Birthright Blessings; Marriage in the Covenant
What difference does preparing for marriage in the temple make? And how does that relate to the stories of Rebekah and Isaac and Jacob and his wives? This episode reviews these narratives, discusses the relationship between a temple marriage and successful marriage, and reviews the principles of healthy relationships.
One Time Donation:
Class Member Reading: Genesis 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29
Additional Reading: None
Adam and Cami provide an expert and valuable discussion.
You can access the Annotated Reading here (or PDF).
You can access the Lesson Notes here (or PDF).
0:00 Introduction and Framing
5:18 Assigned Reading
24:14 Temple Marriage and Good Marriage
Discussion Part 1
43:00 Working within a Human Culture
48:05 Central Focus of the Manual
1:01:15 Blessings of Being Sealed
1:07:55 Principles of a Healthy Marriage
1:24:45 What Common Ground Helps Marriage?
- Marvin J. Ashton, What Is Your Destination?
- Marion D. Hanks, Eternal Marriage
- Elder Nelson, Children in the Covenant
- Principles of a Happy Marriage
- Relationship advice from the Gottman Institute
- Blog post by Jana Riess on why Mormons marry within their faith
- Robert Kirby on temple marriage and families
- SL Tribune article on possible changes to sealing policies
- RadioWest, How Children Succeed
- Carlfred Broderick, The Uses of Adversity
Thanks to James Estrada for quick and skillful postproduction, and as always to Steven Nelson for the beautiful bumper music.
a resource for the impact of religion (not just LDS) on marriage and family life
James N. says:
These are great stories indeed. I want to say that Esau is a far better charterer in these stories than Jacob. Jacob is all connive and deceit throughout the stories and he should rightly believe that when he comes home he may be killed by a brother from whom he stole a birthright and a father’s blessing.
Esau on the other hand, though he did give up that birthright and he did marry a Hittite woman, has some redeeming aspects to his life which we can learn to model.
Looking closely at the text when Esau goes to his father looking for a blessing he address him with respect and love (Let my father rise and eat of the game of his son so that you may solemnly bless me).
In contrast, Jacob lies to his ailing father and gives him hasty orders, (Father, rise, pray, and eat…)
After he lost his blessing Esau laments and REPENTS over what had happened and longed to get it back.
Esau sees that his marriage to his two Canaanite wives sorrows his parents so he marries one of the “tribe”, again parental respect.
Most of all, yes, he did want to kill Jacob for taking the blessing, but unlike what we would think most people today in families do when wronged by a sibling, Esau forgives. Esau had already forgiven Jacob when he shows up some years later.
Wow, what a person we all can use as a good example in our life!
Jared Anderson says:
James, what a wonderful and challenging reading. I love how you took the “bad guy” and pointed out his virtues. Jacob is certainly a problematic character, and the narrative itself brings up ironic points where he himself is deceived.
I am going to teach the lesson in 1 1/2 weeks and am struggling with the connection of the actual Old Testament content and the application suggested by the manual. First, the meaning of “birthright”. My limited research and knowledge (I have lived in the Middle East off and on for 10 years) suggests that the birthright had nothing to do with the priesthood, but as discussed in the Quran had to do with apportionment of assets and the responsibility to take care of the family. It seems to me that if Jacob gained the birthright,he did not exercise it. He was gone for 20 years and during this time, I assume, Esau took the responsibilities for the family.
Second, marriage in the Old Testament was tribally-based and the “blessings of Abraham” tied to literal descendant. To me this was the reason Jacob went to Haran to seek a bride. This was not important to Esau. However, today we focus on the adoptive process for the Abrahamic covenant.
When I look at these two key factors and the manual doesn’t make much sense. Am I perceiving these incorrectly? How do you reconcile these?