father, yet lived in the land of Ur, of the Chaldees.
    And it came to pass that I, Abraham, took aSarai to wife, and bNahor, my brother, took Milcah to wife, who was the cdaughter of Haran.
    Now the Lord had asaid unto me: Abraham, get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will show thee.
    Therefore I left the land of aUr, of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and I took Lot, my brother’s son, and his wife, and Sarai my wife; and also my bfather followed after me, unto the land which we denominated Haran.
    And the famine abated; and my father tarried in Haran and dwelt there, as there were many flocks in Haran; and my father turned again unto his aidolatry, therefore he continued in Haran.
    But I, Abraham, and Lot, my brother’s son, prayed unto the Lord, and the Lord aappeared unto me, and said unto me: Arise, and take Lot with thee; for I have purposed to take thee away out of Haran, and to make of thee a minister to bear my cname in a strange dland which I will give unto thy seed after thee for an everlasting possession, when they hearken to my voice.
    For I am the Lord thy God; I dwell in aheaven; the earth is my bfootstool; I stretch my hand over the sea, and it obeys my voice; I cause the wind and the fire to be my chariot; I say to the mountains—Depart hence—and behold, they are taken away by a whirlwind, in an instant, suddenly.
    My aname is Jehovah, and I bknow the end from the beginning; therefore my hand shall be over thee.
    And I will make of thee a great anation, and I will bbless thee above measure, and make thy name great among all nations, and thou shalt be a blessing unto thy seed after thee, that in their hands they shall bear this ministry and Priesthood unto all nations;
    10 And I will abless them through thy name; for as many as receive this bGospel shall be called after thy cname, and shall be accounted thy dseed, and shall rise up and bless thee, as their efather;
    11 And I will abless them that bless thee, and bcurse them that curse thee; and in thee (that is, in thy Priesthood) and in thy cseed (that is, thy Priesthood), for I give unto thee a promise that this dright shall 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.
    12 Now, after the Lord had withdrawn from speaking to me, and withdrawn his face from me, I said in my heart: Thy servant has asought thee earnestly; now I have found thee;
    13 Thou didst send thine angel to adeliver me from the gods of Elkenah, and I will do well to hearken unto thy voice, therefore let thy servant rise up and depart in peace.
    14 So I, Abraham, departed as the Lord had said unto me, and Lot with me; and I, Abraham, was asixty and two years old when I departed out of Haran.
    15 And I took Sarai, whom I took to wife when I was in Ur, in Chaldea, and Lot, my brother’s son, and all our substance that we had gathered, and the souls that we had won in Haran, and came forth in the way to the land of Canaan, and dwelt in tents as we came on our way;
    16 Therefore, aeternity was our covering and our brock and our salvation, as we journeyed from Haran by the way of Jershon, to come to the land of Canaan.
    17 Now I, Abraham, built an aaltar in the land of Jershon, and made an offering unto the Lord, and prayed that the famine might be turned away from my father’s house, that they might not perish.
    18 And then we passed from Jershon through the land unto the place of Sechem; it was situated in the plains of Moreh, and we had already come into the borders of the land of the aCanaanites, and I offered bsacrifice there in the plains of Moreh, and called on the Lord devoutly, because we had already come into the land of this idolatrous nation.
    19 And the Lord aappeared unto me in answer to my prayers, and said unto me: Unto thy seed will I give this land.
    20 And I, Abraham, arose from the place of the altar which I had built unto the Lord, and removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of aBethel, and pitched my tent there, Bethel on the west, and bHai on the east; and there I built another caltar unto the Lord, and dcalled again upon the name of the Lord.
    21 And I, Abraham, journeyed, going on still towards the south; and there was a continuation of a famine in the land; and I, Abraham, concluded to go down into Egypt, to sojourn there, for the famine became very grievous.
  4.  Genesis 22:17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy aseed as the stars of the heaven, and as the bsand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the cgate of his enemies;
    18 And in thy aseed shall all the nations of the earth bebblessed; because thou hast cobeyed my voice.
  5. Hebrews 11: 8 By faith aAbraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an binheritance,cobeyed; and he went out, not dknowing whither he went.
    By faith he asojourned in the bland of cpromise, as in a strange country, dwelling in dtabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:
    10 For he looked for a acity which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
    11 Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.
    12 Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in amultitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.
    13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were bstrangers and pilgrims on the earth.
  6. 2.  Additional reading:
  7.  Genesis 12:  Now the Lord had asaid unto bAbramcGet thee out of thy dcountry, and from thy ekindred, and from thy ffather’s house, unto a gland that I will shew thee:
    And I will make of thee a agreat bnation, and I will cbless thee, and make thy dname great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
    And I will abless them that bless thee, and bcurse him that ccurseth thee: and in thee shall all dfamilies of the earth be eblessed.
    So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was aseventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.
    And Abram took aSarai his wife, and bLot his cbrother’sson, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had dgotten in eHaran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.
    ¶And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the aCanaanite was then in the land.
    And the Lord appeared unto Abram, and said, aUnto thy bseed will I give this cland: and there builded he an daltar unto the Lord, who appeared unto him.
    And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of aBeth-el, and pitched his tent, having bBeth-el on the west, and cHai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the Lord, and dcalled upon the ename of theLord.
    And Abram journeyed, going on still toward the south.
    10 ¶And there was a afamine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land.

