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How the Lord Fulfills the Prophecy of Joseph of Egypt

The Joseph Smith Translation of Genesis 50 and Lehi’s record of Joseph of Egypt’s prophecy provide clues as to the manner the Lord fulfills Joseph's prophecy. After Joseph of Egypt shares the outcome of the prophecy when false doctrine is exposed and contention ceases, Joseph turns his attention to Joseph Smith and his two-phase mission. Similar to the first half of this paper, individual prophecies are discussed examining details of how this work leads to the introduction of the sealed records.


Prophecy Number 1- JST Genesis 50:32-33


We begin as before with Joseph of Egypt’s prophecy of the latter days. Joseph of Egypt turns his attention to a latter day Joseph who is instrumental in bringing forth the record of Joseph of Egypt’s posterity. Of this prophet, Joseph of Egypt states:


And out of weakness [phase 1] shall he [Joseph Smith] be made strong [phase 2], in that day when my work shall go forth among all my people, which shall restore them, who are of the house of Israel, in the last days.


And that seer [Joseph Smith] will I bless, and they that seek to destroy him shall be confounded [There will be those who seek to destroy him certainly]; for this promise I [the Lord] give unto you; [Joseph of Egypt] for I will remember you from generation to generation; and his name shall be called Joseph, and it shall be after the name of his father; [Joseph Smith] and he shall be like unto you; for the thing which the Lord shall bring forth by his hand shall bring my people unto salvation. (JST Genesis 50:32-33, emphasis added).


From the beginning of Joseph Smith’s ministry the Lord identified him as “weak” (see D&C 1:23-28). Joseph Smith began weak but is later made strong. The day of Joseph Smith’s strength would not arrive until after his death. Joseph Smith’s work as a restorer of Israel in the last days would not materialize until “other books” come to light and the Gentiles, also descendants of Joseph of Egypt and the scattered tribes of Israel are convinced the “records of the prophets and apostles of the Lamb are true” (see 1 Nephi 13:39). Joseph Smith will be among the prophets and apostles whom the “other books” bear witness of.

The question arises, “How can Joseph Smith be made strong when his life ends many years prior to the last days and Israel's gathering. For the answer to this question we turn to Lehi’s record of Joseph of Egypt’s prophecy to explain how Joseph Smith is made strong when Israel gathers.

Prophecy Number Two- 2 Nephi 3:18


The prophecy of Joseph of Egypt is similar to the account in Lehi’s record, but the two accounts are not identical. Lehi’s account provides details relating to Joseph Smith that not included in the Joseph Smith Translation of Genesis 50. Prophecy number two contains some additional details. In both accounts Joseph of Egypt provides a description of Moses and a spokesman the Lord provides for him. In Lehi’s account, the Lord provides a spokesman for Joseph Smith as well. Lehi’s account of this prophecy

describes Joseph Smith and his “spokesman.”


And the Lord said unto me also: I will raise up unto the fruit of thy loins; and I will make for him a spokesman. And I, behold, I will give unto him that he [Joseph Smith] shall write the writing of the fruit of thy loins, unto the fruit of thy loins; and the spokesman of thy loins shall declare it. (2 Nephi 3:18, emphasis added).


Joseph Smith is the man appointed by God to bring forth the “lesser portion” of the Book of Mormon containing “much” of the Lord’s gospel (see 3 Nephi 26:8 & 1 Nephi 13:34). Joseph of Egypt said Joseph Smith would “write the writing of the fruit of my loins” and what Joseph Smith wrote is initially given to the Gentiles. Israel would not be gathered until Joseph of Egypt’s posterity is gathered in preparation for Israel’s gathering. Joseph Smith would not be alive to declare what Joseph Smith had written and a spokesman is required to declare to Joseph of Egypt’s posterity the record written by Joseph Smith. The “spokesman” for Joseph Smith would be the man who declared what Joseph Smith wrote and presumably the person who brings to light the “other books” [sealed records] foretold in Joseph Smith’s partial record of Joseph of Egypt’s posterity.

