In a time, place, and circumstances much different than those we find ourselves in today, a set of missionaries carried swords and other weapons into enemy territory. Several of them were brothers and had experienced a conversion to Jesus Christ and His gospel. Their father was the king of the Nephite people, but instead of seeking to rule a kingdom, these men sought to bring the enemies of their kingdom to a knowledge of the truth.
In a recent post, I discussed how my mother took on a Christlike role in repairing something I had broken, and, in the process, brought peace to me. Another story of the role of a parent came to mind recently.
When Joseph Smith, the first prophet called by the Lord in modern times, was a boy of only seven years, he suffered typhoid fever. The illness caused an infection in the bone of one of his legs.
I struggle somewhat when I read stories from early in King David’s life. David showed great faith and example to Israel, but the devil found a way into his heart. He fell so far in the incident of Uriah and Bathsheba that trouble plagued his family for the rest of his life. Knowing what’s coming sours the preceding stories for me a little.
Even so, like many prominent figures in the scriptures, if we look closely, we can still find value in the earlier stories because of what they teach us about Christ and His plan to redeem us.
The book of Judges in the Old Testament holds many stories of those whom the Lord raised up to deliver the tribes of Israel from their oppressors. My personal favorite is Gideon because of the experiences he had where the Lord reassured him and built up his confidence to do something that conventional wisdom said he had no chance of doing. And to try involved great personal danger. But this post isn’t about Gideon.
Samson sits at the other end of the spectrum for me because he seems to be an example of someone who could have done great things, but what he wanted was more important to him than what the Lord had planned for his life. As a result, he met a tragic end.
During some recent scripture study, I came across a type of Christ—an episode in scripture that exhibits a pattern from Christ’s own life or mission. A type is much like a parable in that it’s a comparison that helps us understand an aspect of the gospel to a greater degree. Hence, I’m going to try something a little different on The Weekly Parable and occasionally throw a type of Christ from the scriptures into the mix.
The story is well known of Joseph, the son of Israel, being sold into slavery by his envious brothers, ending up in Egypt, and then being tasked by Pharaoh with preparing Egypt for the famine that would come seven years later. Possibly less well known are the interactions Joseph had with his brothers when Israel sent them down to Egypt to buy food for the family (told in Genesis 42–44) and what the Lord wants us to learn from that part of the story.