Posts Tagged 'Dreams and Visions'

2 Chronicles Chapter 1

Second Chronicles is a continuation of a record of the children of Israel from the creation until the time when they would be allowed to return to their lands, after many were taken into Babylon. The beginning of the second book of Chronicles, starts with the reign of Solomon. Solomon was the son of David and Bathsheba. 2 Samuel 12 teaches that, “he called his name Solomon: and the Lord loved him.” (see 2 Samuel 12:24) Solomon was chosen by the Lord to be king, before his birth. In 1 Chronicles 22:9 we read the word of the Lord to David. “Behold, a son shall be born to thee, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies round about: for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quietness unto Israel in his days.” This chapter begins:

1 And Solomon the son of David was strengthened in his kingdom, and the Lord his God was with him, and magnified him exceedingly.
2 Then Solomon spake unto all Israel, to the captains of thousands and of hundreds, and to the judges, and to every governor in all Israel, the chief of the fathers.
3 So Solomon, and all the congregation with him, went to the high place that was at Gibeon; for there was the tabernacle of the congregation of God, which Moses the servant of the Lord had made in the wilderness.
4 But the ark of God had David brought up from Kirjath-jearim to the place which David had prepared for it: for he had pitched a tent for it at Jerusalem.
5 Moreover the brasen altar, that Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, had made, he put before the tabernacle of the Lord: and Solomon and the congregation sought unto it.
6 And Solomon went up thither to the brasen altar before the Lord, which was at the tabernacle of the congregation, and offered a thousand burnt offerings upon it.

The kingdom of Solomon was blessed by the Lord. Solomon was magnified by the Lord as well.
Then, Solomon gathered the leaders of Israel to the tabernacle in Gibeon, where the brasen altar was and he offered 1,000 burnt offerings on the altar.

7 In that night did God appear unto Solomon, and said unto him, Ask what I shall give thee.
8 And Solomon said unto God, Thou hast shewed great mercy unto David my father, and hast made me to reign in his stead.
9 Now, O Lord God, let thy promise unto David my father be established: for thou hast made me king over a people like the dust of the earth in multitude.
10 Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people: for who can judge this thy people, that is so great?
11 And God said to Solomon, Because this was in thine heart, and thou hast not asked riches, wealth, or honour, nor the life of thine enemies, neither yet hast asked long life; but hast asked wisdom and knowledge for thyself, that thou mayest judge my people, over whom I have made thee king:
12 Wisdom and knowledge is granted unto thee; and I will give thee riches, and wealth, and honour, such as none of the kings have had that have been before thee, neither shall there any after thee have the like.

That night, The Lord appeared to Solomon and told him he would give him what he asked of the Lord. After recognizing the mercy shown to his father, Solomon asked that the promises made to his father David would be fulfilled. Solomon asked the Lord for wisdom and knowledge, to be able to rule over and judge the children of Israel who were so great in number. It would seem that, like so many others who are called to lead, he did not feel he was adequate for the calling he had received. God blessed Solomon for such a righteous desire, and because he did not ask for personal riches, wealth, honor, or a long life. He gave him wisdom and knowledge, as well as riches, wealth and honor. God blessed him to be greater than any king who had lived or who would ever live.

13 Then Solomon came from his journey to the high place that was at Gibeon to Jerusalem, from before the tabernacle of the congregation, and reigned over Israel.
14 And Solomon gathered chariots and horsemen: and he had a thousand and four hundred chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen, which he placed in the chariot cities, and with the king at Jerusalem.
15 And the king made silver and gold at Jerusalem as plenteous as stones, and cedar trees made he as the sycomore trees that are in the vale for abundance.
16 And Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt, and linen yarn: the king’s merchants received the linen yarn at a price.
17 And they fetched up, and brought forth out of Egypt a chariot for six hundred shekels of silver, and an horse for an hundred and fifty: and so brought they out horses for all the kings of the Hittites, and for the kings of Syria, by their means.

Solomon returned to Jerusalem and reigned in Israel. His kingdom was blessed with a great number of chariots and horsemen, silver and gold in large amounts, cedar trees in abundance, Egyptian horses, linen yarn, and a chariot and horse from Egypt, as well as horses for the kings of the Hittites and Syria. His kingdom was truly blessed with wealth and riches.

Wisdom and knowledge are Godly attributes that all men should aspire to have. Solomon was not without them in total, because he knew to worship the Lord and pray for the guidance he needed, which other men would not have done. God blessed him for his goodness and his desire to lead in a manner that was pleasing to Him. Our Father in Heaven is not a respecter of persons and He desires to bless us as well. If we approach Him in prayer, with an honest heart and a desire to do what is right, He will help us as he helped Solomon in his need.

1 Kings Chapter 3

After the death of King David, the kingdom had been established greatly under Solomon. He had rid his kingdom of those who he knew would have destroyed it with rebellion. Solomon’s reign began with peace and strength. Chapter 3 begins as follows:

1 And Solomon made affinity with Pharaoh king of Egypt, and took Pharaoh’s daughter, and brought her into the city of David, until he had made an end of building his own house, and the house of the Lord, and the wall of Jerusalem round about.
2 Only the people sacrificed in high places, because there was no house built unto the name of the Lord, until those days.
3 And Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of David his father: only he sacrificed and burnt incense in high places.
4 And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there; for that was the great high place: a thousand burnt offerings did Solomon offer upon that altar.

Solomon made a marriage relationship with the Pharaoh, by taking Pharaoh’s daughter to wife. They lived in the city of David. Solomon built up the city of David, including a house for himself, for the Lord, and a wall around Jerusalem. Up until this time, a house to the Lord had not been built. David had wanted to build a house to the Lord, but the Lord had instructed him not to do so, because he would allow his posterity to build His house in the place He wanted it built. The people had made sacrifices in other places up until the reign of Solomon. Solomon was a righteous man, and loved the Lord and kept the commandments as his father had instructed him to do. Solomon went to Gibeon to make sacrifice to the Lord, which had been the location of a tabernacle to the Lord.

The Lord’s wisdom is far greater than our own. I am not sure why David had not been allowed to build the temple of the Lord, but that is how the Lord wanted it. Instead, the right timing and place would fall in the reign of Solomon, and it would be great.

5 In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee.
6 And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day.
7 And now, O Lord my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in.
8 And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude.
9 Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?
10 And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing.
11 And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment;
12 Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee.
13 And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days.
14 And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days.
15 And Solomon awoke; and, behold, it was a dream. And he came to Jerusalem, and stood before the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and offered up burnt offerings, and offered peace offerings, and made a feast to all his servants.

The Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream, asking what Solomon desired of him. Solomon acknowledged the great blessings that had been given to his father by the Lord, including the opportunity for him to sit upon the throne. Solomon felt he was not up to the task of being king, which is a typical feeling of those who are given these great callings of the Lord. He felt insignificant among a great and chosen people, so he asked for the ability to discern between good and bad and to judge the people with an understanding heart. The Lord was pleased with Solomon’s request, and blessed him with a wise and understanding heart, which he would be known for throughout history. His blessing of wisdom, was a blessing of the spirit and he was not simply wise to the things of the world, but spiritually wise, so that he could discern good from evil. He also blessed him with those worldly things that he had not asked for, even riches and honor. The Lord told him that he would be blessed with a long life, if he would keep the commandments like his father David. When Solomon woke up from the dream, he went to Jerusalem, offered sacrifices to the Lord and had a feast.

16 Then came there two women, that were harlots, unto the king, and stood before him.
17 And the one woman said, O my lord, I and this woman dwell in one house; and I was delivered of a child with her in the house.
18 And it came to pass the third day after that I was delivered, that this woman was delivered also: and we were together; there was no stranger with us in the house, save we two in the house.
19 And this woman’s child died in the night; because she overlaid it.
20 And she arose at midnight, and took my son from beside me, while thine handmaid slept, and laid it in her bosom, and laid her dead child in my bosom.
21 And when I rose in the morning to give my child suck, behold, it was dead: but when I had considered it in the morning, behold, it was not my son, which I did bear.
22 And the other woman said, Nay; but the living is my son, and the dead is thy son. And this said, No; but the dead is thy son, and the living is my son. Thus they spake before the king.
23 Then said the king, The one saith, This is my son that liveth, and thy son is the dead: and the other saith, Nay; but thy son is the dead, and my son is the living.
24 And the king said, Bring me a sword. And they brought a sword before the king.
25 And the king said, Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one, and half to the other.
26 Then spake the woman whose the living child was unto the king, for her bowels yearned upon her son, and she said, O my lord, give her the living child, and in no wise slay it. But the other said, Let it be neither mine nor thine, but divide it.
27 Then the king answered and said, Give her the living child, and in no wise slay it: she is the mother thereof.
28 And all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had judged; and they feared the king: for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him, to do judgment.

