Lehi's Prophetical Blessing
Concerning His Son Joseph, Paraphrasing and Expounding Joseph of Egypt's
Promises from God as Well as His Own
Lehi Bears a Marvelous Testimony Concerning Prophecy and Revelation
Among these promises and prophecies was the fact that through the legal and rightful seed of Joseph would come the Messiah as stated in Genesis 49:24. This was one of the covenant parts of the Abrahamic Covenant assumed by Joseph and then Ephraim, that Christ would come of the covenant seed. Now Christ was of the blood of Judah being born of that surrogate father Boaz, who raised up seed to the dead, the family of Mahlon and Elimelech, Ephrathites. But that is a lengthy voluminous set of evidences in and of itself. But Joseph was also promised that Moses, who was a Levite by birth, would be known as being of the house of Joseph because he, Moses, would be raised as the son of the daughter of the King (JST Genesis 50:29). Further, the great seer and prophet of the latter-days, who would bring into effect the taking of gospel to every nation, kindred, tongue and people and effectively bring the blessings of the Covenant as part of the Covenant of Abraham, would be a legal and rightful descendant of Joseph of Egypt. And even his name would be called Joseph after his father Joseph and like unto the name of his ancient ancestor, Joseph of Egypt.
Important to Lehi was the fact that Joseph of Egypt also saw the family of Lehi, one of those branches which where 'broken off' and did come over the wall or ocean. And Lehi understood the role which his particular branch would play as they would be instrumental in fulfilling the promise of old to Joseph of Egypt, that his posterity would write and keep the record of Joseph (JST Genesis 50:31). Lehi 'also', like Joseph of old, received revelations from God concerning his posterity. Thus it is Lehi who the Lord told that of his seed there would be one who would write the record, Mormon, and another who would be the 'spokesman' for him. And that of course is Moroni. Some who read this account carelessly, without closely reading and paying attention to the JST of Genesis 50, wherein these promises where given to Joseph, tend to take Joseph's prophecies right on to include Lehi's prophecies and thus confuse them with Joseph Smith being the record writer and Oliver Cowdery, Sydney Rigdon, or some other as being the spokesman. They do not delineate the verses correctly and in proper context. This will be clarified in the commentary below.
Lehi's source of Joseph's promises and prophecies would have been the brass plates. Comparing the JST of Genesis 50:24-38 with Lehi's account of some of the same, it is readily apparent that Lehi is not quoting or reading verbatim. Rather Lehi is referencing, paraphrasing and expounding such items from Joseph's promises and prophecies as they relate to Lehi and his family much like a Conference speaker does as he cites various passages which are applicable to the speaker's message, while leaving out parts which are not considered by the speaker to be essential to his desired message.
If one comes to the understanding that Lehi is selectively referencing parts of Joseph's promises and prophecies and by license of selective application of such and he is not just 'reading' scripture, but explaining and applying it, then one can better understand and correlate Lehi's 'version' and the actual scriptural reference in JST Genesis 50:24-38. They are not exactly the same as Lehi is not reading but applying and relating by selective reference to the scripture. Further it then becomes quite clear when Lehi no longer is referencing Joseph's promises and prophecies as contained in scripture (JST Genesis 50:24-38) and then bears his own testimony and relates his own revealed prophecy concerning the record of Joseph.
Joseph in Egypt saw the Nephites in vision—He prophesied of Joseph Smith, the latter-day seer; of Moses, who would deliver Israel; and of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. [Between 588 and 570 B.C.]
|The Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob spoke unto Joseph of Egypt many great blessings concerning Israel and the 'seed' of Joseph through Ephraim and Manasseh—They included prophecies concerning the Prophet Joseph Smith, of Moses and of the two records kept by the posterity of Judah and the posterity of Joseph (via Lehi) long before Ezekiel recorded such—Lehi further prophesies concerning his seed and caught up in the spirit, Lehi bears a marvelous testimony. [Between 580 and 570 B.C.]||Joseph and his two sons were the rightful heirs to the covenant of the 'firstborn', the covenant of the fathers, the Covenant of Abraham. Their seed would fulfill it. Great are Joseph's covenant promises and the need to qualify that Moses was not the Messiah, as Moses could be considered of Joseph, and the Messiah was to come from Joseph. The prophecies of Joseph and Lehi are a framework for fulfilling the covenant of the fathers in the last days in the land choice above all others, the very land promised to Joseph (Ether 13:2-8).|
1 ¶ AND now I speak unto you,
alast-born. Thou wast born in the wilderness
of mine afflictions; yea, in the days of my greatest
sorrowa did thy
mother bear thee.
2 And may the Lord consecrate also unto thee this aland, which is a most precious land, for thine inheritance and the inheritance of thy seed with thy brethren, for thy security forevera, if it so be that ye shall keep the commandments of the Holy One of Israel.
3 And now, Joseph, my last-born*, whom I have brought out of the wilderness of mine afflictions, may the Lord bless thee forever, for thy aseed shall not utterly be bdestroyed.
Lehi encourages Joseph that his seed will remain upon the face of the land and not be utterly destroyed. He seeks to inspire his young son by teaching him of the promises of his name sake, the great patriarch and prophet, Joseph of Egypt. Whether Lehi understood or not that the great latter-day prophet would not be of his Joseph, Lehi encourages Joseph that a great righteous leader would come from his seed. This leader is yet to be identified.
1a the wilderness of mine afflictions;
yea, in the days of my greatest sorrow Now there is a likelihood
that Jacob and Joseph were twins. In 2 Nephi 2:1 it states that Jacob was
born 'in the days of my tribulation in the wilderness'. 'Tribulation' means
'misfortune, trial, suffering, pain, ordeal, distress, difficulty, trouble,
problem, hardship, misery and affliction'. Thus the one word 'tribulation'
includes that which Lehi states concerning the time of Joseph's birth as
well, 'the wilderness of mine afflictions' - 'the days of my greatest sorrow'.
Now the Book of Mormon small plates is an abridgment, but there is only
one point in Nephi's account in which Nephi specifically points out Lehi's
tribulation, affliction, suffering and sorrow; and that was in relation to
the broken bow incident (1 Nephi 16). There it states that 'they did suffer
much for the want of food, that they were exceedingly sorrowful, that they
did murmur because of their sufferings, and that Lehi was specifically
'brought down into the depths of sorrow' because of being 'chastened' by the
Lord. (1 Nephi 16:19, 20 & 22) Though not conclusive the parallels, in that
there is only the one, seem to imply and point to that same occasion of
the broken bow incident being the time of both Jacob and Joseph's birth as
they were both born prior to reaching that first 'Bountiful' in the old
Otherwise: As pointed out the small plates of Nephi consists of a selective 'condensation' containing only things which Nephi deemed as of worth spiritually. The details of what Lehi's 'greatest sorrow' was is not given directly but can be surmised. It seems this was the occasion of the party hungering greatly for food and perhaps upon the very brink of starvation and when Nephi broke his bow. It would also be when Lehi did murmur against the Lord and was chastised by the Lord unto great sorrow even the very depths of sorrow and sore repentance. Thus there would be some consistency in such an assessment that Jacob had been born in the wilderness prior to his greatest of sorrow of Lehi and that Joseph was born in conjunction of this time of hunger and Sariah giving birth. Thus Lehi's concern was justified though his murmuring was not. (See 1 Nephi 16:20 & 25) And this means that they were at least two years if not three into their 8 year wilderness journey from the Valley of Lemuel to that 'first' Bountiful by the ocean shores. For it would take at least about 2 years if not more at the time of this event for both Jacob and Joseph to have had been born in the wilderness by this date if their births were separate and they were not twins. This places the birth of Lehi's last sons within this wilderness journey, which implies that if Sariah had children in the Valley of Lemuel, they were girls, the 'sisters' of Nephi.
