Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Post 27 - The Three Josephs

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Joseph, Son of Jacob, is Sold Into Egypt -by Ted Henninger
In this painting  Joseph, the 11th son of Jacob, (Israel), is being sold by his jealous brothers to traders for twenty pieces of silver.

These traders then took Joseph to Egypt and sold him to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officers, the captain of Pharaoh's guard."

Please Read this account of this Intriguing historical happening. You may want to Listen as well as read this: Genesis 37:1-36

Remember what you can of Joseph's dreams in that scripture you just read. His dreams indicated that Joseph would come to be like royalty of the highest degree. His telling of those dreams is what most likely caused his brothers to be jealous of him to the point that they were very desirous of "getting rid of Joseph."

I must remind you, however, that his oldest brother, Reuben, did not want his youngest brother harmed and when his plans to return him to their father didn't work out, Reuben was very upset. Reuben, you get high marks for that! You didn't always do what is right, but your intentions were right in this case.

Joseph Resists Advances Made by Potiphar's Wife -by Del Parson
If you have seen the popular musical, "Joseph and His Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat", you will have seen, with some alterations, the story of Joseph, Who Was Sold Into Egypt. Perhaps that musical has been produced in your country as well as in the United States of America. It has been very popular here.

Angry at Joseph for resisting her advances, this woman accused him of making advances on her. Potiphar had him imprisoned in the king's prison, a place where the king's prisoners were kept. Read about this in Genesis Chapter 39.

An additional scriptural account, (Genesis, chapter 41) tells us how Joseph, who was worthy to possess the gift of Prophecy and Revelation (or the testimony of Jesus), was brought, by the use of that gift, from the lowly status of a Hebrew slave and jail prisoner to becoming second in command over all of Egypt, just under Pharaoh.

Please go back to my blog Post 19 to review this spiritual gift: Prophecy and Revelation which has always been, and is still now, such a important part of God's work on the earth.

Through this spiritual gift Joseph had learned to use, God was able to lead him to the point where, as second in command to Pharaoh, Joseph was able to have the nation of Egypt fully prepared when a great famine struck all that part of the world including the land where his father, Jacob, and the rest of his family lived.

Many of you may have read in the Old Testament, the touching story of Joseph being reunited with his brothers and eventually with his father who had deeply, and for a long time, mourned the supposed death of his favorite son. (Please read, when you have time, Genesis Chapters 42 though 50.)

I'm sure you'll agree with me that seventeen year old Joseph's dreams about his family bowing down before him, were proven to be true. Those dreams had come to seventeen year old Joseph through the gift of God!
Lehi Preaching to Fellow Citizens of Jerusalem -by Del Parson

Now let's go back to the story of Father Lehi and his family which we touched on in Blog Post 26. Here again is the painting in which Lehi is preaching to others in Jerusalem.

Because unbelieving people in Jerusalem sought to kill Lehi, the Lord commanded him to take his family out of Jerusalem and would then lead them through the Arabian Peninsula and across a wide ocean on their way to the promised land (which was in the Americas).

Arriving at the Promised Land -by Arnold Friberg
Lehi didn't die until they had become firmly established in what is now Central America. As I mentioned several posts ago, before he died he gave blessings to each of his sons. Besides, Laman, Lemuel, Sam and Nephi, Lehi and his wife, Sariah, became the parents of two more sons, Jacob and Joseph, while still traveling eastward on the Arabian Peninsula to the seashore where through the Lord's guidance of Nephi a ship was built and they were guided to Central America.

I would like you to now to read the scripture found at the end of this paragraph to read the very significant blessing that Lehi gave to his youngest son, Joseph. I suggest you consider choosing the option to Listen as well as reading. II Nephi 3:1-25

Here are, as I see them, the key points Lehi made in his blessing of his youngest son, Joseph:

1. Lehi and his family are descendants of Joseph who was sold into Egypt.

2. The Lord promised Joseph that He, the Lord, would appear to Joseph's descendants in their promised land (Central America) after his death and resurrection.

3. The Lord promised to raise up a choice seer to help Lehi's descendants in the latter-days.

4. That seer would only do the work the Lord gave him to do.

5. That seer, would, like Moses, deliver his people Israel from bondage.

6. That seer would bring forth the Lord's word, the Book of Mormon which will confirm the truth of a first book of scriptures, the Bible.

7. Lehi told young Joseph that religious confusion would be stopped among his descendants in the last days, when those 2 scriptures are used together.

8. The Lord told that ancient Joseph that the efforts of others to destroy that seer would be prevented until that seer had finished his work.

9. That promised seer will also be named Joseph as will his father.

10. The work to be done by this promised seer will bring salvation to this ancient Joseph's descendants, and bring about the gathering of all Israel.

11. The Lord promised the ancient Joseph that his posterity would last forever.

12. The ancient Joseph's descendants' words shall "cry from the dust" to be heard by his descendants in the latter-days. The golden plates containing the Book of Mormon have done that.

According to what the Lord told Joseph who had been sold into Egypt, this mighty seer would become an instrument in the hands of God to bring much restoration to the House of Israel.

In my Blog Post 23 you were told how the Lord's angel, Moroni, personally prepared young Joseph Smith,Jr., son of Joseph Smith, Sr. to do the great work he had to do in translating the Book of Mormon, in preparation to the founding of the Lord's only true church on the earth, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Throughout these blog posts you have learned much about the Prophet Joseph Smith. Daniel Peterson in Post 8 (also in Post 4) in a You Tube video demonstrates that the Book of Mormon was actually translated by the gift of God by Joseph Smith.

