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Relationship to Section 107. The relationship of Verses 107:40-57 to the rest of Section 107 is discussed at D&C 107.
Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Verses 107:40-57 include:
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- D&C 107:41-57: The genealogy of Adam and the blessing at Adam-ondi-Ahman. Verses 41-57 lay out a genealogy of Adam that is at once obviously connected to the similar genealogy in Moses 6:8-23; 8:1-11 and at the same time obviously to be read in light of the event of Adam-ondi-Ahman. A bit of reconstruction is presented in the following table:
Patriarch Adam's Age at Birth Adam's Age at Ordination Seth 130 199 Enos 235 369 Cainan 325 412 Mahalaleel 395 891 Jared 460 660 Enoch 622 647 Methuselah 687 787 Lamech 874 906 Noah deceased deceased
- While the emphasis in this table is on ordination, it is clear from the text itself that there is a parallel emphasis on blessing. But the story, so far as blessing goes, is hardly so clear: Seth seems to have received his blessing only at Adam-ondi-Ahman, just before Adam's death, while Enoch received his at age sixty-five, which would have thus occurred during Adam's 687th year; moreover, while blessings are mentioned for Mahalaleel and Jared, none are specifically mentioned in relation to any of the other patriarchs (though it may be that the mention of Adam bestowing his last blessing on his posterity at Adam-ondi-Ahman may be meant to include the others).
- All of this suggests the necessity of riddling out what is meant here by ordination as opposed to blessing: what is this blessing and why is it given only after ordination? Most likely, verse 42 provides the answer to this question, though this remains to be explored in any significant depth.
- D&C 107:42. The promise given to Seth by Adam is interesting for a number of reasons. The context, of course, is that of the passing of the patriarchal order from Adam to Seth, and this verse therefore makes it clear that part of the patriarchal priesthood is a promise that some remnant of the patriarch's seed will be present at the last day (cf. Moses 7:52). This is especially interesting because of the role Seth played in replacing Abel (see on this, especially, Moses 6:2, where Adam explains "God hath appointed me another seed, instead of Abel, whom Cain slew"). The focus on Seth's seed should probably, then, be read in light of Abel's apparent lack of seed, which seems to have been understood quite negatively.
- The promise of having a chosen seed that will last until the second coming (and will bless all nations through the priesthood) has been given to many other scriptural figures. For example:
- Moses 7:52 says Enoch is promised there will be a remnant of his seed among all nations
- Abraham 2:9-11 Abraham, after seeking for the “appointment of God unto the fathers concerning the seed” (Abr 1:4), is promised that in him and in his seed all the families of the earth will be blessed. References to this Abrahamic Covenant are also found in Gen 12:2-4, Gen 17:5-7, and Gen 22:17-18
- Gen 26:3-5 renews the covenant with Isaac
- Gen 35:9-12 renews the covenant with Jacob
- Gen 49:26 specifically says the blessings of father Jacob will be upon Joseph. This is confirmed in Gen 50:34 JST and 2 Nephi 3:16 (“I will preserve thy seed forever.”)
- D&C 110:12 renews the promise of a chosen seed to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdry: Elias commits the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham, “saying that in us and our seed all generations after us shall be blessed.”
- D&C 84:34 We can become part of the promised seed of Abraham when we receive the Melchizedek Priesthood
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Prompts for life application
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Prompts for further study
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- D&C 107:40. To what extent does the language of the phrase, "the order of this priesthood," imply a kind of split between the patriarchal priesthood being described and the two priesthoods with which the revelation begins? What is implied by the word "order"?
- D&C 107:40. What does it mean to say that this order of the priesthood was confirmed? Does this imply the working of some particular subject who confirmed it? How can it be confirmed to be handed down genealogically?
- D&C 107:40. How ought the language of rights ("rightly belongs") be interpreted here?
- D&C 107:40. How is this revelation connected to the Book of Abraham, the first chapter of which Joseph was translating at about the same time as the reception of this revelation?
- D&C 107:40. Why should there be an emphasis on literal descendants here? What might non-literal descendants mean?
- D&C 107:40. What should be read into the word "chosen," and is there some specific reference implied in the language of the promises that were made?
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