2a security forever To speak of a 'secure land forever' says something about the promised land of these Americas. Certainly one's security upon this land is dependent upon living the commandments of the Holy One of Israel, who we know as Jehovah who is the same as Jesus Christ. But is also implies what we have been told as Church members, that those upon this land in the latter-days, those faithful members of his Church and Kingdom, are guaranteed of success. The Church will not again be taken from the earth and the Kingdom of God shall roll forth until it fills the whole of the earth. In likening the scriptures unto ourselves, this land is also unto us a 'secure land forever', a land of 'security' for the righteous of the Lord. That is the guarantee and promise of the Lord. That is the promise of this land unto those who live righteously upon it. What is up to us is to so live that the Lord is bound by his promises placed upon this land. And it will be the site of the New Jerusalem and where the City of Enoch shall return to. This is the site of the center stake of Zion. It is God's promised land of the covenant.
1a 1 Ne.
18:7 (7, 19)
2a 1 Ne. 2:20;
TG Promised Lands
3a Gen. 45:7; 1 Ne. 13:30;
b Amos 9:8; 2 Ne. 25:21;
2 Ne. 9:53;
The Branches of Joseph
It is of high interest that Lehi will speak from Joseph's prophecies and include the one which speaks of 'a righteous branch out of the fruit of the loins of Joseph unto the house of Israel (see verse 5 below)', and that he does apply it to those of Lehi whom the Lord did bring unto the land of promise. Of course this is Joseph's land of inheritance (Ether 13:2-8). And all whom the Lord did bring to is was of the house of Joseph, which not only included Lehi's family of Manasseh and Ishmael's family of Ephraim, but also Mulek's party as that house of David which also legally and rightfully of the house of Joseph Messiah ben David ~ Messiah ben Joseph.
Now from Joseph would come various branches which would be scattered. There was of course the 'wicked branch' who were scattered when the Assyrians did carry away the ten tribes about 723 B.C., which included Ephraim and Manasseh. Then there were those who Lehi qualifies as a 'righteous branch' spoken of by Joseph who Lehi applies to be his party and those who were brought unto this land of promise. And then Lehi qualifies that another 'righteous branch', which would also be descended from Joseph and Ephraim, WAS NOT this particular 'righteous branch of the seed of Joseph'. And that is when Lehi explains that was 'not that particular branch of the Messiah'. Now, ONLY IF that particular branch of the Messiah was to come from Joseph is that qualification even necessary. For the branches of Judah or any of the other tribes ARE NOT being spoken of in Joseph's prophecies. Only those branches of Joseph are referenced in the prophecies of Joseph and significantly likewise, in the writings of Enos, which were more specifically to that portion of 'Israel' which came under the umbrella of Ephraim, as the title of Israel fell more specifically and was given upon the sons of Joseph, particularly Ephraim (JST Genesis 48:5).
Now these three branches of Joseph were all scattered (Samaria and a part of Judaea was not scattered but was grafted into of the wild branches). THE FIRST, the 'wicked branch' was scattered in the Old World, particularly the nations of Europe, the poorest spot of the pagan world and also the dark ages of that world (Jacob 5:20-22). THE SECOND, which was that of 'THE BRANCH of the Messiah'. And it would be carried away into Babylon reaching their captivity there even before Lehi's party did reach America. Of course symbolically Babylon is representative of the sins of the world, the poorest place of them all, even poorer than the poorest, as that Branch of the Messiah would have descended below them all. And from that branch would be produced much fruit, even the early Christian church and those who would follow Christ and from that group they would be 'gathered up that which would be preserved unto the Lord of the vineyard (Jacob 5:23). And THE LAST was placed in a good spot - South America (Jacob 5:25), even that which was choice - North America - above all other parts of the land of my vineyard (Jacob 5:39-43). (It should be noted that this 'last', by the way, would have also include a part of the house of David in Mulek's party as they also were scattered in the New World, the Americas.)
The rightful line and heir of the covenant was 'hid' in that poorest of all spots, which was even poorer than the poorest. It was that line which would 'in all righteousness' have the blessing and the rights of the covenant preserved unto it by the legal and rightful linage of Joseph (D&C 27:10). For the covenant promises of the fathers WAS NOT preserved in JUDAH. They WERE preserved and did ONLY remain in and through JOSEPH. For it is the LORD himself who states that HIS FIRSTBORN is EPHRAIM (Jeremiah 31:9). Thus it is that the linage of the house of David unto the Lord Jesus Christ was in and through Joseph Messiah ben David ~ Messiah ben Joseph. For the Pharisees did say 'well' that Jesus, being of the House of David, could be correctly considers a Samaritan, even that Good Samaritan who we know him as; though they slandered him as being possessed of the devil (John 8:48-49). And this is why it was Rachel who did weep for the slain babes of the house of Joseph by the edict of Herod as recorded by Matthew and Jeremiah (Matthew 2:16-18, Jeremaih 31:15). And it is this linage of the Messiah out of Joseph which will come to the land of Joseph and receive the Kingdom at Adam-ondi-Ahman, the rightful heir of that kingdom of Joseph established by the hand of Ephraim as assisted by Manasseh (Ether 13:2-8). And as King David, being the 'Beloved' of the Father, he will rule Zion as Joseph's King and rightful heir, the King of kings, the Lord of lords. Yes Boaz was but the surrogate father, a kinsman by maternal marriage of Elimelech. For it was he who did raise up seed unto the dead house of Mahlon and Elimelech. And Obed was raised as the Son of Naomi. And they like Jesse also, were well stated to be Ephrathites, meaning Ephraimites and of the legal and rightful seed of Joseph (Ruth 1:2, 1 Samuel 17:12, Ruth 4:5, 10; Deuteronomy 25:5-10).