Two harlots came before Solomon, to have a dispute resolved that had risen between them. The women lived together, the first who spoke had given birth and then three days later the second also had a child. They were the only two in the house. The first claimed that the second’s woman’s child died in the night when she laid on it, and that she got up and traded the children while the first slept. When she awoke to feed her baby, she saw that it was not her baby that was next to her. The first said that she confronted the other woman, who said that the living child was her own. Solomon heard the complaint. He repeated their problem back to them and then in his wisdom, Solomon commanded his servants to bring him a sword, which they did. He told the servants to divide the child, giving a half to each woman. The mother of the baby told Solomon to give the baby to the other woman so that the baby would not be killed, while the other woman said for the baby to be divided. This was evidence of the true mother of the child, and so King Solomon pronounced judgement, that the child was to be given to the first, who had not wanted the baby killed, because she was the child’s mother. This was a bold way to judge this complaint that had been brought before him, and as the people of Israel heard of it, they saw that he truly was a wise judge.

Solomon was starting out as a good king for the people of Israel. Rather than seek after the things of the world, he desired to be wise. I think he felt the weight of his calling and truly wanted to magnify it and be the king that God wanted him to be. He did not want to judge others unfairly, but wanted to be able to tell what of the issues brought before him were good or bad. Because of this strong desire in him, he was blessed with more than he had expected. But, it was not his wealth that caused him to become known. It was the greatness of his wisdom, which was displayed as he judged between the two women. God was with him and helped him discern the good between them. Solomon was inspired to know that a mother would not allow her child to be destroyed.

The blessing of wisdom is not reserved only for great kings, but we all can seek after it just as Solomon did. It would be so good if more people turned to God and asked for the ability to discern and judge righteously, for wisdom before wealth. When we are given callings of the Lord, especially as a parent, we should desire the wisdom we need to fulfill that calling. I know, as a parent especially, I could use divine assistance in knowing how to do all that is expected and required of me. Moreover, every person would be greatly blessed to desire to do their best first, before having the best. Disciples of Christ should seek to be better servants of God, and like Solomon, they will be blessed with more than just help to be better, even with the blessings of the things of this world. This is because God loves us. He is a loving Father in Heaven, who desires to give blessings to all His children, both spiritual and physical blessings.

Judges Chapter 7

The Israelites were up against an army of Midianites, because the Lord had allowed them to fall into oppression for their wickedness. Gideon, had been called by the Lord, to lead the Israelites to victory. After having a confirmation of his calling, Gideon was prepared to answer the call. This chapter begins:

1 Then Jerubbaal, who is Gideon, and all the people that were with him, rose up early, and pitched beside the well of Harod: so that the host of the Midianites were on the north side of them, by the hill of Moreh, in the valley.
2 And the Lord said unto Gideon, The people that are with thee are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me.
3 Now therefore go to, proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, Whosoever is fearful and afraid, let him return and depart early from mount Gilead. And there returned of the people twenty and two thousand; and there remained ten thousand.
4 And the Lord said unto Gideon, The people are yet too many; bring them down unto the water, and I will try them for thee there: and it shall be, that of whom I say unto thee, This shall go with thee, the same shall go with thee; and of whomsoever I say unto thee, This shall not go with thee, the same shall not go.
5 So he brought down the people unto the water: and the Lord said unto Gideon, Every one that lappeth of the water with his tongue, as a dog lappeth, him shalt thou set by himself; likewise every one that boweth down upon his knees to drink.
6 And the number of them that lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, were three hundred men: but all the rest of the people bowed down upon their knees to drink water.
7 And the Lord said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand: and let all the other people go every man unto his place.
8 So the people took victuals in their hand, and their trumpets: and he sent all the rest of Israel every man unto his tent, and retained those three hundred men: and the host of Midian was beneath him in the valley.

The Lord instructed Gideon to reduce the number in the Israelite army, because they needed to know that the Lord was the reason they were preserved in this battle. He told him to tell the men that anyone who was fearful or afraid could leave. The Lord needed men of courage to stand against their enemy. 22,000 of the men went home and 10,000 were left. Again, the Lord said they had too many men in the army. The Lord told him to take the men to the water and they would be tested and the Lord would reveal who should remain there to fight. Gideon brought them to the water. Those who lapped the water like a dog were separated from those who bowed down to drink. Those who lapped from their hands were only 300 in number and they were those who would remain to fight. Everyone else returned home. The Lord told Gideon that Israel would be saved by these 300 men.

9 And it came to pass the same night, that the Lord said unto him, Arise, get thee down unto the host; for I have delivered it into thine hand.
10 But if thou fear to go down, go thou with Phurah thy servant down to the host:
11 And thou shalt hear what they say; and afterward shall thine hands be strengthened to go down unto the host. Then went he down with Phurah his servant unto the outside of the armed men that were in the host.
12 And the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the children of the east lay along in the valley like grasshoppers for multitude; and their camels were without number, as the sand by the sea side for multitude.
13 And when Gideon was come, behold, there was a man that told a dream unto his fellow, and said, Behold, I dreamed a dream, and, lo, a cake of barley bread tumbled into the host of Midian, and came unto a tent, and smote it that it fell, and overturned it, that the tent lay along.
14 And his fellow answered and said, This is nothing else save the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel: for into his hand hath God delivered Midian, and all the host.

When it was time, the Lord told Gideon he had delivered the Midianites into their hands. He said if Gideon was afraid, he was to go with his servant and hear what the enemy said. The Lord promised that by doing this, he would be strengthened, or have greater courage. Gideon went down and saw the great number of their army. He heard a man talking of his dream. It was that a small loaf of bread fell among the army of the Midianites and into a tent, which it caused to fall. He had interpreted to mean that God would deliver the Midianites into the hands of Gideon’s army.

15 And it was so, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream, and the interpretation thereof, that he worshipped, and returned into the host of Israel, and said, Arise; for the Lord hath delivered into your hand the host of Midian.
16 And he divided the three hundred men into three companies, and he put a trumpet in every man’s hand, with empty pitchers, and lamps within the pitchers.
17 And he said unto them, Look on me, and do likewise: and, behold, when I come to the outside of the camp, it shall be that, as I do, so shall ye do.
18 When I blow with a trumpet, I and all that are with me, then blow ye the trumpets also on every side of all the camp, and say, The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon.

Gideon was strengthened by the mention of this dream and the interpretation of it. He returned to his army and called them to arise, because the Lord had delivered the Midianites into their hands. The 300 men were divided into companies and given trumpets and pitchers. When he blew his trumpet, they were to blow their own trumpets and say “The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon”.

19 So Gideon, and the hundred men that were with him, came unto the outside of the camp in the beginning of the middle watch; and they had but newly set the watch: and they blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers that were in their hands.
20 And the three companies blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers, and held the lamps in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands to blow withal: and they cried, The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon.
21 And they stood every man in his place round about the camp: and all the host ran, and cried, and fled.
22 And the three hundred blew the trumpets, and the Lord set every man’s sword against his fellow, even throughout all the host: and the host fled to Beth-shittah in Zererath, and to the border of Abel-meholah, unto Tabbath.
23 And the men of Israel gathered themselves together out of Naphtali, and out of Asher, and out of all Manasseh, and pursued after the Midianites.

At his signal, all the army, which were outside the Midianite camp, blew trumpets, broke pitches, held lights and yelled as Gideon had commanded. The host of Midian, were afraid, and ran away, started to fight one another, and were then pursued by Israel.

24 And Gideon sent messengers throughout all mount Ephraim, saying, Come down against the Midianites, and take before them the waters unto Beth-barah and Jordan. Then all the men of Ephraim gathered themselves together, and took the waters unto Beth-barah and Jordan.
25 And they took two princes of the Midianites, Oreb and Zeeb; and they slew Oreb upon the rock Oreb, and Zeeb they slew at the winepress of Zeeb, and pursued Midian, and brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon on the other side Jordan.

The Midianites were destroyed by Israel, and their two princes were slain.

I love this bible story, because it is a great example of the strength of the Lord. The Midianites were so great in number that they were like grasshoppers. More than double the number of Israelites had returned home because they were afraid to face them. On the other side, was Gideon with only 300 courageous men of the host of Israel. The Lord prepared for their victory, by allowing dreams to bring fear to the camp of Midianites. Then, in that moment of fear, the small band was able to scare the Midianites away and they did not even raise a sword to fight. The wisdom of men, would have laughed at this idea for winning a battle against such a great enemy, but the Lord is more wise and powerful than men. I am sure that the 300 men, had to go on complete faith in the Lord, just as Gideon did in order to lead them.

