'Father of the faithful' passed supreme test

"Israelite history begins not with father Jacob, who is Israel nor with his tribal descendants who adopted his name as theirs, but with Abraham. . . ," wrote Elder Bruce R. McConkie in A New Witness for the Articles of Faith.

"In the true and spiritual sense of the terms, Abraham was the first Hebrew, the first Israelite, and the first Jew, although none of these names originated with or had their first application to him. But Abraham was the father of the faithful, the progenitor of the chosen people, the one through whose loins the Lord promised to raise up a righteous nation and people, the one with whom God made an eternal covenant that would save him and his seed after him, the one of whom Jehovah said: I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment.' " (Gen. 18:19.)In Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, Vol. 3, Elder McConkie wrote that Abraham passed "a supreme test of faith by which the father of the faithful was able to sanctify his soul," and Abraham did more than create an example of perfect faith and obedience. In addition he established afigure,' a similitude,' to typify the future sacrifice of his only Begotten Son. As Jacob expressed it,Abraham' was `obedient unto the commands of God in offering up his son Isaac, which is a similitude of God and his Only Begotten Son.' (Jacob 4:5.)"

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