12: “God Meant It unto Good” (Genesis 42–50)
Have you ever had a dream in the middle of the night that actually came true later? Or have you had dreams you're grateful never materialized because they were so strange or embarrassing? Well, whether they were his own or came to others, dreams played an important role in the life of Joseph of Egypt. In this week's lesson, we'll study Genesis 42–50 and read about how some of this prophet's dreams actually came true and discover how they changed the house of Israel forever.
Genesis 42:1–4, 6–24
Governor = Master or ruler
“. . . without seeing Jesus everywhere in the Old Testament, there is no understanding of the Old Testament at all” (Glenn L. Pearson, “The Book of Mormon As a Witness of the Old Testament, Ensign, June 1986).
“Shame is a focus on self, guilt is a focus on behavior. Shame is ‘I am bad.’ Guilt is ‘I did something bad’ (Brené Brown, “Listening to shame,” TED, May 16, 2012).
“. . . guilt goes with empathy, and shame goes with anger” (June Tangney, “Guilt can do good,” American Psychological Association, Nov. 2005, Vol. 36, No. 10).
Rent clothing = a sign of sorrow or distress
Troubled = Terrified or disturbed
Shepherd = A foreigner
Evil = Sorrowful, full of toil and trouble
“In each blessing, the patriarch will declare, under inspiration, the literal blood lineage of the person to be blessed and then, as moved upon by the Spirit, make a statement as to possibilities and the special gifts, cautions, instructions, admonitions, and warnings as the patriarch may be prompted to give” (Spencer W. Kimball, The Teachings of Spencer W, Kimball, 505).
Here's a recap of last week's lesson in 30 seconds. You guys aren't gonna believe this; I really did time myself. You ready for this? Here we go.
We were introduced to Joseph. Yes, "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream [Coat}" Joseph. His brothers despised him and threw him in the pit and sold him for the price of a slave. Joseph worked for Potiphar, whose wife had other plans: Lie with me. Joseph ran and was rewarded with 'three hots and a cot' in prison. While there he interpreted the dreams of two dudes who are slamming him a gig interpreting the dreams of Pharaoh: 7 years of plenty, 7 years of famine. Pharaoh was so delighted that he made Joseph a ruler in Egypt. Joseph married Asenath and had two sons - Manasseh and Ephraim. As predicted, years of plenty came and Joseph food storaged the heck out of the Egyptians' corn preparing for the famine. And when the famine waxed sore in the land and the people told Pharaoh they were starving, he told them, Hey, go and see Joseph. And that's where we will begin today's study of Genesis chapter 42-50.
Tamu Smith 0:17
That was 32 seconds.
Thirty-two seconds? Come on!
Tamu Smith 0:55
That was impressive!
Thank you, I wrote it myself.
Welcome to the Sunday on Monday Study Group, a Deseret Bookshelf Plus Original, brought to you by LDS Living, where we take the Come Follow Me lesson for the week, and we really dig into the scriptures together. I'm your host, Tammy Uzelac Hall.
All right, if you're new to our study group, I just want to make sure you know how to use this podcast. So follow the link in our description and it's going to explain how you can best use this podcast to enhance your Come Follow Me study, just like my dear, dear friends who are like parents to me: Nan and Bruce Hutchins. Hi friends. They're listening up in Midway with Bruce sitting there with his journal open and Nan taking a copious amount of notes. I love you both so much. Holly, I want to give you a little Shout out.
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 1:38
Do I ever want to give a shout out to Nan and Bruce! Just remember, those "footprints in the sand" will always remind you
Footprints in the cement. Footprints in the cement
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 1:49
They will always remind you of me.
HB walked in their freshly poured cement on accident delivering cookies to them and they never got it fixed in their front yard.
Tamu Smith 1:58
I don't know y'all yet, Nan and Bruce, but holla at you, girl! Hey!
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 2:04
Ah, they're the best.
Okay, well, you probably already heard my friends talking. But here's my favorite thing about our study group, is each week we're joined by two of my friends. And so today we have sort of a reunion of sorts, Tammy Smith and Holly Butterfield Rawlings, or as I call her, HB. Hi, ladies.
Tamu Smith 2:21
How you doing?
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 2:22
Tamu Smith 2:23
We're going to have so much fun today. We even talked about how, as moms and women, we're just weary. And so we've set a goal to like, this is not going to be weary. We're going to have fun, right?
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 2:34
Tamu Smith 2:35
We keep it fresh. Yeah.
And as HB said at the end of her prayer, Thanks, Heavenly Father for the Old Testament.
Tamu Smith 2:43
Thank you for the Old Testament.
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 2:46
Hey, and thanks. I got to say thanks to Tammy, too, because it was on the bottom of my list of the scriptures. Like in a house fire, it was gonna be the last book I picked up.
Tamu Smith 2:57
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 2:58
Tamu Smith 2:59
I feel the same way.
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 3:01
I did. And now?
Not anymore, huh?
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 3:03
No. Now I think who's been hiding this? It's been hiding in plain sight.
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 3:10
And when Tamu said a couple of weeks ago, probably a month ago, that it's a love letter from our Heavenly Parents.
Mm hmm. Was that beautiful!
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 3:20
Thank you for that Tamu. That touched my heart so much.
Yeah, it was beautiful.
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 3:26
I went to work and told everybody that - even people who aren't members of the church. I said, Guess what I learned?
Tamu Smith 3:32
Get into it.
Yeah, totally. So, well, if you guys want to find out more information about my friends who are joining me today, go to our show notes and you can find their bios and pictures. And you'll find that at LDS living.com/sunday On Monday.
Okay, I'm going to start us out with a quick little quote; I just want you guys to think about this before we actually get started. In a 1986 June Ensign article, an author said this about the Old Testament: "Without seeing Jesus everywhere in the Old Testament, there is no understanding the Old Testament at all." And I concur. And so I want you to kind of tuck that quote in the back of your mind as we study today.
And I want everyone as you're listening, let's find Jesus in the story that we're going to talk about, because we've often said that there are similitudes to Jesus and the story about the person. So just kind of make a mental note as you're listening. If you see comparisons where you're like, oh, that's something Jesus did. Just kind of highlight it or write it down. And we're going to talk about that at the very end of today's episode. Okay? You good? You got it?
Tamu Smith 4:33
Alright friends, grab your scriptures and let's dig in. Here we go. Tell me, have either of you ever had a dream that came true? Came true?
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 4:43
Boy, I've had some that I'm so glad did not come true. You know, next, you know next thing you know, you're in the marching band and you look down - you have no clothes on and you're carrying your baton and, you know. But definitely have some that I'm glad have not come true.
Okay, I like it. What about you, Tamu?
Tamu Smith 5:02
A dream that has come true. I can't say that I've had a dream that's come true.
Really? I feel like I've had several. On my mission I had a dream journal. And I wrote my dreams down and they came true with investigators - people that were taking the discussions.
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 5:18
Now listen, if a dream is a wish your heart makes
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 5:23
like Cinderella or whatever, then, yeah. I mean, if we can expand the definition, like, you know, I've got dreams and but maybe not when I was asleep. But definitely when I'm awake and I'm imagining, and, I think those are imposed by the Spirit.
Yeah. That's like a Vision.
Tamu Smith 5:40
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 5:40
Right. And so I've had, I've had lots of those where I'm not like, taken away like Alma or anything, but or the younger the other, the other fellows, but definitely, definitely seeing what could be.
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 5:57
and then having it, and having it happen.
Tamu Smith 5:59
I've definitely had some premonitions that I felt like something was going to happen or something like, I've known that something was going to happen, and then it happens. So.