The identity of the “spokesman” is not discussed in Joseph of Egypt’s prophecy but the subject is addressed by Lehi when he speaks to his son, Joseph near the chapters end. Lehi’s prophecy of a latter day descendant who is an “instrument in the hands of God” who plays a key role in restoring Israel and the seed of Joseph:


Prophecy Number Three- 2 Nephi 3:24


Wherefore, because of this covenant [the Lord with Joseph of Egypt] thou [Lehi’s son Joseph] art blessed; for thy seed shall not be destroyed, for they [the seed of Lehi's son, Joseph] shall hearken unto the words of the book.

And there shall rise up one mighty among them ["among them" does not conclude the person is one of them], who shall do much good, both in word and in deed, being an instrument in the hands of God, with exceeding faith, to work mighty wonders, and do that thing which is great in the sight of God, unto the bringing to pass much restoration unto the house of Israel, and unto the seed of thy brethren” (2 Nephi 3:24, emphasis added).


No where is the word “spokesman” mentioned in this passage, but there are other details linking the “one mighty among them” with the day Joseph Smith is made strong. The “one mighty” is an instrument in the hands of God. What are his qualifications? He is “mighty” because he does “much good, both in word and deed. He has “exceeding faith to work mighty wonders and do that thing which is great in the sight of God.” If he has “exceeding faith” and does “mighty wonders,” this tells us something about his character and righteousness. It requires “exceeding faith” to become sanctified as the brother of Jared [see Ether 3:7). To work “mighty wonders” requires righteousness because the “powers of Heaven: cannot be controlled or handled except by righteous principles (see D&C 121:36).

We know from Joseph of Egypt’s prophecy that the Gentiles, the seed of Joseph and the scattered of Israel are all convinced by the “other books” [see 1 Nephi 13:39] that come to light after the Bible and Book of Mormon “grow together” (see JST Genesis 50:31). It appears the “one mighty” that works “mighty wonders” could be the spokesman who expounds the words of the Book of Mormon Joseph Smith wrote and becomes the instrument in God’s hands bringing to light the “other books,” because of his “exceeding faith” (see Ether 3:7).


The Lord Draws a Line in the Sand for the Gentiles


As the two hundred year anniversary of the Restoration draws near, one must ask when will the Lord’s patience run out for the Gentiles? Recall in Nephi’s vision in 2 Nephi 27 the Lord equated the last days with the days of the Gentiles (see 2 Nephi 27:1). The last days point to the winding up period for this earth’s temporal existence. It also marks the end of the Lord’s patience in extending to the Gentiles an opportunity to repent, turn to face Him and establish a covenant with Him.

If that day has yet to arrive, it fast approaches. In the continuation of Nephi’s vision from chapter 13 of 1 Nephi, Nephi’s prophecy warns of a day when the Lord will no longer suspend judgment on the Gentiles. They will be forced to choose between the Lord and righteousness and Satan and wickedness and destruction. This leads us to the next prophecy.


Prophecy Number Four-1 Nephi 14:1-2


Nephi continues his prophecy by referring to a day when the Gentiles have the opportunity to “hearken unto the Lamb of God.”


“And it shall come to pass, that if the Gentiles shall hearken unto the Lamb of God in that day that he shall manifest himself unto them in word, and also in power, in very deed, unto the taking away of their stumbling blocks-

And harden not their [gentiles] hearts against the Lamb of God they [gentiles] shall be numbered among the seed of thy father [Lehi]; yea, they [the gentiles and seed of Lehi] shall be numbered among the house of Israel [this is when Joseph Smith is made strong in the last days, see JST Genesis 50:32]; and they [Israel] shall be a blessed people upon the promised land forever; they shall be no more brought down into captivity; and the house of Israel shall no more be confounded (1 Nephi 14:1-2, emphasis added).


The Lord intends to manifest Himself to the Gentiles in word, power and “very deed” by removing the stumbling blocks that deceived them during the two hundred years since the Restoration began. How could the Gentiles have stumbling blocks after Joseph Smith brought forth the Book of Mormon? Didn’t the Lord resolve the stumbling block issue when He [the Lord] brought forth “much of my gospel which shall be plain and precious?” [see 1 Nephi 13:34]. If Joseph Smith’s ministry began in weakness, is it not likely there remained stumbling blocks for those who sought to follow Joseph Smith after his death? If that was not the case why did Joseph of Egypt point to the day when Israel gathers in the last days and associate Israel’s gathering with the time Joseph Smith rises from weakness to be made strong (see 2 Nephi 3:13).

