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Lesson 7: "I Know In Whom I Have Trusted"

Lesson 7: "I Know In Whom I Have Trusted"

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Published by Leanne Peterson
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

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Published by: Leanne Peterson on Feb 24, 2012
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Gospel Doctrine, Lesson 7: “I Know in Whom I Have Trusted”,
2 Nephi 3-5
Joseph #1: (vs. 1-3) _____________________________________ Joseph #2: (vs. 4-5) _____________________________________ Joseph #3: (vs. 6-15) _____________________________________ Joseph #4: (v. 15) _____________________________________ 
To download past handouts, go to:
highlandvalleysundayschoolnotes2012.blogspot.com
 
The 4 Josephs of 2 Nephi 3:
#1
Bruce R. McConkie wrote: ―A prophet is a person who knows by personal revelation from the HolyGhost that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, ‗For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.‘
(Rev.19:10)
Accordingly, every prophet bears record of Christ….There are, of course, ranks and grades of pro-
 phetic responsibility and authority. Every member of the Church should be a prophet as pertaining to his
own affairs. ‗Would God that all the Lord‘s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spiritupon them!‘ was the prayer of Moses
(Num. 11:29).
Prophecy is one of the gifts of the Spirit to which allthe saints are entitled
(1 Cor. 12:10),
and faithful members of the Church are exhorted to ‗covet to prophesy.‘
(1 Cor.
14:39)‖ (
Mormon Doctrine, 605-6)
 
#2
“ 
Anyone who receives revelation from the Lord and conveys the revealed truth to another is a
revelator 
….The
President of the Church is a revelator for the Church, as also are the members of the First Presidency, the Council of 
the Twelve, and the Patriarch to the Church.‖ (Ibid., 651)
 
#3
―From among the Lord‘s prophets and revelators certain highly spiritual ones have been chosen to act as seers,
and as such, as occasion has required, they have had the right to use the Urim and Thummim. A seer is a prophet se-lected and appointed to posses and use these holy interpreters.
(Mosiah 8:13; 28:16)
―A seer is greater than a prophet… A seer is a revelator and a prophet also; and a gift which is greater can no
man have, except he should possess the power of God, which no man can; yet a man may have great power given himfrom God. But a seer can know of things which are past, and also of things which are to come, and by them shall allthings be revealed, or, rather, shall secret things be made manifest, and hidden things shall come to light, and things
which are not known shall be made known by them… Thus God has provided a means that man, through faith, might
work mighty miracles; therefore he becometh a great benefit to his fellow beings
(Mosiah 8:15-18)
.‖ (Ibid., 700)
 
#4 
President Brigham Young bore witness of the ―choice seer‖ Joseph Smith, who was known not only inthe days of Joseph in Egypt, but even before the creation of the earth: ―It was decreed in the counsels of 
eternity, long before the foundations of the earth were laid, that he, Joseph Smith, should be the man, in thelast dispensation of this world, to bring forth the word of God to the people, and receive the fullness of thekeys and power of the Priesthood of the Son of God. The Lord had his eyes upon him, and upon his father,
and upon his father‘s father, and upon their progenitors clear back to Abraham, and from Abraham to the
flood, from the flood to Enoch, and from Enoch to Adam. He has watched that family and that blood as it has circu-lated from its fountain to the birth of that man. He was fore-ordained in eternity to preside over this last dispensa-
tion‖
(
 Discourses of Brigham Young,
108)
 
#5
 No one knew the limitations of Joseph Smith in his early twenties better than his young wife, Emma. Here is her 
testimony concerning the literal fulfillment of 1 Nephi 3:13. ―Joseph Smith (as a young man)...could neither write nor 
dictate a coherent and well-worded letter, let alone dictate a book like the Book of Mormon, and though I was an ac-tive participant in the scenes that transpired, was present during the translation of the plates, and had cognizance o
 