One of the signs of the last days, and the coming of the Savior again, is that their will be wars and rumors of wars. I’ve thought this phrase was interesting in the past, but with this story it has a greater impact. A man had a dream, and I imagine that his personal interpretation of the dream spread through the camp and brought fear into the hearts of many. Then, the army of Gideon needed only to pretend to be large and frightening. The already fearful hearts of the Midianites, had lost the courage necessary to win the fight. I think that this is something that rumors of wars can do to people. Just the idea that someone stronger might be preparing to fight, can bring paralyzing fear. That fear, could be the tool used to destroy enemies.

Greater still, is the power of fear that Satan will use to bring down our own personal courage to do what is right. We are in a war with the adversary, every day. It is becoming increasingly important to take a stand with God on our side, so that the evil voices of our common enemy, will not cause us to retreat and be destroyed. We do not want to be like the Midianites, who allowed fear to destroy their army. We should, however, desire to be like Gideon and his small army, who chose to listen to the Lord and had their courage strengthened because they continued in faith.

Commentary on the Vision of Nephi

I recently received a comment on one of the first posts I wrote back in 2008, for 1 Nephi, Chapter 14. The following request was made:

Some things that I can’t understand that may be you could help me. When the angel asked Nephi if he remembers the covenants of the Father unto the House of Israel. And Nephi said, Yea. … the [angel] showed to Nephi the 2 churches. I just wondered why he showed this after asking Nephi. And in verse 17, I get a little hint here but still can’t gather all the thoughts.

I decided to make it a matter of further study, especially since I wrote my post so long ago. This response is a bit lengthy, but it helped me and I hope it can help others seeking to have a greater understanding.

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In all things in the gospel, especially as the spirit reveals truth to us, lessons are learned line upon line. I believe that the spirit is building upon the foundation of Nephi’s knowledge here. What is the foundation? For this, we need to look back to the beginning of the vision of Lehi. It is important to see the whole picture, to understand these smaller sections. Somewhere between 600 and 592 BC, Lehi has a vision of the tree of life (see 1 Nephi 8). It seems that in the perspective of Lehi, the importance of this dream is his family (descendants) receiving the glorious fruit of the tree. In the vision, the great and spacious building is introduced. We learn from what he teaches, that those within the building would mock and scorn those trying to do what was right. Throughout all time, the world has been against those who would choose to follow the Lord.

In 1 Nephi 10, Lehi teaches his family that the Jews would eventually return to Jerusalem after it would be destroyed. He taught them of when the Savior would come to earth, as the prophets had long foretold. He told them of how the Jews would dwindle in unbelief and kill the Messiah. Lehi tells them that at this time, the Savior would reveal himself to the gentiles. (I think it’s important to remember that Lehi and his family lived in a time when the Jews understood the gospel to be set apart for the Jews alone. The revelation for it to anyone outside of the covenant, would not come until Peter received it after the Savior had been resurrected. We read about that in Acts 10.) Then, Lehi preaches to them of how the Jews and gentiles compared to the olive tree and its branches. This is part of those things that the Lord promised in the covenants with their fathers, that the house of Israel would be divided. Lehi taught them of the gospel being received by the gentiles and of them bringing the natural branches, or the house of Israel, back into their place through coming to know the true Messiah. (chapter 10 vv. 2-14)

I am sure that the sons of Lehi had heard much of this before, through the teachings of youth. I believe he taught them with greater details, because of the vision he himself had received. Nephi desired to know the truth of this foundation his father had set in his teachings. In his pondering, he was carried away into his own vision (see 1 Nephi 11). In his vision, the spirit of the Lord first shows him the tree of life, which his father had seen. Then Nephi sees a vision of the coming forth of the Savior to the world. He speaks with an angel of what these things mean. Nephi witnessed the ministry of the Savior, and his apostles, to the Jews. Then he witnessed the sacrifice of the Savior by the Jews, and how the Jews would then fight against the apostles of the Savior. Those that fought against them, were in the great and spacious building of the world. In this part of the vision, Nephi has it confirmed to him, that the Jews would fall into apostasy and be of the world instead of being of the Lord.

In chapter 12, Nephi is shown more than what we learn from Lehi’s vision. He learns that his family would dwell in the promised land, as one of the broken off branches of the olive tree, and after many generations of fighting with the seed of his brothers, and great destruction for their wickedness, the Savior would appear to the part of his family that remained. Then after faithful generations, the two sides of their family would again fight each other, because of the temptations of the world. He saw again the great and spacious building of the world and its wickedness. Then he saw his seed destroyed in their wickedness and the seed of his brothers fall away into greater wickedness.

In chapter 13, the angel teaches Nephi of the many gentile nations. In verse 3 we read, “And he said unto me: These are the nations and kingdoms of the Gentiles.” He witnessed the formation of the great and abominable church among the gentile nations. This is part of the world’s great apostasy and it is led by the devil himself. Nephi is taught that worldly things are the desire of that church, which would strive to destroy the righteous saints of the church of God. This great church is presented to Nephi, much like the great and spacious building of the world. Nephi was then shown that the descendants of his brothers, were separated from the gentile nations, and that a gentile man would be inspired to journey to them across the waters. The gentiles would scatter and destroy many of their descendants. Then, the gentiles would prosper and separate themselves from other gentile nations, through war. After the war, a book of a jew would be brought forth among them, which we know to be the Bible, which contains the covenants of the house of Israel. Nephi learns that the book would start pure, but would be changed by the great and abominable church. After being changed, it would cause some confusion and stumbling. The angel shows Nephi, that the Lord would cause the seed of Lehi to also keep records of the gospel and the truth, and that these records would be brought forth to the gentiles at that time. The gentiles would then, teach the descendants of his brothers, of the record of their fathers. The records together would convince many of the truth and eventually, the Lord would be made manifest to all the nations and all the people of the world.

This is what the angel has shown Nephi leading up to this chapter, 1 Nephi 14. The angel teaches Nephi that those who would accept the gospel contained in the records, and therefore accept and hearken to the Lord, would be joined into the house of Israel. This is the gathering of Israel in these latter-days. The angel reminds Nephi that he has learned that those who repent, gentile or jew, would not perish. Those who would harden their hearts, would have destruction. This is the great and marvelous work that would be had among all the world. This is when in verse 8, he asks Nephi, “Rememberest thou the covenants of the Father unto the house of Israel?” In all this teaching, the angel has been reminding Nephi of the covenants of the Father to the Israelites.

The covenant of the Father unto the house of Israel, is the Abrahamic covenant. The Bible Dictionary can teach us of this covenant better than I can explain it. It reads:

Abraham first received the gospel by baptism (which is the covenant of salvation). Then he had conferred upon him the higher priesthood, and he entered into celestial marriage (which is the covenant of exaltation), gaining assurance thereby that he would have eternal increase. Finally he received a promise that all of these blessings would be offered to all of his mortal posterity (D&C 132:29–50; Abr. 2:6–11). Included in the divine promises to Abraham were the assurances that (1) Christ would come through his lineage, and that (2) Abraham’s posterity would receive certain lands as an eternal inheritance (Gen. 17; 22:15–18; Gal. 3; Abr. 2). These promises taken together are called the “Abrahamic covenant.” It was renewed with Isaac (Gen. 26:1–4, 24) and again with Jacob (Gen. 28; 35:9–13; 48:3–4).

The portions of the covenant that pertain to personal salvation and eternal increase are renewed with each individual who receives the ordinance of celestial marriage (see D&C 132:29–33). Those of non-Israelite lineage, commonly known as Gentiles, are adopted into the house of Israel and become heirs of the covenant and the seed of Abraham through the ordinances of the gospel (Gal. 3:26–29).

Being an heir to the Abrahamic covenant does not make one a “chosen person” per se but does signify that such are chosen to responsibly carry the gospel to all the peoples of the earth. Abraham’s seed have carried out the missionary activity in all the nations since Abraham’s day. (Matt. 3:9; Abr. 2:9–11.)

To fulfill the covenant God made with Abraham—having particular reference to the fact that the literal seed of his body would be entitled to all of the blessings of the gospel (Abr. 2:10–11)—a number of specific and particular things must take place in the last days. The gospel must be restored, the priesthood must be conferred again upon man, the keys of the sealing power must be given again to mortals, Israel must be gathered, and the Holy Ghost must be poured out upon the Gentiles. All this has already taken place or is in process of fulfillment.

Then, with a reminder of the covenant, the angel shows Nephi that the world would eventually be divided into two parts or churches. The first is the church of the Lamb of God, which consists of those who are the people of God, the latter-day house of Israel. The second is everyone else, who would belong to the great and abominable church of the world, and who would be led by Satan. The two churches would fight. Those of the world, would fight against the people of God. At that time, when God and his people would fight against Satan and his followers, the covenant would begin to be fulfilled (see verse 17). This would lead up to the time of the second coming, which was written about in the book of Revelation, by the apostle John, and Nephi was told not to write any more of what he saw in the vision.

