Will He Give Him a Stone?

February 27, 2006 | 10 comments

Jesus once asked, rhetorically, if when a child asked for blessings his father would “give him a stone?”. Today I realized that the answer might be yes, if we are the children and God is the father.

In Sunday School we learned two different things about Abraham and the Abrahamic covenant.
We learned that we can have the Abrahamic covenant ourselves. If we are faithful to the temple covenants, for instance, we are promised “a continuation of the seeds forever,” just like Abraham was.

We also learned that part of the covenant is that anyone can become the seed of Abraham through adoption. The lesson relied on Abraham 2:10 , but as usual Christ made the same point blunter and pithier:

And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

Even I can make a connection when its in front of my face. If God has given us the same covenant that is made to Abraham, will we also find ourselves the unexpected parents of many adopted children?

I’ve meditated on this same idea before, from a different scriptural starting point. its curious that both took me to the same tentative place.


10 Responses to Will He Give Him a Stone?

  1. Ana on February 27, 2006 at 1:15 pm

    That’s funny, Adam — I was thinking about the same stone scripture last night on my blog — http://watchoutformama.blogspot.com/2006/02/this-is-psycho.html (Fair warning, there’s some bitter-infertile-woman whining. And you guys really should have a handy dandy link button like FMH, for those of us insecure with our HTML!)

    Another thing that has been enlightening to me about continuation of seeds — there’s another seed metaphor in scripture that actually applies to adoptive families, and that’s of course in Alma 32. At some point I realized it was much more important to me that the seed of faith should continue in my family than that biological seeds should do so. It’s our covenants that really make us Abraham’s children, not our blood, even if we are literally descended.

    And — I sure hope you’re right.

  2. annegb on February 27, 2006 at 4:17 pm

    Not following you at all.

    That is one of my favorite scriptures, but I love what follows “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your child, how much more would your father which is in heaven give good gifts to them that love Him” Not word for word, but I think of it a lot. How I, then being evil, nevertheless, love my children and want to bless them, God might have some love for me.

    On the other hand, I don’t want to be adopted and I have more than enough kids.

  3. Julie M. Smith on February 27, 2006 at 4:55 pm

    Mosiah 15:10-11 fits in well here.

  4. Kaimi Wenger on February 27, 2006 at 6:31 pm


    Does your theory have anything to do with this guy?

  5. Adam Greenwood on February 27, 2006 at 9:54 pm

    He Who Shall Not Be Named is Also He Who Shall Not Be Linked Too, Kaimi.

    Julie M. Smith,

    It’s a good scripture: http://scriptures.lds.org/mosiah/15/10-11#10


    The reason you’re not following me, AnneGB, is that your understanding of the scripture is right and mine is just playing with words for rhetorical effect.


    If I’m not right in the short run, there’s no doubt I will be in the long run. God bless you.

  6. Stephen M (Ethesis) on February 28, 2006 at 8:50 am


    He was flipping “give them a stone” to talking about how Christ is the true corner stone, so that God has given us a stone — he was playing with the words.

    BTW, this scripture caused me to look at things more deeply. When God gives us things, we need to realize that he is not giving us stones.

    No matter what they seem like.

  7. annegb on February 28, 2006 at 9:28 am

    Good point, Stephen. Hard when He says “no” huh?

  8. manaen on February 28, 2006 at 7:26 pm

    Your first citation from the Sermon on the Mount, “If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone?” (Matt 7:9, also Luke 11:11a) is an example of subtle humor by Jesus.

    Satan had offered Jesus three temptations earlier. The first of these was “If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread.” (Luke 4:13)
    * Satan: gave stone / asked bread
    * Jesus: ask bread / give stone
    Maybe Jesus thought of this when he gave the example on the Mount: “You know, I once met a guy…”

    Jesus focuses his comments on the difference between him and Satan with the common metaphors for those two in his next phrase, “Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?” (Matt 7:10, Luke 11:11b). The fish gives his life so his body will give life to others, as symbolized in our sacrament, but the serpent does the opposite: he gives others not nourishment, or even a neutral, but poison to kill them so he can use their bodies to sustain his own life.

    Love or selfishness/sin.

  9. Bookslinger on March 2, 2006 at 3:50 pm

    “And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham[/the pioneers] to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham[/the pioneers].”

    I think of that whenever I hear someone brag that they are of “pioneer stock.”

  10. JA Benson on March 2, 2006 at 4:41 pm

    Ahh… Bookslinger- I can say as one who is of pioneer stock; those of us who are the descendants of pioneers are in awe of those of you who are truly modern day pioneers. I for one enjoy and are moved by your comments. I’m a big fan :)


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