#6
Joseph Smith said, ―I am like a huge, rough stone rolling down from a high mountain; and the only pol-
ishing I get is when some corner gets rubbed off by coming in contact with something else, striking withaccelerated force against religious bigotry, priest-craft, doctor-craft, lying editors, suborned judges and ju-rors, and the authority of perjured executives, backed by mobs, blasphemers, licentious and corrupt menand women
 — 
all hell knocking off a corner here and a corner there. Thus I will become a smooth and pol-
ished shaft in the quiver of the almighty.‖
(HC, 5:401)
#7
―Interestingly, the common practice in early America was for the first son to be named after the father, but the
first two sons born to Joseph Sr. and Lucy Mack Smith were Alvin and Hyrum, reserving the name Joseph for the
third son, thus unknowingly fulfilling an ancient prophecy.‖ (
D. Kelly Ogden and Andrew Skinner,
Verse by Verse, The Book of Mormon,
130)
#8
 Neal A. Maxwell wrote: ―The prophet Nephi, who had progressed and advanced spiritually to a re-markable degree, still lamented about ‗sins which do easily beset me‘
(2 Ne. 4:18).
Obviously, Nephi‘s sins
were not major. But just as God cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance
( D&C 1:31),
as webecome more like Him, neither can we.
The best people have a heightened awareness of what little of theworst is still in them! Indeed, the divine discontent, the justifiable spiritual restlessness that we feel, is anatural follow-
on feeling in the disciple who has taken the Lord‘s counsel to ‗Make you a new heart and a newspirit‘
(Ezek. 18:31).
The ‗new‘ in us is bound to notice the ‗old‘ that remains. However, it is vital for us to realize that if 
we are keeping the commandments and doing our basic duties, we are to that extent succeeding in that thing. Our sin-
cere striving and seeking to keep the commandments counts for more than we know.‖ (
 Notwithstanding My Weak-ness,
16-17)
#9
Hugh Nibley, in his inimitable way, teaches about 2 Nephi 4:31:
―We‘ll go ahead to chapter 4 of 2 Nephi in which we have a vivid desert episode. Talk about one of those daz-zling little vignettes, it‘s here. Nephi describes himself as running away from his enemies. He has been oppressed ter-
ribly. His big brothers have never stopped dogging him; they have been after him all the time. He has been given arough time by everybody. The family sort of resents his being the leader anyway, being the youngest until his two
 brothers were born there [in the wilderness]. In verse 32 he says, ‗ May the gates of hell be shut continually before
me, because that my heart is broken and my spirit is contrite! O Lord, wilt thou not shut the gates of thy righteousness
 before me, that I may walk in the path of the low valley [now… a person escaping from his enemy always wanted to
take the low, quick, straight path as far as he can get away from him
 — 
the easiest path to take and the surest to es-
cape, not having to run up and down any hills or anything like that], that I may be strict in the plain road!‘ That means‗sticking right to the path.‘ … ‗ O Lord, wilt thou encircle me around in the robe of they righteousness!‘ This is an
Arabic idyll. When a person is running away, he runs to the tent of any great sheikh he can find. He goes in and
kneels down before the sheikh and says, ‗I am thy suppliant.‘ The sheikh is then obligated to put his caftan over his …
shoulder 
 — 
 
to put the hem of his garment over his shoulder and say, … ‗This is your tent, this is your family.‘ Hesays, ‗We‘ll make a place for you.‘ Then the lord or the chief is under obligation to defend you against the enemies
that are chasing you. You are now under his protection, and he will protect you. This is part of the medieval code.Continued from previous page:
―This is what we have here. ‗O lord, wilt thou encircle me around in the robe of thy righteousness!‘ He‘s run-
ning away and he wants the plain road so he can get away from his enemies and wants to be encircled with the robe of 
righteousness. ‗O Lord, wilt thou make a way for mine escape before mine enemies! Wilt thou make my path straight before me! Wilt thou not place a stumbling block in my way.‘ A stumbling block is the Greek word
 skandalon
; it‘s
things as they transpired, it is marvelous to me
 — 
a marvel and a wonder 
 — 
 
as much as to anyone else…. My belief 
is that the Book of Mormon is of divine authenticity
 — 
 