    •   Genesis 17:1–8—God makes covenants with Abram and changes his name to Abraham.

  8. Genesis 17:  And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord aappeared to bAbram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty Goddwalk before me, and be thou eperfect.
    And I will make my acovenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.
    aAnd Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying,
    As for me, behold, my acovenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a bfather of many cnations.
    Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be aAbraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.
    And I will make thee exceeding afruitful, and I will make bnations of thee, and ckings shall come out of thee.
    aAnd I will establish my bcovenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a dGod unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.
    And I will agive unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a cstranger, all the dland of eCanaan, for an everlasting fpossession; and I will be their gGod.
  9. 3.  Study the lesson and decide how you want to teach the children the scripture account (see “Preparing Your Lessons,”p. vi, and “Teaching from the Scriptures,” p. vii). Select the discussion questions and enrichment activities that will best help the children achieve the purpose of the lesson.
  10. 4.  Materials needed:
    1. a. Bible and a triple combination for each child.
    2. b. An item that you have inherited from your family (see the attention activity).
    3. c. Pictures 6-9, An Angel Saves Abraham (Gospel Art Picture Kit 104; 62607), and 6-10, Facsimile No. 1 from the book of Abraham.
    An Angel Saves Abraham

Suggested Lesson Development

Invite a child to give the opening prayer.

Attention Activity

Show something you value that you have inherited from your family, such as an old book, a piece of jewelry, or a family pedigree chart. (If you can’t bring something, tell about an item that belonged to your parents or grandparents.) Ask the children to tell about special family items they have been given.
Next tell about a character trait that you have inherited. Ask the class to name traits they may have inherited. Help the children understand that when we think about inheritances, we usually think about things such as possessions or objects.
Write the word heir on the chalkboard and discuss its meaning with the children. Help them understand that an heir is anyone who inherits an item, property, or a character trait from a parent or ancestor. Tell the children that in this lesson they will learn about the great blessings they are heirs to through their ancestor the prophet Abraham.

Scripture Account

Using the pictures at appropriate times, teach the account of Abraham from the scriptures listed in the “Preparation” section. (For suggested ways to teach the scripture account, see “Teaching from the Scriptures,” p. vii.) Help the children understand the following points:
  • •  Abraham wanted to be righteous and receive the blessings of happiness and peace.
  • •  Because of Abraham’s faithfulness, the Lord made a covenant with him.
  • •  This covenant gave Abraham the right to receive the priesthood with its accompanying blessings and responsibilities.
  • •  Abraham was promised that he would have numerous descendants, who would inherit these same priesthood blessings if they lived faithfully.
  • •  We are Abraham’s descendants and have the responsibility to take the gospel and the priesthood to all nations and people of the earth.

