Messiah Ben-Joseph & Joseph Smith

josephsmith_large

Joseph Smith Jr. (1805-1844)

Jewish teachings outside of the Torah refer to a Messiah Ben-Joseph (aka Messiah ben Ephraim).

“According to the Talmud, the Messiah will be a descendant of the House of David and will be preceded by a secondary Messiah, from the House of Joseph . . .”
Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.

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When the Chief Rabbi, Avraham HaKohen Kook (1865–1935) was appointed in Palestine in the 1920’s, he was asked if the Jews could now build the Temple (destroyed since year 70 A.D.). His response was that the priestly rights had gone and referred to the great 12th century rabbi Moses Maimonides. Maimonides 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.”

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Other legends state that Messiah Ben-Joseph will rebuild the city of Jerusalem and the temple, and bring to pass the restoration of the ten tribes.

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The Prophet Joseph Smith Jr. (1805-1844) fulfilled some, but not all, of these roles.

Joseph Smith was an Ephraimite and thus a descendant of Joseph who was sold into Egypt.

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Visions manifested to Joseph Smith the Prophet and Oliver Cowdery in the temple at Kirtland, Ohio, April 3, 1836. HC 2: 435–436. The occasion was that of a Sabbath day meeting.

The Prophet prefaces his record of the manifestations with these words: “In the afternoon, I assisted the other Presidents in distributing the Lord’s Supper to the Church, receiving it from the Twelve, whose privilege it was to officiate at the sacred desk this day.

After having performed this service to my brethren, I retired to the pulpit, the veils being dropped, and bowed myself, with Oliver Cowdery, in solemn and silent prayer. After rising from prayer, the following vision was opened to both of us.”

[11] After this vision closed, the heavens were again opened unto us; and Moses appeared before us, and committed unto us the keys of the gathering of Israel from the four parts of the earth, and the leading of the ten tribes from the land of the north.
[12] After this, Elias appeared, and committed the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham, saying that in us and our seed all generations after us should be blessed.
[13] After this vision had closed, another great and glorious avision burst upon us; for Elijah the prophet, who was taken to heaven without tasting death, stood before us, and said:
[14] Behold, the time has fully come, which was spoken of by the mouth of Malachi—testifying that he [Elijah] should be sent, before the great and dreadful day of the Lord come—
[15] To turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers, lest the whole earth be smitten with a curse—
[16] Therefore, the keys of this dispensation are committed into your hands; and by this ye may know that the great and dreadful day of the Lord is near, even at the doors.

Doctrine & Covenants 110

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Joseph Smith sent Apostle Orson Hyde to Jerusalem in 1841 to offer a dedicatory prayer.

Orson Hyde blessed the land ” . . for the gathering together of Judah’s scattered remnants, according to the predictions of the holy Prophets — for the building up of Jerusalem again after it has been trodden down by the Gentiles so long, and for rearing a Temple in honor of Thy name (the Lord’s name).”

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– Tom Irvine

Hebrew Book of Mormon Translation

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