Summary Lesson 33: “Brigham Young, A Modern Moses”
To the mob, the martyrdom of Joseph Smith was thought to be the end of “Mormonism.” However, a biblical system of succession had been restored. It was the system God gave in ancient times. The similarity of the mission of Joseph Smith can be compared to Moses. The mission of Brigham Young could also be likened to Joshua. “And again, the duty of the President of the office of the High Priesthood is to preside over the whole church, and to be like unto Moses.” (Doctrine and Covenants 107:91)
Anciently, the selection of Joshua to replace Moses was anticipated by the Israelites. There was (and still is) a system that God established that there would always be a worthy “Prophet in waiting.” Known biblical examples include Joseph for Jacob, Joshua for Moses, in the Book of Mormon, Nephi for Lehi, and presently the President of the Quorum of the Twelve. These prophets were and are still led by the Lord. History sometimes only records the results of their decisions without elaborating on the revelatory decision-making process.
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In more recent times a pilgrimage happened as Israel received an influx of more than 120,000 black Jews from Ethiopia. They feel they are descendants of King Solomon through one of his wives, the Queen of Sheba. “In Ethiopia, members of this group refer to themselves as Beta Israel . . . They practice an early form of Judaism; the chief rabbis of Israel have recognized them as Jews. Until brought to Israel, they lived in the provinces around Lake Tana. According to their tradition, their ancestors were Jerusalem notables who came with Menelik, the son of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, when he returned home. They said that he brought Judaic customs and civil law to Ethiopia. The lion of Judah was the symbol of the emperor of Ethiopia.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
“Operation Solomon” was one of the names of a remarkable plan to bring these Jews to Israel. In the early 90’s fifteen thousand Ethiopian Jews were airlifted to Israel in thirty-one hours. One 747 Jumbo had more than eleven hundred of them on one flight. In order, to keep count and due to the basic illiteracy of Hebrew, each one had a number stuck to his clothing. When they landed, there were an additional two, unnumbered, newborn babies! In the modern gatherings of Israel, some Mormon pioneer babies were born in covered wagons, others Jewish pioneer babies were born in Boeing 747s!