[My addition to the lesson:  Each applies both to earth life and to eternity.  
Abraham's Promises:
Promised Land - Property] 

For another lesson:

Discussion and Application Questions

Study the following questions and the scripture references as you prepare your lesson. Use the questions you feel will best help the children understand the scriptures and apply the principles in their lives. Reading and discussing the scriptures with the children in class will help them gain personal insights.
  • •  How did Abraham’s father and the people of Ur of Chaldea worship? (Abraham 1:5–7.) How had Abraham tried to help them? (Abraham 1:5.)
  • •  What were the desires of Abraham’s heart? (Abraham 1:2, 4.) What blessings are appropriate for you to seek? Point out that Heavenly Father has many blessings in store for each of us. He has told us to ask for them and then to live worthy to receive them.
  • (Think about what you pray for.  Do you ask Heavenly Father for the desires of your heart?) 
  • •  What happened to three young women who refused to worship idols? (Abraham 1:11.) Explain that even though they lost their lives, they will be blessed eternally for their righteousness. Sometimes bad things happen to good people. In what ways is it challenging to live righteously today?
  • •  How was Abraham’s life saved? (Abraham 1:15–16.) Who is Jehovah? (Jehovah is the name Jesus Christ was known by in the Old Testament. See “Jehovah” in the LDS Bible Dictionary [p. 710].) (See enrichment activity 2.)
  • • How did the Lord help Abraham as he left Ur? (Abraham 1:18, 20.)
  • • Because of Abraham’s faithfulness, the Lord made a covenant (a sacred, two-way promise) with him. What did the Lord promise Abraham if he remained faithful? (Abraham 2:8–11.) (See enrichment activity 1.)
  • • When will all these promises to Abraham be fulfilled? Explain that Abraham had to wait many years before the blessings came, and the promises are still being fulfilled today. Even though he had to wait a long time, Abraham continued to have faith and be obedient. He knew the Lord’s promises are certain but that blessings do not always come immediately nor always in the way that we expect. Sometimes our blessings are spiritual and come to us in the eternities rather than during this earth life. (See Hebrews 11:13.)
  • •  Explain that everyone who accepts the gospel of Jesus Christ receives the right to inherit the blessings of Abraham (see Galatians 3:29). What are these blessings? (Abraham 2:11; the blessings of the priesthood, such as baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost, the temple endowment, temple marriage, and so on. Through these priesthood blessings we can attain exaltation, become like God, and live with our families eternally.)
  • • What is our responsibility as God’s covenant people? (Abraham 2:9; have faith, keep our baptismal covenants, help take the gospel to all the people of the world, and so forth.) (See enrichment activities 5 and 6.)

Enrichment Activities

You may use one or more of the following activities any time during the lesson or as a review, summary, or challenge.
  1. 1.  Have the children take turns choosing slips of paper with the following scripture references on them that tell of the promises made to Abraham. Explain that seed means descendants. Have them read each verse aloud and, if they desire, mark the verses in their own scriptures.
    •   Abraham 2:9—His name would be great among all nations.
    •   Abraham 2:10—All who accept the gospel through baptism would be known as Abraham’s descendants.
    •   Abraham 2:11—The Lord would bless those who blessed Abraham and curse those who cursed Abraham.
    •   Abraham 2:11—His descendants would have the priesthood.
    •   Abraham 2:11—His seed would have the responsibility to be missionaries and take the gospel to all nations.
    •   Abraham 2:19—Abraham and his descendants would be given the land of Canaan.
    •   Genesis 22:17—The Lord would multiply Abraham’s seed greatly (Abraham would have many descendants).
  2. 2.  Look at Facsimile No. 1 in the book of Abraham or use the enlarged version from the manual. Have the children guess whom the figures in the drawing represent. Help them identify numbers 1 through 8. Refer to the explanation on that page and to Abraham 1:12–14. Then compare the facsimile with the
  3. picture An Angel Saves Abraham.
    1. Explanation

