This week the lesson uses Genesis chapters 40—45 and is based on three different topics. This time around they touched on Joseph’s captivity in Egypt and his reaction to his life’s circumstances, the Mormon food storage program and of course the ever present comparison of their Joseph whose suffering rivaled that of the Joseph in the Bible.
One of the very first things they asked class members to do is to imagine they’re in the spirit world and reviewing the choices they made in life. They’re prompting members to think of what kind of legacy they’re leaving behind so obedience to the gospel is pushed hard.
In their examples of the biblical Joseph being held in prison they asked what significant thing they could learn from being prepared so little to no mention of the historical or spiritual aspect of how God worked in the lives of His people is taken from the Bible.
While they did point out how nice it was of Joseph to show mercy towards his brothers we felt the focus of the lesson was more about Smith and church ordinances than anything to do with biblical principles.
In the end of their lesson they listed “supplemental” teaching ideas which got to the meat of the matter for this particular lesson so let’s take a look at those and compare them with what God says!
1. The great latter-day Joseph.
Yeah, you read that correctly. Sigh. In this section they claim the biblical Joseph prophesied that one of his descendants would become a “choice seer” in Genesis 50:24-38 from the JST (Joseph Smith Translation) Bible.
They also said the following about Smith;
He would be the means for bringing forth new scripture (the Book of Mormon) that would support and work with existing scripture (the Bible) (Joseph Smith Translation, Genesis 50:30–31; 2 Nephi 3:11–12).
Aside from the fact you shouldn’t be adding to scripture you can also see how this part of their teachings are rife with problems. Smith wasn’t obedient to God – that’s what got him into so much trouble! Revelation 22:18-19
The BoM doesn’t support the Bible.
Smith didn’t teach anyone about the covenants of God; rather, this man single-handedly introduced a false covenant to the people. He did this as he denounced the Bible and its doctrine.
He wasn’t a great prophet and if you’ll notice they didn’t use one verse from the Bible to support their claim.
According the Mormon legend Smith wasn’t weak – they portray him as a young virile strapping man who could outrun and outsmart everyone. Furthermore, God did not make him strong – God allowed him to be killed in a gunfight in the Carthage jail!
2.”Preparing for Famine”
As we’ve stated numerous times we feel it’s a good idea to have a three day supply of water and food on hand in case of some unforeseen emergency. Three years of food is a bit much! Now the Church has its members collecting food supplies for three months or sometimes a year, depending on which lesson you’re retrieving your info from.
Our point to this is why. Why do the rules keep changing and why do people need this much stuff on hand? What if a tornado or flood came along and wiped out all your stuff – then what?
3. “Joseph’s sons”
In this last section they quickly mentioned Joseph’s two sons Manasseh and Ephraim. They asked why these were appropriate names for them and told the teacher they may need to explain the meaning of the names.
It seemed they put this at the end as an afterthought to the lesson. There was nothing to go along with pointing this out.
If you’re LDS there’s a plethora of great new things to learn in Genesis chapters 40-45! Amazing events took place during this time in the Israleite’s history. And of course we’re asking why Smith is such a key figure in this lesson. Joseph Smith had nothing to do with the biblical account of Joseph and by implying he did only serves one purpose.
If you’re LDS please know we’re praying for you!
With Love in Christ;
1 Cor 1:18