“By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.”
As I prepared to write this post, I was led to several scriptures that give meaning and expand our knowledge of this particular prophecy of Joseph. This is the finished product which I was inspired and led to share. I pray that you read this message with an open mind and allow the feelings of your heart to lead you where they may. Someone in this audience truly needs this message. I ask you not to criticize or question the references you may not have ever heard about. I remind the members of this group or a first time reader that this blog was inspired by two scriptures, Ephesians 4:13 and Philippians 4:8. Ponder these scriptures prayerfully. I invite you to do as Philippians 4:8 states as you read the rest of this post.
“Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
First, let’s recap. In the previous post, Jacob, also known as Israel, was nearing the end of his life. He gave a blessing to Ephraim and Manasseh. However, we did not go into the details of Joseph’s blessings. Genesis 48:4 states that Joseph would be fruitful, that he would be made a multitude of people, and would have the same land as was promised in the Abrahamic covenant. Furthermore, Genesis 49:22-26 states that Joseph would be
22 a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall…
25…and by the Almighty who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb:
26 The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills: they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren.
These are great blessings given unto Joseph. We know that he did become a multitude of nations. They did not stay just in Canaan. They spread out, as stated in the previous reference, the branches ran over the wall and unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills.
Joseph had a gift of being able to interpret dreams, which was how Pharaoh found out about him in the first place. He also had the gift of revelation. He saw what would happen to the children of Israel many years after his death. Genesis 50:24 “…God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.” God showed him these things. Even though he would not be around to see them, Joseph demonstrated his faith by believing that they would take place. The seven years of plenty and the seven years of famine occurred as was prophesied, so why wouldn’t this promise come to pass?
We have the blessing of having the full story at our fingertips. We just have to turn a few pages in the Bible, and we are able to find the story of Moses and how he led the children of Israel out of Egypt, just as Joseph had prophesied. But can you imagine hearing Joseph’s prophecy when it happened? How many people believed him, and how many of them doubted him? Joseph saw Moses, and he saw Moses leading the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt. Joseph also had faith that Moses would make sure his bones would be carried to Canaan to be buried near his ancestors.
As you all know, I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. And
“We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.” (Articles of Faith 1:8)
I have a testimony of the Bible and of the Book of Mormon. Both books have blessed my life tremendously. Without them, I do not know what course my life would have taken. They both testify of Jesus Christ. There is one particular story in the Book of Mormon were Lehi is on his deathbed giving blessings to his sons and his posterity. Lehi lived in Jerusalem but was warned that he should leave with his family before Jerusalem was destroyed. Eventually, they made it to the Americas. Lehi was a descendant of Joseph. He was from the lineage of Manasseh. Lehi and his family helped in the fulfillment of the promises given to Joseph that Joseph’s branches would run over the wall and unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills.
Lehi had been commanded of the Lord to have his sons obtain the brass plates prior to their departure out of Jerusalem. The brass plates contained the scriptures up to the time this family departed Jerusalem, which was about 600 B.C., and the genealogy of their ancestors. Lehi had six sons: Laman, Lemuel, Nephi, Samuel, Jacob, and Joseph. Lehi tells his son Joseph the following, which we understand were scriptures from the brass plates:
2 Nephi 3:5, 10, 12, 22-23
5 Wherefore, Joseph [the son of Israel] truly saw our day. And he obtained a promise of the Lord, that out of the fruit of his loins the Lord God would raise up a righteous branch unto the house of Israel; not the Messiah, but a branch which was to be broken off, nevertheless, to be remembered in the covenants of the Lord that the Messiah should be made manifest unto them in the latter days, in the spirit of power, unto the bringing of them out of darkness unto light—yea, out of hidden darkness and out of captivity unto freedom.
10 And Moses will I raise up, to deliver thy people out of the land of Egypt.
12 Wherefore, the fruit of thy loins shall write; and the fruit of the loins of Judah shall write; and that which shall be written by the fruit of thy loins, and also that which shall be written by the fruit of the loins of Judah, shall grow together, unto the confounding of false doctrines and laying down of contentions, and establishing peace among the fruit of thy loins, and bringing them to the knowledge of their fathers in the latter days, and also to the knowledge of my covenants, saith the Lord.
22 And now, behold, my son Joseph [son of Lehi], after this manner did my father of old prophesy [speaking of Joseph, the son of Israel].
23 Wherefore, because of this covenant thou art blessed; for thy seed shall not be destroyed, for they shall hearken unto the words of the book.
I am grateful that these prophecies were preserved in the brass plates, and that we have the opportunity to read about them in the Book of Mormon. Heavenly Father loves all His children. The Abrahamic Covenant was absolutely important in the day it was first established, but it is also being fulfilled in our day. I am also grateful for Joseph, son of Israel, and his exceedingly great faith. He endured much during his life, such as being sold into Egypt, being cast into prison, becoming a trusted friend of Pharaoh’s, and being prepared to preserve his family during the famine. Joseph was highly favored of the Lord. He had a special mission, and through him and his posterity, the promises made to Abraham were and continue to be fulfilled. In particular, “in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed…” (Genesis 22:18)
We are nearing the end of Hebrews 11 Part 2.
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Review the last posts of the series below:
Sacrifice without Hesitation
Trusting the Promised Blessings
When God Prepares the Way