I will expound Lehi’s words, taking 2 Nephi 3 as my text.
And now I speak unto you, Joseph, my last-born. Thou wast born in the wilderness of mine afflictions; yea, in the days of my greatest sorrow did thy mother bear thee.
And may the Lord consecrate also unto thee this land, which is a most precious land, for thine inheritance and the inheritance of thy seed with thy brethren, for thy security forever, if it so be that ye shall keep the commandments of the Holy One of Israel.
And now, Joseph, my last-born, whom I have brought out of the wilderness of mine afflictions, may the Lord bless thee forever, for thy seed shall not utterly be destroyed.
For behold, thou art the fruit of my loins; and I am a descendant of Joseph [through Manasseh] who was carried captive into Egypt. And great were the covenants of the Lord which he made unto Joseph.
Wherefore, Joseph truly saw our day. [Joseph of Egypt saw the Josephites, who were descendants of Lehi, and then issued his prophecy of the Josephite restorer.] And he obtained a promise of the Lord, that out of the fruit of his loins the Lord God would raise up a righteous branch unto the house of Israel; not the Messiah, but a branch which was to be broken off, nevertheless, to be remembered in the covenants of the Lord that the Messiah should be made manifest unto them in the latter days, in the spirit of power, unto the bringing of them out of darkness unto light—yea, out of hidden darkness and out of captivity unto freedom.
This righteous branch are the literal seed of Lehi that will take upon themselves again the name of Nephites, this branch, which has withered away and died, miraculously coming back into existence, being restored, through the ministration of the Josephite restorer.
For Joseph truly testified, saying: A seer shall the Lord my God raise up, who shall be a choice seer unto the fruit of my loins.
This choice seer is the Josephite restorer.
Yea, Joseph truly said: Thus saith the Lord unto me: A choice seer will I raise up out of the fruit of thy loins; and he shall be esteemed highly among the fruit of thy loins.
The literal seed of Lehi will esteem the Josephite restorer highly, but not, necessarily, the Gentiles.
And unto him will I give commandment that he shall do a work for the fruit of thy loins, his brethren, which shall be of great worth unto them, even to the bringing of them to the knowledge of the covenants which I have made with thy fathers.
This part of the work of restoration that the Josephite restorer will perform will be through the bringing forth of more scripture.
And I will give unto him a commandment that he shall do none other work, save the work which I shall command him. And I will make him great in mine eyes; for he shall do my work.
At some point, the Josephite restorer will cease working after the manner of men, because the Lord will command him to no longer work like other men. This means he will be, essentially, unemployed, meaning that he will not be employed by others, or in business for himself, in the traditional sense. Nevertheless, the Lord God will give him a work to do, and this will be his only work. In other words, this Josephite restorer will claim that whatever he is doing for a living was given him of God. Also, whatever he is doing, period, he will claim that it is being done on the Lord’s errand, or on assignment of the Holy Ghost.
And he shall be great like unto Moses, whom I have said I would raise up unto you, to deliver my people, O house of Israel.
And Moses will I raise up, to deliver thy people out of the land of Egypt.
The Josephite restorer will also be a deliverer, as great as Moses was.
But a seer will I raise up out of the fruit of thy loins; and unto him will I give power to bring forth my word unto the seed of thy loins—and not to the bringing forth my word only, saith the Lord, but to the convincing them of my word, which shall have already gone forth among them.
The Josephite restorer will bring forth new scripture, specifically, in this verse, the plates of brass. Additionally, he will convince the seed of Joseph of Egypt (which are the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh) that the scriptures that are around at this time (which are the current Standard Works), are true, and he will do this principally by the miracles he performs, for these people will see him (and also point others to him) as living proof that the scriptures, which already have gone forth, are true, for he will be performing the same miracles and exercising the very same faith as all the ancients, and more especially as all the ancients of the Book of Mormon. And he, in turn, will point people to Christ.
Wherefore, the fruit of thy loins shall write; and the fruit of the loins of Judah shall write; and that which shall be written by the fruit of thy loins, and also that which shall be written by the fruit of the loins of Judah, shall grow together, unto the confounding of false doctrines and laying down of contentions, and establishing peace among the fruit of thy loins, and bringing them to the knowledge of their fathers in the latter days, and also to the knowledge of my covenants, saith the Lord.