There Is Save One Messiah
4 For behold, thou art the fruit of my loins; and
I am a descendant of aJoseph who was carried
bcaptive into Egypt. And great were the
ccovenants of the Lord which he made unto
5 Wherefore, Joseph truly asaw our day. And he obtained a bpromise of the Lord, that out of the fruit of his loins the Lord God would raise up a crighteous dbranch unto the house of Israel; not the Messiaha, 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 emanifest unto them unto them in the latter days, in the spirit of power, unto the bringing of them out of fdarkness unto light—yea, out of hidden darkness and out of captivity unto freedom.
The 'promises and prophecies' of Joseph given him by the Lord have been cut from the record of Moses as evidenced by the Joseph Smith Translation which includes some 14 verses which include that Moses was to be considered of the House of Joseph through being raised by the daughter of the king JST Genesis 50:29 and that Joseph Smith would be of the seed of Joseph and the prophet of the latter-days. This tendency to diminish the role of Joseph and Ephraim in Israel persists from the Jewish compiled and edited Old Testament record. Another example is that the ancestry of Boaz is given to Obed when in fact by the Law of Moses, God's Law, Obed was rightfully and legally of the house of Mahlon and Elimelech, Ephrathites. Why the surrogate father of blood was preferred over the legal, rightful and letter of the law parentage of Obed and the House of David, can only be presumed to be a Jewish effort to preserve Judah's claim in Israel over that of any rightful claim to be established. Like many scripturally presented youths, such as Samuel, David, Josiah, Nephi, Jesus and Joseph Smith, Jacob's son Joseph becomes acquainted with the Lord and begins to receive revelation concerning his life and ministry. Joseph's enlightenment comes in dreams, two of which are recorded in the Old Testament and another held in Hebrew tradition. These dreams set out that it was Joseph, his house, that would be and assume the leadership of the House of Israel. And in the traditionally held dream, it also set forth that the Messiah would come of his seed.
Due to the Jewish perspective in the Old Testament, Joseph is not given the full credit which belongs to the heir of the covenant and prophet leader.
The 'Great Covenants of the Lord' are those of the Plan of Eternal Life, Salvation and Exaltation. They are the covenants of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Joseph was not just promised this or that. Joseph received the complete package, he received the fullness of the 'Covenants of the Lord'. Many will teach that the Lord did divide the Covenants of the Lord between the House of Judah and the House of Joseph. Because of my understanding I will not state that. All the promises of the Lord, all the Covenants of the Lord where in Joseph (D&C 27:10) and by him did they remain. This included that part of the covenant of God which set forth the ancestral descendenct of the Messiah. The evidences of this are great and many and are presented in a separate text.
4a great were the covenants of the Lord
which he made unto Joseph The 'promises' of the fathers, the
Covenant of the Fathers, the Covenant of Abraham comes through Joseph and
thence to Ephraim (Gen. 48
(commentary)) and it is though Joseph and his house that the promises
have remained (D&C 27:10).
5a not the Messiah ONLY IF the Messiah was to come from the Seed of Joseph is this statement of exception even necessary. If it was so universally known and established that the Messiah was to be of the 'Jewish' House of David, there was NO NEED to exempt one of the seed of Joseph of Egypt from ever being considered to be Him! So it is that the very inclusion of this statement made in respect to one who is so prophesied to be of the seed of Joseph to insure that he is NOT to be confused with the Messiah, is in and of it self a very testimony that the Messiah was known and considered to be of the seed of Joseph. Else such a statement was totally unnecessary, redundant and uncalled for. For all would have known automatically that this prophet could not be the Messiah for he was a descendant of Joseph and not of Judah. BUT since the Messiah was known and prophesied to come of the seed of Joseph, this statement of clarification was eminentely requisite, required, vital, essential and even mandatory that it must be made and so included that this prophecy of Joseph Smith not be confused with the many others prophecies concerning the Messiah! Yes, the ancients knew that though Christ was of the blood of Judah, being of the House of David, he was legally and rightfully the seed of Joseph of Egypt because Boaz was merely the surrogate vicarious father and Obed was the true heir of Mahlon an Ephraimite.
Yet, many set this forth as evidence that the Messiah was NOT to come of the House of Joseph. BUT this is not what is said in the context of the statement. The statement is that this particular 'righteous branch' being spoken of is NOT to be the source of the promised Messiah. Lehi likens this 'righteous branch' with his group which was broken off and came across the 'wall' or ocean to the promised land of America. So it leaves totally the possibility that another righteous branch of Joseph to still be that of the Messiah, It DOES NOT exclude it. Also, in likening the scriptures unto ourselves, we too can associate ourselves of the latter-days with this 'righteous branch' of Joseph from whom the Savior was not to come or we could even include ourselves in that branch of which the Messiah is. And like Lehi's group, the latter-day Josephites or Ephaimites have been brought across the 'wall' or ocean to perform that portion of the Covenant of Abraham associated with the bring the blessings of Abraham to all the nations of the earth.
Now we are not to suppose that Lehi or we are the only 'branch' of Joseph. There are other branches and there is another branch of Joseph which was not broken off nor was it brought across the wall of the ocean to the promised land. This particular branch of Joseph remained in the Ancient world and was the source of the Messiah.
Now why does the Lord to Joseph, and to Israel, and to us even state the qualification that this 'particular' righteous branch of Joseph Smith from Joseph of Egypt is not to be the Messiah? If it was already well understood that the Messiah was not to come of Joseph at all, but of Judah, then why was such a qualifying statement needed at all? The only logical reason that this qualification would have to be made at all is that the Messiah was to be of the seed of Joseph, but not to be of this particular later branch of Joseph of which Joseph Smith would come. That is it had to be clarified that the Messiah who was to come of the House of Joseph, was of another branch of Joseph which was not this particular branch. If the Messiah was only to come of Judah, then this entire stated stipulation was totally unnecessary. Thus the Messiah was to come of another particular branch of the House of Joseph which was not broken off and reserved to come to this promised land, whether Lehi or us. The Messiah was to be that part of the House of Joseph which was NOT broken off at all. He was to of that small remnant of the House of Joseph who remained among the Jews of Jerusalem.
Thus again, this reference instead of being 'proof' that the Messiah is not to come of the House of Joseph, actually confirms that the Messiah was to come of the House of Joseph and to that part of the House of Joseph which was not to be broken off. Now what part of the House of Joseph was not broken off but did remain as part of the 'Jews' in Jerusalem? It is that part which was of the blood of the surrogate parent Boaz, who was of the blood of Judah. But Boaz was raising up seed to the dead, to the dead House of Mahlon and Elimelech who were Ephrathites, who were of the house of Ephraim and thus of the house of Joseph. (See Messiah ben David ~ Messiah ben Joseph)
Gen. 49:22 (22-26); Gen. 77:15
1 Ne. 5:14 (14-16)
b Gen. 37:36
c Amos 5:15
5a JST Gen. 50:24-38;
2 Ne. 3:22; 1 Ne. 4:2 (1-32)
b TG Promise
c Jacob 2:25
d Gen. 45:7; Gen. 49:22 (22-26)
1 Ne. 15:12-16; 1 Ne. 19:24;
2 Ne. 14:2;
TG Vineyard of the Lord
e 2 Ne. 6:14; D&C 3:18 (16-20);
f Isa. 42:16; 1 John 2:8
1 Ne. 21:9
That this indeed referenced Joseph Smith and the restoration of the church is further established as the main points to be continued not only in the next verse, verse 6, where it is state concerning the 'choice seer', Joseph Smith, to be raised up in the unto the fruit of the lions of Joseph of Egypt; but it is continued as a primary and major them of the very prophecies of Joseph to which Lehi does quote and paraphrase in much of the rest of this current chapter. .