If Joseph Smith had not begun in weakness there would be no need for the Lord to manifest Himself in word, power and “very deed” by removing all stumbling blocks. Those stumbling blocks keep the Gentiles, the seed of Joseph and the scattered tribes of Israel in the captivity of ignorance until “other books” become the instruments that reveal the Savior to all mankind. “In that day” when the Lord manifests Himself to the Gentiles there will be no excuses. All deception, false doctrines and contentions will be removed and all mankind must choose to follow the Lord or suffer dire consequences. That day is described by an angel to Nephi:


“And it came to pass that the angel spake unto me, Nephi, saying: Thou hast beheld that if the Gentiles repent it shall be well with them; and thou also knowest concerning the covenants of the Lord unto the house of Israel; and thou also hast heard that whoso repenteth not must perish.

Therefore, wo be unto the Gentiles if it so be that they harden their hearts against the Lamb of God.

For the time cometh, saith the Lamb of God, that I will work a great and a marvelous work among the children of men; a work which shall be everlasting, either on the one hand or on the other-either to the convincing of them unto peace and life eternal, or unto the deliverance of them to the hardness of their hearts and the blindness of their minds unto their being brought down into captivity, and also into destruction, both temporally and spiritually, according to the captivity of the devil, of which I have spoken” (1 Nephi 14:5-7, emphasis added)


When the Lord does His “great and marvelous work” it divides the Gentiles into two separate camps. Those who repent and embrace what the Lord offers receive peace and life eternal. Those who reject the Savior’s “great and marvelous work,” because of the hardness of their hearts and the blindness of their minds are brought into captivity and destruction both temporally and spiritually.

At the heart of the Lord’s “great and marvelous work” will be the “one mighty” who does “much good both in word and in deed.” His works are described as “mighty wonders” (see 2 Nephi 3:24) that may also be described as “great and marvelous” in the Lord’s eyes.

The angel explains to Nephi that when the day arrives that the Lord manifests Himself in power and very deed, the stumbling blocks blinding mankind are removed. Could these events be accurately described as “great and marvelous” in the eyes of the Lord? The Lord manifesting Himself in power and deed occurs in tandem with the time the forces of the “mother of abominations” marshals her powers against the Lamb of God because He is under covenant to protect His people.


Prophecy Number Five- 1 Nephi 14:10-15


The angel explains there are two churches from the Lord's perspective. He describes them as follows:


“And he said unto me: Behold there are save two churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of the devil; wherefore, whoso belongeth not to the church of the Lamb of God belongeth to that great church, which is the mother of abominations; and she is the whore of all the earth” (1 Nephi 14:10, emphasis added).


There are two churches and the church of the mother of abominations is set to wage war against the church of the Lamb of God.


“And it came to pass that I beheld that the great mother of abominations did gather together multitudes upon the face of the earth, among all the nations of the Gentiles, to fight against the Lamb of God” (1 Nephi 14:13, emphasis added).


The mother of abominations gathers her followers from among the nations of Gentiles with the express purpose of waging war against the Son of God. It is “in that day” the Lord manifests Himself to the Gentiles by empowering two groups of people from Heaven in the presence of those who belong to the church of the mother of abominations.


“And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld the power of the Lamb of God, that it descended upon the saints of the church of the Lamb [repentant Gentiles], and upon the covenant people of the Lord, who were scattered upon all the face of the earth [Israel]; and they were armed with righteousness and with the power of God in great glory” (1 Nephi 14:15, emphasis added).


The church of the Lamb of God is composed of Gentiles who repent and become the “church of the Lamb” and they combine with the tribes of Israel scattered throughout the world. These groups are “armed” in the Lord’s eyes because of their righteousness (see D&C 121:36). The Lord’s power descends upon them and from that time forward God's wrath is poured out on the church of the mother of abominations throughout all Gentile nations. But to the groups who form the church of the Lamb of God their righteousness brings the power of God to them “in great glory.” What is the outcome for the two churches?


