As we read in Genesis 11 & 12 we are introduced to a most inspiring and influential prophet Abraham.
Abraham was the son of Terah , whom was a descendant of Shem. ( Shem was a righteous son of Noah who was promised with blessings and the service of Ham's posterity ) .
We can learn the significance of making righteous choices and their affect on our posterity as we see Shem's promises being fulfilled through Abraham's directions to leave the wicked place of Ur. Abraham was instructed to leave Ur in order to be protected from temptation and maintain his desires to be righteous. Even though Terah, the father of Abraham served other Gods as it states in Joshua 24:2, God's promise to Shem was being put back on course as Abraham desired righteousness.
2 And Joshua said unto all the people, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor: and they served other gods.
Abraham was surrounded by individuals whom worshiped idols, yet his desires to be righteous soared to great heights. Abraham was blessed beyond measure because of his desires and because he asked God in prayer how to gain more righteousness as he asked God for help.
Abraham states :
2And, finding there was greater happiness and peace and rest for me, I sought for the blessings of the fathers, and the right where unto I should be ordained to administer the same; having been myself a follower of righteousness, desiring also to be one who possessed great knowledge, and to be a greater follower of righteousness, and to possess a greater knowledge, and to be a father of many nations, a prince of peace, and desiring to receive instructions, and to keep the commandments of God, I became a rightful heir, a High Priest, holding the right belonging to the fathers.
Abraham was given the blessings that he " sought " because he asked for them, and was trying to be worthy of such blessings.
This is the response to his prayer :
Abraham 2: 7-11
"My name is Jehovah, and I know the end from the beginning; therefore my hand shall be over thee. And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee above measure, and make thy name great among all nations, and thou shalt be a blessing unto thy seed after thee, that in their hands they shall bear this ministry and Priesthood unto all nations; And I will bless them through thy name; for as many as receive this Gospel shall be called after thy name, and shall be accounted thy seed, and shall rise up and bless thee, as their father; And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee; and in thee (that is, in thy Priesthood) and in thy seed (that is, thy Priesthood), for I give unto thee a promise that this right shall continue in thee, and in thy seed after thee (that is to say, the literal seed, or the seed of the body) shall all the families of the earth be blessed, even with the blessings of the Gospel, which are the blessings of salvation, even of life eternal"
As I ponder Abraham's choice to behave differently than those surrounding him I consider my own life and how deep my desires to do what is right are? Each and everyday there is a struggle in my life to choose to spend time on something that will be of service to God, the world, or myself? I hope that I can choose to be of service to God more often, and I do pray to have the same blessings that Abraham desired. I can testify that as I have prayed for the strength to make righteous choices, I have been given the help and strength. I admire Abraham's choice to get out of the place that he would be more influenced by worldly ways.
I do know that as I go to the temple and keep my covenants, my posterity will be greatly blessed like Shem's and Abraham's. I do feel great appreciation for the promises given to Abraham, as I know these promises are given to all members of the church and to those whom keep their temple covenants.
"All of the covenants we make as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, from baptism to temple sealing, are part of the Abrahamic Covenant; the Abrahamic Covenant is just the Gospel of Jesus Christ, with the added emphasis of the responsibility to share the gospel with other potential heirs. When any person joins the church through baptism, he becomes an heir of Abraham; then it becomes his duty and joy to share that gospel with others.
Four Ways the Nations are Blessed by the Abrahamic Covenant: 1) Jesus Christ's Atonement 2) Priesthood 3) Leaven of Righteousness 4) Opportunity to join Abraham's family, or discover that they already belong, and receive the Holy Ghost"
(Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 3:246)
I have a quote by Neal A. Maxwell hanging on my bathroom mirror that I read daily and do believe is true.
I believe this quote has become true for the great Abraham that we have an incredible example in. Maxwell states:
"What we insistently desire, over time, is what we will eventually become and what we will receive in eternity. “For I [said the Lord] will judge all men according to their works, according to the desire of their hearts” (D&C 137:9; see also Jer. 17:10)"