Further that the Messiah did come to the land of Joseph to the House of the Lord built by those of Joseph, to those who were of the tribe of Joseph to whom the church was restored, Joseph Smith himself being a pure Ephraimite, is but the 'Messiah ben Joseph' acting to establish his latter day kingdom which he will personally rule and reign as King David, the very King of the house of Israel, the house of Joseph, in the land of Joseph (Ether 13:2-8).
As per the link illustrated above, an extensive entire text has been prepared concerning the matter that Jesus Christ is both Messiah ben David and Messiah ben Joseph. And that he is legally and rightfully an Ephraimite of the Covenant which was preserved and did remain through Joseph of Egypt (D&C 27:10).
6 For Joseph truly
testifieda, saying: A
aseer shall the Lord my God raise up, who shall
be a choice seer unto the fruit of my bloins.
8 And I will give unto him a commandment that he shall do anone 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.
6a Joseph truly
testified It is significant that Joseph of Egypt, the true and
only patriarch and prophet of Israel in his day, did bear a prophet's
witness, a prophet's testimony to his brethren, Israel, and to all the
world as once recorded by Moses and restored to knowledge by the prophet
And it seems just as significant that the Jews, from their biased Jewish perspective have removed such utterances from their Jewish prepared Old Testament. It exposes their intent in covering the course of the covenant to and through Joseph and Ephraim and conveying the concept that they, the Jews are the source of it. This was Judah's envy of Joseph which caused Joseph to be sold into Egypt. And this is Judah's covetous envy of Joseph and Ephraim which has hide from sight the proper flow of the Covenant of Abraham through its anointed and rightful course, through the descendants of Joseph and Ephraim.
2 Ne. 21:11 (8-11);
Morm. 8:16 (16, 25);
Ether 3:28 (21-28); TG Seer
b D&C 132:30
7a TG Joseph Smith
b TG Millennium, Preparing a
c TG Book of Mormon
8a D&C 24:9 (8-9)
9 And he shall be great like unto
whom I have said I would raise up unto you, to
bdeliver my cpeople, O house of
10 And aMoses will I raise up, to deliver thy people out of the land of Egypt.
|9a great like unto Moses The latter-day seer would be great in deliverying the people like unto Moses. Moses led Israel from 'temporal' bondage to the Egyptians. Joseph Smith has led mankind from spiritual bondage of lacking the word of God and the promised land is the Kingdom of God.||
b Ex. 3;10 (7-10);
1 Ne. 17:24
c 2 Ne. 29:14
10a TG Foreordination
Moses delivered Israel out of Egyptian bondage. The latter- day prophet will deliver the world out of Satan's bondage.
11 But a aseer will I raise up out of the
fruit of thy loins; and unto him will I give bpower
to cbring 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 awrite; and the fruit of the loins of bJudah shall cwritea; 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 dconfounding of efalse doctrines and laying down of contentions, and establishing fpeace among the fruit of thy loins, and gbringing them to the hknowledge of their fathers in the latter days, and also to the knowledge of my covenants, saith the Lord.
13 And out of weakness he shall be made strong, in that day when my work shall commence among all my people, unto the restoring thee, O house of Israel, saith the Lord.
12a the fruit of thy [Joseph]
loins shall write; and the fruit of the loins of Judah shall
write Long before the commandment was written by the
hand of Ezekiel stating
that there was to be a stick of Judah and a stick of Joseph was
the prophecy to Joseph that such records were to be made.
Confirms the Bible Record
When the world would otherwise be on the verge of losing all sense of God, morality and religion, the Book of Mormon confirms the existence of God, that God's law prevails and is over all, and that salvation and eternal life comes but by the true religion of Jesus Christ, the Great Jehovah, the Son of God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, the Alpha and Omega to our very existance, being from all eternity to all eternity.
1 Ne. 21:8;
3 Ne. 21:11 (8-11);
Morm. 8:16 (16, 25);
TG Prophets, Mission of
b D&C 5:4 (3-4)
c TG Scriptures to Come Forth
12a TG Book of Mormon
b 1 Ne. 13:23 (23-29);
2 Ne. 29:12;
c TG Scriptures Preservation of
TG Scriptures Writing of
d JST Gen. 50:31;
Ezek. 37:17 (15-20);
1 Ne. 13:39 (38-41);
2 Ne. 29:8;
2 Ne. 33:10 (10-11);
e TG False Doctrine
f TG Peacemakers
g Moroni 1:4;
h 1 Ne. 15:14; 2 Ne. 30:5;
3 Ne. 5:23;
Morm. 7:9 (1, 5, 9-10);
A Chiasmic Thought Bookended By "Quotes"
And Thus Prophesied Joseph Saying:
"Behold, that seer will the Lord bless [and] by that power, of the Lord, [he] shall bring my people unto salvation."
"And they that seek to destroy him shall be confounded [by] that [which] the Lord shall bring forth by his hand."
"For this promise, which I have obtained of the Lord, 'He shall be like unto me'."
"Of the fruit of my loins, his name shall be after me and after the name of his father [Joseph]."
"[It] shall be fulfilled, [be] sure of the fulfilling of this promise."
"Behold I AM [saith]."
Yea, Thus Prophesied Joseph.
14 And thus prophesied Joseph,
that seer will the Lord bless; and they that seek to
destroy him shall be confounded; for this promise, which
I have obtained of the Lord, of the fruit of my loins,
shall be fulfilled. Behold, I am sure of the fulfilling
of this promise;
15 And his aname shall be called after me [Joseph]; and it shall be after the bname of his father [Joseph]. And he shall be clike unto me; for the thing, which the Lord shall bring forth by his hand, by the power of the Lord shall bring dmy people unto esalvation[;]
16 [y]ea, thus prophesied Josepha[.]
14a thus prophesied Joseph,
saying: This is the opening phrase or 'open quote' statement,
which forms the opening 'bookend' of the chiasmic prophecy statement of
Joseph of Egypt concerning Joseph Smith as directly quoted by Lehi from
the plates of brass.
16a yea, thus prophesied Joseph. This is the closing phrase or 'close quote' statement, which forms the ending 'bookend' of the chiasmic thought prophecy statement quoted by Lehi of Joseph of Egypt concerning Joseph Smith. Orson Pratt truncated this phrase from its appropriate ending position when he divided the Book of Mormon into scriptural verses. Why he took liberty to take the end of one sentence and add it to the beginning of the next sentence is not known, but it did cut up the bookended chiasmic statement and thwart a clearer understanding of Lehi's blessing upon his son Joseph and exactly what is being said.
