Seed of Abraham
Author: Ostergar, Allen C., Jr.
The "seed of Abraham" are those who, through righteousness, inherit the blessings promised Abraham through the covenant he made with the Lord and who themselves are a promised blessing to Abraham (Gen. 12:1-5;13:16;17; Abr. 2:6-11). The phrase also has messianic overtones: Abraham saw the days of the Messiah and rejoiced (John 8:56). Jesus Christ is of the seed of Abraham (Gal. 3:16).
In a lineal sense, two groups are called the "seed of Abraham" in scripture. The first comprises the literal descendants of Abraham through Isaac (Gen. 26:1-4) and Jacob (Gen. 28;35:9-13), who are thus the Twelve tribes of Israel. The second comprises the descendants of Ishmael and the many other children of Abraham.
In addition to those who are of lineal descent, all who are not of Abrahamic lineage but who become adopted by their acceptance of the gospel of Jesus Christ and continued obedience to God's commandments are heirs of all the blessings of the Abrahamic Covenant (TPJS, pp. 149-50). Adoption is completed by the gospel ordinances, including baptism and confirmation; ordination to the priesthood, and magnifying one's calling in the priesthood; the temple Endowment; and eternal marriage, through which husbands, wives, and families share "all the blessings of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob." Modern revelation assures that these people will have a fulness of blessings, even "all that [the] Father hath" (D&C 84:38). They are "sanctified by the Spirit unto the renewing of their bodies," and they become "the seed of Abraham" (D&C 84:34). [See also Abrahamic Covenant; Gospel of Abraham.] ALLEN C. OSTERGAR, JR.