So, with all of this in mind, I think that the question the angel posed to Nephi, was more of a reminder to him that in this entire vision, he was being shown the fulfillment of the covenants made to the house of Israel. I do not think that what directly followed the question, was the complete answer. I think it’s much like posing a question at the closing of a lesson, when we may be reminded of the entire purpose for the words spoken. Nephi needed to be shown all that would lead up to the restoration of the gospel, which would lead to the descendants of his father being able to make sacred covenants again some day. Nephi was blessed with a knowledge that in latter-days, the house of Israel would be gathered again, so that the promised blessings of the covenant could be received by all those who were willing to be a part of the church of the Lamb. The fulfillment of the promises would come as the Lord’s church stood against the great and abominable church of the world. I hope that this helps in your understanding, as it has in my own. I think to understand it even more fully, it is important to also look to the book of Revelation, to see what Nephi was shown after what he has written for us. I have not yet approached the book of Revelation in my own deeper study, but I am really looking forward to it and the understanding I know it will bring.

Genesis Chapter 46

Jacob (Israel) has been told that his son, Joseph, is alive and the governor over the land of Egypt. Joseph has been the favored son of Jacob and believed to be dead for several years at this point. Pharaoh has offered Jacob’s family a place to live and be fed through the rest of the famine, because they are the family of his trusted assistant, Joseph. Their story continues as follows:

1 And Israel took his journey with all that he had, and came to Beer-sheba, and offered sacrifices unto the God of his father Isaac.
2 And God spake unto Israel in the visions of the night, and said, Jacob, Jacob. And he said, Here am I.
3 And he said, I am God, the God of thy father: fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation:
4 I will go down with thee into Egypt; and I will also surely bring thee up again: and Joseph shall put his hand upon thine eyes.
5 And Jacob rose up from Beer-sheba: and the sons of Israel carried Jacob their father, and their little ones, and their wives, in the wagons which Pharaoh had sent to carry him.
6 And they took their cattle, and their goods, which they had gotten in the land of Canaan, and came into Egypt, Jacob, and all his seed with him:
7 His sons, and his sons’ sons with him, his daughters, and his sons’ daughters, and all his seed brought he with him into Egypt.

Israel left his home, with his family and belongings and began the journey to Egypt. He stopped first, to give thanks to God by the offering of sacrifices in the land of Beer-sheba. The name “beer” was the name of the place where the Lord had spoken to, and covenanted with both Abraham and Isaac. This was a sacred place of worship for Israel. God spoke to him in vision and told him not to worry about going to Egypt. I don’t think that Egypt was a land where the hebrews were generally treated well. It may not have been to the point of them all being slaves, but Egypt was a land where they believed in many gods and had the many false traditions of their fathers. I am sure it was not being easy for Israel to be taking his loved ones into that kind of setting. God promised that his seed would become a great nation there. God promised to be with him there and bring him out of Egypt again. I think when it is said that Joseph would put his hand upon his eyes, it meant that Joseph would give him a blessing. I also am not sure that God meant that he would literally bring Jacob out of Egypt, but that possibly this meant that eventually the family of Jacob would be brought out of the land of Egypt. Jacob faithfully went forward with his family and arrived in Egypt.

A Family Tree

The list of his grandchildren begins with his sons from Leah, his first wife. They are as follows:

8 And these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt, Jacob and his sons: Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn.
9 And the sons of Reuben; Hanoch, and Phallu, and Hezron, and Carmi.
10 And the sons of Simeon; Jemuel, and Jamin, and Ohad, and Jachin, and Zohar, and Shaul the son of a Canaanitish woman.
11 And the sons of Levi; Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.
12 And the sons of Judah; Er, and Onan, and Shelah, and Pharez, and Zerah: but Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan. And the sons of Pharez were Hezron and Hamul.
13 And the sons of Issachar; Tola, and Phuvah, and Job, and Shimron.
14 And the sons of Zebulun; Sered, and Elon, and Jahleel.
15 These be the sons of Leah, which she bare unto Jacob in Padan-aram, with his daughter Dinah: all the souls of his sons and his daughters were thirty and three.

These are the grandchildren of Israel, through Leah’s handmaid, Zilpah, his second wife:

16 And the sons of Gad; Ziphion, and Haggi, Shuni, and Ezbon, Eri, and Arodi, and Areli.
17 And the sons of Asher; Jimnah, and Ishuah, and Isui, and Beriah, and Serah their sister: and the sons of Beriah; Heber, and Malchiel.
18 These are the sons of Zilpah, whom Laban gave to Leah his daughter, and these she bare unto Jacob, even sixteen souls.

These are the grandchildren of Israel, from his third wife, Rachel, who was the wife he loved and lost during childbirth:

19 The sons of Rachel Jacob’s wife; Joseph, and Benjamin.
20 And unto Joseph in the land of Egypt were born Manasseh and Ephraim, which Asenath the daughter of Poti-pherah priest of On bare unto him.
21 And the sons of Benjamin were Belah, and Becher, and Ashbel, Gera, and Naaman, Ehi, and Rosh, Muppim, and Huppim, and Ard.
22 These are the sons of Rachel, which were born to Jacob: all the souls were fourteen.

These are the grandchildren of Israel, whom he had through his forth wife, Bilhah, the handmaid of Rachel:

23 And the sons of Dan; Hushim.
24 And the sons of Naphtali; Jahzeel, and Guni, and Jezer, and Shillem.
25 These are the sons of Bilhah, which Laban gave unto Rachel his daughter, and she bare these unto Jacob: all the souls were seven.
26 All the souls that came with Jacob into Egypt, which came out of his loins, besides Jacob’s sons’ wives, all the souls were threescore and six;
27 And the sons of Joseph, which were born him in Egypt, were two souls: all the souls of the house of Jacob, which came into Egypt, were threescore and ten.

Jacob brought 66 grandchildren, eleven sons, 1 daughter and his 3 living wives, into the land of Egypt. There they were to meet up with Joseph and his two sons.

28 And he sent Judah before him unto Joseph, to direct his face unto Goshen; and they came into the land of Goshen.
29 And Joseph made ready his chariot, and went up to meet Israel his father, to Goshen, and presented himself unto him; and he fell on his neck, and wept on his neck a good while.
30 And Israel said unto Joseph, Now let me die, since I have seen thy face, because thou art yet alive.
31 And Joseph said unto his brethren, and unto his father’s house, I will go up, and shew Pharaoh, and say unto him, My brethren, and my father’s house, which were in the land of Canaan, are come unto me;
32 And the men are shepherds, for their trade hath been to feed cattle; and they have brought their flocks, and their herds, and all that they have.
33 And it shall come to pass, when Pharaoh shall call you, and shall say, What is your occupation?
34 That ye shall say, Thy servants’ trade hath been about cattle from our youth even until now, both we, and also our fathers: that ye may dwell in the land of Goshen; for every shepherd is an abomination unto the Egyptians.

Judah is sent to go ahead and meet Joseph and they would all meet in the land of Goshen where Pharaoh had prepared land for the family of Israel. Joseph and Israel are finally reunited with tears. Joseph tells that that the Egyptians see shepherds as an abomination, so he would go and tell pharaoh that they were shepherds. I am sure this was to keep his family safe and able to continue the work they had always done.

Jacob had a knowledge of the Egyptians and their traditions, which had probably been taught to him by his father. Jacob’s grandfather, Abraham, had been raised in the land near Egypt and knew of the traditions because his own family lived them. Jacob knew they were not living according to the ways of God. It seems as though a bunch of those traditions were to consider certain associations with the hebrews to be an abomination (i.e. not eating with them). Here we learn that being a shepherd was also considered an abomination. It seems that Jacob had a lot to be concerned about in taking his family there, but he was faithful and followed the commandment of God to dwell in the land of Egypt. There are times in my own life, when my own logic would tell me that something would not work for myself or my family, but I know that following the inspiration of God has to be better. If we believe that God loves us and knows all, we need to recognize that the things he inspires us to do will be of great benefit to us physically and/or spiritually. Jacob recognized that God knew what was best and he trusted that God would remain true to the promises he gave. I hope that I can live to be a woman of that kind of faith and trust in the Lord.