Alright, excellent comments, I agree. I think all of it works. So let's jump in to Genesis chapter 42. And let's see how this question may have applied to our character in our story today. So we are continuing the conversation about Joseph, how his brothers sold him and all of that sad stuff. And the situation going on right now is there is a famine in the land. And Jacob, who also is known as Israel, has 12 sons. But in his mind, he only has 11, because his son Joseph was allegedly killed, who we now know is actually a ruler in Egypt. So Jacob says to his sons, Look, we're hungry.
I love how in Genesis chapter 42, verse 1, Jacob knows that there's corn in Egypt. And in verse 2, Jacob says to his sons, Hey, I've heard that there's corn in Egypt. Let's go, let's go get some corn. And so he sends his boys to Egypt so that they can get some food for their family, except for one son. Who does he not send?
Tamu Smith 7:12
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 7:13
Yeah, he doesn't send his youngest because he doesn't want to have to worry about him. And he's going to be pretty young. And so let's kind of keep that in mind. So now he's only sending 10 of his sons into Egypt. So the sons, the 10 men come into Egypt. And in verse 6, they have to present themselves to the governor of the land. Who is it in verse 6? Who's over all of this food that he's giving away?
Tamu Smith 7:36
Um hmm. Very good. Highlight the word 'governor' in verse 6, because in Hebrew, it means 'master' or 'ruler'. And so that's exactly what Joseph is. He's the master or ruler. And the brothers come in and they need corn. And now highlight and mark verse 6. Tamu, will you please read verse 6 for us?
Tamu Smith 7:55
Yes, I will.
42:6 "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."
Tamu Smith 8:11
What, why do they italicize some of the words in here and not others?
Very good question. Anytime in the Bible that you see an italicized word, it's actually a word that the translators put in, that's not in Hebrew, or doesn't exist in the verse. It's a filler word. So they just put that in so that it would make more sense to the reader. So that's a really good question.
Tamu Smith 8:33
It didn't exist in the original.
Correct. So if you read that word in Hebrew, there won't be an 'and' or an 'it was', or a 'with'. So they are just putting words in that helped make the verse make more sense. And sometimes the words they put in are totally wrong. And so
Tamu Smith 8:50
It wouldn't make sense. And he WAS that sold, that sold to all the people.
Tamu Smith 8:54
That makes sense.
Totally makes sense. And they would have done it to match their Olde English style as right. So, great question.
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 9:02
I like it way better, though if you take out that 'with' at the end
Oh, you would being an English teacher...
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 9:07
...they bowed themselves before him, their faces to the earth. They should have left the 'with' out.
Well, I love that you just reread that verse, HB. So tell me about that verse. Because, listen, seriously, if you were Joseph, and this was happening to you, and you just saw your brothers who sold you, and they have wronged you, and it's been almost 20 years now since you've seen them, what do you thinking? What's going through your head?
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 9:32
No corn for you. (laughter)
Tamu Smith 9:36
I would just start dancing around. "I told you what, no way. What I say, bow down, sons.
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 9:41
Yeah. I'd be like, No corn for you.
No corn for you. In fact, next to verse 6 write "dream fulfilled". Because you remember the whole reason they didn't like him is that he said, Oh, I had this dream that your sheaves of corn bowed before me., And I had this dream that about the sun, the moon, and stars. And so here he is having this experience where he's like, wait a minute, I dreamt this. This is happening. And it's interesting because he doesn't come after them. In fact, look at verse 7, verse 7. TAMU, will you read that for us also.
Tamu Smith 10:17
7 "And Joseph saw his brethren, and he knew them, but made himself strange unto them, and spake roughly unto them;" See, he got a little attitude right there. Let me start all over.
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 10:29
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."
Excellent. Okay, underline 'made himself strange unto them'. We want to cross reference that with just verse 23 on the same page, because what we'll find out later in the story is that Joseph will use an interpreter when talking to his brothers. So they don't, that reason they don't know it's their brother is because, allegedly, he can't speak their language, so he's using an interpreter. That's what it means, he made them strange unto them. So he's like, I'm really not going to talk to them in my own language that they would know. And so here is Joseph having this moment, right? And he's having a moment with his brothers.
And what I think is so interesting is then Joseph comes up with a plan. So in verses 8, all the way through, basically 24. Here's what he's gonna do: he accuses his brothers of being spies. And he's like, What are you doing here? And they're like, we're here to get corn, we're starving. He's like, No, you're not, you're spies. And he says, You're here to check out the nakedness of the land, in verse 9. What he's really saying is, you're here to see if it's barren, you're here to see how we're doing. And if we're not, like, you are spies in our land. And the brothers are like, No, we aren't, we actually have a dad, we have another brother back home. We're just here to get food for all of our families, please help us.
And so in verses 13-20, Joseph challenges his brothers and he asks them for proof, he puts all the brothers in jail for three days. And then on the third day, he comes to them and says, If you are true men, choose one of you to stay here in jail, and then go get your youngest brother. And when you return with Him, your words will be verified, and you shall not die. So in the next segment, we will find out what the brothers did.
Segment 2 12:15
So I have a question for you. Let's talk about the word guilt. Is guilt a good thing or a bad thing?
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 12:22
You know, I was just having this conversation with somebody and Brene' Brown explains it so well. And she says, "Guilt is I did something bad; shame is I am bad" And I think it's really important for me when I know I've done something wrong because it pricks my conscience, and leads me to make a change. And so I think guilt can be really useful. Guilt is, painful to me to feel, because I equated it so long with worth; that if I felt guilty, then my worth dropped to zero. And so guilt was a real nail in the coffin to my, self- compassion. Because, yeah, those two things can't exist if you have a framework like that, if you believe that what you do determines your value to Heavenly Mother and Heavenly Father, and to our Brother, then you're always gonna have a strained relationship with them.
And now you can look back and see that it was shame you were feeling and not guilt.
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 13:36
That was, it was shame that was causing those feelings.
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 13:39
Mm hmm. It was shame. But it was it, I'll be honest. Those feelings were violent.
Oh, they're awful.
Tamu Smith 13:47
They saying, loathing and, you know,
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 13:51
Oh, it's an assault. It's an assault. And we're kind of inculturated in some ways to believe that. Like I, you know, I've noticed that if you give a woman a compliment then - I've tried this out at work and at church and my friend groups, - if, you know, if I say to you like, Tam, you just spoke at this fireside, and it was so great. And then you say, 'Well, you know, the speaker before really set the stage.' But, you know what I mean? Like we are loath to accept praise. And we almost feel like it's wrong to. And I think that plays into this problem that we have, that we have to offer ourselves this tremendous amount of love. And that can mitigate every time we start flip-flopping guilt into shame. Because there's very few things we need to feel guilty about. Really, like a handful.
Well, my good friend Sarah Sargeant Williams, who you know, taught me, Save guilt for sin. Because sometimes we feel so guilty for certain things when really maybe we don't need to. But I love that idea.
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 15:07
And we feel shamy. We feel, we love, you know, we, go straight to shame.
Straight to shame.
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 15:14
I do, anyway.
Well, let's go straight to guilt, then, in this story because we're going to see that word and the effects that it had on these brothers. So let's go back into Genesis chapter 42. And Joseph is saying, You bring your youngest brother, and then no one's going to die. But I'm going to keep one of you in prison. And then they have the brothers, sort of this side conversation in verses 21 and 22. HB, will you read those two verses for us.
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 15:37
42:21 "And they said to one 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, Speak I not unto you, saying, Do not sin against the child; and ye would not hear? therefore, behold, also his blood is required."
So I like how Reubens even connecting that 'save guilt for sin'. Like, we did sin and we're feeling guilt; we're going to see the effects that guilt has on the brothers through this whole story. So as they're having this side conversation, boy, do I love verses 23 and 24. And Tamu, read those for us.
