Lehi's Prophetic Perfect Testimony
~ Lehi was a prophet called by God. ~
[He was of the tribe of Manasseh, a son of Joseph of Egypt]

prepared and presented by Don R. Hender

    'Often a Prophet's view is that view which God himself has, that is all things before him at once, past, present and future; as a 'vision of all' of the matter at once. Thus a prophet will often seem to speak in what is refered to as the 'Prophetic Perfect Tense', because he has seen it all together as one 'present view together' and the same truth of God's all together view. Further in this respect many a prophet has seen, as it were, the 'Vision of All' or those particular parts of it that God has caused that prophet to have received, seen and been guided through, often by a messenger angel attendant.' ~ drh

"The prophetic perfect tense is a verb tense used [by prophets in scripture] in the Bible that describes future events that are so certain to happen that they are referred to in the past [or present eternal now] tense as if they already happened." {Zuck, Roy B. (April 1, 2002). Basic Bible Interpretation. David C Cook. p. 117.}

    When a prophet speaks of someting in the presence or past definite tense, when not in reality past but particularly future in nature, as those events as being effected and now all done though yet to come, then that prophet is speaking in the 'prophetic perfect tense', because to the prophet it is in fact reality of being in truth even so in reality though it may be yet to come in the future.

    "We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God."Articles of Faith #9

In another perspecitve, the prophetic perfect tense in Hebrew is a verb tense of perspective used by the Hebrew prophets in scripture speaking of future events in the past or present tensed as though it has in the reality of fact already have occured. As stated by such as Apostle Neal A. Maxwell, it is speaking of all things as in one 'eternal now'. It is knowing and understanding that that which is prophecied to come is as real and are as factually true as that which has actually already happened.

    " . . . God has the past, present, and future ever before Him, constituting an "eternal 'now'"" ~ Teaching of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith [1976], p220; D&C 130:7; Lessons from Laman and Lemuel, Neal A Maxwell, October 1999 Conference address.

When God speaks to, in and through his prophets, God speaks from this 'eternal now' or 'prophetic perfect' perspective. That is, all that God has, does now or will reveal to man through his prophets is set before God as one eternal present, that is having happened. So God did so speak to and through the prophet Lehi, and the prophet Lehi therefore bears such a prophetic perfect testimony which has been missed by many students of the Book of Mormon.

God's all seeing eye sees all, past present future as one eternal round as he views things through an all revealing sea of glass and fire, where all things for their glory are manifest, past, present, and future, and are continually before the Lord (D&C 130:7). Lehi's prophetic perfect testimony is a reflection of that prophetic witness and understanding.

Below is Lehi's prophetic witness as he first gives a chiasmic prophetic statement as given to Joseph of Egypt which is preserved as well as might be expected by translation and transliteration from one language Egyptian/Reformed Egyptian into another 1830 English. Following that Chiasmic bookended Chiasmus, Lehi add his own personal prophetic perfect testimony which Book of Mormon scholars have failed to recognize as such thinking it to be a continuation from Joseph of Egypt's perspective rather than that of Lehi's own somewhat parallel testimony and witness to the same.

And thus prophesied Joseph, saying:

"Behold, that seer will the Lord bless;[A]

and they that seek to destory him shall be confounded;[B]

for this promise, which I have obtained of the Lord,[C]

of the fruit of my loins,[D]

shall be fulfilled.[E]
Behold, I am sure of the fulfilling of this promise;[e]

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;[c]

for the thing, which the Lord shall bring forth by his hand,[b]

by the power of the Lord shall bring my people unto salvation."[a]

Yea, thus prophesied Joseph:

[Lehi's Own Testimony] 
"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." ~ 2 Nephi 3:14-16

[Opening bookend - 'And I Quote']
And thus prophesied Joseph, saying: 

[Chiasmic thought A] Behold, that seer will the Lord bless by the power of the Lord [he] shall bring my people unto salvation."[a]

[Chiasmic thought B] And they that seek to destory him shall be confounded for/[by] the thing [the Book of Mormon], which the Lord shall bring forth by his hand,[b]

[Chiasmic thought C] for this promise, which I have obtained of the Lord, /And/ he shall be like unto me;[c]

[Chiasmic thought D] of the fruit of my loins, /And/ his name shall be called after me; and it shall be after the name of his father.[d]

[Chiasmic thought E][this] shall be fulfilled.
~ Behold, I AM ~
sure of the fulfilling of this promise;

Yea, thus prophesied Joseph:
[Ending Bookend - 'End of Quote']

[Lehi finished Joseph's witness and then he bears HIS OWN testimony.]
"I [Lehi] am sure of this thing [the coming of Joseph Smith-future], even as I am sure of the promise of Moses [which has already been/past];
for the Lord hath said unto me [Lehi], I will preserve thy seed forever." ~ 2 Nehpi 3:14-16

