Kerry Muhlestein is a professor and director of research in the Department of Ancient Scripture at Brigham Young University, and also the director of the BYU Egypt Excavation Project. He has taught in the history department of three universities and has been part of award-winning history publications. He received his BS in psychology with a Hebrew minor from BYU, his MA in Ancient Near Eastern studies from BYU, and his PhD from UCLA in Egyptology. He and his wife, Julianne, are the parents of six children. In his latest book, God Will Prevail: Ancient Covenants, Modern Blessings, and the Gathering of Israel, he encourages readers to take hold of God’s promise to gather His covenant people by recognizing the connection between covenant making and the eternal and transformative love of the Savior.
Kerry Muhlestein

Highlights

5:20 Found that most of his students didn’t really understand the covenant; even the teachers didn’t understand it as well as they probably should
9:10 Foundation of what the covenant is: the covenant that has existed since the foundation of the world, was established with Adam and Eve, and needs to be re-established periodically

  • THE new and everlasting covenant (vs. “a” new and everlasting covenant)
  • The Abrahamic covenant
  • The baptismal covenant
  • The marriage covenant

13:30 Teaching 8-year-olds prior to baptism about the covenant they are making

  • 15:00 Its primary purpose is establishing a closer, higher relationship with God; we can have that as we change our nature and become more like him
  • 18:20 “Leveling up”
  • 20:15 Blessings: you become a holier person and God will give instructions so you know how to act, and the Holy Ghost is key to that

22:45 Making covenants brings us to neutral ground, and keeping or not keeping the commandments leads to consequences in the form of blessings or curses

  • Negative consequences are to humble us (covenant corruption cycle)
  • Love and mercy are always available to those in the covenant; He will always give us another chance: this is the gathering of Israel
  • There is a long history in the scriptures of the Israelites losing their blessings and consistently getting them back

31:50 Sacrament restriction: the sacrament is a covenant renewal ceremony, so the primary reason to restrict it is to keep people from renewing the covenant when they aren’t ready

  • 35:00 For everyone who sins, there is a balance in the struggle
  • Am I really seeking to do this?
  • We are bound together with God
  • Follow the Spirit in determining when someone is ready to take the sacrament after a period of restriction
  • The goal of leaders should be the same as God: to get people back into the covenant

42:00 Divorce and families in the eternities: We really don’t know how sealings will work after this life, but recognize that if we are exalted we will be happy with the results

  • 43:45 There is only one thing we can completely control: our relationship with God; once you are in this covenant, God will not leave you
  • 45:35 Children and sealings to parents: we need to look at the larger picture and recognize the sealing is into the house of Israel
  • 49:30 The doctrine of geography about families being together forever; the empty chairs spectre: odds are, you don’t have to worry so much; there is always hope

55:00 Grace in covenants: grace is available to everyone, but it only has its full effects on someone who chooses to form a full relationship with God

  • Exalting grace is available to those who have fully bound themselves to Christ; if you allow that relationship, eventually it will change you
  • The atoning power of Christ’s sacrifice cannot enter in if we are not willing to submit ourselves to it

59:35 A leader is supposed to represent Christ and you do that by binding yourself to Him, then forgetting yourself and serving others

Links

God Will Prevail: Ancient Covenants, Modern Blessings, and the Gathering of Israel
outofthedust.org
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