Continuing the discussion we have been engaged in the last several entries regarding ancient Joseph and his latter day remnant offspring spoken of and prophesied about in the Book of Mormon, this entry will jump forward in time to the end of the work of Joseph's latter day remnant seed. It feels right to do this while the teachings about ancient Joseph, his blessings, and promises, are somewhat fresh on our minds. We will come back and fill in the middle in future posts in order to draw the full history (and future) together from the Book of Mormon.
The "remnant of Israel" spoken of, and prophesied about, in the words of the Book of Mormon, are the remaining latter day seed of Lehi (1Nephi 13: 34) mixed with the seed of Ishmael. The bloodlines of both sons of ancient Joseph, Manasseh, and Ephraim, are represented in the two offspring grandsons of Joseph, Lehi and Ishmael and their families respectively. The departure of Lehi and Ishmael, and their families from Jerusalem and their subsequent arrival in the choice land of promise, the land of the "utmost bounds of the everlasting hills," (Gen. 49: 26) marks the beginning of the fulfillment of the patriarchal promises of Jacob, (Israel) to his son Joseph.
Speaking about the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith said:
"By it we learn that our western tribes of Indians are descendants of that Joseph who was sold into Egypt, and that the land of America is a promised land unto them, and unto it all the tribes of Israel will come, with as many of the Gentiles as shall comply with the requisitions of the new covenant.” (HC 1:315)
Joseph Smith stated further:
"All that the prophets that have written, from the days of righteous Able, down to the last man that has left any testimony on record for our consideration, in speaking of the salvation of Israel in the last days, goes directly to show that it consists in the work of the gathering.
First, I shall begin by quoting from the prophecy of Enoch, speaking of the last days: "And righteousness will I send down out of heaven; and truth will I send forth out of the earth, to bear testimony of mine Only Begotten; his resurrection from the dead; yea, and also the resurrection of all men; and righteousness and truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood, to gather out mine elect from the four quarters of the earth, unto a place which I shall prepare, an Holy City, that my people may gird up their loins, and be looking forth for the time of my coming; for there shall be my tabernacle, and it shall be called Zion, a New Jerusalem." (Moses 7: 62)
...And now, I ask, how righteousness and truth are going to sweep the earth as with a flood? I will answer. Men and angels are to be co-workers in bringing to pass this great work, and Zion is to be prepared, even a new Jerusalem, for the elect that are to be gathered from the four quarters of the earth, and to be established an holy city, for the tabernacle of the Lord shall be with them." (HC 2: 260-62)
It is the latter day remnant seed of Joseph through Manasseh, (Lehi) and Ephraim, (Ishmael) that will fulfill and do the work of the blessings and prophecies pertaining to ancient Joseph and his remnant offspring spoken of in the prophecies of the Book of Mormon. The latter day work of Joseph's remnant seed, as Joseph Smith said, "in speaking of the salvation of Israel in the last days, goes directly to show that it consists in the work of the gathering." Foremost in all of the work to be done by Joseph's latter day remnant seed is the establishing of "a holy city," "Zion," the city "New Jerusalem."
Zion will not be built or established in the latter days by any earthly institution or any group of men or people on the earth except those specifically prophesied to build and establish the holy city. Millions await instruction from men to go to some specified location to "build Zion." The Book of Mormon speaks of no such events in the establishing of Zion in the latter days. It is "the remnant of Israel," the latter day offspring of Lehi and Ishmael, sons of ancient Joseph representing Joseph's own sons, Manasseh, and Ephraim, that have that specific responsibility and blessing.
The Jaredite prophet Ether spoke in his record of the prophecy linking Joseph's latter day offspring to the holy city, "Zion," of the latter days. Moroni abridged Ether's record and preserved the prophesy in order that we may be clear in our day (if we are willing to see and believe it) about the establishment of Zion, the New Jerusalem, before the coming of the Lord Jesus to complete the work of the promises of the father to His people, the house of Israel. Ether begins by pointing out the "chosen" and "choice" nature of this land.
