Summary Lesson 3: “I Had Seen A Vision”
- HEAVENLY VISIONS THROUGHOUT TIME: Whether it was Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Ezekiel or any of the prophets of old, the people’s reaction to vision was either very negative or supportive. Some of those visions happened outside of Israel (Ezekiel) and even came to what Jews call a “Gentile Prophet,” (Baalam). Many of those visions foresaw the time of the restoration.
- EZEKIEL’S VISIONS EQUATE RESTORATION AND RESURRECTION: “Ezekiel prophecy starts on a note of doom . . . continues with consolation . . . [and] prophecies of . . . restoration. Among the most striking prophecies in the Bible is Ezekiel’s vision . . . of dry bones which . . . come to life.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
- SOME DREAMS ARE ACCEPTED AS VISIONS: The Biblical accounts of Joseph and Daniel have a great basis in dreams. Some irritated family or friends, Other dreams inspired redemption. For many Moslems, Mohammed is called a Prophet although he apparently never claimed to be one. His writings did not predict the future because he held his interpretations of the Bible as accurate.
- VISIONS USE GEOGRAPHY TO CLARIFY THE FUTURE: The prophecies of the “Colonization of America” in the Book of Mormon have a geographic connection in Joseph’s blessing in the term, “everlasting hills.” Mountainous Israel is the “Crossroads of the East.” On the other hand, Utah (“Tops of the Mountains” in the Navaho language) is the “Crossroads of the West.” There are only two land masses on the planet that have an unending range of mountains or “everlasting hills,” Israel and Utah, USA. God’s way is also everlasting.
- JEWISH TRADITION OF LATTER-DAY JOSEPH: When the Chief Rabbi, Avraham HaKohen Kook was appointed in Palestine in the 1920’s, he was asked if the Jews could now rebuild the Temple (destroyed since year 70 A.D.). His response was that the priestly rights were gone and referred to the great 12th century rabbi Moses Maimonides, who said, in effect, “We are waiting for a Messiah Ben-Joseph. To him will be given the keys of the gathering of Israel. He will restore Temple worship.”
- SAVING ROLE OF TWO JOSEPHS–A CHIASMUS: Ancient Joseph saved his family, yet they did not know who he was. Latter-day Joseph is saving his brothers again, (more foreign aid goes to Israel from the U.S.A., the “land of Joseph,” than from all other countries combined) and they don’t know that it is “Joseph.” In the meridian of times there was “One” who “saved” us all – and still most people don’t know who He is.
- FULFILLMENT: Latter-day Saints know that this prophecy has been fulfilled in the nineteenth century through the mission of Joseph Smith Jr. Ancient Joseph overcame his “pride” and served his brothers forgivingly (at first without identifying himself). He, thereby, established a pattern for a latter-day Joseph, who, for the time being, is keeping his identity from Judah and should release all forms of pride, as he serves his family forgivingly.