Abraham 1: Abraham Desires the Priesthood

Old Testament Seminary Student Study Guide, (2002), 22

Can people be righteous if they live in homes where righteousness is not encouraged or where they are persecuted by their own parents for being righteous? If so, what would those people have to do to overcome wicked influences? The great prophet Abraham, called the “Friend of God” (James 2:23), grew up in that very situation. During his lifetime he overcame the challenges he faced in his youth and was such a model of righteousness that God promised him that all who accept the true gospel would be called his children and that Jesus Christ would be born as one of his descendants. As you read about Abraham in the next few chapters of Abraham and Genesis, look for what he did to overcome his challenges and become one of the greatest prophets in history.

Understanding the Scriptures

Abraham 1

Residence (v. 1)Place to live 
Blessings of the fathers (v. 2)Ordinances and covenants of the priesthood 
Heir (v. 2)A person entitled to receive blessings or an inheritance from another because he or she is a child, close relative, or individual that the giver trusts 
Conferred upon (v. 3)Given 
Appointment (v. 4)Calling, ordination 
Seed (v. 4)Children, grandchildren, and so on 
Heathen (vv. 5, 7)Those who do not worship the true and living God 
Offer, offering up (vv. 7–8, 11, 15)Sacrificing 
Endeavor, endeavored (vv. 7, 28, 31)Try, tried 
Virtue (v. 11)Purity, obedience to laws and commandments of sexual purity 
Laid violence upon me (v. 12)Took me by force 
Representation (v. 12)Drawing 
Commencement (v. 12)Beginning 
The fashion of them (v. 14)What they look like 
Figures (v. 14)Writings and drawings 
Signifies (vv. 14, 23)Means 
Kinsfolk (v. 16)Relatives 
From this descent sprang (v. 22)From this individual came 
Preserved (vv. 22, 24)Continued 
Patriarchal (vv. 25–26)Father to son 
Seeking earnestly (v. 26)Trying very hard 
Fain (v. 27)Pretend to gladly and willingly 
Idolatry (v. 27)Worship of false gods 
Delineate (v. 28)Show, describe 
Chronology (v. 28)History 
Sorely tormented (v. 30)Great distress or misery 
Posterity (v. 31)Children and grandchildren, descendants 

Studying the Scriptures

Do two of the following activities (A–C) as you study Abraham 1.

Activity A iconWhat Blessings Do You Seek?

  1. 1.

    Elder Neal A. Maxwell said, “What we insistently desire, over time, is what we will eventually become and what we will receive in eternity” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1996, 26; or Ensign, Nov. 1996, 21). Read Abraham 1:2–4 and list the blessings Abraham “sought for” and “desired.” You may also want to highlight them in your scriptures.

  2. 2.

    Choose something from this list that you also desire or seek, and explain why. You should notice that at the end of verse 2 we learn that Abraham did obtain what he sought. His life modeled how you can obtain the same blessings he sought.

Activity B iconWhy Are the Righteous Persecuted?

  1. 1.

    Identify the reasons the three virgins and Abraham were persecuted, and compare those reasons to ways you think righteous people are sometimes persecuted.

  2. 2.

    Explain why you think it is worthwhile to live righteously even if you will be persecuted.

Activity C iconWrite Verses in Your Own Words

Write Abraham 1:18–19 in your own words, identifying what the Lord promised Abraham as well as the responsibilities Abraham received.