Genesis Chapter 43

Joseph is in Egypt and has kept his brother, Simeon, in prison there, claiming all his brothers were spies. Joseph sent the rest of them back to Canaan to bring his brother Benjamin back to him. If they would do this, they would prove they were innocent and Simeon would be released from prison. In the process they learned that they all still had the money they had taken with them to Egypt to purchase the food they received and now they looked like thieves as well. Jacob (Israel) has been told of the things that happened to his sons in Egypt and is hesitant to send Benjamin and loose him since he has already lost his beloved wife and son, Benjamin’s mother and brother. No one knows at this point, that the man demanding these things is in fact Joseph. This part of Joseph’s story continues as follows:

1 And the famine was sore in the land.
2 And it came to pass, when they had eaten up the corn which they had brought out of Egypt, their father said unto them, Go again, buy us a little food.
3 And Judah spake unto him, saying, The man did solemnly protest unto us, saying, Ye shall not see my face, except your brother be with you.
4 If thou wilt send our brother with us, we will go down and buy thee food:
5 But if thou wilt not send him, we will not go down: for the man said unto us, Ye shall not see my face, except your brother be with you.
6 And Israel said, Wherefore dealt ye so ill with me, as to tell the man whether ye had yet a brother?
7 And they said, The man asked us straitly of our state, and of our kindred, saying, Is your father yet alive? have ye another brother? and we told him according to the tenor of these words: could we certainly know that he would say, Bring your brother down?
8 And Judah said unto Israel his father, Send the lad with me, and we will arise and go; that we may live, and not die, both we, and thou, and also our little ones.
9 I will be surety for him; of my hand shalt thou require him: if I bring him not unto thee, and set him before thee, then let me bear the blame for ever:
10 For except we had lingered, surely now we had returned this second time.
11 And their father Israel said unto them, If it must be so now, do this; take of the best fruits of the land in your vessels, and carry down the man a present, a little balm, and a little honey, spices, and myrrh, nuts, and almonds:
12 And take double money in your hand; and the money that was brought again in the mouth of your sacks, carry it again in your hand; peradventure it was an oversight:
13 Take also your brother, and arise, go again unto the man:
14 And God Almighty give you mercy before the man, that he may send away your other brother, and Benjamin. If I be bereaved of my children, I am bereaved.

Jacob recognized their need for food again, but they could not go back to ask for more without taking Benjamin with them. Judah begged that they be able to save their whole family by taking Benjamin with them, otherwise they would not go. Judah promised that the blame would rest on him forever, if anything were to happen to Benjamin while they were gone. Jacob reluctantly sent them to Egypt with Benjamin, gifts and double the amount of money they had taken the first time, so that they could pay back for the amount that they should have paid before.

15 And the men took that present, and they took double money in their hand, and Benjamin; and rose up, and went down to Egypt, and stood before Joseph.
16 And when Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the ruler of his house, Bring these men home, and slay, and make ready; for these men shall dine with me at noon.
17 And the man did as Joseph bade; and the man brought the men into Joseph’s house.
18 And the men were afraid, because they were brought into Joseph’s house; and they said, Because of the money that was returned in our sacks at the first time are we brought in; that he may seek occasion against us, and fall upon us, and take us for bondmen, and our asses.
19 And they came near to the steward of Joseph’s house, and they communed with him at the door of the house,
20 And said, O sir, we came indeed down at the first time to buy food:
21 And it came to pass, when we came to the inn, that we opened our sacks, and, behold, every man’s money was in the mouth of his sack, our money in full weight: and we have brought it again in our hand.
22 And other money have we brought down in our hands to buy food: we cannot tell who put our money in our sacks.
23 And he said, Peace be to you, fear not: your God, and the God of your father, hath given you treasure in your sacks: I had your money. And he brought Simeon out unto them.
24 And the man brought the men into Joseph’s house, and gave them water, and they washed their feet; and he gave their asses provender.
25 And they made ready the present against Joseph came at noon: for they heard that they should eat bread there.

They went to Egypt with all the things that Jacob had told them to take. Joseph had his brothers come to his home to eat with him. His brothers were afraid that they would be taken because of the money they did not pay that last time. They told Joseph’s steward what had happened with the money the first time and he assured them that they should not be afraid. I imagine that the steward knew that their money had been returned to them by order of Joseph when they had come the first time. Simeon was released to them, just as they had been promised and they all went into Joseph’s house and were taken care of there. The washing of feet and taking care of animals was custom for guests in that time. They prepared to meet Joseph there with the gifts they had brought.

26 And when Joseph came home, they brought him the present which was in their hand into the house, and bowed themselves to him to the earth.
27 And he asked them of their welfare, and said, Is your father well, the old man of whom ye spake? Is he yet alive?
28 And they answered, Thy servant our father is in good health, he is yet alive. And they bowed down their heads, and made obeisance.
29 And he lifted up his eyes, and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother’s son, and said, Is this your younger brother, of whom ye spake unto me? And he said, God be gracious unto thee, my son.
30 And Joseph made haste; for his bowels did yearn upon his brother: and he sought where to weep; and he entered into his chamber, and wept there.
31 And he washed his face, and went out, and refrained himself, and said, Set on bread.
32 And they set on for him by himself, and for them by themselves, and for the Egyptians, which did eat with him, by themselves: because the Egyptians might not eat bread with the Hebrews; for that is an abomination unto the Egyptians.
33 And they sat before him, the firstborn according to his birthright, and the youngest according to his youth: and the men marvelled one at another.
34 And he took and sent messes unto them from before him: but Benjamin’s mess was five times so much as any of theirs. And they drank, and were merry with him.

When Joseph arrived, they gave him their gift and showed him respect. In fulfillment of his dream, again, the brothers all bowed to the earth. This was just as the sheaves of corn had done in the dream he had told them about before they sold him many years before. Joseph asked them how their father was doing and then asked if this was Brother they had spoken of. He was so overcome with emotions over seeing his brother, that he had to leave the room to cry. When he was prepared to return, they ate together according to the customs of Egypt. He gave them all of his meat, giving the greatest portion to Benjamin, who he loved dearly. They were all happy.

This was a true sacrifice for Jacob to send his beloved son Benjamin with his brothers, not knowing what would become of him. I am sure it was extremely difficult for him, but he recognized the needs of his family and the sincerity of Judah’s plea. It is so touching to read of Joseph’s reactions to seeing his brothers the first time and now to see Benjamin. He loved his brother very much. He continued to keep himself disguised from his brothers, which I am sure was what the spirit guided him to do to teach his brothers what they needed to learn from this experience. In each step of this, there was fulfillment of the things they had been told of years earlier. It is continued evidence that the gifts of the spirit are from the spirit of God which is truth, and that all things that had been revealed to them through the spirit, would surely come to pass. When we have things revealed to us by the spirit, we need to recognize them as the truth and things that are for our good. I am so grateful for the guidance and lessons I receive from the spirit in my own life.

Genesis Chapter 42

The land of Egypt and the surrounding areas are suffering through a horrible famine at this point in the Bible. Joseph, the son of Jacob (Israel), has made Egypt the place to go to for help. He is the assistant to Pharaoh and is in charge of all the land. People from all around are going to Egypt, to Joseph, to get help in this time of great need.

1 Now when Jacob saw that there was corn in Egypt, Jacob said unto his sons, Why do ye look one upon another?
2 And he said, Behold, I have heard that there is corn in Egypt: get you down thither, and buy for us from thence; that we may live, and not die.

Jacob decided to send his sons to Egypt to buy some food, so that there family would not starve.

3 And Joseph’s ten brethren went down to buy corn in Egypt.
4 But Benjamin, Joseph’s brother, Jacob sent not with his brethren; for he said, Lest peradventure mischief befall him.
5 And the sons of Israel came to buy corn among those that came: for the famine was in the land of Canaan.
6 And Joseph was the governor over the land, and he it was that sold to all the people of the land: and Joseph’s brethren came, and bowed down themselves before him with their faces to the earth.
7 And Joseph saw his brethren, and he knew them, but made himself strange unto them, and spake roughly unto them; and he said unto them, Whence come ye? And they said, From the land of Canaan to buy food.
8 And Joseph knew his brethren, but they knew not him.
9 And Joseph remembered the dreams which he dreamed of them, and said unto them, Ye are spies; to see the nakedness of the land ye are come.
10 And they said unto him, Nay, my lord, but to buy food are thy servants come.
11 We are all one man’s sons; we are true men, thy servants are no spies.
12 And he said unto them, Nay, but to see the nakedness of the land ye are come.
13 And they said, Thy servants are twelve brethren, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan; and, behold, the youngest is this day with our father, and one is not.
14 And Joseph said unto them, That is it that I spake unto you, saying, Ye are spies:
15 Hereby ye shall be proved: By the life of Pharaoh ye shall not go forth hence, except your youngest brother come hither.
16 Send one of you, and let him fetch your brother, and ye shall be kept in prison, that your words may be proved, whether there be any truth in you: or else by the life of Pharaoh surely ye are spies.
17 And he put them all together into ward three days.
18 And Joseph said unto them the third day, This do, and live; for I fear God:
19 If ye be true men, let one of your brethren be bound in the house of your prison: go ye, carry corn for the famine of your houses:
20 But bring your youngest brother unto me; so shall your words be verified, and ye shall not die. And they did so.

