Old Testament Lesson 12: "Fruitful in the Land of My Affliction"

The story of Joseph is one of the most well known stories of the Bible. Besides continuing the patriarchal narrative, providing the essential link between the patriarchs and the children of Israel in bondage in Egypt, the story illustrates several doctrinal issues. Beyond this, the story of Joseph is a type of both Jesus Christ and Joseph Smith. Further, it is just a good story, full of drama and intrigue, with surprising twists and turns, all with a happy ending.

The story of Joseph is of special interest for Latter-day Saints for most Latter-day Saints are descendants from Joseph, son of Jacob, through his sons, Ephraim and Manasseh. Recently, President James E. Faust stated: "We now have stakes of Zion in a great many countries of the world, and most stakes have at least one patriarch. This growth permits many people across the earth the privilege of receiving patriarchal blessings. As President Joseph Fielding Smith stated, "The great majority of those who become members of the Church are literal descendants of Abraham through Ephraim, son of Joseph" [Doctrines of Salvation, 3:246.] However, Manasseh, the other son of Joseph, as well as the other sons of Jacob, have many descendants in the Church" ("Priesthood Blessings," Ensign, Nov. 1995, 64).

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