“And when the day cometh that the wrath of God is poured out upon the mother of harlots, which is the great and abominable church of all the earth, whose founder is the devil, then, at that day, the work of the Father shall commence, in preparing the way for the fulfilling of his covenants, which he hath made to his people who are of the house of Israel” (1 Nephi 14:17, emphasis added).


In the prophecies we viewed previously the Father begins fulfilling His promises to Israel by introducing “other books” (see 1 Nephi 13:39), the “sealed records” (see 2 Nephi 27:11) and the records of John, the Beloved apostle:


“Behold, when ye shall rend that veil of unbelief which doth cause you to remain in your awful state of wickedness, and hardness of heart, and blindness of mind, then shall the great and marvelous things which have been hid up from the foundation of the world from you-yea, when ye shall call upon the Father in my name, with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, then shall ye know that the Father hath remembered the covenant which he made unto your fathers, O house of Israel.

And then shall my revelations which I have caused to be written by my servant John be unfolded in the eyes of all the people. Remember, when ye see these things, ye shall know that the time is at hand that they shall be made manifest in very deed” (Ether 4:15-16, emphasis added).


According to Ether’s record, “great and marvelous things” are things hidden since before the foundation of the earth until Israel repents and has a broken heart and contrite spirit. Included with the “great and marvelous things” are the records of John the Beloved. Not coincidentally, the angel showed to Nephi John the Beloved near the conclusion of his vision of these latter day events.


Prophecy Number Six- 1 Nephi 14:18-27


“And it came to pass that the angel spake unto me, saying: Look!

And I looked and beheld a man, and he was dressed in a white robe.

And the angel said unto me: Behold, he shall see and write the remainder of these things; yea, and also many things which have been.

And he shall also write concerning the end of the world.

Wherefore, the things which he shall write are just and true; and behold they are written in the book which thou beheld proceeding out of the mouth of the Jew; and at the time they proceeded out of the mouth of the Jew, the things which were written were plain and pure, and most precious and easy to the understanding of all men.

And behold, the things which this apostle of the Lamb shall write are many things which thou hast seen; and behold, the remainder shalt thou see.

But the things which thou shalt see hereafter thou shalt not write; for the Lord God hath ordained the apostle of the Lamb of God that he should write them.

And also others who have been, to them hath he shown all things, and they have written them; and they are sealed up to come forth in their purity, according to the truth which is in the Lamb, in the own due time of the Lord, unto the house of Israel.

And I, Nephi, heard and bear record, that the name of the apostle of the Lamb was John, according to the word of the angel” (1 Nephi 14:18-27, emphasis added).


It’s important to pay close attention to the full scope of the mission of John the Beloved. The description given by the angel to Nephi provides an expansive explanation of John the Beloved's role in keeping the records for this earth, past, present, and future. In addition to John’s vision of the end of the world, John is shown the past and makes a record of it. The angel informs Nephi that John has shown “all things” to men who “have been” and they have written their vision and given it to John to come forth in purity in the “due time of the Lord.”

For the purposes of this paper it is sufficient to say John plays a key preparatory role in the last days in unsealing records for the benefit of the house of Israel that they might come to the knowledge of their fathers and the covenants the Lord made with those fathers.


Summary


Our natural tendency is to defer responsibility for these matters to someone more knowledgeable and experienced. When it comes to God, this conclusion is regrettable. The Atonement of Jesus Christ is intends to save all mankind individually. In Lehi’s dream of the Tree of Life, he followed a man in white through darkness for many hours. Unsatisfied with the result, Lehi approached God directly. Only then did God respond (see 1 Nephi 8:7-12).

Responsibility for our salvation cannot be placed on the shoulders of another person. We bear responsibility for our own salvation. God holds us personally accountable. Had Lehi not taken the initiative to call on God, he would have remained in darkness endlessly following the man in white. Men in white may admonish and exhort us to turn to God throughout our lives. But until we do so individually, we remain in the “dark and dreary waste” absent from the presence of God and ill prepared to meet Him. And how does God define salvation for mankind we seek? Very simply:


“. . . [T]hat when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure (Moroni 7:48, emphasis added).


