Lesson #3 The Covenant Relationship is the reason for the Restoration Movement.
This is the message of 2N 12:42. Everyone knows that the marvelous work is the Restoration Movement. The Book of Mormon is clear on this (see 1N 7:17-20). We are told here that the purpose of the marvelous work is "that I may remember My covenants," therefore, the purpose of the Restoration Movement is so the divine covenants may be remembered. This is another way of saying that the purpose of the Restoration Movement is to restore a knowledge of the covenants.
This is also the message of D&C 83:8. We were told that we were treating the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments lightly. Once we understand that all of the word of God is His covenant to us then we have an additional insight into this reference. Because the Book of Mormon is the word of God it is also His covenant to us and, of course, the former commandments also refer to the word of God which is also His covenant to us. Therefore the Lord is saying covenant to us three times. This is God's way of placing maximum emphasis on a statement. God was and is telling us in the strongest possible terms that we were and are treating the covenant lightly.
Of course we had been treating the covenant lightly for a while before this warning was given There is evidence as early as October, 1830 that we were not obedient, in covenant terms, to the word of God. Covenant people will obey the direction of the Lord without hesitation or deviation. D&C 31 tells us that four men, Parley P. Pratt, Ziba Peterson, Oliver Cowdery and Peter Whitmer were told by the Lord in no uncertain terms (look closely at 1:de) to declare the gospel (including the Book of Mormon) to the Lamanites in the wilderness. Church history tells us that they did not go directly to the Lamanites in the wilderness but spent some six to seven weeks in Kirtland and another week in Cinncinnati among the white man. As a result, they arrived in St. Louis too late to meet the four Indians the Lord had sent from the Northwest to find the white man's book of heaven which they said was not the Bible.
Had they been obedient, the Indians would have taken the Book of Mormon to their own people and it would have spread like wildfire throughout the western United States and the history of the United States and the Restoration Movement would have been different. They also arrived in Independence too late. Had they not procrastinated, they would have been permitted to spend the winter with the Indians in the Independence area and would have accomplished the mission they were given. Covenant people are not sidetracked. After the warning in 1832, the Lord gave our spiritual ancestors until D&C 102, given in 1834 to return to the covenant relationship. They did not. Their stewardship was postponed until our day. The Lord is still waiting but He will not wait forever because there is a set time for Zion (Ps 102:13).