10903_000_008“As we follow Abraham’s example, … we will find greater happiness and peace and rest, [and] we will find favor with God and with man.”1 —President Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985)
The marshland of Ur in Chaldea was my first home. The Chaldeans, including my father, worshipped idols and offered human sacrifices. But I believed in the one true and living God and prepared for the day when I could receive the priesthood, as my forefathers did.2
One day the Chaldeans bound me as a sacrifice on the altar of the god Elkenah. As they were about to kill me, I prayed to God for deliverance and my bonds were loosed immediately. Then the Lord spoke to me: “I have heard thee, and have come down to deliver thee, and to take thee away … into a strange land.”3
The Lord began to bless me immensely: I received the priesthood through Melchizedek,4 and the Lord covenanted with me that I would become the father of many nations and that the gospel would bless all humanity through my posterity. He changed my name from Abram to Abraham, meaning “father of a multitude.”5
I brought my family to Canaan, the land the Lord had prepared for us.6 The Lord promised me that His covenant regarding my posterity would be fulfilled through a son born by my wife Sarah. Sarah and I had been unable to have children. We wondered how we could have children when we were both so old—I was 100 and Sarah was 90.7 But as the Lord promised, we did have a son, Isaac.8
Some years later, there came one of the hardest trials of my life. Even though I had witnessed the pain of human sacrifice, the Lord asked me to offer my son Isaac as a sacrifice. My heart grieved, but I trusted the Lord. When I was about to slay Isaac, an angel called to me, saying, “Lay not thine hand upon the lad, … for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld … thine only son.”9 The Lord provided a ram to be sacrificed in Isaac’s place, which Isaac and I then offered to the Lord.10
Because of my obedience, the Lord reaffirmed His covenant: “I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, … and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.”11
Spencer W. Kimball, “The Example of Abraham,” Ensign, June 1975, 7.
See Abraham 1:1–8.
See Abraham 1:12, 15–16.
See Abraham 2:4, 18–19.
See Genesis 17:15–21.
See Genesis 21:1–3.
See Genesis 22:1–13.