The Atonement of Christ is fully utilized when mankind returns to the presence of God in a purified, sanctified state. Salvation is not based on perfect attendance to church meetings, stacks of expired temple recommends or tithing receipts. It is not based on consecutive subscriptions to church magazines, charitable acts, or how high we ascended in church leadership. We are judged by what we are and the degree we have acquired light and truth during our mortal probation (see D&C 50:24, 130:18-19).

The testimony we bear to God will not be verbal. When approaching the judgment bar what we are in relation to Christ is how we are judged. If we are sanctified “like the brother of Jared” (see Ether 4:7) then we may through Christ’s Atonement stand confidently in God's presence (see D&C 121:45). If and when that day comes, like Moses, God will tell you to “put off the shoes from thy feet” (see Exodus 3:5), not because the ground is holy but because the ground is made holy when your sanctified feet touch it. A holy man sanctifies all things surrounding him.


The Prophetic Endpoint


In the context of these prophecies, what is the endpoint and how do we get there? We reach the prophetic apex by persisting in doing what the natural man resists because of vanity and unbelief (see D&C 84:54-57). We must cease to treat the Book of Mormon and the former commandments lightly and become informed by them in word and deed (see D&C 84:57).

Joseph of Egypt’s prophecy reaches fulfillment when the records of Judah and Joseph are joined with other books (see 1 Nephi 13:39) and they collectively “grow together” (see 2 Nephi 3:12) to reveal truth hidden since the foundation of the world (see Ether 4:14). What does this say about the canon of scripture for the “church of the Lamb of God?” (see 1 Nephi 14:10). One should expect the canon of scripture to expand when God’s “due time” arrives (see 2 Nephi 27:10). Under the direction of Joseph Smith the canon of scripture expanded. It wasn’t the expansion of the number of volumes or pages added to the canon that was significant. It was the light and truth revealed on the pages that came to light. This pattern is prevalent whenever God calls and ordains men to the Holy Priesthood of God (see Alma 13:6).

In the two hundred years following Joseph Smith is there compelling evidence the canon of scripture expanded comparatively or meaningfully? Or has the canon contracted since the days of Joseph Smith? The Savior, in the Book of Mormon gives us the criteria by which we may judge our current condition:


“And these things have I written, which are the lesser part of the things which he taught the people; and I have written them to the intent that they may be brought again unto this people, from the Gentiles, according to the words which Jesus hath spoken.

And when they shall have received this, which is expedient that they should have first, to try their faith, and if it shall so be that they shall believe these things then shall the greater things be made manifest unto them.

And if it so be that they will not believe these things, then shall the greater things be withheld from them, unto their condemnation” (3 Nephi 26:8-10, emphasis added)


The lesser part of the Book of Mormon was received by the Gentiles, nearly two hundred years ago. Has this “lesser part” been carried to the descendants of Lehi? Do the Gentiles who have in their possession the Book of Mormon “lesser part” and the descendants of Lehi believe it? Have they received the “greater part” of the Book of Mormon? Ouch!

Judging whether the Gentiles and Joseph’s descendants believe these things is incontrovertibly apparent. Has the greater part of the Book of Mormon been revealed to the Gentiles and descendants of Joseph? The answer is a resounding, No! The greater part of the Book of Mormon and the “other books,” including the record of John, (also promised in D&C 93:18) have they yet come to light from the Gentiles who received the lesser portion to “try their faith” (see 3 Nephi 26:9). Is a two hundred year period sufficient time to try the faith of the Gentiles who received the lesser part of the Book of Mormon? Does the Lord’s patience know no bounds? How do the Gentiles and the posterity of Joseph of Egypt ascend from this state of faithlessness? Could more of the record of John the Beloved help increase the faith of the Gentiles who judge their success by their prosperity (see 2 Nephi 28:21). Our standing before God is more ably measured by our righteousness and sanctification. Are we are prepared to carry the “lesser part” of the Book of Mormon to Lehi’s descendants and gather Israel. Has God absolved us of this responsibility?

The answers to these questions deserve honest consideration.















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