2 Nephi, Chapter 3

Who are the four Josephs mentioned in this chapter?

The four Josephs of this chapter are Lehi’s’ son, Joseph of Egypt, Joseph Smith Sr., and Joseph Smith Jr..  The Name Joseph is mentioned 11 times in this chapter.

Joseph, the son of Lehi – Lehi is speaking to his youngest son, Joseph.  He tells that he has lived a life of affliction, the land of promise is his inheritance, his seed will be preserved, his seed will hearken unto the words of the book (the scriptures), and Joseph Smith will be from his seed.

Joseph of Egypt – Lehi tells his son that Joseph, who was carried captive into Egypt, is his ancestor.  He tells him that Joseph made covenants with the Lord, saw the future of his family, was promised that in his family a righteous “branch” would be broken off who would be brought out of darkness, prophesied that a seer would come (Joseph Smith), and was promised that his seed would be preserved forever.  

Joseph Smith, Sr. – Shall be the father of the seer.

Joseph Smith, Jr. – Lehi tells his son, that Joseph of Egypt prophesied that Joseph Smith, Jr. would be of the branch broken off from the house of Israel.  He will be a choice seer, esteemed highly in his family.  He will have a commandment to do a work and nothing else.  He will be great in the Lord’s eyes and do the Lord’s work.  He will be great like Moses, give the Lord’s word to the seed of Joseph (of Egypt) and convince them the words they will already have.  He will combine the Jewish word (bible) and the word of the Nephites (Book of Mormon) to confound the people.  He will be made strong and begin the restoration of the house of Israel.  He will be blessed.  His name will be Joseph like the Joseph of Egypt and his own father.  He will bring the people to salvation.  He will be a spokesman, an instrument of the Lord, and faithful (exceeding faith).  Lehi said Joseph Smith, Jr., will do mighty works and he did.

Notice the “if”

In D&C 130:21, we read, “And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated”.  Therefore, we will obtain blessings from God if we obey the law upon which it is predicated.  In verse 2, Joseph and his family will be given the blessings of the land for their inheritance If they keep the commandments.  We see this promise continued later in 3 Nephi 15:12-13, where we learn that Jesus told his disciples of the Americas, that they are descendants of Joseph of Israel and they have inherited the Land as given to them by God.  This is because they had kept the commandments, which was the law given to them.

How is a family like a tree?

A Family Tree

Roots of a tree represent the parents and ancestors of a family.  In the case of Joseph, this would be Lehi and Joseph of Egypt.  The trunk of a tree represents self or in this case, Joseph.  The branches of a tree are like the person’s children.  Joseph’s children or his “seed” would be the branches of his family tree.  The leaves of a tree represent the grandchildren and further posterity.  In Joseph’s family tree it is the “fruit of his loins” which would eventually include Joseph Smith, Jr..

The Prophet Joseph Smith

My name is important to me because of where it came from and because it is how others specifically address and communicate with me.  My name is partially a family name that has been passed down to me, and it is truly special to me.  In Joseph Smith History 1:3-4 we read of how Joseph Smith was named after his father.  Joseph Smith’s name fulfilled prophecy.  It was said by Lehi that the seer’s name would be that of Joseph of Egypt and of his father.  This is a wonderful example of how we are just little pieces of Heavenly Father’s grand plan.  Joseph Smith was chosen to be named Joseph by God and it was prophesied 3,500 years before he was even born.

On occasion, I wonder what it would have been like to be Joseph Smith at the moment he was translating the Book of Mormon by the power of God and he realized that he was prophesied of in ancient times, even down to his name.  Awesome!

The Bible and Book of Mormon

In order to confound false doctrine the Bible and Book of Mormon must grow together.  In the 8th Article of Faith we learn that the Bible may not be translated perfectly.  We know this to be true because of the number of churches that rely on the bible, but teach different doctrine.  Even churches in the same sect, but different areas, teach different principles.  The gospel we have with the Bible and the Book of Mormon leave no room for confusion.  We have the fullness of the gospel and the Book of Mormon has been translated perfectly.  The gospel is the same for me where I live as it is for someone in the far corners of Africa and South America.

One example of the clarity found in having the two together is, we know of God, Jesus,and the Holy Spirit in the bible, but we know they are one in purpose not in being, because of additional scripture.  I try to use them hand-in-hand to more fully understand gospel principles and I encourage others to do the same.

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1 Response to “2 Nephi, Chapter 3”


  1. 1 a rubow January 7, 2009 at 9:55 am

    For the next few days, I will be only giving short comments. I hope to not get so far behind.

    The verses which seem to mean the most to me in this chapter are below.

    5 Wherefore, Joseph truly saw our day. And he obtained a promise of the Lord, that out of the fruit of his loins the Lord God would raise up a righteous branch unto the house of Israel; not the Messiah, but a branch which was to be broken off, nevertheless, to be remembered in the covenants of the Lord that the Messiah should be made manifest unto them in the latter days, in the spirit of power, unto the bringing of them out of darkness unto light—yea, out of hidden darkness and out of captivity unto freedom.

    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.

    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 appreciate that as the days go by, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is coming more and more into the spotlight. As people hear about the Church, many of them are liking what they see. They are witnessing the benefits and blessings that come from choosing the right and having the Holy Ghost to guide them. They are seeing for themselves that the words of the prophets are coming true. As people learn to put their trust in the Savior, and follow the counsel of His Apostles, burdens are being lifted, darkness is coming into light, and chains of sin are beginning to be unlocked. I appreciate that righteous young men and women are being sent into the world to share the gospel and teach the people of the Savior and the blessings that happen when they follow His commandments and repent of sins. I look forward to the day, when the gospel of Jesus Christ can be taught to all nations and that government leaders seek to choose the right as they lead their people in freedom. I appreciate that we have the Book of Mormon to guide us and that it has been translated into so many languages, so that more and more can be brought to the knowledge of the Savior.


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About My Scripture Study Buddy

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I love the scriptures, but I am not a scriptorian. I've been told that I'm too "deep" for some, but if you are willing, I'd love to have others join me in my quest for a greater understanding of the gospel. Please feel free to leave me comments and hopefully we can help each other to learn.
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