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Old Testament - Lesson 2

“Thou Wast Chosen Before Thou Wast Born”
Taught by Jeff Stone on January 10, 2010

Abraham's VisionPurpose: To help class members understand the doctrine of foreordination and their own responsibility to help build up the kingdom of God and bring souls to Christ.

Questions:

  • What is Foreordination?
  • To whom does it apply?
  • Were you foreordained for callings you hold or have held in the past?

Introduction:
These are some questions many of us have likely asked ourselves. This lesson helps to answer these questions, or at least point us in the right direction for answers. In this lesson, we study Abraham’s vision and his account of seeing the “Great and Noble” ones. This account as well as Moses’s and Abraham’s account of the Council in Heaven are recorded in Abraham 3 and Moses 4: 1–4. From this we see, of course, that Jesus was foreordained for his calling as our Savior.

Foreordination Defined:
Foreordination is God’s premortal ordination of his spirit children to fulfill certain mission during their mortal lives. In Abraham 3:22–23 Abraham sees “Great and Noble” ones. These great and noble ones he spoke of are the prophets along with other church leaders. In D&C 138:38–49 Joseph F. Smith records that he, also, saw some of these “Great and Noble” ones. In his account, he mentions several specific people by name:

  • Adam
  • Eve
  • Abel
  • Noah
  • Abraham
  • Isaac
  • Jacob
  • Moses
  • Isaiah
  • Ezekiel
  • Malachi
  • and Many others.

Many of us were foreordained to do a specific work in this life. To answer the question of whether or not you specifically were foreordained, chances are that if you have held a calling, you were foreordained. However, consider this: there are those who are foreordained but choose not to walk the path, and therefore never fulfill their foreordained work. We still, of course, have our free agency, and therefore may choose not to accept our foreordination.

President Benson Taught:
“God has held you in reserve to make your appearance in the final days before the second coming of the Lord. Some individuals will fall away; but the kingdom of God will remain intact to welcome the return of its head—even Jesus Christ.

While our generation will be comparable in wickedness to the days of Noah, when the Lord cleansed the earth by flood, there is a major difference this time. It is that God has saved for the final inning some of His strongest children, who will help bear off the kingdom triumphantly . . .

Make no mistake about it—you are a marked generation. There has never been more expected of the faithful in such a short period of time than there is of us” (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson [1988], 104–5).

We are a marked generation, and yet we have the agency to choose to disobey this “mark” and follow Satan’s plan rather than The Savior’s plan. It is up to us to choose to build the kingdom of God or not. It’s going to be built anyway; we might as well get on board; nevertheless, it is our choice. Whether we were foreordained or not, we must choose to be followers of The Lord’s plan.

Please make sure you take the time to study the scriptures associated with this lesson (Abraham 3 and Moses 4: 1–4). It will give a greater insight into not only foreordination, but also the council in Heaven (which was a series of meetings, not just one). It kind of sums up the big picture of Heavenly Father’s plan and answers questions about our purpose here on Earth.