Easton’s Bible Dictionary; “This word denotes the special privileges and advantages belonging to the first-born son among the Jews. He became the priest of the family…
The first-born son had allotted to him also a double portion of the paternal inheritance (Deut. 21:15-17). Reuben was, because of his undutiful conduct, deprived of his birth-right (Gen. 49:4; 1 Chr. 5:1). Esau transferred his birth-right to Jacob (Gen. 25:33)…
The Jews attached a sacred importance to the rank of “first-born” and “first-begotten” as applied to the Messiah (Rom. 8:29; Col. 1:18; Heb. 1:4-6). As first-born he has an inheritance superior to his brethren, and is the alone true priest”.
From our definition above for birthright we see it means an inheritance someone receives from his father for being born into that family.
As you might expect, the LDS definition of birthright doesn’t resemble what the Bible says at all. In this week’s lesson called “Birthright Blessings” the Church is erroneously teaching a person’s birthright is obtained through a marriage ceremony performed inside an LDS temple. They’ve used Genesis chapters 24-26 in their defense.
Oh the tangled web we weave… Let’s take a quick look at what they’ve said and compare it with God’s word!
“As members of the Church, we are each entitled to a spiritual birthright from our heavenly parents. What blessings are included in our birthright? (Answers may include the priesthood, temple blessings, ordinances, revelation, and the potential for exaltation.)
How does where we marry affect our ability to receive the blessings of our birthright? (We enter into the part of the Abrahamic covenant that pertains to exaltation and eternal increase by making and keeping the covenants of the temple endowment and eternal marriage.)”
1. We are not given birthright blessings by marrying someone of the same faith.
These two things (birthrights and marriages) are two separate subject matters. God gave the Israelites a commandment in the Old Testament as part of the Law not to marry Gentiles, but we don’t live under the Law any longer.
While it’s important to not be unequally yoked as believers, this isn’t a Law as it was in the days of Moses. See Deuteronomy 7:3-4;
“Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son. 4 For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly”.
Jesus and His disciples told us numerous times the reason we shouldn’t be unequally yoked is because of the probability that our affections for God could be turned against Him. It isn’t saying you can’t marry outside your faith; rather it’s in your best interest not to do so.
2. With the advent of Jesus there is no longer any Jew or Gentile, for we are all one in Him (when we believe). You’ll notice in vs 29 that we are Abraham’s seed when we believe. It didn’t say when we get married to another Mormon.
Galatians 3:28-29; “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise”.
3. The new and everlasting covenant is Christ Jesus and Him crucified. The promise God sent was His Holy Spirit who resides inside each believer when we confess Jesus as our Lord and God. It’s not the families are forever plan or being married in a temple as Joseph and friends would want you to believe.
D&C 132:4-6; “For behold, I reveal unto you a new and an everlasting covenant; and if ye abide not that covenant, then are ye damned; for no one can reject this covenant and be permitted to enter into my glory. 5 For all who will have a blessing at my hands shall abide the law which was appointed for that blessing, and the conditions thereof, as were instituted from before the foundation of the world. 6 And as pertaining to the new and everlasting covenant, it was instituted for the fulness of my glory; and he that receiveth a fulness thereof must and shall abide the law, or he shall be damned, saith the Lord God”.
Jeremiah 31:31, 33-34; “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah 33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more”.
4. While the Church tells its members to study Genesis chapters 24-26 they’ve completely ignored what God had to say in this passage.
Abraham told his servant to go look for a wife for his son Isaac and then Isaac married Rebekah. It also told the story of Esau and Jacob’s choices in life and how Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of porridge.
5. We don’t have heavenly parents. We have a Heavenly Father, but no heavenly mother.
6. We don’t have the potential to become gods and goddesses who will be having celestial sex in the hereafter and living on our own planet somewhere in the universe. There is no such thing as an “eternal increase”.
The other major point they made in this lesson was quite curious. They said that to strengthen an eternal marriage one must “bring a celestial spirit into the marriage”.
“After two people have been married in the temple, what must they do to ensure they have a truly eternal marriage? How can a husband and wife maintain and improve the marriage relationship so that the covenants and blessings promised in the temple will be fulfilled? (You may want to invite a few class members to share an example of something their spouse or parent does to bring a celestial spirit to the marriage.)”
Just what is a spirit of celestial marriage you ask? Well from D&C 88:28 we find that it means you do everything the Church tells you to do and when they say to do it. Your marriage is to be subject to the Church. If and when you do all that you’ll receive the same body you had here on earth.
“They who are of a celestial spirit shall receive the same body which was a natural body; even ye shall receive your bodies, and your glory shall be that glory by which your bodies are quickened.”
That’s really sad! I’m hoping for a new body! I don’t want my body to be racked with disease when I get to heaven. First I’m looking forward to being in the presence of Jesus who is God and secondly that my body will be totally healed! Why would I want a body with MS or one that’s subject to getting the flu or a cold?
The Church has tried to say the Abrahamic Covenant is that of eternal marriage and receiving birthrights from a god and his goddess wife who sexually begat all of us, but the Bible says nothing of the sort.
When you have the opportunity to share the truth about the covenant that God made with Abraham I strongly encourage everyone to do so! Yeah, it takes a little time to show someone what God really said, but remember dear one, someone did that for you as well!
If you’re LDS we’re begging you to go through your bible – preferably get an outside resource from your Joseph Smith Translation – and read Genesis 24-26 for yourself. Your KJV will say nothing about an eternal marriage or exaltation for you. It talks about Abraham looking for a wife for his son Isaac and then Jacob and Esau’s choices in either obeying or rejecting God.
Know that we’re praying for you and that your eyes and heart will be open to accept the beautiful things God has to show you!
With Love in Christ;
1 Cor 1:18