Tamu Smith 16:19
Before I read those, I just want to say even in reading this, I read something a while ago that said that "Guilt goes with empathy. And shame goes with anger."
Oh. Hold, please.
Tamu Smith 16:35
And so when you see this, you're seeing that they're talking about, you know, we are very guilty concerning our brother. So they're starting to tap into that, that empathy and the things that they've done. And it's not that that anger of the things, but it's that, and once again we're reminded of what we did. And how does that change their behavior?
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 16:59
And, you know, I learned Tamu, though, that anger is never a primary emotion or very rarely; it's hurt. And so when we feel shame, we hurt so much. And so I totally agree with those pairings.
Wow. K, that was so powerful Tamu and HB, thank you. Like that pairing of anger with shame is real. And we're going to see that throughout the lesson today. So thank you, so good. Okay, so while these brothers are, it's, I almost pictured in my mind like a movie like, the brothers are having this little side conversation. Joseph's there to hear because he just had the interpreter speak to them and say, Here's the plan. Here's what's going to happen. And then the brothers are talking. And let's look at Joseph's reaction in verses 23 and 24. Tamu, will you read those verses for us.
Tamu Smith 17:49
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."
Now, there's a couple of things in those verses. First of all, what does that tell us about Joseph in verse 24?
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 18:12
I think it would have felt really, really great to hear Reuben say, 'Remember, I said, Do not sin against this child and you wouldn't listen.' And I, and the subtext to me is, 'And I didn't put a stop to it. And here we find ourselves. And we have got to make this right.' And that must have felt so like, Oh, maybe they did love me, and they just made a really bad mistake.
Oh, I like that interpretation, Holly.
Tamu Smith 18:41
Right. I think he felt, he felt vindicated. And he felt like they longed for him, they missed him.
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 18:51
Yeah. Because whenever we are the victims of any kind of offense, no matter if it's egregious or light, then we start to think about people in either/or. They're either a good person or a bad person. And when you start to see that people are complicated, then they become an 'And' also. So his brothers did commit a sin against them, And also, they have felt bad about it, and they do love him. I think it really changes everything. For me, I feel less like a victim, and more like someone who can see the bigger picture. And I'm not meaning to suggest that someone who has suffered a crime against them needs to look at their attacker and never say their And, also. I'm just talking about like, family relationships.
Um hmm.You can see the stirrings of guilt in this story, and how they're feeling. And so in verse 24, they take Simeon - highlight his name - he's the one they're going to put in prison. I like the wording. It's interesting to note "and bound him before their eyes" is a common practice, as if it's the last thing they're going to see. And then Joseph sends all of the brothers back to their father. And he gives them bags of corn, AND he returns all of the money that they were going to spend on the corn, he sneaks it back into their sacks.
And so the boys start off on this journey back to their father's. And when they go to the inn in verse 28, they look into one of, one of them looks into the sacks and realizes, Oh, my gosh, all the money is back here. And they freak out. Because now they're going to get in trouble for having all this money and they don't know what to do about it. So, in the next segment, we're going to discuss what happens when the brothers make it home and how they are going to handle this interesting situation.
Segment 3 20:32
So the brothers make it home in Genesis chapter 42. They tell Jacob the whole story. Listen, dad, you're not going to believe what happened. We have corn, but the money got returned. Oh, by the way, we also have to go back and show our brother Benjamin to [Joseph]. And if we don't, they're gonna kill Simeon, who's in jail.
So Jacob is so sad about the story because he doesn't want to send Benjamin. He's like, I can't lose another son, I've already lost Joseph. And then he says in verse
36 "Jacob their father said unto them, me have ye bereaved of my children. Joseph is not and Simeon is not and you will take Benjamin way. All these are the things against me."
Like I can't, three children now that I'm going to have to have without me. And then we have a stirring of guilt here in verse 37. Tamu hit it, we you please read verse 37, and tell us what Reuben does.
Tamu Smith 21:17
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."
Excellent. So what's Reuben putting on the line?
Tamu Smith 21:32
Is he's putting his own sons on the line.
Um hmm. Guilt right there at the stirrings of guilt; he's trying to make things right. So then we go into Genesis 43. And in Genesis 43, I just kind of giggled at verse 2 a little bit. Look at verse 2. When did they go back to get Simeon and show the brother?
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 21:49
After they had the corn on the cob feast.
Tamu Smith 21:53
When everything was gone.
I felt bad. I'm like, poor Simeon. If I were in that jail I'd be like, you'll be back tomorrow, right, guys? I mean, we don't know how long he waited.
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 22:03
Oh, they're at the picnic tables, and they got the butter, and the salt pepper and
(laughs) Okay, so then we have another stirring, though. So let's go into Genesis 43. And let's look at verse 8. And HB, will you read this for us.
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 22:14
8 "And Judah said unto Israel [Jacob, right?]
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 22:21
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."
Read verse 9 for us, to.
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 22:32
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;"
Translate that for us.
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 22:45
I mean, he's offering himself as his oath to his father here, that I will bear your grief forever. I will take it on as the culprit. So, dad, trust us. We are going to bring Simeon back. We got this.
Excellent stirrings of guilt.
Tamu Smith 23:07
Well, and not even bring Simeon back. He's talking about Benjamin, because, because, ya know, I mean, I hate to say it like this. But Jacob was problematic as a parent. He had his favorites. And so, you know, he said, he doesn't care about Simeon. Like, he's like, Simeon, ahhh.
He's grown. He's got kids. He's an adult.
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 23:31
Jack, they've got Jack. I'm like, well, let's boil up that corn. But you know. They've got Sydney, then I'm like, You have got to bring her back. Right. So
Some kids are worth waiting until you're full. (laughter) Well, here, okay. This is so interesting because Benjamin and Joseph are born from Rachel. And Rachel died, yeah, his favorite wife that he wanted. And then remember, their dad slipped Leah into the tent and tricked Jacob. And so Jacob loved Rachel; she dies, and she dies in childbirth while giving birth to Benjamin. And so back in Genesis chapter 35 the only familial relationship Joseph has is with Benjamin, and it's the only connection that Jacob is going to have with his deceased wife, Rachel. So now you kind of have this context for why Benjamin is so important to Jacob.
And so I think it's interesting in verses 12 and 13, I see a little stirrings of guilt from Jacob himself, because he says to his sons, alright, fine. If you're going to take Benjamin I also want you to take double money in your hand and the money that was brought back in your sacks. Like in verse 11, he says take the very best fruits of the land and everything: Balm, spices, honey, myrrh, almonds. Take everything you can and present that to this governor so that he will have compassion on us and that my son Benjamin won't die. So there's a little bit of guilt there where he's like, I already lost one son, Joseph; I'm not about to lose another, so let's do everything we can to make sure that he comes back to us.
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 25:11
Tam, I'm looking at that word 'arise' in 13. It's such an interesting word to pick right there.
Tell me why.
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 25:20
I don't know, I just see that as like, 'get your little brother and head on out' would be so much different than like, when you wake up in the morning and you arise and you face a new day. And I think that verb right there, to me has more going on than meets the eye.
Tamu Smith 25:36
Like it's trying, stand up tall, go in there.
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 25:41
Yes. Get it done, and do not lose my baby boy.
Well, what I like about that is when it comes to guilt, do we 'arise' to make wrong things right? Like that has me thinking - I really like that connection. Or do we just kind of hope for the best or kind of drag our feet? Well, and it's like that scripture in Isaiah chapter 52. And it's also in II Nephi, where the children of Israel, they are told to "shake thyself off from the dust and arise". And it directly connects to loosing the bands of sin from their necks, like you're told to arise and to shake it off. Arise is such a powerful word. I love this connection right here.
