“That I Covenanted with Abraham”

Alan C. Miner

In 2 Nephi 29:14 we find the following:

And it shall come to pass that my people, which are of the house of Israel, shall be gathered home unto the lands of their possessions; and my word also shall be gathered in one. . . . I am God, and . . . I covenanted with Abraham that I would remember his seed forever."

According to Amy Hardison, in most covenant treaties of the past, the suzerain (or lord) stated that the covenant was to remain effective forever. One historian studied seventy-five hundred "eternal" treaties that were signed between 1500 B.C. and 1850 A.D. and found that in reality the treaties lasted an average of only two years. Like mortal lords, God intends his covenants to span generations and even eternities. Unlike temporal treaties, however, the Lord's covenants do last. In the book of Deuteronomy we learn that the children of Israel were redeemed from Egypt because of the covenants made with the fathers (see Deuteronomy 4:37; 7:8). From our latter-day perspective we see that the covenants God made with Abraham extended not only to the Exodus but even thousands of years beyond, to the current gathering of Israel. [Amy Blake Hardison, "Being a Covenant People," in Covenants Prophecies and Hymns of the Old Testament, p. 26]

Step by Step Through the Book of Mormon: A Cultural Commentary