The Josephite restorer will write, bringing forth the plates of brass, the Nephite scriptures, etc. John the revelator will also write, bringing forth the book of the Lamb of God. Both sets of scriptures will be united, establishing peace among the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, confounding false doctrines, etc.
And out of weakness he shall be made strong, in that day when my work shall commence among all my people, unto the restoring thee, O house of Israel, saith the Lord.
The Josephite restorer will start out as a weak man, according to the strength of men. In other words, when men look upon him, they will consider him weak in body and nothing of any particular notice or threat. Later, through the exercise of his exceedingly great faith, he will be made strong by the power of the Lord, meaning that the will obtain the ancient strength of the Lord that is spoken of in the scriptures, and he will no longer appear to men as weak, but will appear to them as very strong and imposing, and also will have miraculous strength and power. In other words, his very body will be restored, genetically, to a heightened state, through his faith. Again, in other words, when the Lord Jesus asks the question,
Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
The answer to it is: the Josephite restorer can and will, through his faith. He is to be the epitome of faith and masculinity, not by birth, but by the exercise of his strong faith.
And thus prophesied Joseph, saying: Behold, that seer will the Lord bless; and they that seek to destroy him shall be confounded; for this promise, which I have obtained of the Lord, of the fruit of my loins, shall be fulfilled. Behold, I am sure of the fulfilling of this promise;
The Josephite restorer will please the Lord, not because of his deeds, but because of the exercise of his faith, and those that bless him will be blessed by the Lord, and those that curse him and seek him harm, will be cursed and confounded themselves, through miracles of the Lord. When he finally starts exercising his faith, the Lord will only bless him, for his trial of faith will already have been experienced and past. But even before he begins to exercise his faith, while still in his trial of faith, the Lord will bless and protect him and care for him, and all who stand in his way will still be cursed, not because of his exercised faith, but because of his labors in his trial of faith, for even that will please the Lord.
And his name shall be called after me; and it shall be after the name of his father. And he shall be like unto me; for the thing, which the Lord shall bring forth by his hand, by the power of the Lord shall bring my people unto salvation.
His name shall be called “So-and-so Joseph-Nephi-Lehi,” being called both after the name of Joseph and also after the name of Lehi. He will also take the name of Nephi upon him, that there be again Nephites in the land. He will not be born with this surname, but will change the surname he was born with to this new surname, when the Lord finally reveals to him that he is, indeed, the promised Josephite restorer. Nevertheless, even before the Lord reveals that he is indeed the Josephite restorer, he will already begin to suspect it, thus the revelation will not be a surprise, but a confirmation of his suspicions.
His first name will be the same name as his father’s first name, thus the new surname that he takes, (of Joseph-Nephi-Lehi,) will be (in order or sequence), after the name of his father (which he also bears.) Thus, in order or sequence, his father’s given name comes before or first (so-and-so) and then his surname comes after or last (Joseph-Nephi-Lehi). This will fulfill the prophecy, for the first part speaks of “called after” and the second part speaks of just “after.” The first part is speaking of being called the same name, while the second part is speaking of the sequence or order of the name: after, as opposed to before.
The “thing” spoken of, are the scriptural records he will bring forth.
Yea, thus prophesied Joseph: I am sure of this thing, even as I am sure of the promise of Moses; for the Lord hath said unto me, I will preserve thy seed forever.
And the Lord hath said: I will raise up a Moses; and I will give power unto him in a rod; and I will give judgment unto him in writing. Yet I will not loose his tongue, that he shall speak much, for I will not make him mighty in speaking. But I will write unto him my law, by the finger of mine own hand; and I will make a spokesman for him.
I ain’t gonna talk about Moses.
And the Lord said unto me also: I will raise up unto the fruit of thy loins; and I will make for him a spokesman. And I, behold, I will give unto him that he shall write the writing of the fruit of thy loins, unto the fruit of thy loins; and the spokesman of thy loins shall declare it.
And the words which he shall write shall be the words which are expedient in my wisdom should go forth unto the fruit of thy loins. And it shall be as if the fruit of thy loins had cried unto them from the dust; for I know their faith.
And they shall cry from the dust; yea, even repentance unto their brethren, even after many generations have gone by them. And it shall come to pass that their cry shall go, even according to the simpleness of their words.
Because of their faith their words shall proceed forth out of my mouth unto their brethren who are the fruit of thy loins; and the weakness of their words will I make strong in their faith, unto the remembering of my covenant which I made unto thy fathers.