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 26:18
And this is a chance for them to redo the mistake they made with Joseph. They're, even though it's not Joseph, if they can actually protect a little brother from danger that's coming. You know what I mean? It's like a shadow of what has already happened. And it gives them a second chance, in a way. And I mean, in the times where I have repented, and, and I don't ever like it with, Oh, you didn't really repent if you did it again. Of course, I'm gonna do it again.
Oh, yeah, we dispelled that whole myth last year. That's not even a scripture. That's awesome. Okay, well, then in the next segment, let's find out what happened when they arose, and when they arrived to the house of Joseph.
Okay, then let's go back. Let's go back into the story and talk about these, these young men who arose and they arrived, they get to the house of Joseph. And when they come into this house - let's go into Genesis chapter 43, verse 16. This is a great story. They show up with their brother Benjamin, and all of the money that they were given and all the goods that their dad wanted them to take. And they are invited to come to lunch with Joseph at noon.
So they come into the house, and they start talking to the keeper of the house, and they're like, Hey, listen, we're here, we brought our younger brother. Oh, by the way, and all that money? We didn't know what happened, but it got put back in our sacks. And we brought it back for you. And we have all these wonderful gifts, and we're superduper sorry. And I love how the servant responds to them in verse 23. HB, will you read that for us.
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 27:45
43:23 "And he said, Peace be to you, fear no; 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."
Tamu, how did those words strike you?
Tamu Smith 28:00
Like Holly said, you know, sometimes when we are wracked with guilt, we're at the beginning of the repentance process. And we're dreading having to go through this process to make things right. And offtimes, we're hard on ourselves, and we forget that God is grace. And when I look at this, I just see that this is how we experience grace. 'I had your money. I know what you did.' And forgiveness was already a part of that plan.
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 28:34
That servant is generous. Tamu, that servant is Jesus.
Tamu Smith 28:40
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 28:40
And I just had this thought, Tamu, when you said that: thank goodness we make mistakes. Because if we didn't, we would not know the goodness of God. We wouldn't understand how much they love us.
That was such an incredible insight HB that the servant is Jesus. Like, it just blew my mind because I'm thinking right now, we wouldn't know "Peace be to you", if it weren't for the peacemaker, our Savior, who comes in with grace. Ah, that was such a great insight. My mind is just whirling right now. This is so great today. Thank you. Okay, Tamu. I love what you just said, and you just taught us the powerful principle that God is Grace. Can we just sit with that for a minute? Because he really is. And we wouldn't know "Peace be to you, fear not".
And then look at this next thing that happens. Look at verse 24. How beautiful is this? Not only are you forgiven, let me go one step further and do something else. What did happen to the boys in verse 24?
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 29:39
The washing of the feet.
Gosh. Like, and I'm gonna clean your dirty, filthy feet. That's what I'm gonna do for you. Because how many times in our experience, you've asked for forgiveness from someone, and they're like, Alright, I forgive you. But there's still this tenuous relationship, but I don't trust you completely, or I'm not going to give you everything yet. And they're like, no, we'll even give you more, even more than you imagine. In fact, we're gonna invite you to a feast. We're gonna feed you and make life so great - reward you for your journey here.
That just made me think! Like, yeah, the Lord will reward us for our journey - the journey of repentance. We Yeah.
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 30:14
I love this story. took a turn I didn't even think it would. This is awesome. Okay, so jump back in the story with me. Verse 26, Joseph comes home. They bring him, he sees the men. What did the 10 men do in verse 26? We have another fulfilled dream, what happens at the end?
Tamu Smith 30:36
They bowed themselves down to him.
Yep, there it is again. And then don't you just love what Joseph asks in verse 27? 'How is your dad? Is he well?' Like, he doesn't want to seem too presumptuous and give himself away. But he does want to know, tell me about your dad, the old man that you told me about. Is he alive? And the brothers assure him, Oh, he's in very good health. And then let's read verse 29. Ohhh, I just love verse 29. HB, read that for us.
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 31:04
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 you spake unto me? And he said, God be gracious unto thee, my son."
And when he sees him, in verse 30, how does he react?
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 31:23
He has to kind of like turn away and act like he's picking up a plate of meat or something, looking for a place to weep. And then he, you know, goes into his bedroom and sobs. Because for some reason, it's not time yet to reveale himself. And that, to me is a really good reminder that sometimes you are in the throes of just a really hard time. And we have to wait it out.
Tamu Smith 31:54
You know, I was just thinking that in that moment, you see how the atonement covers all of this - it's twofold.
Tell me about that, Tamu.
Tamu Smith 32:04
It takes care of the yearnings of the heart and is restorative as far as everything that Joseph lost, is restored, but also is restorative in covering the guilt, and the shame, and the pain of losing a brother and knowing that you are the cause of your brother not being there. And for me, it's applicable to the things that I have gone through, where I've been the person that have caused pain, and I have felt sorry, and not knowing how to make things right. And then watching the person who has embraced me and accept my apology be covered under the atonement as well. And so it's just this umbrella of Jesus's love and sacrifice that covers us all.
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 32:55
I love that so much. And it's kind of a foreshadowing of what's about to come. These guys are asking for forgiveness in case they stole the money with the corn. And they have no idea that they're about to be forgiven for something that has probably eaten them alive for 13 years. Right? Like, has weighed upon them. And imagine how that kind of guilt would shape your worldview. If you'd carried it around, right? I'm so disgusting. The shame and guilt of that, like, you know how it has wrecked them?
Yeah. Let's go into that, then. Before we do, let's just find out. They sit down, they eat together. I really like verse 34. He gave a portion to everybody. Verse 34 says, 'And he took and sent messes - that means portion - unto them from before him, but Benjamin's portion was five times as much as any of theirs. You just love that like, and give Benjamin a lot more - five times more; Benjamin's gonna feast on this. So they're eating, they're enjoying, they're having a wonderful time. And then Joseph comes up with another plan. We'll find out what that plan is in the next segment.
Segment 4 34:11
Okay, here we go, then. Let's jump into the next plan that Joseph had. I'm gonna do a quick retelling of Genesis chapter 44: Joseph frees his brothers, and he sends them back to their lands with more corn. And verse 1 tells us 'as much as they could carry', but he instructs the steward of his house to secretly put a silver cup in Benjamin's bag. So the next morning Joseph sends his brothers back to their home in Canaan, and they had not been gone for very long when Joseph instructs the steward then to follow after them. And when he reaches them, he's supposed to accuse them of - and I love how the verse of scripture says "rewarding good for evil" - basically saying, Oh, what? It wasn't enough for you to come eat in my master's home, and now you're going to steal from them?
So he accuses them of stealing from Joseph. So that's exactly what happens. The steward catches up with the brothers. And he does exactly as Joseph instructed. And the brothers quickly respond in verses 8 and 9. And they remind the steward that they're not thieves. And they say, in fact, 'we returned the extra money that was originally in our sacks, we're not guilty of this.' Then to prove their innocence, they're going to double down on this, and they're going to go so far as to say, 'Listen, whoever has that silver cup, let him die. And we'll even be your Lord's bondman'. That's how serious they are about this.
So the steward holds them to their words, and he's gonna check the brothers' bags, beginning with the oldest son down to the youngest. And then in verse 12, it tells us that the cup was found in Benjamin's bag, in verse 13. Then it says the brothers rent their clothes. So I want you to mark this. And I want you to get a visual in your mind, because we're going to see this terminology often, this idea of renting your clothes. It is so moving, so picture it. What this means is the men literally tore or ripped their clothing as a sign of absolute token of sorrow and distress. That's what it means in Scripture. When someone rents their clothes, it is just sorrow, it's distress. They don't know how, they're just like, 'Ahhhh.' And they rip their clothes.