" Behold, that seer will the Lord bless; and they that seek to destroy him shall be confounded; for this promise, which I have obtained of the Lord, of the fruit of my loins, shall be fulfilled. Behold, I am sure of the fulfilling of this promise; And his name shall be called after me; and it shall be after the name of his father. And he shall be like unto me; for the thing, which the Lord shall bring forth by his hand, by the power of the Lord shall bring my people unto salvation." ~ 2 Nephi 3:14-15
It appears that Lehi or perhaps Nephi who later transcribed the prophecy upon the small plates in reformed Egyptian, ('shorthand' Egyptian), relates it from the perspective of the Joseph of Egypt telling it. And perhaps it was at that time placed into its noted 'chiasmic' form apart from how it did read upon the brass plates as indicated by the inspired translation at the right.
It would have been easiest for Joseph to 'copy' the Book of Mormon reference. But he recorded it as he received by the direct inspiration of the Lord. It would have been a 'bother' to try to remember it from the two perspectives and insure their compliance with each other. This adds to the testimony that Joseph did receive each distinctively as is recorded that he did.
<<< Joseph Smith Jr., is the latter-day Seer, descendant of Joseph of Egypt. He is not Jesus, Messiah Ben Joseph.
b JS-H 1:3;
c D&C 28:2;
d Enos 1:13 (12-18);
Alma 37:19 (1-20);
e TG Scriptures, Value of
"And that seer will I [the Lord] bless, and they that seek to destroy him shall be confounded; for this promise I give unto you; 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; 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 50:33.
The primary differences between the two renditions is that 'Lehi's version',
as repeated and/or transcribed by Nephi and then translated from the small
plates by Joseph Smith, is that Joseph of Egypt is speaking in the first
person and it has been rendered in a 'chiasmic'
form*. Wherein the Joseph Smith Translation, is recorded in the first
person perspective as it was spoken by Jehovah to Joseph of Egypt. One can
only speculate where the change was derived, from Joseph of Egypt to Moses to
the plates of brass to Lehi's record and/or the large plates of Nephi to the
small plates of Nephi and then translated by Joseph Smith into English. Since
Lehi was 'quoting' or 'paraphrasing' what Joseph of Egypt had said, it is
hard to know why or how the text may have shifted from the Lord speaking to
Joseph of Egypt speaking in chiasmic form. One can speculate, blame it on a
matter of language, conventions of style, prophetic retellings in chiasmic
form, etc. Any one investigating objectively should understand, it happening.
The Great Book of Mormon Prophet Lehi,
thus prophesied Josepha:
I [Lehi] am sure of this thingb, even as I [Lehi] am sure of the promise of Moses; for the Lord hath said unto me [Lehi], I will aapreserve thy seed foreverc.
17 And the Lord hath saida: I will raise up a Moses; and I will give power unto him in a rod; and I will give judgment unto him in writing. Yet I will not loose his tongue, that he shall speak much, for I will not make him mighty in speaking. But I will awrite unto him my law, by the finger of mine own hand; and I will make a bspokesman for him.
18 And athe Lord said unto me [Lehi] alsoa: I will raise up unto the fruit of thy [Lehi] loins; and I will make for him [Mormon] a bspokesmanb [Moroni]. And I, behold, I will give unto him [Mormon] that he shall write the writing [The Book of Mormon] of the fruit of thy [Lehi] loins, unto the fruit of thy [Lehi] loinsc; and the spokesman [Moroni] of thy [Lehi] loins shall declare itb.
19 And the words which he shall write shall be the words which are expedient in my wisdom should go forth unto the afruit of thy loins. And it shall be as if the fruit of thy loins had cried unto them bfrom the dust; for I know their faith.
20 And they shall acry from the bdust; yea, even repentance unto their brethren, even after many generations have gone by them. And it shall come to pass that their cry shall go, even according to the simpleness of their words.
21 Because of their faith their awords shall proceed forth out of my mouth unto their brethren who are the fruit of thy loins; and the weakness of their words will I make strong in their faith, unto the remembering of my covenant which I made unto thy fathers.
father Mormon's spokesman to the church while Mormon was at war. It was Moroni who was given the keys to the stick of Ephraim. It was Moroni who was the spokesman angel who came to bring the written words of his father Mormon to the prophet Joseph Smith. It was Moroni who was that glorious angel flying in the midst of heaven having the everlasting gospel contained in the Book of Mormon to preach to the world (Revelation 14:6). Joseph Smith was to translate it. It was Moroni who was given to be the spokesman of his father Mormon as Lehi had prophesied would come of his posterity, not Oliver Cowdery, Sydney Rigdon or some other to Joseph Smith.
Now it what and how was Moroni the spokesman of Mormon? We will consider three aspects of this stewardship as fulfilled by Moroni. First, while Mormon was fighting upon the battle front, Moroni was called to the ministry and became his Father's spokesman to the Church, Mormon being the Prophet and Moroni being his Father's spokesman to the Church while the Prophet fought the wars of the Nephites. In the one hundredth part abridgement of which the Book of Mormon is, this contemporary spokesman-ship of Moroni is illustrated by chapters 7, 8 and 9 of Moroni. There it is evident that Moroni was ministering to the Church in his father's name. In chapter 7 Moroni teaches his father's teachings of faith, hope and charity. In chapter 8, Mormon instructs his son Moroni to correct certain false teachings of the Church concerning child baptism. And in chapter 9, Mormon commands Moroni to continue to labor and minister unto those of the Church that a hope may still be found in the Church though Mormon then considered that the fate of the nations was sealed. Second, it is Moroni who completes his father's record and reveals many critical ordinances of the Church in his own writings including the sacramental prayers and the baptismal ordinance prayer. Moroni adds his own abridgement of the record of Ether to the world that they might know of the people of the Jaredites. Third, Moroni was the proclaiming angel who was to fly in the midst of heaven having the everlasting gospel to preach to the earth. In this Gospel Plan perspective, Moroni consider to be under the covenant of the fathers in associate with his brother Ephraim, just as Sam was considered under the umbrella of Nephi, Moroni is set forth as he to whom the keys of the stick of Ephraim are committed. The stick of Ephraim being those records also known as the Stick of Joseph, having been kept by the descendants of Joseph, which includes the Brass Plates as kept by the house of Laban who was of Joseph and all the records of Lehi, Nephi and the Nephites, which are yet to come forth. And when they do come forth they will come forth by the hand of Moroni as did the Book of Mormon.
thus prophesied Joseph After this 'end of qoute' statement
which sets off and separates the Joseph Smith prophecy from what is
next to be said, this is now Lehi speaking as Lehi. And Lehi will no
longer speak quoting Joseph in the first person, but Lehi now speaks
of himself in the first person and goes on to
present his own personal testimony of the prophecies of Moses and
Joseph Smith given in Moses' record of Joseph's prophecies (See
JST Genesis 50.