Ten of the sons went down to Egypt, leaving Benjamin with his father. Benjamin was the full-blooded brother of Joseph and his father did not want anything to happen to him. Joseph’s brothers bowed before him, just as Joseph had said they would. Joseph disguised himself and asked them where they came from. He accused them of being spies to see things about his land, but they denied his accusations and told him they came to buy food. They explained that they were all brothers of one man and that they had two others brothers, one with their father, and one who was gone. Joseph said that they would prove themselves true as they were held captive until their younger brother came to Egypt. After they were in prison for three days, he told them to pick one of them to stay in prison. The rest were sent back to Canaan with food for the families and the were instructed to bring back Benjamin and prove they were not spies.

21 And they said one to another, We are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear; therefore is this distress come upon us.
22 And Reuben answered them, saying, Spake I not unto you, saying, Do not sin against the child; and ye would not hear? therefore, behold, also his blood is required.
23 And they knew not that Joseph understood them; for he spake unto them by an interpreter.
24 And he turned himself about from them, and wept; and returned to them again, and communed with them, and took from them Simeon, and bound him before their eyes.

The brothers spoke of their remorse for what they had done to Joseph years ago. I think that they felt they were being punished for their sin. Reuben reminded them that he had told them not to do it, but they would not listen to him. Joseph, who knew what they were talking about, went away and cried over this. He went back to them, and bound and took Simeon to place him in prison. I think he did this “before their eyes” as a reminder of what they had done to him many years before.

25 Then Joseph commanded to fill their sacks with corn, and to restore every man’s money into his sack, and to give them provision for the way: and thus did he unto them.
26 And they laded their asses with the corn, and departed thence.
27 And as one of them opened his sack to give his ass provender in the inn, he espied his money; for, behold, it was in his sack’s mouth.
28 And he said unto his brethren, My money is restored; and, lo, it is even in my sack: and their heart failed them, and they were afraid, saying one to another, What is this that God hath done unto us?

Joseph had them take their sacks of food and put their money back in their sacks as well. Then they were sent away. When one of them went to feed his animals, he saw that he had all his money still and they knew this made them look like thieves.

29 And they came unto Jacob their father unto the land of Canaan, and told him all that befell unto them; saying,
30 The man, who is the lord of the land, spake roughly to us, and took us for spies of the country.
31 And we said unto him, We are true men; we are no spies:
32 We be twelve brethren, sons of our father; one is not, and the youngest is this day with our father in the land of Canaan.
33 And the man, the lord of the country, said unto us, Hereby shall I know that ye are true men; leave one of your brethren here with me, and take food for the famine of your households, and be gone:
34 And bring your youngest brother unto me: then shall I know that ye are no spies, but that ye are true men: so will I deliver you your brother, and ye shall traffick in the land.

When they got back home, they told Jacob what had happened when they had encountered the lord of the land, who they did not know was Joseph.

35 And it came to pass as they emptied their sacks, that, behold, every man’s bundle of money was in his sack: and when both they and their father saw the bundles of money, they were afraid.
36 And Jacob their father said unto them, Me have ye bereaved of my children: Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away: all these things are against me.
37 And Reuben spake unto his father, saying, Slay my two sons, if I bring him not to thee: deliver him into my hand, and I will bring him to thee again.
38 And he said, My son shall not go down with you; for his brother is dead, and he is left alone: if mischief befall him by the way in the which ye go, then shall ye bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to the grave.

When they emptied their sacks of food, they saw that all of them had their money still and they were all afraid. Jacob spoke to them of how they had caused him to loose two of his sons now and that Benjamin was at risk of being lost as well. Reuben said that if he did not bring him back, Jacob could kill his own sons. Reuben told his father to allow Benjamin to go back with him. Jacob refused because he could not stand to loose another son.

This chapter shows the fulfillment of the revelations that Joseph had received in dreams when he lived with his family. I am sure this time was a difficult one for Joseph. He had been made to suffer a lot because of the choices his brothers made. I am sure that there had been many times throughout those years, when he had thought about the dreams he had and how long it might be before he could see them come to pass. I think he must have held on to hope in these things, in order to get through the difficulties he had experienced. It must have been hard to see his brothers, groveling before him, when the last he saw them they were prepared to kill him to have their way. Joseph must have recognized his many blessings and the hand of the Lord in the tender mercies of his life. This is a great example of trusting the Lord and remaining righteous and faithful through the difficult and prosperous times of our lives. When we continue to follow the commandments and live well in the sight of God, he will lead us to the blessings that he has prepared for us.

Genesis Chapter 41

The story of Joseph, the beloved son of Jacob (Israel) continues in this chapter. At this point, he was sold into slavery by his brothers. He was purchased by a man named Potiphar. Potiphar’s wife falsely accused him of taking advantage of her, so Joseph was put into prison. Two men were placed there with him, a chief butler and chief butler of pharaoh. They had dreams which Joseph correctly interpreted through a gift of the spirit which he had. The butler was again serving pharaoh, while Joseph remained in the prison for something he had not done. The story continues as follows:

1 And it came to pass at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh dreamed: and, behold, he stood by the river.
2 And, behold, there came up out of the river seven well favoured kine and fatfleshed; and they fed in a meadow.
3 And, behold, seven other kine came up after them out of the river, ill favoured and leanfleshed; and stood by the other kine upon the brink of the river.
4 And the ill favoured and leanfleshed kine did eat up the seven well favoured and fat kine. So Pharaoh awoke.
5 And he slept and dreamed the second time: and, behold, seven ears of corn came up upon one stalk, rank and good.
6 And, behold, seven thin ears and blasted with the east wind sprung up after them.
7 And the seven thin ears devoured the seven rank and full ears. And Pharaoh awoke, and, behold, it was a dream.
8 And it came to pass in the morning that his spirit was troubled; and he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt, and all the wise men thereof: and Pharaoh told them his dream; but there was none that could interpret them unto Pharaoh.

Two years after the Butler returned to his work, Pharaoh had troubling dreams, which could not be interpreted by any of his magicians or wise men. The dreams were first, that he was near the river and seven fat cows came out of the river and into the meadow to feed. Then seven skinny and sick cows came out and ate the fat cows. After he awoke and returned to sleep, he dreamed that there were seven good stalks of corn that grew. Then, seven bad stalks grew and devoured the good stalks. He did not know what to make of these dreams.

9 Then spake the chief butler unto Pharaoh, saying, I do remember my faults this day:
10 Pharaoh was wroth with his servants, and put me in ward in the captain of the guard’s house, both me and the chief baker:
11 And we dreamed a dream in one night, I and he; we dreamed each man according to the interpretation of his dream.
12 And there was there with us a young man, an Hebrew, servant to the captain of the guard; and we told him, and he interpreted to us our dreams; to each man according to his dream he did interpret.
13 And it came to pass, as he interpreted to us, so it was; me he restored unto mine office, and him he hanged.

The butler, who had promised to remember Joseph when he was out of prison, finally did remember him now. He told Pharaoh about how Joseph had interpreted his dream and that it had happened just as Joseph had said for both him and the Baker.

14 Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon: and he shaved himself, and changed his raiment, and came in unto Pharaoh.
15 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I have dreamed a dream, and there is none that can interpret it: and I have heard say of thee, that thou canst understand a dream to interpret it.
16 And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace.
17 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, In my dream, behold, I stood upon the bank of the river:
18 And, behold, there came up out of the river seven kine, fatfleshed and well favoured; and they fed in a meadow:
19 And, behold, seven other kine came up after them, poor and very ill favoured and leanfleshed, such as I never saw in all the land of Egypt for badness:
20 And the lean and the ill favoured kine did eat up the first seven fat kine:
21 And when they had eaten them up, it could not be known that they had eaten them; but they were still ill favoured, as at the beginning. So I awoke.
22 And I saw in my dream, and, behold, seven ears came up in one stalk, full and good:
23 And, behold, seven ears, withered, thin, and blasted with the east wind, sprung up after them:
24 And the thin ears devoured the seven good ears: and I told this unto the magicians; but there was none that could declare it to me.

Joseph was brought to Pharaoh and was told of the troubling dream. Joseph, being the righteous man of God, gave honor to God with his gift of interpretation. When Joseph says here that “God shall give Pharaoh and answer of peace”, I tend to think that in order for him to understand the interpretation that was given by Joseph, he needed to be teachable by the spirit. Joseph’s brothers had not been open to the spirit at the time when he told them of his dreams and so they did not have the peace the spirit can bring when things are right and true. Rather, they were filled with anger, which builds an automatic wall in our hearts. They could not recognize the teachings of the spirit, because they were not open to it, even though I am sure they were taught by their father, to be worthy to recognize it. So, Pharaoh trusts Joseph at this point because his heart is softened and he is humble enough. He tells him about his dream.