The Book of Mormon is the word of God spoken of by Joseph who was sold into Egypt, before he died. He promised that this modern day Joseph would bring forth God's word which along with the Bible would stop religious confusion.

This blog post you are now reading really shows the tight bond between three Josephs, Joseph the Prophet who had been sold into Egypt, Lehi's son, Joseph and the latter-day prophet of God: Joseph Smith, Jr.

You have learned in earlier blogs how Joseph Smith, Jr. was prepared for the great work that Joseph who was sold into Egypt prophesied of as quoted by Father Lehi.

I will end this post by quoting again, as I did a number of blog posts ago, additional words of the Prophet Joseph Smith about whom the first Joseph prophesied from Egypt centuries ago and about whom Joseph, the sixth son of Lehi was told about.

Translation of the Book of Mormon Taking Place -by Del Parson
Joseph Smith's life mission was to significantly prepare the way for the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Joseph Smith was very successful in doing what the Lord wanted him to do in establishing His Church once again on the earth. However, he had to suffer much in the process.

When his father gave him a patriarchal blessing in which Joseph was told that he would be able to fulfill his mission on the earth fully before leaving this life, Joseph wept and asked if that were really to happen. His father assured him it would. That made Joseph very grateful.

Thanks, Joseph who was sold into Egypt, for your prophecies about the great work the Prophet Joseph Smith was to do, and thank you, Nephi, Son of Lehi, for recording this great information on your small plates.

Without the Book of Mormon which the Lord prepared Joseph Smith to translate and publish, through the sevice of the Angel Moroni, we would not have the blessings of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints numbers more than thirteen million members and is growing continually. It is led by a living prophet, Thomas S. Monson, along with all of those who serve under and with him.

The following is just an example of the extreme tribulations the Prophet Joseph went through while working diligently to fulfill the work the Lord had given him to do.

“Chapter 19: Stand Fast through the Storms of Life,” Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, (2007),227–37

“Stand fast, ye Saints of God, hold on a little while longer, and the storm of life will be past, and you will be rewarded by that God whose servants you are.”

From the Life of Joseph Smith

On the night of March 24, 1832, Joseph Smith had stayed up late caring for his 11-month-old son, Joseph, who was sick with the measles. The Smith family was then living in the John Johnson home in Hiram, Ohio. The Prophet had finally gone to sleep on a trundle bed when a mob of a dozen or more men who had been drinking whiskey broke into the home. The Prophet later described the events of that terrible night:

“The mob burst open the door and surrounded the bed in an instant, and … the first I knew I was going out of the door in the hands of an infuriated mob. I made a desperate struggle, as I was forced out, to extricate myself, but only cleared one leg, with which I made a pass at one man, and he fell on the door steps. I was immediately overpowered again; and they swore … they would kill me if I did not be still, which quieted me. …
The Prophet Joseph Smith -by Alvin Gittins
“They then seized me by the throat and held on till I lost my breath. After I came to, as they passed along with me, about thirty rods from the house, I saw Elder Rigdon stretched out on the ground, whither they had dragged him by his heels. I supposed he was dead. I began to plead with them, saying, ‘You will have mercy and spare my life, I hope.’ To which they replied, ‘… Call on yer God for help, we’ll show ye no mercy.’ ”

After some discussion, the mob “concluded not to kill me,” the Prophet related, “but to beat and scratch me well, tear off my shirt and drawers, and leave me naked. … They ran back and fetched the bucket of tar, when one exclaimed, with an oath, ‘Let us tar up his mouth;’ and they tried to force the tar-paddle into my mouth; I twisted my head around, so that they could not; and they cried out, ‘… Hold up yer head and let us giv ye some tar.’ They then tried to force a vial into my mouth, and broke it in my teeth. All my clothes were torn off me except my shirt collar; and one man fell on me and scratched my body with his nails like a mad cat. …

“They then left me, and I attempted to rise, but fell again; I pulled the tar away from my lips, so that I could breathe more freely, and after a while I began to recover, and raised myself up, whereupon I saw two lights. I made my way towards one of them, and found it was Father Johnson’s. When I came to the door … the tar made me look as if I were covered with blood, and when my wife saw me she thought I was all crushed to pieces, and fainted. …

“My friends spent the night in scraping and removing the tar, and washing and cleansing my body; so that by morning I was ready to be clothed again.”

Even after this ordeal, the Prophet stood fast in carrying out his responsibilities to the Lord. The next day was the Sabbath. “The people assembled for meeting at the usual hour of worship,” the Prophet recorded, “and among them came also the mobbers. … With my flesh all scarified and defaced, I preached to the congregation as usual, and in the afternoon of the same day baptized three individuals.” Joseph and Emma’s son, Joseph, died five days after the mob attack as a result of being exposed to the cold night air while suffering from the measles.

Wilford Woodruff, the fourth President of the Church, said: “The Lord told Joseph that He would prove him, whether he would abide in His covenant or not, even unto death. He did prove him; and although [Joseph] had the whole world to contend against and the treachery of false friends to withstand, although his whole life was a scene of trouble and anxiety and care, yet, in all his afflictions, his imprisonments, the mobbings and ill treatment he passed through, he was ever true to his God.”


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Neil Birch

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