Old Testament 2022
March 14–20. Genesis 42–50: “God Meant It unto Good”

“March 14–20. Genesis 42–50: ‘God Meant It unto Good,’” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: Old Testament 2022 (2021)

“March 14–20. Genesis 42–50,” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: 2022

Joseph of Egypt

Illustration of Joseph of Egypt, by Robert T. Barrett

March 14–20

Genesis 42–50

“God Meant It unto Good”

Elder David A. Bednar said, “The spiritual understanding you and I have been blessed to receive … simply cannot be given to another person” (“Seek Learning by Faith,” Ensign, Sept. 2007, 67). How will you help class members gain spiritual understanding for themselves?

Record Your Impressions

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Invite Sharing

To give class members an opportunity to share something they found meaningful in their personal or family scripture study, you could ask questions like these at the beginning of class: What verse in these chapters caught your attention? What verse did you find yourself reading more than once? What verse did you share with someone? What verse led to an insightful discussion with your family or friends?

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Teach the Doctrine

Genesis 45:1–15; 50:15–21

Forgiveness brings peace.

  • Before you start a discussion about what Joseph’s experience teaches about forgiveness, it might help to have someone briefly relate the story in Genesis 37; 39–45. Why might it have been hard for Joseph to forgive his brothers? What experiences or attitudes might have given Joseph the strength to forgive? (see, for example, Genesis 45:1–15 or 50:15–21). How can Joseph’s example help us be more forgiving?

    The video “Forgiveness: My Burden Was Made Light” (ChurchofJesusChrist.org) provides another inspiring example of forgiveness. How does the Savior help us forgive others?

  • What blessings came from Joseph’s forgiveness of his brothers? It might be interesting to compare the relationships in Jacob’s family at the beginning of the story (see, for example, Genesis 37:3–11) with their state at the end (see Genesis 45:9–15; 50:15–21). What role did forgiveness play in the change in Joseph’s family? How might things have turned out differently if Joseph had not been willing to forgive? You might invite class members to suggest ways this story could help families today overcome contention and jealousy.

Genesis 45:5–11; Joseph Smith Translation, Genesis 50:24–38 (in the Bible appendix)

The works of Joseph, Moses, and Joseph Smith testify of the mission of Jesus Christ.

  • With the additional light of the restored gospel, we know that Joseph, who delivered his family from famine, also prophesied of great blessings that would one day come through Moses and Joseph Smith. And all of these prophets point us to our Great Deliverer, Jesus Christ. To help class members see the Savior in the ministries of these three prophets, you could draw a chart on the board similar to the one found in “Additional Resources.” Class members could work together to fill it out. Then they could add columns describing the work of Joseph of Egypt, Moses, and Joseph Smith, using what they learn from Genesis 45:5–11 and Joseph Smith Translation, Genesis 50:24–38 (in the Bible appendix). How do the ministries of these prophets testify of and point to the mission of the Savior? (For some examples of similarities between the life of Joseph of Egypt and the life of the Savior, see Genesis 37:3 and Matthew 3:17; Genesis 37:26–28 and Matthew 26:14–16; Genesis 45:5–7 and Luke 4:18; and Genesis 47:12 and John 6:35; see also Moses 6:63.)

    Joseph of Egypt seeing a vision of Joseph Smith receiving gold plates

    Illustration of Joseph of Egypt, by Paul Mann

Genesis 50:19–21

God can help us find meaning in our trials.

  • Though it may not have been clear while he was going through his severe trials, Joseph was eventually able to look back on his adversity in Egypt and see that “God meant it unto good” (Genesis 50:20). If we could have visited Joseph while he was in the pit or in prison, how might we have comforted him? How might the thought expressed in Genesis 50:19–21 help us in times of trial? Perhaps class members would be willing to talk about ways God has blessed them, even through difficult experiences they’ve had. For one example, see the video “Unto All the World: The Sam Family” (ChurchofJesusChrist.org). What does Doctrine and Covenants 122 add to our understanding of this principle?

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Additional Resources

The lives of prophets testify of Jesus Christ and His mission.

The lives of Joseph of Egypt, Moses, and Joseph Smith can remind us of Jesus Christ. Class members could fill out this chart and then add columns for Joseph of Egypt (see Genesis 45:5–11), Moses (see Joseph Smith Translation, Genesis 50:24, 29, 34–36 [in the Bible appendix]), and Joseph Smith (see Joseph Smith Translation, Genesis 50:26–28, 30–33 [in the Bible appendix]).

Examples from the Scriptures

Jesus Christ

Examples from the Scriptures

Who was delivered?

Jesus Christ

Examples from the Scriptures

What were they delivered from?

Jesus Christ

Examples from the Scriptures

What was done to deliver them?

Jesus Christ

Improving Our Teaching

Ask questions that invite testifying. Asking questions that encourage learners to bear their testimonies can be an effective way to invite the Spirit. For example, when teaching Genesis 45:1–15, you could ask a question like “What blessings have you experienced as a result of forgiving someone?” (see Teaching in the Savior’s Way, 32).