25 And Joseph said unto Pharaoh, The dream of Pharaoh is one: God hath shewed Pharaoh what he is about to do.
26 The seven good kine are seven years; and the seven good ears are seven years: the dream is one.
27 And the seven thin and ill favoured kine that came up after them are seven years; and the seven empty ears blasted with the east wind shall be seven years of famine.
28 This is the thing which I have spoken unto Pharaoh: What God is about to do he sheweth unto Pharaoh.
29 Behold, there come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt:
30 And there shall arise after them seven years of famine; and all the plenty shall be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine shall consume the land;
31 And the plenty shall not be known in the land by reason of that famine following; for it shall be very grievous.
32 And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh twice; it is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass.
33 Now therefore let Pharaoh look out a man discreet and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt.
34 Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint officers over the land, and take up the fifth part of the land of Egypt in the seven plenteous years.
35 And let them gather all the food of those good years that come, and lay up corn under the hand of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities.
36 And that food shall be for store to the land against the seven years of famine, which shall be in the land of Egypt; that the land perish not through the famine.

Joseph explained that this dream was given to Pharaoh so that he would do according to what it meant. He told him that the dreams went together and that the seven cows and stalks represented seven years. There would be seven years of plenty and seven years of famine in the land. During the years of famine, all of the things that came in the time of plenty will be lost and forgotten. Joseph explained that God was giving Pharaoh a warning of what he was about to allow to come upon the land. Joseph told him that he should be wise and save some of their plenty during the good years, so that they would have food stored up for the years of famine.

This is a great example of wisdom in food storage. I think that we can all take a lesson from this. We may not be shown a warning of some great catastrophe coming our way, but we all suffer from times of trials financially and such. When things are going well for us, or well enough, we should be mindful of the preparations we can do for the difficult times that come in life. We also have friends and neighbors who struggle at times, and it would be kind of us to be willing to share our plenty when we are able. If we have not prepared, we loose out on that great opportunity for service.

37 And the thing was good in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of all his servants.
38 And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is?
39 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art:
40 Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou.
41 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt.
42 And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph’s hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck;
43 And he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee: and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt.
44 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I am Pharaoh, and without thee shall no man lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.
45 And Pharaoh called Joseph’s name Zaphnath-paaneah; and he gave him to wife Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On. And Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt.

Pharaoh and his servants recognize this interpretation as right and I am sure this is because they allowed themselves to be touched by the spirit, which bears all truth. Joseph was again recognized as a man of God, and was given charge over all of Egypt, with only Pharaoh over him. Joseph was given great gifts by Pharaoh, such as his ring, a gold chain, fine clothing and a chariot. Pharaoh called him Zaphnath-paaneah and gave him a wife to marry named Asenath.

46 And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt.
47 And in the seven plenteous years the earth brought forth by handfuls.
48 And he gathered up all the food of the seven years, which were in the land of Egypt, and laid up the food in the cities: the food of the field, which was round about every city, laid he up in the same.
49 And Joseph gathered corn as the sand of the sea, very much, until he left numbering; for it was without number.
50 And unto Joseph were born two sons before the years of famine came, which Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On bare unto him.
51 And Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: For God, said he, hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father’s house.
52 And the name of the second called he Ephraim: For God hath caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.

Joseph ruled in Egypt and led the people with wisdom during the seven years of plenty. They were able to store a lot of food in preparation for the famine. Joseph had two sons during this time, and he named them Manasseh and Ephraim.

53 And the seven years of plenteousness, that was in the land of Egypt, were ended.
54 And the seven years of dearth began to come, according as Joseph had said: and the dearth was in all lands; but in all the land of Egypt there was bread.
55 And when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread: and Pharaoh said unto all the Egyptians, Go unto Joseph; what he saith to you, do.
56 And the famine was over all the face of the earth: And Joseph opened all the storehouses, and sold unto the Egyptians; and the famine waxed sore in the land of Egypt.
57 And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph for to buy corn; because that the famine was so sore in all lands.

Then the seven years of plenty ended and the famine came, just as Joseph had said. The famine was in much more land than just Egypt, but Egypt was blessed for the wisdom that came as a blessing from God. Joseph sold their grain to all who came to them in need. Egypt was blessed in a time of great difficulty, because its leader chose to listen to inspiration of God.

All men can be influenced by the spirit, if they have a willing and open heart and mind. Even great men who do not understand the gospel of Jesus Christ, can be led to do great things because of the spirit. I think it is important for us to realize this and to see this as a great example of how God blesses all His children in times of plenty and of need if they will turn to the correct sources of wisdom and good. This is one of those tender mercies of the Lord and a great many lives were blessed because of this. Joseph was a good man and because he was a worthy person, he was able to do a great work for all these people. This work continues to bless the lives of people today, who hear or read this story, and are willing to see the truth and wisdom that can be found in it.

Genesis Chapter 40

Joseph, the beloved son of Jacob (Israel), was sold into Egypt by his jealous brothers, because he was a favored son and had the gift of dreams. He had worked for Potiphar, and had prospered and was given charge over his household. He was propositioned by Potiphar’s wife, but refused her and so she lied and falsely accused him of taking advantage of her. Joseph was thrown into the Egyptian prison with the prisoners of the king. The prison prospered, and Joseph had been put in charge of the men he was with while there. This chapter continues the story as Joseph, beginning with the following:

1 And it came to pass after these things, that the butler of the king of Egypt and his baker had offended their lord the king of Egypt.
2 And Pharaoh was wroth against two of his officers, against the chief of the butlers, and against the chief of the bakers.
3 And he put them in ward in the house of the captain of the guard, into the prison, the place where Joseph was bound.
4 And the captain of the guard charged Joseph with them, and he served them: and they continued a season in ward.

Pharoah had two men who worked for him, a chief butler and a chief baker. These men had landed themselves in the same part of the prison as Joseph.

5 And they dreamed a dream both of them, each man his dream in one night, each man according to the interpretation of his dream, the butler and the baker of the king of Egypt, which were bound in the prison.
6 And Joseph came in unto them in the morning, and looked upon them, and, behold, they were sad.
7 And he asked Pharaoh’s officers that were with him in the ward of his lord’s house, saying, Wherefore look ye so sadly to day?
8 And they said unto him, We have dreamed a dream, and there is no interpreter of it. And Joseph said unto them, Do not interpretations belong to God? tell me them, I pray you.
9 And the chief butler told his dream to Joseph, and said to him, In my dream, behold, a vine was before me;
10 And in the vine were three branches: and it was as though it budded, and her blossoms shot forth; and the clusters thereof brought forth ripe grapes:
11 And Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand: and I took the grapes, and pressed them into Pharaoh’s cup, and I gave the cup into Pharaoh’s hand.
12 And Joseph said unto him, This is the interpretation of it: The three branches are three days:
13 Yet within three days shall Pharaoh lift up thine head, and restore thee unto thy place: and thou shalt deliver Pharaoh’s cup into his hand, after the former manner when thou wast his butler.
14 But think on me when it shall be well with thee, and shew kindness, I pray thee, unto me, and make mention of me unto Pharaoh, and bring me out of this house:
15 For indeed I was stolen away out of the land of the Hebrews: and here also have I done nothing that they should put me into the dungeon.
16 When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was good, he said unto Joseph, I also was in my dream, and, behold, I had three white baskets on my head:
17 And in the uppermost basket there was of all manner of bakemeats for Pharaoh; and the birds did eat them out of the basket upon my head.
18 And Joseph answered and said, This is the interpretation thereof: The three baskets are three days:
19 Yet within three days shall Pharaoh lift up thy head from off thee, and shall hang thee on a tree; and the birds shall eat thy flesh from off thee.

Both the chief butler and chief baker, had dreams. And Joseph found them the next day, in sadness over the meaning of their dreams. Joseph, explained that God would be able to interpret them for them and told them to go ahead and tell him what they had dreamed. The butler had dreamt about a grape vine with three branches, that brought forth fruit. He put the grapes in Pharaoh’s cup and made a drink for his master to drink. Joseph understood his dream and told him that in three days, he would be taken back by Pharaoh and he would serve him again. Joseph asked the butler to remember him when he worked for Pharaoh, so that he might be freed from the prison as well.

The baker heard the interpretation and its outcome, so he told Joseph of his dream as well. He had dreamt that he had 3 white baskets of baked goods on his head. The birds came and ate the bread from the top basket. Joseph told him that in three days, Pharaoh would have him killed and the birds would eat his flesh.

20 And it came to pass the third day, which was Pharaoh’s birthday, that he made a feast unto all his servants: and he lifted up the head of the chief butler and of the chief baker among his servants.
21 And he restored the chief butler unto his butlership again; and he gave the cup into Pharaoh’s hand:
22 But he hanged the chief baker: as Joseph had interpreted to them.
23 Yet did not the chief butler remember Joseph, but forgat him.

Three days later, Pharaoh remembered the chief butler and baker. Then he did as Joseph had interpreted. The butler was restored to his previous job and served Pharaoh his drink, while the baker was put to death. Even though it had happened just as they were told, the butler who had been forgiven himself, forgot about Joseph and did not tell Pharaoh about him.