This is speaking of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, which will be accomplished also by the Josephite restorer. (For Joseph Smith never brought forth the Book of Mormon, he only brought forth a part of the Book of Mormon. The missing part was lost: the 116 manuscript pages, consisting of Mormon’s title page and the Book of Lehi. This will be restored by the Josephite restorer, with the help of a spokesman. (See this and this and this comment and also this post.)
And now, behold, my son Joseph, after this manner did my father of old prophesy.
Wherefore, because of this covenant thou art blessed; for thy seed shall not be destroyed, for they shall hearken unto the words of the book.
The Josephites will hearken unto the restored Book of Mormon that the Josephite restorer brings forth.
And there shall rise up one mighty among them, who shall do much good, both in word and in deed, being an instrument in the hands of God, with exceeding faith, to work mighty wonders, and do that thing which is great in the sight of God, unto the bringing to pass much restoration unto the house of Israel, and unto the seed of thy brethren.
Now, the Josephite restorer will restore both the Nephites and also the house of Israel (through the plates of brass), but will be noted especially for the many miracles he does, for he will be a head:
And it shall come to pass that he that asketh in Spirit shall receive in Spirit; that unto some it may be given to have all those gifts, that there may be a head, in order that every member may be profited thereby. (D&C 46:28-29)
The last words of Lehi were:
And now, blessed art thou, Joseph. Behold, thou art little; wherefore hearken unto the words of thy brother, Nephi, and it shall be done unto thee even according to the words which I have spoken. Remember the words of thy dying father. Amen.
Now, Joseph hearkened unto his brother Nephi, therefore this prophecy is sure.
It is my belief and understanding that this passage of scripture is speaking of the Josephite restorer:
But behold, the life of my servant shall be in my hand; therefore they shall not hurt him, although he shall be marred because of them. Yet I will heal him, for I will show unto them that my wisdom is greater than the cunning of the devil.
Therefore it shall come to pass that whosoever will not believe in my words, who am Jesus Christ, which the Father shall cause him to bring forth unto the Gentiles, and shall give unto him power that he shall bring them forth unto the Gentiles, (it shall be done even as Moses said) they shall be cut off from among my people who are of the covenant. (3 Ne. 21:10-11)
Marred means to cut off a part, so that the whole is disfigured and reduced in function, leaving a scar. The Josephite restorer, therefore, will be a circumcised man that has a scar, reduced function and who exercises his faith to the end that he is restored to intact by the power of God. These physical infirmities and afflictions are the cause by which the man will pull himself up by his bootstraps and cause miracles to happen, for, unlike other men, he will not be content to live his life as he is, but will send up a million prayers of faith until his physical body is totally transformed and made whole, and it is this tremendous exercise of faith that will cascade all gifts into him, for he will not stop asking until he obtains them all. This is why he is spoken of in such elevated terms by these prophets, for he is, or will be, the greatest of all seers in Joseph (of Egypt’s) line, possessing all the gifts. And it is this possession of all these gifts, and his great desires, that he will use to restore the Nephites and Israelites, for his faith is, or will be, overpowering, making him essentially an unstoppable force among the Gentiles. Therefore, all seers looked to him as the one who performed, or will perform, all the rest of the work of salvation, which is the bulk of it, for his faith won’t be like some of them, but like all of them, for he will ask for everything they had, and more.
The Josephite seer, then, is noted by his faith working mighty miracles, and this is why when the scriptures speak of the Lord working by power in the latter-days (such as in Alma 37),
And now remember, my son, that God has entrusted you with these things, which are sacred, which he has kept sacred, and also which he will keep and preserve for a wise purpose in him, that he may show forth his power unto future generations. (Alma 37:14)
it is likely that this is speaking of the ministry of the Josephite restorer.
Joseph Smith is not even mentioned in 2 Nephi 3, for he was just a shadow fulfillment and also he was of the wrong lineage, for the Josephite restorer will be of the tribe of Manasseh and a direct descendant of Joseph, Lehi’s son. Nearly the entire chapter, then, is speaking only of this particular man and his great ministry, and not of any other. Joseph Smith’s work, then, can be considered a foundational work, so that some of the Book of Mormon could be brought forth, in order that the Josephite restorer could read it and be inspired by it and seek to emulate it.