16b I [Lehi] am sure of this thing Now this is a redundant statement restating what Joseph of Egypt already stated according to Lehi in verse 14 which state 'Behold, I am sure of the fulfilling of this promise'. But the JST version reports no such direct statement by Joseph of Egypt in its 'version' of the prophecies of Joseph (See JST Genesis 50). Thus even there it may well be an interjection pronounced by Lehi and not by Joseph of Egypt. For Lehi was as sure of the coming of the Prophet Joseph Smith yet to come as he was of Moses who he knew had already come as he so continues to state here in verse 16.
16c the Lord hath said unto me [Lehi], I will preserve thy seed forever The Lord had covenanted unto Lehi that his seed would inherit this land forever (2 Nephi 1:5) as Nephi has already recorded, which in effect is the same as saying that the Lord would preserve his seed forever. And that is what Lehi states here.
17a the Lord hath said Lehi reflects upon the prophecy of Moses for a comparison to his own coming prophecy. He is no longer quoting from Joseph in Joseph's first person but he is paralleling the prophecy concerning Moses and his spokesman with the prophecy given Lehi specifically concerning one of Lehi's descendants [the prophet Mormon] and his spokesman and son [Moroni].
18a the Lord said unto me [Lehi] also The Lord has now 'also' given to Lehi a prophecy concerning Lehi's posterity in parallel to Moses.
18b I will make for him [Mormon] a spokesman [Moroni] ... and the spokesman [Moroni] of thy [Lehi's] loins shall declare it Mormon lived in the 4th century A.D., from about 311 A.D. when he was born to after 385 A.D. when he continued to fight even after the battle at Cumorah being in his seventies at Cumorah and perhaps near eighty when he finally falls in a later lesser battle (Mormon 8:5). Now as pointed out in D&C 100:11, a spokesman speaks or expounds the doctrine of a revelator or a Prophet as did Sidney Rigdon for Joseph Smith and as Aaron did for Moses, and as did Moroni for his father Mormon, the Nephite Chief Captain and Prophet unto the people of his day. A spokesman live contemporary with he who he speaks for. When Moroni came to age, the Lord called him to be his father's spokesman to the church. This is exemplified in Moroni 8 when the Prophet Mormon on the battle front writes the 'revealed word of the prophet to his spokesman' to be declared by the spokesman unto the people concerning the doctrine of baptism and how it did not apply to infants having to be baptized. In that example, Mormon was the 'revelator' and Moroni was the active 'spokesman' unto the Church. That is the proper relationship between a Prophet, Seer and Revelator and his dully appointed Spokesman. They live contemporarily with each other. Elder McConkie is correct in pinpointing Mormon as the 'writer' referred to in verse 18, but he does not carry it far enough. For it is Moroni who is his Prophet father's spokesman in his day. In Moses' day it was Moses' brother. And in Joseph Smith's day, he had various spokesmen, from Oliver Cowdery, Sidney Rigdon, Hyrum Smith and then even Brigham Young, the President of the Twelve at times.
18c he [Mormon] shall write the writing of the fruit of thy loins, unto the fruit of thy loins Some consider this to be Joseph Smith who is to write, considering it to still be Joseph of Egypt who is being referenced rather than Lehi. But the Book of Mormon clearly substantiates that the promise was unto Lehi and his son Nephi concerning the fruit of their loins writing to the fruit of their loins (See Commentary 2 Nephi 29:2). Thus, neither is Joseph of Egypt being referenced, as it is Lehi's posterity or seed who is being spoken of. For, neither did Joseph Smith write the record as he was its translator and he had scribes record his translated words. It is Mormon who did write and abridge the Book of Mormon. And the fact of the matter can be fully settled from the Title Page of the Book of Mormon. There Moroni, the 'spokesman', clearly proclaims who it is that wrote the Book of Mormon, It is 'an account written by the hand of Mormon'. Elder Bruce R. McConkie concurs in considering that 'Mormon' is the object of the prophecy of verse 18 not Joseph Smith.(A New Witness to the Articles of Faith, page 425).
As stated clearly by Gordon B. Hinckley, "Sidney Rigdon did not write it. Oliver Cowdery did not write it. . . . Joseph Smith did not write it. He [Joseph Smith], the prophet of this dispensation, translated the writings of prophets of old under the power of God, to testify in our day." ('Be Thou an Example', page 106) The only one who is stated by the book itself to be the writer of it is Mormon.
If one inserts Joseph Smith as the writer of the words, then the beauty of what does occur is lost. That is the written words of the prophesied posterity of Lehi, Mormon, coming from the dust of the earth to his brethren to whom he has written them. Joseph Smith was the great seer who would translate that written word. But Mormon, whose name the book bears, is the true author or writer of the vast majority of the book. Joseph Smith is not the book's author and writer.
Gen. 45:7 (1-8);
16a 2 Ne. 1:5
17a Deut. 10:2 (2, 4); Moses 2:1;
TG Scriptures Writing of
b Ex. 4:16 (14-16)
18a 2 Ne. 29:2; Commentary;
18b Rev. 14:6-7; Moroni 8:1-6;
D&C 27:5; JS-H 1:30-42
19a D&C 28:8;
b Isa. 29:4; 2 Ne. 27:13;
2 Ne. 33:13 (13-15);
Morm. 9:30; Moro. 10:27;
20a 2 Ne. 26:16;
Morm. 8:23 (23, 26);
b TG Book of Mormon
21a 2 Ne. 29:2
And once it is understood that Lehi, when he bears the first part of his testimony in verse 16, then prophesies in parallel of the writer and spokesman of the record in verses 17-21, and then further testifies of the 'manner' of such prophecies in verse 22; that Lehi was no longer quoting or paraphrasing Joseph of Egypt the brass plates the first book of Moses; one can begin to see and appreciate the strength of Lehi's testimony, which he bears to his son and children. Lehi states that he is as sure of the prophecy of Joseph Smith given by Joseph of Egypt as he is of the past prophecy of Moses which has been fulfilled and is now historical fact as he is of future prophecy which the Lord has stated to him, Lehi, personally that his, Lehi's, seed would be preserved forever. That is, Lehi's faith in God's prophetic word is as strong as the reality of events which have happened. Now who can state such a strong testimony that the things they know by faith are as real and true to them as things of actual reality?
Punctuation and sentence structure changes can deliver an idea differently. In What was once stated in the 1830's original Book of Mormon and what is so implied today is analyzed in some detail below. It supports that Lehi was testifying and speaking in first person in verse 16.