(Ether) "truly told them of all things, from the beginning of man; and that after the waters had receded from off the face of this land it became a choice land above all other lands, a chosen land of the Lord; wherefore the Lord would have that all men should serve him who dwell upon the face thereof;" (Ether 13: 2)
Nephi, like Ether, was also told about the highly favored status of this choice land. The Lord explained to Nephi, "And inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments, ye shall prosper, and shall be led to a land of promise; yea, even a land which I have prepared for you; yea, a land which is choice above all other lands." (1Nephi 2: 20) This promise to Nephi has great meaning when it is understood that Nephi, Lehi's son, is a direct descendant of ancient Joseph. The favored status of this land for Joseph's offspring relates directly to the blessings promised to ancient Joseph; he was told by his father Jacob, (Israel) that his "branches run over the wall," (the ocean), and that his blessings "prevailed above the blessings of my (Jacob's) progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills: they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate (across the ocean) from his brethren." (Gen. 49: 22, 26)
Moroni continues his abridgment of Ether’s record, speaking of this choice land and the latter day offspring of ancient Joseph:
3 And that it (this choice land) was the place of the New Jerusalem, which should come down out of heaven, and the holy sanctuary of the Lord.
4 Behold, Ether saw the days of Christ, and he spake concerning a New Jerusalem upon this land.
5 And he spake also concerning the house of Israel, and the Jerusalem from whence Lehi should come—after it should be destroyed it should be built up again, a holy city unto the Lord; wherefore, it could not be a new Jerusalem for it had been in a time of old; but it should be built up again, and become a holy city of the Lord; and it should be built unto the house of Israel.
6 And that a New Jerusalem should be built up upon this land, unto the remnant of the seed of Joseph, for which things there has been a type.
7 For as Joseph brought his father down into the land of Egypt, even so he died there; wherefore, the Lord brought a remnant of the seed of Joseph out of the land of Jerusalem, that he might be merciful unto the seed of Joseph that they should perish not, even as he was merciful unto the father of Joseph that he should perish not.
8 Wherefore, the remnant of the house of Joseph shall be built upon this land; and it shall be a land of their inheritance; and they shall build up a holy city unto the Lord, like unto the Jerusalem of old; and they shall no more be confounded, until the end come when the earth shall pass away.
9 And there shall be a new heaven and a new earth; and they shall be like unto the old save the old have passed away, and all things have become new.
10 And then cometh the New Jerusalem; and blessed are they who dwell therein, for it is they whose garments are white through the blood of the Lamb; and they are they who are numbered among the remnant of the seed of Joseph, who were of the house of Israel. (Ether 13: 3-10)
The words of Ether require no explanation they do however bear repeating;
"a New Jerusalem should be built up upon this land, unto the remnant of the seed of Joseph,"
"the remnant of the house of Joseph shall be built upon this land; and it shall be a land of their inheritance; and they shall build up a holy city unto the Lord, like unto the Jerusalem of old."
"then cometh the New Jerusalem; and blessed are they who dwell therein, for it is they whose garments are white through the blood of the Lamb; and they are they who are numbered among the remnant of the seed of Joseph, who were of the house of Israel."
What marvelous and far-reaching blessings attend the latter day "remnant of Israel," the latter day remnant seed of ancient Joseph. Many claim to be the offspring of Ephraim and Joseph in our day. However, the marvelous latter day work of "the remnant of Israel," the building of the holy city, Zion, and preparation for the coming of the Lord, is reserved specifically for those who were promised this choice land for their inheritance. That chosen remnant of Israel received the promise of these blessings directly from the mouth of the Lord Jesus Christ. Speaking face to face to the Nephite offspring of Lehi (and Joseph) the Lord declared:
12 Ye are my disciples; and ye are a light unto this people, who are a remnant of the house of Joseph.
13 And behold, this is the land of your inheritance; and the Father hath given it unto you. (3Nephi 15: 12-13)
All of the hopes, desires, beliefs, and ambitions of latter day gentile imposters and want to be's will never change or remove the prophetic destiny set forth in the precious Book of Mormon, of the remnant of Israel, the latter day seed of Joseph through Lehi. They will build the holy city Zion, the New Jerusalem as prophesied.
Once again, the words of Joseph Smith the prophet:
“Men and angels are to be co-workers in bringing to pass this great work, and Zion is to be prepared, even a new Jerusalem, for the elect that are to be gathered from the four quarters of the earth, and to be established an holy city, for the tabernacle of the Lord shall be with them.”
More about the latter day remnant of Israel and Zion coming.