And so that's what these brothers are doing. They are just, they don't even know how to handle what has just happened. And then in verse 14, they go back and they fall before Joseph. Again, going back to Joseph's dream being fulfilled. This is such a powerful scene in Scripture, and just kind of get the imagery in your brain about what that might have looked like. Let's go to Genesis chapter 45. And I love this in verse 1.
44:1 "Joseph could not refrain himself before all [of] them that stood by him; and he cried, Cause every man to go out from me."
He says, everybody leaves except for these young men that are here. I want to be with them alone. And in verse 2, it says he wept so loud that everybody in Pharaoh's house could hear it. Like he's so sad about what's going to happen. And then we have such great verses. As we read these, we're going to think about, again, a connection to Christ and what this tells us about Joseph, and let's read verses 3-8; we're each going to take a verse. So we'll start with Tamu and we'll go Tamu, HB, and then me. We'll each take a turn.
Tamu Smith 37:08
3 "Joseph said unto his brethren, I am Joseph doth my father yet live? And his brethren could not answer him; for they were troubled at his presence."
Highlight the word 'troubled'; in Hebrew, it actually means 'terrified' or 'disturbed'.
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 37:24
Oh, you better believe it.
Terrified. Okay, go ahead, HB.
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 37:35
4 "And Joseph said unto his brethren, come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt."
I wow. Hold on Tam. I just thought like, when he says "I am your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt", and then Jesus says to us, "I am your brother who you mocked and scorned, but come in you for a big hug. I think that is a reference to the atonement there.
Oh, well look at verse 5, then. Can you imagine the Savior saying this to us: "Therefore be not grieved or angry with yourselves, that you sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life."
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 38:25
Oh, that's the money right there. Right. Don't feel shame. Don't hate yourselves. God had a plan. And I volunteered and it was to preserve your life.
Tamu Smith 38:38
And I also love the fact that Joseph sent everyone else out of the room, because this is family business. It's family; it's like this is very private. I don't need everybody knowing my business, but I need them to know.
Okay, Tamu, read the next verse. Read verse 6.
Tamu Smith 38:56
6 "For these two years hath the feminine been in the land: and yet there are five years, in the which there shall neither be earing nor harvest."
What is earing?
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 39:08
Like ears of corn
Yeah, corn won't grow.
7 "And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance."
Tamu Smith 39:21
Woohoo. A great deliverance, Amen.
I'm gonna double underline that.
"And sent me before you."
Yes. And then verse 8 - It's my favorite.
8 "So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt."
I mean, just circle highlight, underline that phrase, "but God". Like this is a rare wording. The article is rarely found with Elohim in the story of Joseph when it says "but God". And by the way, it is Elohim. But Heavenly Mother, Heavenly Father, I love this. "But God". This is such a powerful message to all of us, because let's just recap. Like Joseph's life was hard, okay. His mom passed away, his brothers hated him, he's sold into slavery. I mean, let's list all the things separated from his father, tempted to be immoral, he was falsely accused. He was kept into prison for at least two years. And then he missed out on about 13 years of life with his family, such hardship, all of this, and then he can come to his brothers and say, "but God".
it just kind of made me think of like, all of our lives are hard. Like, it's just hard. It's hard for everybody right now. And I just wonder, when you think of how difficult things are for us, can we stop for just a moment and go, "but God", like he's in the details of the details of our lives, right?
One of the cool things I learned recently, I love that my Hebrew teacher taught me this: When the Lord says "I am Alpha and Omega", that's the first and last Greek letters of the alphabet. He's not just saying, I'm the First and the Last. He's saying, 'and I'm everything in between. I am all of those letters'. When He says "I am the author and the finisher of your faith", He's also all the pages in between. No author would take credit for the first page and the last and nothing else. He takes credit for the bulk of everything. And I just love what He's saying about us in our lives. When He is at the beginning and the end of our lives, He's also taking credit for everything else in between - in all of the messy middle and all of the ugly, He is there with us. And that is what Joseph is trying to teach us in verse 8.
Tamu Smith 41:44
Look, I'm putting that on a shirt: "but God", yeah.
Yeah, I do; I want that to be my family theme, for the rest of our lives.
Tamu Smith 41:51
right. Every time something happens, "but God". But God. And I think that we hear this story of Joseph, and it's kind of like we speed through all this stuff that happened, right? Like, you know, his mother passed away. His brothers were abusive toward him, threw him in a ditch, sold him. And now he's been this, had this separation of family for all these years. In the midst of all of that, Joseph stayed true and trusted God. He trusted God. And I think that that is the thing that sometimes we miss, that he trusted God. He didn't give into his situation. It's not that he wasn't sad. It's not that he wasn't lonely. It's not that he didn't question. But each time he did, he knew that there was light because he knew in his core, what he had dreamt, and that God had His hand over him.
I have loved this. For anyone that's going through a situation right now that just seems impossible and you're in the messy middle, you're in those middle chapters of the book, just take a moment and think about what is making life so hard right now. Think about it, and then just breathe out the words "but God". It's the only way. It was Joseph's only way, it was the brothers' only way. I feel like at that moment when he said, "but God", everyone took a sigh of relief. Those brothers knew they had been forgiven of their brother Joseph, of the Lord. They all felt this beautiful moment of love. And I think that's what He does for us: just this ahhhhhh. We need it to be on a t-shirt. "But God".
Tamu Smith 43:37
Think about, think about saying - that there's some energy that happens when you say it. And it's almost, I would liken that to the woman with the issue of blood reaching out and touching the hem of His garment. "But God", "but God". I mean, saying it even even
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 43:56
Oh, it is. I can feel it.
Tamu Smith 43:57
Saying it is a deliberate grace. It is a grace; it's as, it's our modern day way of touching the hem of the garment. "But God",
Wow. That's brillant!
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 44:10
I wanna raise my hand up in Sacrament meeting and say "but God", right?
Tamu Smith 44:15
I want to just end every talk, "amen" and "but God". Ladies, thank you so much for that beautiful discussion. I loved everything about it. And the spirit was so strong. Gosh, that is my phrase. That is my life phrase now, "but God". Beautiful job. Okay, well, in the next segment then, we will see and discuss about a reunion and what it was like for Joseph, and his youngest brother, and his dad.
Segment 5 44:41
All right, you two. I want to know: Have you guys ever had just a really great reunion with someone? An old friend, a family member, anything?
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 44:51
I do. Our dear friend Sonya Mortensen Punahou. And Sonia and I were mission companions in the Arizona Tempe mission, circa '91,'92. And we were walking into Smith's (grocery) on 45th and Ninth East. And we heard a man say, Sister Butterfield? Sister Mortensen?. And we turned and looked, and it was our investigator and someone who got baptized, Leo. And it was the 'Alma and the sons of Mosiah' on the corner moment. That was such a sweet memory to me. And a sweet moment to me to see him. And you know, it was the 90s We didn't know where anybody was, we didn't have, you know, Facebook to tell us where everybody was. And so, yeah, like, just how God is in the details. And they made that little reunion happen, and the hugs and the tears and just so joyous!
Great reunion story. Thanks HB. What about you, Tamu?.
Tamu Smith 45:57
Um, when my grandfather who raised me, when he passed away, I really kind of lost touch with his side of the family. And we had been so close while he was alive. But we moved to Utah, and I have a cousin but I grew up calling him Uncle Jim is my grandfather's first cousin. And he, you know, he would call me and, you know, Hey, I miss you guys. And he was always inviting us to family reunions; and my grandfather's aunt was having her 90th birthday. And it had been almost 20 years. And I thought, Okay, I'm just gonna, I'm gonna go, I'm going to surprise them. I didn't say anything, and flew out to California.
And when I walked into the hall where this party was taking place, they had a banquet table where my aunt was sitting, and my cousin who I call Uncle Jim, he was sitting at this table, and I saw him see me. And then I saw him, like he's looking and he said something to his brother, uncle Kenneth. And I saw his mouth say, that looks like Tamoo. And they call me Tamoo. Don't y'all call me that; they can call me that. So he, as I'm walking closer, he just stood up, and he starts crying. And of course, then I start crying. And he just was like, I cannot, like you, by the time I got to him, he was shaking. And I mean, I'm shaking, we're hugging each other. And since then, like, I continued to stay in touch with him. And he passed away last year. And I know that our reunion on the other side is going to be just as sweet as the one that we had here.
Oh, absolutely. Thank you, both of you for those stories. Let's go into Genesis chapter 45, then, and read about the reunion that Joseph had with his baby brother, Benjamin. And remember, this is the only connection that Joseph has to his mom who has passed away. So there's a little bit of just more oomph behind this reunion, in verses 14 and 15. So we'll go there, and HB, will you read that for us.
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 48:04
14 "And he fell upon his brother Benjamin's neck and wept, and Benjamin wept upon his neck.
15 "Moreover he kissed all his brother, and wept upon them: and after that his brethren talked with him."
Boy, wouldn't you liked to have been there to hear what they talked about?
Tamu Smith 48:21
The stories they must have told, and oh, just, I love those verses. The weeping on the neck, the kisses
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 48:30
I do. And it just shows me that time heals; the relationship becomes more important than all the trouble.
Tamu Smith 48:40
Well, I think time heals when you know that someone is sorry. Yes, yes. When you know that, but they're willing to acknowledge.
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 48:49
Yep. And own it.
Tamu Smith 48:51
Yeah. When they can own it, that's when the healing can happen. But other than that, like you have a wound that you have had to come to terms with being okay with, you know, and until he was able to see them again, he had a wound. Tthen when he was able to see them and open it up and let it like air it out.
Yeah. There's a 'sorry' implied in there that allows, just to be forgiven, forgot. Like just, we're family now. In fact, he says to his brothers, Hey, listen. By the way, I want you to come back and live with me. Go back, get your family, your belongings, and dad and bring them all back to Egypt. And so the boys do. They go back to their father. They tell Jacob what had happened. In verse 26 it says "........Jacob's heart fainted, for he believed them not." He's like, No way that my son is alive. No way. And they're trying to convince him. No dad, really. You're not going to believe what happened. And then verse 28,
28 "And Israel said, it is enough. Joseph, my son is yet alive. I will go and see him before I die."
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 49:58
So in chapter 46 They begin to move to Egypt. And I love how in verse 1 & 2, Jacob or Israel, he goes, and he asks the Lord. And I appreciate how Jacob makes sure that it's okay with the Lord. I mean, how cool is this? We have a prophet, of course he is, he's like, Should we move to Egypt? And it's just so powerful. So all of Genesis 46 is a counting of all of the brothers and their family members. And it gives them like, how many people went with them? And so kind of go through, it's kind of fun to look at: everybody with Reuben - and this is how many was in his group.
Like a ship manifest.
It exactly is, yes, it's a numbering of everybody. And they get into Egypt, and Joseph and his father meet, so here's their reunion. Go to Genesis chapter 46, verse 29 & 30. And Tamu, will you read this reunion.
Tamu Smith 50:44
46:29 "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 wet 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."
So it's a whole lot of weeping and falling on necks in this story.
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 51:10
Um hmm. Boy, you don't see that very often. So in this story then, they all come into Egypt, and they're going to live - there's some fun wording and some interesting things about this - because Joseph says, Make sure that you say that you work with cattle, and that you are not shepherds. And so it says right here in verse 34,
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."
Highlight "every shepherd". What this really means is a foreign shepherd, someone who's not of the land, who's new to the job, and maybe is trying to come in and take over other lands or other sheep from Egyptians. Because it's not a bad thing to be a shepherd. What Joseph is setting his family up for is, 'I want to give you the best land. And so if you have cattle and sheep, Pharaoh is more likely to give you a lot more land. So let's make sure you say that.' I love how he's setting them up for goodness here.
Tamu Smith 52:10
And there's my petty self and I'm just like, look at that nepotism. Like, all this nepotisn made out in these scriptures.
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 52:21
Why ya gotta marginalize the poor sheperds, right? What did they ever do to hurt you?
Tamu Smith 52:27
Well, yeah, and Joseph was like, God didn't put me in this position to not help my family, I guess.
Okay, so then in chapter 47, this is really neat. In Genesis chapter 47, they're all living in Egypt. And in verse 7, Jacob blesses Pharaoh; they mee,t he gives him a blessing.
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 52:44
How - pharaohs not a Jew, right?
Tamu Smith 52:51
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 52:51
Yeah, but how'r we given a blessing here? You know, cross culturally?
Well, Jacob, just says Jacob blessed Pharaoh. It says a lot about Pharaoh, sweet man, Huh?
Tamu Smith 53:02
But also, there's a couple of things take into account how grateful Jacob was, because Pharoah took care of his son, his favorite son.
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 53:11
One dad to another,
Tamu Smith 53:13
He took care of his son, and so I'm blessing anybody who looks after my child.
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 53:19
I love that.
Great perspective, Tamu.
Everybody who looks after my children gets a blessing, because they have blessed me by blessing my child. And also, where spirit enters, people are willing to cross those cultural boundaries and be one with God. And whoever God says to bless you bless.
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 53:39
Oh, that's powerful Tamu.
Tamu Smith 53:42
I mean, look out through look through all the scriptures, you see when righteousness is happening, people are crossing cultural, you know, religious culture, barriers to being one with God.
So good. I like that. I wrote that down. I like verse 9. Jacob says unto Pharaoh, the days of the years of my pilgrimage are 130 years because Pharaoh says, How old are you? He says, 130 years. And then he says, few and evil have the days of the years of my life been. Highlight the word 'evil' right there. Evil means 'sorrowful', or 'full of toil and trouble'. That's what he means. Isn't that interesting? "Few and full of sorrowful toil or trouble have the days of the years of my life been."
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 54:28
but few? He's a real Pollyanna. Yeah.
Tamu Smith 54:35
Well, well, he's also saying this post-knowing that Joseph is alive, so
Oh, you're right, you're right.
Had it been pre-Joseph, he probably would have spelled out cryin', you know. Like, ALL of the days!
Yeah. Then we have in verse 10, "And Jacob blessed Pharaoh, and went out from before Pharaoh." And then in verse 11,
11 "Joseph placed this father and his brethren, and gave them a possession in the land of Egypt, in the best of the land," (There it is, there's the nepotism Tamu). But I love verse 12. "And Joseph nourished his father." And he definitely did. And it was important because then in verse 29, it says, "And the time drew night that Israel must die:" And he's about to pass away. And so before Jacob passes on, he's going to do something very important for all of his sons. And we will talk about what he does in the next segment.
Segment 6 55:27
Do you both have your Patriarchal Blessings? Yes or no?
Tamu Smith 55:33
How old were you guys when you got them?
Tamu Smith 55:36
I was 16 when I got mine.
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 55:39
Same. I was 16.
Same, I was 16. Do you remember anything about that day?
Tamu Smith 55:45
Yes, I fasted and I was hungry.
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 55:48
And I was terrified he was not going to mention marriage. Even at that tender age, I had already decided no one would ever want to be with me. And I was so anxious. And I was praying the whole time. I didn't hear anything he said, until he said that. And, and I, like I want to protect that girl who didn't understand. Like, who's not gonna want to marry her, you know, like, she's, Lucky you. You get to marry her.
Hey, thank you for sharing that HB. I think a lot of people will really resonate with that. And I can imagine that some of Jacob's sons might have felt the same way when they were getting a Patriarchal Blessing of sorts from their dad. So let's go into chapter 48 and 49. In here we have that right before Jacob dies, he wants to leave his sons their Patriarchal Blessings. That's what he does. That's his last deal, his last will and testament, he's gonna call them all around. In chapter 48, we have the first round of Patriarchal Blessings. Joseph introduces his sons to Jacob. In verse 5 of chapter 48, we have Ephraim and Manasseh.
And then go down to verse 11. It says,
48:11 "And Israel said unto Joseph, I had not thought to see thy face: and, lo, God hath shewed me also thy seed."
12 "And Joseph brought them out from between his knees, and he bowed himself with his face to the earth."
Highlight verse 12. This is a ritual symbolic act that Joseph is doing. When Joseph brings Ephraim and Manasseh from out between Israel's knees, what he's doing is he's representing their new status as though they were literal sons of Israel. And now they belong to the house of Israel, so that the birthright can be given to one of those boys. That's what that means.
So Joseph brings his sons to Jacob, and he places Ephraim in front of Jacob's left hand, and he places Manasseh in front of Jacob's right hand, because in Joseph's mind, the birthright blessing will go to Manasseh. And right before the blessing happens, Jacob crosses his hands, and he puts his right hand on Ephraim's head and his left hand on Manasseh's head. And Joseph tries to stop him and says, Dad, Dad, you've got it wrong and Jacob's like, No, I don't. Ephraim will receive the birthright. That happens in chapter 48.
So he gives them these blessings and Ephraim gets the birthright. Let's go to Genesis chapter 49, verses 13 and 14. And this is where the Patriarchal Blessings are given of the 12 tribes of Israel. So we have starting in verse 3, Reuben's blessing, verses 3 and 4. Did you notice any of the blessings, did any of them stand out to you? Did you have a chance to read those by chance?
Tamu Smith 58:29
Oh, yeah, I, again, I just have this issue with the way that Jacob is that parent.
Okay, but listen, Reuben. First of all, Ruben sleeps with his stepmother, Bilhah. So he loses the birthright.
Tamu Smith 58:46
That's not the best blessing. Okay, Reuben.
Tamu Smith 58:49
Is it a blessing, though, is it a blessing? Or is it just being him being petty before he
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 58:54
it's a reprimand.
Well, it starts out solid, Hey, it's me. It starts out solid and then it doesn't go so great. I
Tamu Smith 59:02
You're the firstborn and you are trifling. And you know, it just, it just goes downhill from there.
It totally does.
Tamu Smith 59:09
You had so much potential, but you're trifling.
Ugh. Well, then we have Simeon and Levi, we learned about why their blessing isn't that great. Remember, they took matters into their own hands for their sister, Dinah. So he doesn't have a lot of good things to say about that. Highlight those. Verse 5 is Simeon and Levi. Now let's go to verse 8, because we have Judah. And Judah's blessing and Joseph's blessing are the longest of all the blessings that Joseph gives. And Judah's blessing is long because that's where we get the lineage of Jesus Christ. It's important to notice verse 10. HB, will you read verse 10 for us,
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 59:42
10 "The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be."
Okay. Why did you make that face?
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 59:53
Because there was a girl in grade school that I picked on because her name was Shiloh. And I'm so sorry, Shiloh, if you're out there.
You should be; look at this. Look at the footnote for Shiloh. It's a Hebrew name. It's a Hebrew word. And I think this is so cool because it's maybe short form of ASHER-LO, which can be rendered as 'whose right it is'. It's a name for Jesus Christ. Nice goin', HB. A scepter is a symbol of rulership. So this is talking about Jesus Christ. And Shiloh can mean also ruler, or you can put Christ next to it.
Were there any other blessings that you thought were interesting, or anything you wanted to mention? It's worth reading, if you want to know what Joseph had to say to his sons. And it's worth reading your own Patriarchal Blessing. Because when you get your Patriarchal Blessing, we both talked about our experiences. But the most important thing about your blessing is to find out which tribe you belong to, because every tribe has a certain duty or responsibility in building the kingdom of God. And it will be the tribe of Ephraim & Manasseh who will prepare for the second coming of Christ. That's the only tribes that get to do that. Tamu, will you we read this quote by Spencer W. Kimball about Patriarchal Blessings?
Tamu Smith 1:01:13
"In each blessing, the Patriarch will declare, under inspiration the literal blood lineage of the person to be blessed. And then as moved upon by the Spirit, make a statement as to possibilities and the special gifts, cautions, instructions, admonitions, and warnings as the Patriarch may be prompted to give."
Okay, so that's the whole purpose and point of a Patriarchal Blessing. So let's just start with this: When it says to declare under inspiration, the lineage that you're from, what lineage are you guys from - what tribe? Did you know if you went and got your Patriarchal Blessing and you're Patriarch doesn't tell you what tribe you're from, you actually get to go back and get a redo. You have to have the lineage declared. It's the only reason for Patriarchal Blessings. All the other stuff is nice, but that is the main reason so Holly, what tribe are you from?
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 1:02:01
Ephraim. Tamu, what tribe are you from?
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 1:02:04
I'm from Dan.
Are you kidding me?
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 1:02:08
Dan, I didn't even know who he was one of the brothers. This is amazing. You could have said like, Robert, and I would have been like, oh
The tribe of Bob, sure.
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 1:02:20
Tribe of Bob. You're blowing my mind.
So the blessing to Dan is in verses 16 through 17. Tamu, read Dan's Patriarchal Blessing. And I have to say verse 16, is totally you.
Tamu Smith 1:02:32
Let it be good Lord. Let it be good.
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 1:02:35
Good. Oh, it's good. I'm looking at it right now.
Tamu Smith 1:02:39
16 "Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel."
Tamu Smith 1:02:44
That's why I'm so judgemental.
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 1:02:46
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 1:02:47
You know what, you know what I think Tamu? I think it says Dan shall tell the truth to his people.
Oh, that's good.
Tamu Smith 1:02:58
It's in my ethnic genetics, my DNA makeup.
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 1:03:01
Yeah. Cuz you do. You do, you do say what's true.
Boy, that's the truth. It's true.
Tamu Smith 1:03:08
It is both the positive and the negative, depending on which end of it you're in.
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 1:03:13
Well, it's a big, it's a big job.
Well, and Holly's for sure Ephraim because Ephraim and Manasseh are the tribes that are here to help prepare for the second coming. And boy, nobody bears their testimony more than Miss Holly Butterfield Rawlings.
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 1:03:26
Only on a vacation.
Well, she has, she's handed out more copies of the Book of Mormon than anybody I know. She works it into everything. So it's kind of fun to read these and see where you fall into line with these. So really cool, he offers Patriarchal Blessings to everyone. And then verse 33
Tamu Smith 1:03:43
Tammy, wait. What tribe are you from?
Oh, I'm from Ephraim.
Tamu Smith 1:03:46
This is my way of preparing for the Second Coming of Christ. I am not sharing the gospel with people on an airplane. It makes me uncomfortable; I just want to be by myself, give me my peanuts and let me watch a movie. So I freak out, I'm not good at it. But this is what I am good at. So I have the gift of teaching and speaking. So I'll use that.
Tamu Smith 1:04:04
That's what I can do.
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 1:04:06
Yeah. Anyone else out there who's a Dan: it's not going to look like Tamu, right? Each of us have, yeah, we get the blood lineage and we've got the ownus to do these these things, but they come out in all these beautiful and imaginative ways.