Lehi bears his testimony stating, 'I [Lehi] am sure of this thing [prophecy of Joseph Smith], even as I am sure of the promise of Moses [who has already come fulfilling such prophecies of Joseph], as I am sure of the word of the Lord to me of the preservation of my own seed forever.' Another way of viewing this statement is that Joseph prophesied of Moses, which came to past. Therefore Joseph's prophecy of the latter-day seer Joseph will just as surely come to past. Further, the Lord's prophecies to Lehi concerning the preservation of Lehi's seed forever will come to pass.
Following this first phase of his strong testimony, Lehi proceeds to state just how the Lord will preserve his seed forever given in parallel with promises and prophecies already fulfilled concerning Moses. When Lehi states in verse 18 'the Lord said unto me also', Lehi is speaking himself and that the Lord had made like promises of prophecy unto Lehi as well (2 Nephi 1:5) that this land was covenanted unto Lehi and his seed forever, thus Lehi's seed like Joseph's of Egypt seed would remain forever. Further the Lord had directly told Lehi that one of his descendants would write the history of his people and that he would have a spokesman even as did Moses. This was Mormon, who wrote the Book of Mormon, and his son Moroni, his spokesman. And it would be this record from the dust which would come forth to the preservation of Lehi's seed forever.
Then Lehi continues into the second phase of his strong testimony by stating that in the 'same manner' of power and spirit of prophecy with which he Lehi had just prophesied, so did Joseph of Old so prophecy with such power and Spirit. Lehi had born witness to the coming forth of the Book of Mormon with great power and spirit and he testified that it was this same spirit and power in which Joseph of old did also so prophesy.
Lehi ends his delivery to his son Joseph by stating one last prophecy, that there would be one of his son Joseph's descendants who would also be mighty. But this is not the 'seer' who was to be raised up out of the seed of Joseph of Egypt in the last days. It was another and who this is or is to be is not known at present.
If one does not understand that it is Lehi who is bearing his testimony then this beautifully proclaimed testament of father Lehi is lost. For it is only Lehi who can compare a past historical event which was readily known and accepted as fact by any of the house of Israel, that Moses did exist in a known past tense and did what he did, and then compare that with some future event that was yet to happen. And then state that as sure as what has happened, the prophecy of the future would occur. Joseph of Egypt could not make such a comparison of testimony as both the events of Moses and this other were in the future to him. Thus it is concluded that Lehi is the bearer of this testimony and to whom the Lord gave further prophecy concerning his posterity, the 'writer' and the 'spokesman' of Lehi's seed.
Lehi had read from the prophecies of Joseph of Egypt that Moses had been given a spokesman (JST Genesis 50:35), and that would have been the parallel to which Lehi's own prophet writer of the record of Lehi's people, Mormon, was to also be appointed a spokesman from among Lehi's seed. Joseph of Egypt never did prophesy such concerning Joseph Smith that he would be the 'writer' of Lehi's people's record. Joseph Smith would be the prophet of the latter-day restoration but Mormon was the writer, Moroni was the angel who proclaimed it flying in the midst of heaven and Joseph Smith was the translator of the record.
The Stick of Joseph
To the world, the one hundredth part abridgement of the vast records held by the Nephites which included the plates of brass, the Book of Mormon represents the Stick of Joseph, the Stick of Ephraim. Mormon prepared a cavern room filled with these accululated records from which he and Moroni had abridged and prepared the Book of Mormon record. Moroni is the authorized bearer of the keys of the stick of Ephraim, he is the 'keeper' of that room of records.
Joseph of Egypt was the first to be given the commandment that a record be kept by his descendants as recorded in the JST Genesis 50:31. Conceptually this was the basis for why the plates of brass had been kept by the house of Laban, he being a descendant of Joseph. The brass plates where quoted from liberally in the Book of Mormon. Thus were the records continued to be kept by the house of Joseph as evidenced by the image of the room of records shown above. The Book of Mormon is but an abridgement from these many records. We are promised that these other records will come forth. As stated, Moroni is the holder of the keys to these records of the Stick of Ephraim, the Stick of Joseph. When they come forth they will come forth by his hand. As told by Oliver Cowdery and confirmed by Heber C. Kimball, Brigham Young and others, when Joseph and Oliver returned the golden plates to Moroni they walked to the Hill of Cumorah where the hill openned up and they saw the records and this promise of their eventual coming forth was confirmed.
22 ¶ And now, behold, my son Joseph, after this
manner did my father of old
23 Wherefore, because of this covenant thou art ablesseda; for thy seed shall not be destroyed, for they shall bhearken unto the words of the book.
24 And there shall rise up aone mighty among thema, 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 brestoration unto the house of Israel, and unto the seed of thy brethren.
25 And now, blessed art thou, Joseph. Behold, thou art little; wherefore hearken unto the words of thy brother, Nephi, and it shall be done unto thee even according to the words which I have spoken. Remember the words of thy dying father. Amen.
22a after this manner did my
father of old prophesy This would be a redundant statement
as it was already stated at the close of the prophecies of Joseph
once before in verse 16 where Lehi already stated 'thus
prophesied Joseph'. It is not redundant however because a new
basis for comparison of the 'manner' of prophecy has just
first hand been given. Lehi had just prophesied concerning his own
seed in the 'manner' of being filled with the spirit of
prophecy, as did Joseph of old so prophesy in that same 'manner',
being also filled with that same spirit of prophecy when
he did so prophesy.
23a because of this covenant thou art blessed The covenant is that Mormon, the seed of Lehi, would write the record and it would be brought forth in the latter days by his spokesman Moroni. And when the words of that 'translated' record would go forth, the seed of Joseph, son of Lehi, would hear the words of the book and be converted as they would harken to the words of the book written by the hand of Mormon. And thus the seed of Joseph, Lehi's son, would not be destroyed.
24a there shall rise up one mighty among them Now this prophecy concerning one mighty from among the seed of Lehi's son Joseph makes perfect sense. After the book which was written by Lehi's seed, Mormon, has come forth by the hand of the spokesman Moroni, also of the seed of Lehi, the seed of Joseph, son of Lehi, would receive the translated record, be converted and one from among them would be a mighty and great one. He is yet to come forth, and his role is yet to be played.
2 Ne. 3:5
23a TG Birthright
b TG Obedience
24a TG Joseph Smith
b TG Dispensations;
TG Israel, Restoration of;
TG Restoration of the Gospel;
It would come forth by the hand of the 'spokesman', the holder of the keys of the Stick of Ephraim, Moroni, also a descendant of Lehi. They would be given to the prophet of the latter days, Joseph, son of Joseph, and descendant of Joseph of Egypt from another source than Lehi. That record, the Book of Mormon, would be the means of word to go forth which would bring about the gathering of Israel and the fulfillment of the blessing of Abraham being taken to all the world, every nation, kindred, tongue and people.
The descendants of Lehi's son Joseph would hearken to the witness of the book written by Mormon and brought forth by Moroni after it had been translated by Joseph Smith. Among these converts of the seed of Joseph son of Lehi, there would be a mighty one who would do much for the restoration and gathering of Israel in the last days. He is yet to come forth and be made known.