Dreams have been a means of revelation from ancient days. In the scriptures we read of worthy men of God, being blessed to interpret dreams, or rather to learn the interpretation of dreams through revelation from God. This gift had been the reason that Joseph was sold into slavery. He could have taken that as a reason to deny this gift and held back from sharing the things that were revealed to him, but he was a man of great faith. Joseph continued to use this gift and the Lord was mindful of him. One of the things that I get from this chapter of scripture, is that we should not deny the gifts and talents we are given. They may not always bring about the results we expect, but they are a gift from our Father in Heaven. We need to use them and cultivate them, so that we can become instruments in the hands of the Lord.

Genesis Chapter 37

Jacob (Israel) has twelve sons from his four wives. Two of his sons, were born to his beloved wife Rachel, who had died during childbirth of Jacob’s last son, Benjamin. Joseph, was not the firstborn son of the family, but he was Rachel’s first son. She had been barren for years, when she was finally able to conceive and have Joseph. (Side note: I have loved this story since I was in high school, due to being in 4 different productions of the musical based on it. I think it will be interesting to study it for the first time since then and see what is correct and what has been changed for entertainment reasons.) The story of Joseph begins in this chapter:

1 And Jacob dwelt in the land wherein his father was a stranger, in the land of Canaan.
2 These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren; and the lad was with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives: and Joseph brought unto his father their evil report.
3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours.
4 And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.

Jacob and his family lived in Canaan. He loved his son Joseph because “he was the son of his old age”. I think that this means that they waited long to have a child together and so Joseph meant a lot to him because of this. If that is the case, then I understand this sentiment, however for slightly different reasons. My third pregnancy was a mentally and exhausting pregnancy due to a doctor who was not willing to recognize or address a condition I had. I had a strong feeling, I can only describe as inspiration, that my condition could lead to a negative outcome for one of the two of us. I had a priesthood blessing that gave me the strength to stand my ground and get the approval to see a specialist just so that my doctor would know my issues were not “in my head”. Once I did, I the condition was in fact confirmed, he took things more seriously. When my daughter was finally born, I was overcome with emotion for her being there and everything being alright. There was a level of love for her immediately that I had not had before. Since that time, she holds a place in my heart in a way that I cannot explain because it really feels like I had to fight for her to be here. So, I can understand a parent have a great love for one child because of the situation of their being conceived or their birth. Jacob loved Joseph and favored him. He gave him a gift when he was seventeen, which was a coat of many colors, or according to the footnote, it could have been a nice long coat with sleeves. Joseph’s brothers hated that he was favored and so they were unkind to him.

5 And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more.
6 And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed:
7 For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf.
8 And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words.

Joseph was a young man of dreams. He told his brothers of his dream, which was about all of their sheaves of corn making “obeisance” to his, which stood tall. The word obeisance means to show a sign of respect such as bowing. His brothers questioned if he thought this meant he would rule over them in some way and they hated him more for his dreams.

9 And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me.
10 And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth?
11 And his brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying.

He had another dream and told his family of it. This dream was of the sun, moon and eleven stars, which all bowed to him. The dream was interpreted as his parents and brothers bowing to him. His brothers were envious of him because of his dreams. His father, on the other hand, “observed the saying”, which I think means that he took note of the dreams and interpretations of them, or found them to be significant.

12 And his brethren went to feed their father’s flock in Shechem.
13 And Israel said unto Joseph, Do not thy brethren feed the flock in Shechem? come, and I will send thee unto them. And he said to him, Here am I.
14 And he said to him, Go, I pray thee, see whether it be well with thy brethren, and well with the flocks; and bring me word again. So he sent him out of the vale of Hebron, and he came to Shechem.

Because he was favored, Israel had Joseph report on his brothers. I am sure that this only added to their hatred of him. Joseph was sent to Shechem where the brothers were feeding the flocks, so that he could tell Israel how they were doing.

15 And a certain man found him, and, behold, he was wandering in the field: and the man asked him, saying, What seekest thou?
16 And he said, I seek my brethren: tell me, I pray thee, where they feed their flocks.
17 And the man said, They are departed hence; for I heard them say, Let us go to Dothan. And Joseph went after his brethren, and found them in Dothan.
18 And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him.
19 And they said one to another, Behold, this dreamer cometh.
20 Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, Some evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams.
21 And Reuben heard it, and he delivered him out of their hands; and said, Let us not kill him.
22 And Reuben said unto them, Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit that is in the wilderness, and lay no hand upon him; that he might rid him out of their hands, to deliver him to his father again.

Joseph went looking for his brothers and found them in a place called Dothan. They saw him coming and since they were so bothered by his dreams, they conspired to kill him and tell their father that he was eaten by a wild beast. But Reuben, who did not think they should kill him, came up with a plan to throw him into a pit instead. Then, I guess his plan was to have him out of his brothers hands and return him to their dad. I’m not sure what his reasons for doing this would have been, other to perhaps gain favor with Jacob for saving Joseph from death, because Reuben has not been a great son up to this point. Perhaps, Reuben was just not interested in killing anyone, which was not something new for all of his brothers at this point.

23 And it came to pass, when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stript Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many colours that was on him;
24 And they took him, and cast him into a pit: and the pit was empty, there was no water in it.
25 And they sat down to eat bread: and they lifted up their eyes and looked, and, behold, a company of Ishmeelites came from Gilead with their camels bearing spicery and balm and myrrh, going to carry it down to Egypt.
26 And Judah said unto his brethren, What profit is it if we slay our brother, and conceal his blood?
27 Come, and let us sell him to the Ishmeelites, and let not our hand be upon him; for he is our brother and our flesh. And his brethren were content.
28 Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt.

When Joseph got to his brothers, they took his coat of many colors and threw him into a pit, just as they had decided to do. They left him to die in the pit and went to eat, when they saw a company of Ishmeelites on their way to Egypt. Judah wanted to take greater advantage of their situation, so he suggested that they sell him and then they would make profit and also not have the death of their brother on their hands. I am guessing that Reuben was not with them at this point, because it seems like if he had been, he would have been the one in charge of the situation, since he was the oldest of the brothers. Those who were there agreed, and they sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver. Joseph was then taken into Egypt.

29 And Reuben returned unto the pit; and, behold, Joseph was not in the pit; and he rent his clothes.
30 And he returned unto his brethren, and said, The child is not; and I, whither shall I go?
31 And they took Joseph’s coat, and killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood;
32 And they sent the coat of many colours, and they brought it to their father; and said, This have we found: know now whether it be thy son’s coat or no.
33 And he knew it, and said, It is my son’s coat; an evil beast hath devoured him; Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces.
34 And Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned for his son many days.
35 And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted; and he said, For I will go down into the grave unto my son mourning. Thus his father wept for him.
36 And the Midianites sold him into Egypt unto Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh’s, and captain of the guard.

Reuben, who apparently did not know about the plans of his brothers to sell Joseph, went back to the pit and saw that he was gone. He went to his brothers wondering what to do now that he was gone. They decided to make it look like Joseph had been killed by dipping his coat in blood. They took it to Jacob and said they did not know what had happened, and their father guessed that he had been killed by a beast. Jacob mourned for the loss of Joseph, and was not comforted by his family. Meanwhile, Joseph was sold to a man named Potiphar in Egypt, who was the captain of the guard of Pharoah and it seems some kind of royalty or high up in the rank of those who worked for Pharoah.

I always thought that Reuben was the most wicked of the sons of Jacob, and he hasn’t been the best son up to this point, but it seems that he was not the worst of them. I also tend to imagine them being all about the same age, when in reality Reuben would have been several years older than Joseph, who was only seventeen at this time. This means that Reuben was in his manhood and should have been a much more responsible person at this time. It is sad to see the wickedness that was in the hearts of some of the men of the ancient days, all because of envy and jealousy for those who are blessed (such as with Cain and Esau). I can see why our modern-day leaders stress the importance of not letting ourselves be taken in jealousy and envy of others. We just recently studied an LDS general conference talk given on this very topic in one of our Relief Society lessons. One of the messages I found interesting in that talk was that, “envy requires us to suffer all good fortune that befalls everyone we know”. We suffer more personally from envy, then from the misfortune that comes to us. It is a powerful tool for Satan and leads many away from all that is good. We cannot afford to take offense when someone else is blessed or when we find out that they may be blessed more than we are going to be. We will see what kind of outcome comes for these brothers, who chose to allow envy to take control of their hearts, and I know that it leads to great suffering for their family. I know that envy and jealousy are tools of Satan and that if we want to stand on the Lord’s side, we need to find ways to rejoice with those who are blessed no matter what our own situation may be.

(For more of the conference talk referenced see: The Laborers of the Vineyard by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland.)


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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