Covenant Confusion: Abraham, dead animals and land grabs

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Hagoth
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Covenant Confusion: Abraham, dead animals and land grabs

Post by Hagoth » Sat Sep 24, 2022 6:26 am

From Russel's latest message:
I have spoken frequently about the importance of the Abrahamic covenant and the gathering of Israel. When we embrace the gospel and are baptized, we take upon ourselves the sacred name of Jesus Christ. Baptism is the gate that leads to becoming joint heirs to all the promises given anciently by the Lord to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and their posterity.

“The new and everlasting covenant” (Doctrine and Covenants 132:6) and the Abrahamic covenant are essentially the same—two ways of phrasing the covenant God made with mortal men and women at different times.
Later he goes on to say that Jesus Christ is at the center of the Abrahamic Covenant. That would be a shock to Abraham. "Jesus who?"

I don't know what I'm missing, but to say Joseph Smith's "revelation" telling his wife that she will be destroyed if she gets in the way of him collecting a harem is a far cry from what was actually going on in the Abrahamic covenant. Nelson implies that Abraham getting it on with his wife's handmaiden is what the covenant was all about. He glosses over the fact that Abraham then allowed Sarai to send both Hagar and Ishmael, Abraham's firstborn, off in the desert to die. "Abram loved Ishmael," Nelson tells us, "but he was not to be the child through whom the covenant would pass."

Despite having been hammered over the head with it all my life, I have never understood the Abrahamic Covenant in the Mormon context. I'm finally realizing that if you read just a little bit between the lines it is really about justifying polygamy and reinforcing the rule of men over women, which then is extended to the rule of the church (they talk about Jesus but they mean the church) over men.

But the actual covenant Abram made with Yahweh has nothing to do with any of that. Abraham's Covenant was a fertility ritual and a real estate deal that promised Abraham children and property in exchange for killing animals and cutting off the end of his penis, and offering them to a Bronze Age tribal war god. But really it's not even that; it's a later invention of a kingdom to justify their brutal and bloody land grab from their neighbors.

Just as a quick sanity check, let's read the actual Abrahamic covenant from the actual Bible:
Genesis 15: 5 And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.

6 And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

7 And he said unto him, I am the Lord that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it.

8 And he said, Lord God, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it?

9 And he said unto him, Take me an heifer of three years old, and a she goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon.

10 And he took unto him all these, and divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one against another: but the birds divided he not.

18 In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:

19 The Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites,

20 And the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims,

21 And the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.
The Abrahamic Covenant that is waved around by the church is just another piece of Mormon vaporware. The Bible story was twisted in the early days of the church as a justification for polygamy, but the covenant part of the story has absolutely nothing to do with that. Now they're stuck with a horrible misinterpretation by early leaders and they have to try to twist it once again to fit current needs. Somehow it has become carrot on a stick to keep LDS priesthood holders on the "covenant path," whatever the hell that is, and to keep LDS women obedient to the magical authority those priesthood holders.

And somehow its also about Jesus Christ?

All those years I felt stupid for not connecting with the idea of the Abrahamic Covenant when all of these other priesthood guys were praising it as so essential and central. Now I understand why I didn't get it. It's a tangled mess.

Or can someone help me untangle it?
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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moksha
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Re: Covenant Confusion: Abraham, dead animals and land grabs

Post by moksha » Sat Sep 24, 2022 10:16 am

Why untangle it? It is merely a tale that was written down after the Babylonian exile. Nothing as old as the tale of Gilgamesh and certainly not as creative as Beowulf.

The Desiderata contains something much more worth pondering.

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dogbite
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Re: Covenant Confusion: Abraham, dead animals and land grabs

Post by dogbite » Sat Sep 24, 2022 11:21 am

The church's declaration that god is the same through time and the Gospel doesn't change traps them. They have to retcon the scriptures and modern era prophet declarations to make them look superficially consistent. Any mid depth or deeper analysis reveals the holes in the story and the crazy apologetics get the job of patching the stupidity.

