“Unit 8: Day 4, Genesis 50,” Old Testament Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students (2014)
“Unit 8: Day 4,” Old Testament Study Guide
After Jacob died, his body was embalmed in Egypt. Following a period of mourning, it was taken and buried in the land of Canaan, according to his wishes. With their father dead, Joseph’s brothers feared that Joseph would seek revenge on them for their past injustices to him. Joseph reassured them that he held no grudge against them. Before Joseph died, he prophesied of Moses and Joseph Smith and their future dealings with his descendants (see Joseph Smith Translation, Genesis 50:24–36 [in the Bible appendix]).
Think of some events that have helped bring your family closer together. Then consider what events might divide a family.
Do you think the same event could bring one family closer together but divide another family? Why?
Jacob’s death was an event that could have divided his family or brought them closer together. As you study Genesis 50, look for how his family chose to react to this event.
How did Joseph respond to the death of his father?
What did Jacob’s sons do for their father after he died?
How might Jacob’s death have helped bring his family closer together? How might it have divided his family?
Read Genesis 50:19–21, looking for how Joseph responded to his brothers’ concerns that he would hate them and seek revenge.
Joseph’s question in verse 19 about standing in the place of God refers to leaving the judgment of others in the hands of God.
- Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:
What impresses you about Joseph’s response to his brothers?
How would you have felt after hearing Joseph’s response if you were in the position of his brothers?
One truth we can learn from Joseph’s response is that if we let go of past offenses, we can bring peace to ourselves and our families. Consider writing this principle in the margin of your scriptures near Genesis 50:19–21.
Another principle we learn is that when others sin against us, we should leave judgment to God.
To understand how leaving judgment to God and letting go of past offenses can bring peace to our families, read the following statement by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the First Presidency:
“I have discovered one thing that most [happy families] have in common: they have a way of forgiving and forgetting the imperfections of others and of looking for the good.
“Those in unhappy families, on the other hand, often find fault, hold grudges, and can’t seem to let go of past offenses. …
“None of us is without sin. Every one of us makes mistakes. … We have all been wounded. We all have wounded others.
“It is through our Savior’s sacrifice that we can gain exaltation and eternal life. As we accept His ways and overcome our pride by softening our hearts, we can bring reconciliation and forgiveness into our families and our personal lives. God will help us to be more forgiving, to be more willing to walk the second mile, to be first to apologize even if something wasn’t our fault, to lay aside old grudges and nurture them no more” (“One Key to a Happy Family,” Ensign or Liahona, Oct. 2012, 5–6).
- Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:
What did President Uchtdorf say could help us live in peace with our families?
How can that help you have peace in your family?
Ponder whether there is someone you need to forgive, especially someone in your family. Consider asking Heavenly Father to help you to forgive (see D&C 64:9–11).
It may be helpful to understand that forgiving someone who has wronged us or sinned against us does not mean condoning the sin or continuing in an abusive or dangerous relationship.
If it is available, turn to Joseph Smith Translation, Genesis 50:24 (in the Bible appendix, or in the appendix of the triple combination in some languages, after the Guide to the Scriptures), and read what Joseph said he felt as he was dying. You may want to mark the phrase “I go down to my grave with joy.”
Based on what you have learned about Joseph’s life, why do you think he would say he would die with joy?
In addition to the things that he had done during his life that brought him joy, Joseph could also go down to his grave with joy because the Lord had revealed to him how two great prophets—Moses and Joseph Smith—would bless his descendants.
The Lord promised Joseph that Moses would deliver his descendants from Egyptian bondage (see Joseph Smith Translation, Genesis 50:24 [in the Bible appendix]). Joseph also received the promise from the Lord that his descendants would be brought out of spiritual darkness and captivity in the latter days (see Joseph Smith Translation, Genesis 50:25 [in the Bible appendix]).
Read Joseph Smith Translation, Genesis 50:26–27 (in the Bible appendix), looking for words and phrases that describe the Prophet Joseph Smith. Consider marking what you find. As you read, note how often the word seer is used to describe Joseph Smith. A seer is “a person authorized of God to see with spiritual eyes things which God has hidden from the world (Moses 6:35–38). He is a revelator and a prophet” (Guide to the Scriptures, “Seer”; scriptures.lds.org; see also Mosiah 8:16–17).
Read Joseph Smith Translation, Genesis 50:28–29, 32–33 (in the Bible appendix), looking for more words and phrases that describe the Prophet Joseph Smith. You may want to mark what you find. As you read, think about the following questions:
According to Joseph Smith Translation, Genesis 50:28, what covenants would Joseph Smith bring to our knowledge?
In Joseph Smith Translation, Genesis 50:29, the Lord said that this choice seer, Joseph Smith, “shall do my work.” What is the “work” the Lord gave Joseph Smith to do?
We know that through the Prophet Joseph Smith, the Lord restored His gospel to the earth.
- In your scripture study journal, list ways your life has been blessed because of the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ through the Prophet Joseph Smith.
Read Joseph Smith Translation, Genesis 50:30–31 (in the Bible appendix), looking for what the Lord said He would give Joseph Smith power to bring forth. Consider marking what you find.
In verse 31, the phrase “the fruit of thy loins shall write” refers to a record written by descendants of Joseph of Egypt. The phrase “the fruit of the loins of Judah shall write” refers to a record written by the descendants of Judah, or the Jews. These two records are the Book of Mormon and the Bible. What did the Lord say would happen to these two records?
Reread verse 31, looking for the impact the Book of Mormon and Bible will have on the world as they grow together.
Consider writing the following principle next to verse 31: The Book of Mormon and the Bible bring peace, truth, and a knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world.
Elder Tad R. Callister of the Seventy explained how the Book of Mormon and the Bible work together to help bring people to a true knowledge of Jesus Christ and His gospel:
“The Bible is one witness of Jesus Christ; the Book of Mormon is another. Why is this second witness so crucial? The following illustration may help: How many straight lines can you draw through a single point on a piece of paper?”
Draw several lines through the point below. How many more could be drawn through it?
Elder Callister continued:
“The answer is infinite. For a moment, suppose that single point represents the Bible and that hundreds of those straight lines drawn through that point represent different interpretations of the Bible and that each of those interpretations represents a different church.
“What happens, however, if on that piece of paper there is a second point representing the Book of Mormon? How many straight lines could you draw between these two reference points: the Bible and the Book of Mormon?”
Draw a line that goes through both of the points below. How many lines can be drawn from one point to the other?
Elder Callister concluded his illustration:
“Only one. Only one interpretation of Christ’s doctrines survives the testimony of these two witnesses.
“Again and again the Book of Mormon acts as a confirming, clarifying, unifying witness of the doctrines taught in the Bible so that there is only ‘one Lord, one faith, one baptism’ [Ephesians 4:5]” (“The Book of Mormon—a Book from God,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2011, 75).
- Consider how your life has been blessed by the Bible and the Book of Mormon. In your scripture study journal, write how the Book of Mormon and the Bible have helped you draw closer to your Savior, Jesus Christ, and His gospel.
Look back at Joseph Smith Translation, Genesis 50:27 (in the Bible appendix), and underline the phrase “he shall be esteemed highly among the fruit of thy loins.” To be esteemed is to be respected and admired. Whether we descend from Joseph of Egypt or belong to another tribe of Israel, we who have been blessed by the restored gospel of Jesus Christ have many reasons to highly esteem the Prophet Joseph Smith.
- In your scripture study journal, write what you respect or admire about the Prophet Joseph Smith.
- Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:
I have studied Genesis 50 and completed this lesson on (date).
Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: