In due time Joseph was prospered by the Lord, and upon interpreting Pharaoh's dream, became a ruler of all Egypt, second only to Pharaoh. As such, when famine hit the land of Canaan, he was able to gather his father and brothers into Egypt and preserve them and their families. When Joseph made himself known to his brothers, he proclaimed: "Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life. ... God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God."
That posterity of Jacob settled in the land of Goshen in Egypt and, following the death of Joseph, became the enslaved Israelite nation that was freed centuries later by God through the hand of Moses. Thus, we see that through the adversity of Joseph the Lord was able to preserve the posterity of Jacob unto the fulfillment of the promises made unto Abraham, which led to both the bondage of the Israelites and their miraculous exodus by Moses.
The Lord works in mysterious ways, and his ways and thoughts are higher than man's. The Lord has yet to reveal precisely why, how or when the priesthood restriction began in the LDS Church. However, in June 1978 through revelation, God unequivocally proclaimed that the time for the lifting of the restriction had come.
And while I do not know the truth concerning why, how or when the priesthood restriction began in the church, I do know this: If you approach God with a sincere heart, faith in Christ and real intent, he will speak peace unto you concerning this matter through the power of the Comforter.
And perhaps, as with Joseph of Egypt, for reasons associated with our personal development and in accordance with his divine plan for us and others, that sense of peace is all the truth God intends for us to know about the matter until his purposes concerning it are fulfilled.
Attorney Keith N. Hamilton, an adjunct professor at BYU law school,served as an LDS bishop in San Francisco. He is author of Last Laborer: Thoughts and Reflections of a Black Mormon, a "doctrimonial" addressing parts of life and the priesthood issue.
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