A Video Supplement for
Come, Follow Me Book of Mormon Lesson 6:
“We Lived after the Manner of Happiness” (2 Nephi 1-5)
In 2 Nephi 3, Lehi blesses his son Joseph and he tells him of some of the prophesies written on the plates of brass that were given by Joseph that was sold into Egypt, his apparent namesake and ancestor. This prophesy is also included in JST, Genesis 50 for those who are interested in reading more about it. The point I will particularly address, however, is that Joseph of Egypt’s life actually serves as a type for the events he is prophesying about as confirmed in the JST, Genesis 48. This probably sounds a bit involved, so what do I mean by this?
To begin with, Joseph, son of Jacob, saw a dream in Genesis 37:5-8,
5 ¶ And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more.
6 And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed:
7 For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf.8 And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words.
9 ¶ And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me.
10 And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth?
11 And his brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying.
Joseph’s brothers respond to their jealousy by selling him as a slave, which lands him in Egypt. After a series of trials, he ends up interpreting Pharaoh’s dream and being placed as his second in command and organizing the storage of grain in the land of Egypt which saves his family from famine, and indeed does lead to his brethren bowing down to him.
Lehi and his family are descendants of Joseph (1 Nephi 6:2). Lehi specifically says of this, “4 For behold, thou art the fruit of my loins; and I am a descendant of Joseph who was carried captive into Egypt. And great were the covenants of the Lord which he made unto Joseph. 5 Wherefore, Joseph truly saw our day. And he obtained a promise of the Lord, that out of the fruit of his loins the Lord God would raise up a righteous branch unto the house of Israel; not the Messiah, but a branch which was to be broken off, nevertheless, to be remembered in the covenants of the Lord that the Messiah should be made manifest unto them in the latter days, in the spirit of power, unto the bringing of them out of darkness unto light—yea, out of hidden darkness and out of captivity unto freedom.”
Indeed we will see that the house of Lehi, this branch broken off from Joseph, was essential in fulfilling the mission for which Joseph’s life was a type, and key to that will also be the mission of a later seer by the same name.
6 For Joseph truly testified, saying: A seer shall the Lord my God raise up, who shall be a choice seer unto the fruit of my loins.
7 Yea, Joseph truly said: Thus saith the Lord unto me: A choice seer will I raise up out of the fruit of thy loins; and he shall be esteemed highly among the fruit of thy loins. And unto him will I give commandment that he shall do a work for the fruit of thy loins, his brethren, which shall be of great worth unto them, even to the bringing of them to the knowledge of the covenants which I have made with thy fathers.
8 And I will give unto him a commandment that he shall do none other work, save the work which I shall command him. And I will make him great in mine eyes; for he shall do my work.
9 And he shall be great like unto Moses, whom I have said I would raise up unto you, to deliver my people, O house of Israel.
10 And Moses will I raise up, to deliver thy people out of the land of Egypt.
11 But a seer will I raise up out of the fruit of thy loins; and unto him will I give power to bring forth my word unto the seed of thy loins—and not to the bringing forth my word only, saith the Lord, but to the convincing them of my word, which shall have already gone forth among them.
12 Wherefore, the fruit of thy loins shall write; and the fruit of the loins of Judah shall write; and that which shall be written by the fruit of thy loins, and also that which shall be written by the fruit of the loins of Judah, shall grow together, unto the confounding of false doctrines and laying down of contentions, and establishing peace among the fruit of thy loins, and bringing them to the knowledge of their fathers in the latter days, and also to the knowledge of my covenants, saith the Lord.
So the key contributions are these: the descendants of Judah shall write and the descendants of Joseph including specifically the descendants of Lehi will record the word of the Lord. They thus store up the word of the Lord. As Joseph stored up grain in Egypt, so do the Nephite descendants of Joseph store and seal up a reserve of the word of the Lord. This seer will then open the grain stores by bringing forth the word of the Lord stored by the house of Joseph and uniting it with that which was stored by the house of Judah. This would relieve the children of Israel from the famine of hearing the word of the Lord (Amos 8:11) which had grown sore in the land with the advent of the apostasy.
Consider now in this light the blessing given by Jacob to Joseph in JST, Genesis 48
8 Therefore, O my son, he hath blessed me in raising thee up to be a servant unto me, in saving my house from death;
9 In delivering my people, thy brethren, from famine which was sore in the land; wherefore the God of thy fathers shall bless thee, and the fruit of thy loins, that they shall be blessed above thy brethren, and above thy father’s house;
10 For thou hast prevailed, and thy father’s house hath bowed down unto thee, even as it was shown unto thee, before thou wast sold into Egypt by the hands of thy brethren; wherefore thy brethren shall bow down unto thee, from generation to generation, unto the fruit of thy loins forever;
11 For thou shalt be a light unto my people, to deliver them in the days of their captivity, from bondage; and to bring salvation unto them, when they are altogether bowed down under sin.
Returning to 2 Nephi 3, verse 16
16 Yea, thus prophesied Joseph: I am sure of this thing, even as I am sure of the promise of Moses; for the Lord hath said unto me, I will preserve thy seed forever.
Thank you, Hales. An intriguing and thoughtful analysis!