    2. The Angel of the Lord.
    3. Abraham fastened upon an altar.
    4. The idolatrous priest of Elkenah attempting to offer up Abraham as a sacrifice.
    5. The altar for sacrifice by the idolatrous priests, standing before the gods of Elkenah, Libnah, Mahmackrah, Korash, and Pharaoh.
    6. The idolatrous god of Elkenah.
    7. The idolatrous god of Libnah.
    8. The idolatrous god of Mahmackrah.
    9. The idolatrous god of Korash.
    10. The idolatrous god of Pharaoh.
    11. Abraham in Egypt.
    12. Designed to represent the pillars of heaven, as understood by the Egyptians.
    13. Raukeeyang, signifying expanse, or the firmament over our heads; but in this case, in relation to this subject, the Egyptians meant it to signify Shaumau, to be high, or the heavens, answering to the Hebrew word, Shaumahyeem.
  1. 3.  Bring some sand in a container. Let the children try to count the grains they can hold between their thumb and forefinger. Imagine the vastness of Abraham’s posterity. Ask the children how they personally can help fulfill the promises made to Abraham that his seed would become as numerous as the grains of “sand which is upon the sea shore” (Genesis 22:17).
  2. 4. On the chalkboard or with letters written on paper, scramble the letters of the word covenant and then have the children unscramble them. One important part of honoring our covenants is sharing the gospel with others. Ask the children what they can do now to prepare to share the gospel on full-time missions when they are older. They may include such things as keeping their baptismal covenants; learning the gospel through studying the scriptures; listening in family home evening and Church meetings; living clean lives in thought, language, and deed; and saving money. Encourage the children to discuss with their parents ways they can be missionaries now and ways they can prepare to be full-time missionaries later.
  3. 5.  Discuss who should be missionaries and what missionaries should do. Read President Spencer W. Kimball’s statement:
    “Every man, woman, and child—every young person and every little boy and girl—should serve a mission. This does not mean that they must serve abroad or even be formally called and set apart as full-time missionaries. But it does mean that each of us is responsible to bear witness of the gospel truths that we have been given. We all have relatives, neighbors, friends, and fellow workmen, and it is our responsibility to pass the truths of the gospel on to them, by example as well as by precept” (“It Becometh Every Man,” Ensign, Oct. 1977, p. 3).
    Have the children think of ways they can be missionaries now, such as being a good friend, inviting someone to church, setting a good example in the home and community, and explaining the teachings of the Church to others.
    Provide situations and let the children role-play how to be missionaries in each instance.
  4. 6.  Sing or read the words to “Called to Serve” (Children’s Songbook, p. 174, or Hymns, no. 249) or “I Want to Be a Missionary Now” (Children’s Songbook, p. 168).



You may want to bear testimony that because we are God’s covenant people, we have the privilege and responsibility of honoring the priesthood and sharing the gospel with all people so that they can receive the blessings of Abraham.

Suggested Family Sharing

Encourage the children to share with their families a specific part of the lesson, such as a story, question, or activity, or to read with their families the “Suggested Home Reading.”

Suggested Home Reading

Suggest that the children study Abraham 2:9–11 at home as a review of this lesson.
Invite a child to give the closing prayer.









from Noah  to Abraham 










Abraham  from Noah -  10 generations 



A central purpose of that restoration is to make Abraham's promises effective for his descendants, who through temple ordinances may receive the blessings of Abraham and be sealed in an ancestral chain back to Abraham and Adam (D&C 2TPJS, pp. 337-38).

Such blessings of innumerable posterity were promised to Abraham on several occasions (Abr. 3:13-14Gen. 13:16;15:5;17:2, 6), but it was not until he demonstrated his willingness to offer Isaac as a sacrifice that the Lord guaranteed the promises (Gen. 22:16-18), showing, explains Joseph Smith, that any person who would attain eternal life "must sacrifice all things" (TPJS, p. 322).
If members of the Church could only have such integrity, such obedience, such revelation, such faith, such service as Abraham had! If parents would seek the blessings Abraham sought, they could also receive such revelation, covenants, promises, and eternal rewards as Abraham received.

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