The Restoration as Covenant Renewal


restoration, covenant renewal, christianity


The Lord, in His preface to the Doctrine and Covenants, says that because the world has “broken mine everlasting covenant” the Restoration was necessary, “that mine everlasting covenant might be established” (1:15, 22). Thus, the concept of covenant is central to understanding the restored gospel. Covenant is a central and unifying theme of the scriptures beginning in the Hebrew Bible and reflected in the very title of the book in Christendom—the Old Testament. The English word “testament” ultimately derives from the Hebrew word for “covenant,”[1] whereas the term “old” is used to designate the Mosaic covenant—in effect until the time of Christ—and contrasted with the terminology of Jeremiah, who prophesied the future establishment of a “new” covenant (Jeremiah 31:31). The Apostle Paul confirmed that Jesus Christ fulfilled Jeremiah’s prophecy and was the “mediator of the new testament [covenant]” (Hebrews 9:15).[2] Therefore, the record of the ministry of Jesus and the early covenant community became known as the New Testament, and the titles of both parts of the Christian Bible, the Old Testament and the New Testament, refer to the two significant stages of biblical covenant. The covenant document of the new and everlasting covenant is called the Doctrine and Covenants.

Original Publication Citation

“The Restoration as Covenant Renewal.” Pages 311-36 in Sperry Symposium Classics: The Old Testament. Ed. Paul Y. Hoskisson. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 2005. Revised and up-dated version of a paper published in 1987 by the same title.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

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Religious Studies Center




Religious Education


Ancient Scripture

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor