Summary Lesson 4: “Remember the New Covenant, Even the Book of Mormon”
- PATTERN OF PREPARATION: The preparation that Joseph Smith went through is part of a pattern identified throughout the scriptures and also evident in Jewish tradition. Many of the Jewish holidays have extensive preparations that are as important as the holy day itself. “The Sabbath before Passover is known as Shabbat ha-Gadol . . . a . . . [reading from the Prophets] referring to the day on which Elijah the Prophet will reappear as forerunner of the great day of the Lord, is read.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.) (Malachi 4:5-6) Elijah’s Coming implies a unique preparation for salvation.
- THE CREATION HAD A PREPARATION PERIOD: “. . . almost all scholars agree . . . that each of the first three days is used to prepare the work for the next three days.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.) Although Jews generally do not refer to a life after death, sages have taught that our earth life is a preparation for the life to come.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
- PREPARATION FOR ADDITIONAL SCRIPTURES: Some of the witnesses for the Book of Mormon are the previous prophets who foresaw its coming and its value in the restoration of all things. “And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned . . . Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvelous work . . .” (Isaiah 29:12-14)
- REASON FOR ANCIENT WITNESS OF FUTURE EVENTS: “It was the design of the councils of heaven before the world was, that the principles and laws of the priesthood should be predicated upon the gathering of the people in every age of the world . . . ordinances instituted . . . before the foundation of the world . . . for the salvation of men, are not to be altered or changed.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Section Six 1843-44, Pg.308)
- OLD/NEW COVENANTS ARE THE SAME: “Actually, of course, the law of carnal commandments, the law of performances and ordinances revealed through Moses, was an old covenant as compared with the gospel restored by Jesus and his apostles. But this new testament or covenant, this restored gospel, was the same testament that had been in force between God and his people from Adam to Moses in both the old and the new worlds.” (Mormon Doctrine, Bruce R. McConkie, Pg.543)
- SIMILARITIES STILL EVIDENT: Religious Jews still practice many forms of ancient rites and rituals whose meanings may have become distorted or lost over many years without priesthood guidance. Now that the priesthood has been restored, we are able to recognize what remains of old practices of the “Old Covenant,” which was true then, and how the “New Covenant” restored the ancient practices with true doctrine.