I have not the slightest doubt of it … when acting as his
scribe, your father (she was being interviewed by her son) would dictate to me hour after hour; and when returningafter meals, or interruptions, he would at once begin where he had left off, without either seeing the manuscript or having any portion of it read to him. This was an unusual thing for him to do. It would have been improbable that a
learned man could do this, and for one so ignorant and unlearned as he was, it was simply impossible.‖
(Quoted by Pre-ston Nibley,
The Witnesses of the Book of Mormon,
28-29)
 
 
anything you trip up on when you are running, what you bump your toe on… You are making a nice thing of it, andall of a sudden you fall flat on your face. That‘s dangerous, you see. So he says, don‘t let that happen to me. ‗But thatthou wouldst clear my way before me, and hedge not up my way, but the ways of mine enemy [make his way hard].‘
I showed that picture from the time of Lehi of an Arab riding his camel, an it said he was escaping from his enemies.
He was running for dear life. That‘s what we have here. Notice how the image is: Make the way straight for me so I
can get through. Then when I go to you, will you put the robe of your righteousness around me and I will be in your 
 protection.‖
(Teachings of the Book of Mormon: Semester 1
 — 
Lecture 16: 2 Nephi 1-4, http://maxwellinstitute.byu. edu/publications/ books/?bookid=116&chapid=1336)
 
Other Enlargers of Understanding:
Elder Neal A. Maxwell suggested several examples of truths that the Seer Joseph Smith could see with spiritual eyesthat had previously been hidden from the world:1. Revelation about the extent and expanse of the universe (see Moses 1:33; D&C 76:24)2.
Revelation about God‘s central purpose (see Moses 1:39)
 3.
Revelation about us as God‘s children (D&C 93:29)
 4.
Revelation about man‘s destiny (see D&C 84:38)
 5.
Revelation about God‘s personal involvement with his children (see Alma 18:32)
 6.
Revelation about the expanse of the Savior‘s Atonement (see 2 Nephi (:7); D&C 88:6)
 (CR, Oct, 2003)
Elder Marion G. Romney tells us: ―It is an easy thing to believe in the dead prophets, but it is a greater thing to be-
lieve in the living prophets. I will give you and illustration.Once day when President Grant was living, I sat in my office across the street following a general conference.A man came over to see me, an elderly man. He was very upset about what had been said in this conference by someof the Brethren, including myself. I could tell from his speech that he came from a foreign land. After I had quieted
him enough so he would listen I said, ―Why did you come to America?‖
 
―I came because a prophet of God told me to come.‖
 
―Who was the prophet?‖ I continued.―Wilford Woodruff.‖
 
―Do you believe Wilford Woodruff was a prophet of God?‖
 
―Yes,‖ said he.
 
―Do you believe that his successor, President Lorenzo Snow, was a prophet of God?‖
 
―Yes, I do.‖
 
―Do you believe that President Joseph F. Smith was a prophet of God?‖
 
―Yes, sir.‖
 Then came the sixty-
four dollar question. ―Do you believe that Heber J. Grant is a prophet of God?‖
 
His answer: ―I think he ought to keep his mouth shut about old age assistance.‖
 Now I tell you that a man in his position is on the way to apostasy. He is forfeiting his chance for eternal life.
So is everyone who cannot follow the living prophet of God.‖ (CR, Apr. 1953)
 Following are a few lines from the patriarchal blessing that Joseph Smith Sr. gave to his son Joseph Smith Jr.:
―I bless thee with the blessings of thy fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; and even the blessings of thy father Joseph, the son of Jacob. Behold he looked after his posterity in the last days… ; he sought diligently to know from
whence the son should come who should bring forth the word of the Lord, by which they might be enlightened and brought back to the true fold, and his eyes beheld thee, my son; his heart rejoiced and his soul was satisfied, and he
said, … ‗From among my seed, scattered with the Gentiles, shall a choice seer arise …, whose heart shall meditate
great wisdom, whose intelligence shall circumscribe and comprehend the deep things of God, and whose mouth shall
utter the law of the just‘ … Thou shalt hold the keys of this ministry, even the presidency of this church, both in timeand in eternity.‖ (Ludlow,
Companion to Your Study of the Book of Mormon, 130-31)

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