But let's be honest, I should have been from the tribe of Asher in verse 20.
20 "For his bread shall be fat, and he shall yield royal dainties." I mean, honestly!
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 1:04:31
Oh, boy. I am starving right now. I could use a royal dainty.
I should have
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 1:04:38
I need a Saltine with some butter on it right now.
You bet I would. Honey if we're rich.
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 1:04:43
Oh, oh, fat of the land.
Now all these blessings mean things. So my, I'm just going to encourage you - we don't have time to go through each blessing and take each word and, you know, decipher what they mean. But study it out. It's really important to know what their symbols are and what they mean and the blessings that they're being given. And then study your own Patriarchal Blessing, study it out; find God in your blessing. I think one thing we can all agree on, though, is after you read your Patriarchal Blessing, don't you just feel like God loves you the most?
Tamu Smith 1:05:12
I almost think like, has the prophet, does the prophet know about me, because he, someone probably should tell him that I'm so amazing and incredible.
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 1:05:20
That is exactly how I feel. I feel sorry for other people that they don't have my blessing.
I know, right. I used to tell my teenage students, and for those of you teenagers listening, getting your Patriarchal Blessing is the most important thing you could do as a teenager; do not wait until you're on your mission. Don't wait. And then they would say, Well, how do I know if I'm ready? And I would say, If you're thinking about it, the spirit is prompting you. If it pops up inyour brains, if you're out playing with your friends and you have a thought pop in, like, that's the spirit saying, Get your blessing. Go get your Patriarchal Blessing. And so that's what Israel did. He gave his sons and last and final Patriarchal Blessing. And then HB, read verse 33, for us in Genesis chapter 49.
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 1:06:00
49:33 "And when Jacob have made an end of commanding his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed, and yielded up the ghost, and was gathered unto his people."
Oh, I love that last part. He got to go see his mom and dad and, and right?
He's just gathered with all, his people are gathered around him.
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 1:06:22
His sons and daughters
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 1:06:24
Well I'm picturing him dead. I'm picturing him in the next life. Like he you know, he gets into bed, he pulls up the covers, he gives up the ghost, and now he's with his favorite cousins and, and his grandparents and all his loved ones. He lived a long time, a lot of people had died. Rebecca
Tamu Smith 1:06:43
I do think it's interesting that it says that "he gathered up his feet". Like, he didn't just yield it, like he gathered up his feet. I don't know if it was like, and it just, the thought of it. Like, that's a weird way to go. That's a weird way to go.
I imagined for me, would be just gathering my feet up. And when I go to bed at night, and I curl up into a little ball, restfully in my pillow with my blankie.
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 1:07:08
I'm picturing my mom who just had a knee replacement, and when she gets on my bed, which is really high in the air, it's like a, it's like she's mounting an apparatus in the Olympics. I mean, she comes in hot on the walker, does a little flip, and like launches herself up on there,
gathers up her feet?
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 1:07:27
I'm like, Move over Mary Lou Retton on the vault. Carol Butterfield is in town.
Not a bad way to go, though, not a bad way to go, in verse 33.
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 1:07:36
I pick that. That's the way I'd like to go. So that's it.
That's the end of our discussion. We don't have time to go into 50. But I highly recommend you read it because he passes away, he's buried with all of his loved ones. And then the brothers are worried about how Joseph is going to treat them. And then Joseph beautifully is like, Don't worry, I got you. I got your back. And then Joseph dies. And that is the end of our story.
Okay, take a minute. And just let's think about everything we talked about today and just kind of share your takeaway, because there's a lot of stuff I wrote.
Tamu Smith 1:08:08
Oh my goodness.
My takeaway was Genesis 43, verse 13, when you pointed out the word 'arise', HB. I liked, I'd never considered that before and the significance of that. That these men arose, they stand up. And then Tamu when you put on that they stood up tall, that it was intentional what they were going to go and do now. So, I love that idea and how we applied it to when we are trying to repent - that it's an action, like we need to arise. And then when we were reading in the Book of Mormon: "arise from the dust and be men and women." Arise, you got this in you. You can do it. So good, yeah.
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 1:08:46
Thank you. That meant a lot to me. It was when Tamu said "but God" and that it in, the grace.. And then I felt this, like a welling of hope wher,e I'll be honest with you. All hope was lost earlier this morning. All hope was lost. I was down the rabbit hole, you know. Visiting my son in prison or at his funeral or. And if you knew my son, he's the sweetest boy. He just is wicked impulsive and struggles with things and in ways that people can see. Not the kind where we struggle and people can't see it. And I thought all hope is lost. And when Tamu said that, "but God", all would be lost, "but God", right? So that gave me hope. And I love you for that
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 1:08:48
I do, I think that's a touchstone; that's a touchstone for all of us. I guess for me, as I read through this, the thing that stood out for me was that "God sent me before you to preserve you". I wonder and I guess it made me want to know, who did God send before me? I mean, I know that Jesus came. But the missionaries, the, who came before me to preserve me? And who am I coming before to preserve?
Tamu Smith 1:10:16
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 1:10:17
And which of your ancestors, which of your ancestors that you don't even know her name?
Tamu Smith 1:10:24
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 1:10:25
Who is standing right beside you right now?
Tamu Smith 1:10:29
Right. Right. And I think about, I'm just, you know, that is such a 'to preserve me.' To keep me, to hold me. To preserve something means to keep it and to keep it in good shape. To keep me in good shape, who came before me? And who do I come before and knowing that I'm, I am coming before someone to preserve them makes me live my life very differently. Like it makes me live my life with a different intent.
Wow! Great takeaways, you both. Oh, my gosh. Takeaways were as powerful as the whole discussion. That was so awesome. Thank you. And I'm looking so forward to our listeners to sharing what they found. And for those of you listening throughout the week, just post on Facebook; post the similitudes that you found in Jesus, or take a picture of your journal and submit it so we can post that on Facebook, because it's so fun to see what everyone's finding. So thank you, ladies for paving the way for finding Jesus. That was, that happened today and we felt it. So thank you. Thank you. I love you both so much. Wow.
Well, of course I want to hear what your big takeaway was from this episode. So if you haven't already joined our discussion group on Facebook, and if you're not following us on Instagram, you should. Go there, post the things that you're learning throughout the week; I want to know what the similitudes that you find. And then at the end of every week, on a Saturday, we post a call for your big takeaway. So comment on the post that relates to this lesson and let us know what you've learned.
You can get to both our Facebook and Instagram by going to the show notes for this episode at LDS living.com/sunday On Monday, and it's not a bad idea to go there anyway, because that's where we have the links to all the references, and a transcript of this whole discussion, so go check it out.
The Sunday on Monday Study Group is a Deseret Bookshelf Plus Original, brought to you by LDS Living. It's written and hosted by me, Tammy Uzlac Hall, and today our incredible study group participants were Tamu Smith and Holly Butterfield Rawlings. And you can find more information about my friends at LDS living.com/sunday on Monday. Our podcast is produced by Erika free and me; it is recorded and mixed by Mix at Six Studios in our executive producer is Erin Hallstrom.
Thanks for being here. We'll see you next week, and please remember "but God", and you're his favorite.
What is, where are you really? Get rid of that background. That's stupid. You keep fading in and out.
Holly Butterfield Rawlings 1:13:00
I put a background and I I've had a rough a rough a little bit of a rough day I look sort of like a polygamist who's just and now there's a new wife coming in.
I'm in my closet.
Tamu Smith 1:13:10
I'm like, you know I'm in my closet and also have not combed my hair today but, yeah. I'm just with my sisters, so.
Just keepin it real. Tamu and I got our ring lights on.
Look, I'm trying to actually have as much light on myself in this closet as possible.