Joseph, son of Jacob or Israel, was the ancestor of Lehi through the lineage of Manasseh, Joseph’s son. Ishmael and his family, whom the Lord called to join with Lehi in the exodus to the Promised Land, descended from Ephraim, brother of Manasseh. In this way, the branch of Joseph became a central demographic factor in the expansion of the Israelite heritage in ancient America. The prophecies of Joseph were preserved on the plates of brass, which Lehi’s sons obtained from Laban. “For behold,” declared Nephi. “he Joseph] truly prophesied concerning all his seed. And the prophecies which he wrote, there are not many greater. And he prophesied concerning us, and our future generations”.
When the aging Lehi gave his youngest son, Joseph, a father’s blessing.
In addition, young Joseph learned that a future seer, also to be named Joseph, would be called by God in the latter days to bring forth the word of the Lord as revealed through the righteous branch of Israel in America. Nephi was favored of the Lord to understand fully the role he was playing to bring to pass the prophecies of Joseph of [Egypt. “Wherefore, for this cause hath the Lord God promised unto me that these things which I write shall be kept and preserved, and handed down unto my seed, from generation to generation, that the promise may be fulfilled unto Joseph, that his seed should never perish as long as the earth should stand”. Captain Moroni, too, during the last century before the birth of Christ, was aware of the significance of Joseph, son of Jacob, in the establishment of the eternal covenants of the Lord.
Yea, let us preserve our liberty as a remnant of Joseph; yea, let us remember the words of Jacob, before his death, for behold, he saw that a part of the remnant of the coat of Joseph was preserved and had not decayed. And he said—Even as this remnant of garment of my son hath been preserved, so shall a remnant of the seed of my son be preserved by the hand of God, and be taken unto himself, while the remainder of the seed of Joseph shall perish, even as the remnant of his garment.
In the symbolism of the torn garment, Jacob, father of Joseph, foretold the history of the Josephite branch of his seed from his days until the present, as confirmed in the Book of Mormon. The Jaredite prophet Ether declared, concerning this promised branch of Israel, “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”. Said the resurrected Lord, during His ministry among the Saints in ancient America, “Ye are my disciples; and ye are a light unto this people, who are a remnant of the house of Joseph”. With the coming forth of the Book of Mormon as an integral part of the Restoration of the gospel, the “stick of Joseph” foreseen by the prophet Ezekiel was joined with the “stick of Judah” to confirm the eternal truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ to all the world.