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Relationship to Chapters 1-2. The relationship of Verses 1:5-20 to the rest of Chapters 1-2 is discussed at Chapters 1-2.
Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Verses 1:5-20 include:
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- Abr 1:17: Turned their hearts away from me. Notice Joseph Smith is told something similar in JS-H 1:19. Christ also accused the Pharisees of the same thing in Matt 15:7-9.
- There is some affinity between the characters of Abraham and Noah. Noah was a prophet fighting the tide of the world who was given the promise that his seed would continue beyond the flood such that today, all men can be said to be children of Noah. Similarly, Abraham fought the tide of wickedness in his day and has been given similar promises and it is through him that the Priesthood and the Gospel survived the flood of wickedness in his day such that all of us who have been blessed to receive any of the ordinances of the gospel can say that we received it through Abraham and we are his children. Also, it is Abraham that will be permitted to have his children survive the burning of the second coming.
- Another affinity exists in the figure of Enoch, who established a Zion city at the time of Noah and then left, leaving Noah to continue the work of God on the Earth. At the time of Abraham, there was Melchizedek, who, in the JST for Genesis 14: 25-40, is said to have established a city (Salem) similar to the one Enoch established. It is also said that his people "sought for the city of Enoch". We do not however learn any more of this city or its people, which for all intents and purposes seems to have disappeared from off the face of the earth.
- In effect, Noah and Enoch were both prophets who were given something of a special mission to stay behind and carry on an earthly ministry; that is, to preserve the priesthood and kingdom of God on the earth while the main body of the church all but disappeared.
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Prompts for life application
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Prompts for further study
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- Abr 1:7: "Hearkened not unto my voice." This seems to be referring to Abraham's voice, not God's voice. Does this imply Abraham was preaching against them? Is this related to Abraham's obtaining of the Priesthood described above?
- Abr 1:11: What does "virtue" mean here? Right after explaining that the virgins were sacrificed "because of their virtue," the text goes on to say that the virgins would not worship other gods "therefore they were killed." Does virtue refer to the virgins not bowing down to the other gods or to something else?
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- Abr 1:7-15: Attempt to sacrifice Abraham. See Muhlestein, Kerry and John Gee. "An Egyptian Context for the Sacrifice of Abraham." In Journal of the Book of Mormon and Other Restoration Scripture, 20/2 (2011): p. 70–77. Provo, Utah: BYU University: Neil A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship. This article explores evidence substantiating the practice of ritual human sacrifice in ancient Egypt.
Footnotes are not required but are encouraged for factual assertions that average readers cannot easily evaluate for themselves (such as the date of King Solomon’s death or the nuanced definition of a Greek word). In contrast, insights rarely benefit from footnoting, and the focus of this page should always remain on the scriptures themselves rather than what someone has said about them. Links are actively encouraged on all sections of this page, and links to authoritative sources (such as Strong's Bible Concordance or the Joseph Smith Papers) are preferable to footnotes.