Selected Teachings on
The Abrahamic Covenant
and Celestial Marriage


Bruce R. McConkie (Quorum of the Twelve)

The crowning blessings of the gospel are received in temples.... It is in these holy houses that faithful couples enter into the ordinance of celestial marriage through which they become parties to the Abrahamic covenant, the covenant of eternal increase, the covenant that in them and in their seed all generations shall be blessed. (A New Witness for the Articles of Faith, p.539)


Every person married in the temple for time and for all eternity has sealed upon him, conditioned upon his faithfulness, all of the blessings of the ancient patriarchs, including the crowning promise and assurance of eternal increase, which means, literally, a posterity as numerous as the dust particles of the earth. (The Millennial Messiah, p. 264)


[E]veryone in the Church who has been married in the temple has received exactly the same promise that God gave to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Everyone who is married in the temple and who keeps the covenant has the assurance that he or she will have eternal increase, that his posterity will be like the dust of the earth and the stars of heaven in number....

[W]hen Elias came [in the Kirtland temple], he brought the gospel of Abraham, the divine commission that God gave Abraham, the marriage discipline that God gave Abraham. Elias restored celestial marriage, and Elijah came and brought the sealing power so the ordinance would be binding on earth and sealed in heaven; and it takes the ministry of both of them to accomplish the purposes of the Lord. Because they came, God has planted in my heart the promise made to the fathers. And so I go to the Salt Lake Temple and marry my wife for time and for all eternity, and so begins a new kingdom of God. And if we are faithful, that marriage exists here and it exists hereafter. And I have been given through that ordinance every promise that Abraham received. It is given on a conditional basis. We must be true and faithful and keep the covenant that we make in the temple, but if we are faithful, we will receive the blessings. That is what is meant by the promises made to the fathers. ("The Promises Made to the Fathers," From Studies in Scripture Vol 3: Genesis to 2 Samuel, ed. Kent P. Jackson and Robert L. Millet [Salt Lake City, UT: Randall Book Co., 1985], pp. 47-62)  

Bible Dictionary

Abraham first received the gospel by baptism (which is the covenant of salvation). Then he had conferred upon him the higher priesthood, and he entered into celestial marriage (which is the covenant of exaltation), gaining assurance thereby that he would have eternal increase. Finally he received a promise that all of these blessings would be offered to all of his mortal posterity (D&C 132:29–50; Abr. 2:6–11)....

The portions of the covenant that pertain to personal salvation and eternal increase are renewed with each individual who receives the ordinance of celestial marriage (see D&C 132:29–33). (Bible Dictionary, "Abraham, Covenant of," p. 602)

D&C 132:19 (Jesus Christ)

And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant, and it is sealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of promise, by him who is anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power and the keys of this priesthood; and it shall be said unto them—Ye shall come forth in the first resurrection; and if it be after the first resurrection, in the next resurrection;

[LAND] and shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities,

[PRIESTHOOD] and powers, dominions, all heights and depths—

then shall it be written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, that he shall commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, and if ye abide in my covenant, and commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, it shall be done unto them in all things whatsoever my servant hath put upon them, in time, and through all eternity; and shall be of full force when they are out of the world;

[POSTERITY] and they shall pass by the angels, and the gods, which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their heads, which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever.

Bruce Satterfield (BYU-Idaho Religion Faculty)

When a man and woman marry for time and all eternity, the sealer seals upon them all the blessings of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. These blessings are outlined in Abraham 2:6-11. From these verses we can synthesize the promises given to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The promises can be categorized into three general areas. Each category has promises that are to be fulfilled both in mortality and eternity. The following chart lists the categories of promises with both the mortal and eternal promises.

Category
Mortal Promises
Eternal Promises
1. Posterity Abraham was promised a large posterity that would become a great nation. Abraham was promised that he would have eternal increase.
2. Land Abraham was promised that his posterity would have a special land to live in (a promised land)- a land where his posterity are free to worship God the way He intends. Abraham was promised that he would have an eternal promised land known as the celestial kingdom.
3. Gospel\Priesthood 1. Abraham was promised that his posterity would have all the blessings of the gospel and priesthood. 

2. Abraham was promised that through his posterity all nations would be blessed with the opportunity to have the gospel.

Abraham was promised that he would have eternal life or exaltation in the celestial kingdom (which is the ultimate blessing of the gospel and priesthood).

The mortal blessings are that they would have (1) a posterity, (2) their posterity would have a land of promise where they can worship God they way God intends, and (3) their posterity would have the gospel of Jesus Christ including both the Aaronic and Melchizedek ordinances of salvation. The eternal blessings include (1) eternal increase (the bearing of spirit children in the hereafter), (2) the celestial kingdom, and (3) exaltation, eternal life, or Godhood. From this last promise, it can be seen why this is called the covenant of exaltation.

When a couple is married for time and all eternity, a new kingdom of God is being established; that kingdom is our own kingdom in the eternities. Elder Bruce R. McConkie taught the temple workers in the Provo Temple the following: "And so I go to the Salt Lake Temple and marry my wife for time and for all eternity, and so begins a new kingdom of God. And if we are faithful, that marriage exists here and it exists hereafter. And I have been given through that ordinance every promise that Abraham received. It is given on conditional basis. We must be true and faithful and keep the covenant that we make in the temple, but if we are faithful, we will receive the blessings" ("The Promises Made To The Fathers," in Studies in Scripture: Vol. Three The Old Testament, p. 61)....

It is through honoring the marriage ordinance that men and women prove that they are worthy of Godhood. ("The Necessity of Receiving the Priesthood Ordinances of Salvation," Unpublished Article)