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2 Nephi 3:14-15 (+16)
In the original Book of
Mormon, the whole of what is now chapter 3 of 2 Nephi was but one
continuous paragraph of related thought, Lehi blessing his son
Joseph. The section below is only what is considered the critical
relative portion of that 'chapter' paragraph.
"... And thus prophesied Joseph, saying: Behold, that seer will the Lord bless; and they that seek to destroy him, shall be confounded; for this promise, which I have obtained of the Lord, of the fruit of thy loins, shall be fulfilled. Behold, I am sure of the fulfilling of this promise. And his name shall be called after me; and it shall be after the name of his father. And he shall be like unto me; for the thing which the Lord shall bring forth by his hand, by the power of the Lord shall bring my people unto salvation; 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. ..."
Orson Pratt was given a difficult task to perform.
Dividing a text differently from what it was, can change meaning. To the
best of his ability and understanding Orson Pratt did this and his
insights are great and contribute much by his supplied division, but
it was subject to error.
14 And thus prophesied Joseph, saying: Behold, that seer will
the Lord bless; and they that seek to destroy him, shall be
confounded; for this promise, which I have obtained of the Lord,
of the fruit of my loins, shall be fulfilled. Behold, I am sure
of the fulfilling of this promise.
Even though today's Book of Mormon strives
to be as 'correct' as possible, it remains the result of a
compilation. Originally it was not divided into the chapters and
verses that exists today, This process of dividing into verses and
chapters can inadvertently alter meaning and intent.
14 And thus prophesied Joseph, saying: Behold, that seer will
the Lord bless; and they that seek to destroy him shall be
confounded; for this promise, which I have obtained of the Lord,
of the fruit of my loins, shall be fulfilled. Behold, I am sure
of the fulfilling of this promise;
Verses 14-15"+" is one item of the
prophecies of Joseph, 'bookended' by, 'And thus prophesied
Joseph, saying:' and 'yea, thus prophesied
'bookending' sets off this prophecy of Joseph distinctively from what
is next testified to by Lehi, in the first person.
14 And thus prophesied Joseph, saying: Behold, that
seer will the Lord bless; and they that seek to destroy him shall be
confounded; for this promise, which I have obtained of the Lord,
of the fruit of my loins, shall be fulfilled. Behold, I am sure
of the fulfilling of this promise;
For the want of a period in place of a semicolon, for the want of a capital
letter for a lowercase letter, for the want of colon in place of a period,
for the want removing a single phrase from the end of one sentence and to
the beginning of the next sentence and then to place a 'verse' division
between the two sentences; is the testimony of Lehi lost and the proper
understanding of who the writer (Mormon) and spokesman (Moroni) are. What
difference do the errors of compilation make?|
*Lehi speaks of himself and bears a marvelous testimony which is lost under Elder Pratt's sentence altering division. Lehi testifies that he is as sure of the coming of the seer Joseph Smith in the future as he is of the coming of Moses who had come in fulfillment of prophecy in the past. This is a testimony given in the 'prophetic perfect' tense. This is the 'thing' to which Lehi bears testimony, the 'thing' which he had carefully 'bookended' between the statements of, 'And thus prophesied Joseph, saying: ... ; yea, thus prophesied Joseph.'. This is the 'thing' to which Lehi wanted to relate and convey that he was testifying to. Nephi had picked it up and so did the original printing of the 1830's Book of Mormon. That marvelous testimony of knowing as sure as knowing of a past established event that a future event will occur is a powerful testimony. Just as sure as Lehi knew that Moses had fulfilled his part of the prophecies of Joseph by those events in Lehi's past, Lehi knew that Joseph Smith would come in the future to fulfill that additional part of the prophecies of Joseph. This marvelously strong testimony is lost due to Elder Orson Pratt's inadvertent division. Here it is restored to understanding.
~ NOT THE MESSIAH ~
"Wherefore, he shall bring forth his words unto them, which words shall judge them at the last day, for they shall be given them for the purpose of convincing them of the true Messiah, who was rejected by them; and unto the convincing of them that they need not look forward any more for a Messiah to come, for there should not any come, save it should be a false Messiah which should deceive the people; for there is save one Messiah spoken of by the prophets, and that Messiah is he who should be rejected of the Jews. For according to the words of the prophets, the Messiah cometh in six hundred years from the time that my father left Jerusalem; and according to the words of the prophets, and also the word of the angel of God, his name shall be Jesus Chirst, the Son of God. font>" ~ 2 Nephi 25:18-19
Lehi speaks in his blessing of his son Joseph of the prophecies of Joseph of Egypt which the Lord had spoken unto him. These prophecies of Joseph spoke both concerning 'Moses' who was to come, naming him by name, and of the coming of the latter day prophet 'Joseph', also by name to be called after the name of Joseph of Egypt. That prophecy specified that neither the prophet Moses nor the prophet of the latter day 'Joseph' was to be the Messiah. They, neither of them, were the Messiah, they were 'not the Messiah'. In a zealous movement by some LDS scholars, they attempt to identify Joseph Smith as that 'Messiah ben Joseph' which the Jews have imagined unto themselves, having divided the character of the Messiah into two and splitting the various Messianic scriptures into those which specify a 'suffering Messiah' and those which specify a 'triumphant and glorious Messiah'. This ought not to be.
Yes the ancient Israelites look to Moses almost with such reverence, that he not only spoke for God as a prophet, but they would attempt to consider him to be Messiah. Thus the caution of Joseph of Egypt's prophecies would have been necessary to so stipulate that Moses was not the Messiah. Now today, some begin to revere Joseph Smith to the status of 'Messiah ben Joseph', that Messiah which the Jews separated as a separate Messiah, assigning to him certain Messianic passages. There is no doubt that both Moses and Joseph Smith were of the greatest prophets of God, each being a head of their own dispensation. But one ought not confuse the name of 'Messiah' with either of them.
Where as the Jews divided the Messiah into Messiah ben David and Messiah ben Joseph, they did so out of but one Messiah figure; not realizing that the Messiah would come twice, once as the Meek and Lowly Lamb and again as the Great God I AM. And there is sufficient reason and evidence to discover that this one Messiah was not only of the bloodline of Judah, but he was the legal heir of the covenant and the descended 'Messiah ben Joseph' as well (see Messiah ben David ~ Messiah ben Joseph).
At any rate, there is no profitable object in presenting to the world that Joseph Smith is 'Messiah ben Joseph', but it does only compound that concept that we look to Joseph Smith as to be the Messiah and not just a prophet of that God, our God. As the scripture from 2 Nephi so states, there is 'save one Messiah spoken of by the prophets' and 'his name shall be Jesus Christ, the Son of God. To so paint Joseph Smith as Messiah ben Joseph, is but to present to the world 'a false Messiah which should deceive the people', and that according to the very word of the Book of Mormon itself.
Chiasmic Nature of Verses 14 & 15"+" ~ A Poetic Scriptural Prophecy