Hey guys, so if you’re familiar with our faith you might be reading in the Doctrine and Covenants or hear a church leader talk about “the new and everlasting covenant.” It’s a very Latter-day Sainty thing to say, so in this episode, we’re going to talk about what the new and everlasting covenant actually is.
There’s a lot of confusion about what the new and everlasting covenant is, even within the Church. For example, in Doctrine and Covenants 131 we read: “And in order to obtain the highest [degree of heaven], a man must enter into this order of the priesthood [meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage]…”. But in Section 132 some try to make the case the new and everlasting covenant is plural marriage, which some early saints practiced.
But then you’ve got Section 22 which refers to baptism as a new and everlasting covenant. So which is it? Monogamous marriage, plural marriage or baptism? Well, none of them, but also all of them. Let me explain with another scripture and then a quote:
Section 66 says, “Verily I say unto you, blessed are you for receiving mine everlasting covenant, even the fulness of my gospel…”
President Joseph Fielding Smith said, “The new and everlasting covenant is the sum total of all gospel covenants and obligations … marriage is not the new and everlasting covenant. If there are any here that have that idea I want to say that right to them… marriage is ‘a’ new and everlasting covenant.”
President Smith continued, “It is everything—the fulness of the gospel. So marriage properly performed, baptism, ordination to the priesthood, everything else—every contract, every obligation, every performance that pertains to the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise according to his law here given, is a part of the new and everlasting covenant.”
OK, so the everlasting covenant is all gospel covenants and obligations. This is totally consistent with scriptures like Isaiah 24:5, “The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.”
And this sets us up nicely for the next question: What makes the everlasting covenant ‘new’? From the Church’s website: “It is new every time it is revealed anew following a period of apostasy. It is everlasting in the sense that it is God’s covenant and has been enjoyed in every gospel dispensation where people have been willing to receive it.”
In other words, it isn’t new in the sense of “hey my Dad just gave me this new thing that nobody’s ever seen before.” But rather ‘new’ in the sense of, “hey somebody broke this old thing, so my dad got me a new one.”
And… that’s… pretty much it. This was a short episode … Maybe I’ll entertain you with some juggling or something on the endscreen. But now you know what the new and everlasting covenant is. Don’t get it confused with a new and everlasting covenant. Check out the links in the description for more info on this, and have a great day!
- From the Church’s website: https://bit.ly/2pHODns
- Joseph Fielding Smith quotes from Boyd K. Packer’s “The Holy Temple”: https://bit.ly/33uvMLg
An additional Joseph Fielding Smith quote that is instructive: “When [baptism] was revealed in this dispensation, the Lord called it ‘a new and everlasting covenant, even that which was from the beginning.’ This covenant was given in the beginning and was lost to men through apostasy, therefore, when it was revealed again, it became to man a new covenant, although it was from the beginning, and it is everlasting since its effects upon the individual endure forever.”