Lehi's Great Prophetic Perfect Testimony

Lehi's great, most frequently missed, testimony is that, 'He is as sure of the coming of the Prohpet Joseph Smith in the latter days to come, to the same extent that he is sure of Moses' coming, who has already come.' That is a supremely strong testimony when one can be as sure concerning the Lord's promises yet to come in the future as one is of those present and pasted known events which are absolutely true. Perhaps the nearest parallel might be to say, 'as sure as the sun came up this morning, it will come up tomorrow as well. Lehi's sure prophetic perfect testimony is that as sure as he knows of Moses past being, he is as sure of Joseph Smith future being as well.

Lehi's testimony and assurance was given to Lehi even in that same manner as it was given to Joseph of Egypt. And the same promises given Joseph of Egpyt was given to Lehi and his posterity, that Lehi's seed will be preserved forever even as was the promise given to the seed of Joseph of Egypt. This promise to Lehi is further persented in a number of places throughout the Book of Mormon, that Lehi's seed will be preserved in the land, and this was even given upon the seed of Nephi, though the Nephite nation would end, the seed of Nephi would be preserved along with the seed of his brethren as Nephi's seed would still befound mixed with the seed of his brothren. (2 Nephi 1:5; 2 Nephi 3:2, 16, 23; 2 Nephi 25:21-22 & 30-31; Alma 46:24-27; Ether 13:6-8 & 24-25; 2 Nephi 29:2; 2 Nephi 4:5-7, 9; 1 Nephi 13:30-31; D&C 3:16-20; 2 Nephi 10:18-21; Jacob 3:5-7; Helaman 15:12-16; etc.)

Now there are other things to be learned from 2 Nephi 3 in Lehi's blessing of his son Joseph such as, that it is Lehi's seed, Mormon and Moroni, who are to be the 'writer' and the 'spokesman' of the Book of Mormon record, and that Jesus Christ has a dual ancestry both from Joseph of Egypt as well as from Judah. (see commentary 2 Nephi 3 and Messiah ben David ~ Messiah ben Joseph.)

Summary: An Analysis of the Chiasmus of 2 Nephi 3:14-15+.

Just as a formal speaker introduces and ends a quote with 'And I quote' and 'End of Quote', so does this most formal chiasmic rendering by Lehi of the promise given to Joseph of Egypt by the Lord so begin and end with 'bookend' verbal notifications of quotation. That is, "And thus prophesied Joseph, saying:" and "Yea, thus prophesied Joseph:".

[A] The seer Joseph Smith was blessed by the power of the Lord to restore the fulness of the gospel plan to the earth to the end of fulfilling the Covenant of Abraham and blessing every nation, kindred, tongue and people with the potential blessing of the salvation of the Lord; to bring to pass the eternal life and immortallity of man (Moses 1:39).

[B] Satan and the jealousy of the people he could raise against Joseph Smith, and their contentions against him, were to be confounded by that which was brought forth by him, namely the Book of Mormon record.

[C] The promise given of to Joseph of old was that Joseph Smith would be like him, how Joseph of Egypt was. That is as a means of providing 'salvation' to the people of the Lord. Joseph of Egypt provided an avenue of temporal salvation and Joseph Smith by being the means of restoring the gospel of Jesus Christ provided spiritual avenue to salvation.

[D] The latter day seer Joseph Smith would be a descendant of Joseph of Egypt and be called by the name of Joseph, which was also to be the name of that latter day prophet's father, Joseph.

[E] In the name of the LORD, I AM, is given a double assurance of fulfillment of the fulfilling of this great promise of the latter day seer of the restoration unto the salvation of the people in the name of the great LORD, I AM. Even to a dual parallel or a thought within a thought that it is by and through the name of the LORD, I AM. OR 'As sure as my name is 'I AM,' it is be done!'

Note: The essence of a chiasmic alignment in parallel is to add additional information and understanding to those who are able to so correctly align the the parallelism to further reveal that additional understanding and enlightenment. To this end so does the A-E Chiasmic alignment of the foregoing Chiasm.

Now, God who knows all, what He has seen IS and has HAPPENED though it may even be yet to come. It is as sure thing, a done deal, though the event is still coming, it has been stamped in the reality of being. IT IS. And God presents things in visions and by his words to his prophets is like manner as He has seen that it is. God sees the past, present and future as one eternal now and speaks and presents it to his prophets as such and they, the prophets speak of it in like manner as well. In short what has been confirmed in Heaven is what is whether past, present or future and it just is. That is the 'Prophetic Perfect Witness and Testimony of God to man.'

Rev. 28 September 2015