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AdmiralHoldo
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Re: Covenant Confusion: Abraham, dead animals and land grabs

Post by AdmiralHoldo » Sat Sep 24, 2022 4:43 pm

It's almost like heart surgeons make lousy theologians.

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stealthbishop
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Re: Covenant Confusion: Abraham, dead animals and land grabs

Post by stealthbishop » Mon Sep 26, 2022 8:56 am

AdmiralHoldo wrote:
Sat Sep 24, 2022 4:43 pm
It's almost like heart surgeons make lousy theologians.
+1
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deacon blues
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Re: Covenant Confusion: Abraham, dead animals and land grabs

Post by deacon blues » Mon Sep 26, 2022 9:39 am

I'm reminded of an Ezra Taft Benson talk at BYU, "Fourteen Fundamentals of following the Prophet" where he says:
5. The prophet is not required to have any particular earthly training or credentials to speak on any subject or act on any matter at any time. :shock:
Taken to its (il)logical conclusion, Pres. Benson is saying the prophet is an expert in everything. :o
Pres. Nelson seems to have fallen into this line of thinking. :roll:
Benson was not the president when he gave this this. In fact he was privately reprimanded by the First Presidency for giving this talk. But will anyone challenge the disputable things that Nelson says?
Last edited by deacon blues on Mon Sep 26, 2022 5:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Hagoth
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Re: Covenant Confusion: Abraham, dead animals and land grabs

Post by Hagoth » Mon Sep 26, 2022 2:06 pm

deacon blues wrote:
Mon Sep 26, 2022 9:39 am
Benson was not the president when he gave this this. In fact he privately reprimanded by the First Presidency for giving this talk.
And yet, they continue to quote it in conference talks, because, now more than ever, it really is the message they want/need people to believe and accept.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

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Palerider
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Re: Covenant Confusion: Abraham, dead animals and land grabs

Post by Palerider » Mon Sep 26, 2022 4:41 pm

In the O.T. Abraham makes no covenant with God.

God makes a covenant with him, because Abraham has been and will continue to be obedient...to the degree that being human allows him. It also says that God "swore the oath by Himself because He could swear by no one greater."

But in the N.T. the Savior says:

"Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’ 34But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.”

Matthew 5:33-37

The Mormon church as a matter of semantics would have us believe that we aren't "swearing" or taking an "oath" in the temple. That's just poppycock. No one who has been through the temple would truly believe they weren't "promising/swearing/covenanting" to keep their covenants they have made.

So the entire temple ceremony is in conflict with the Savior's directive to stop the stupid oath taking and swearing thing. Why, you might ask?

Because God knows how weak we are and how difficult it is to maintain a righteousness of perfection. So just stop saying you're going to do it. It only makes you into a liar. Better to say, "Yea, Yea or Nay, nay. And when we make mistakes, try to do better and be thankful for God's Grace.
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deacon blues
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Re: Covenant Confusion: Abraham, dead animals and land grabs

Post by deacon blues » Mon Sep 26, 2022 5:04 pm

Palerider wrote:
Mon Sep 26, 2022 4:41 pm
In the O.T. Abraham makes no covenant with God.

God makes a covenant with him, because Abraham has been and will continue to be obedient...to the degree that being human allows him. It also says that God "swore the oath by Himself because He could swear by no one greater."

But in the N.T. the Savior says:

"Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’ 34But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.”

Matthew 5:33-37

The Mormon church as a matter of semantics would have us believe that we aren't "swearing" or taking an "oath" in the temple. That's just poppycock. No one who has been through the temple would truly believe they weren't "promising/swearing/covenanting" to keep their covenants they have made.

So the entire temple ceremony is in conflict with the Savior's directive to stop the stupid oath taking and swearing thing. Why, you might ask?

Because God knows how weak we are and how difficult it is to maintain a righteousness of perfection. So just stop saying you're going to do it. It only makes you into a liar. Better to say, "Yea, Yea or Nay, nay. And when we make mistakes, try to do better and be thankful for God's Grace.
Amen. Great to hear from you Pale. :D
God is Love. God is Truth. The greatest problem with organized religion is that the organization becomes god, rather than a means of serving God.

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