Joseph of Egypt was a prophet, seer and Patriarch. He was a remarkable and gifted prophet. God promised through him a last-days seer would be sent to the world. The promise was accomplished through Joseph Smith:
Joseph truly testified, saying: A seer [Joseph Smith] shall the Lord my God raise up, who shall be a choice seer unto the fruit of my loins. Yea, Joseph truly said: Thus saith the Lord unto me: A choice seer [Joseph Smith] will I raise up out of the fruit of thy loins; and he shall be esteemed highly among the fruit of thy loins. And unto him will I give a commandment that he shall do a work for the fruit of thy loins. 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. 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 [Joseph Smith] great in mine eyes; for he shall do my work. 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. …But a seer will I raise up out of the fruit of thy loins; and unto him [Joseph Smith] will I give power to bring forth my word unto the seed of thy loins–and not to the bringing forth of my word only; saith the Lord, but to the convincing them of my word, which shall have already gone forth among them. …Behold, that seer will the Lord bless; and they that seek to destroy him [Joseph Smith] 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. (2 Ne. 3:6-14, emphasis added.)
I reject the accusation Joseph Smith was ever a “fallen prophet.” He was promised by God, sent by God, commissioned, guided, directed, inspired and led by God. His life was foretold in prophecies almost as many centuries beforehand as Christ’s life was foretold. We diminish Joseph Smith and his ministry at the peril of being “confounded”–as the prophecy of ancient Joseph of Egypt promises.
Where does the prophecy God gave to Joseph of Egypt foretell the promised seer’s failure? Instead of failure it promises the seer “will the Lord bless” and the Lord will “make him great in mine eyes” and he would “be esteemed highly” among people of faith. God said to Joseph, “I am the Lord thy God, and will be with thee [Joseph] even unto the end of the world, and through all eternity[.]” (D&C 132:49.) Those who testify against him do not persuade me to disrespect him.
God blesses and visits those who take seriously the Book of Mormon, which we only have because of the latter-day seer, Joseph Smith.
Joseph was not without his faults. But they were acknowledged by Joseph publicly, condemned by God in revelations, and apparent in the history. For example, he lost the 116 pages, was reprimanded and lost possession of the plates, Urim and Thummim, and gift temporarily as a result. God rebuked Joseph: “behold, how oft you have transgressed the commandments and the laws of God, and have gone on in the persuasions of men. For, behold, you should not have feared man more than God.” (D&C 3:6-7.)
He admitted his foolishness. (JS-H 1:28.)
He failed in business with the Kirtland Anti-Banking Society in 1837, and had a pending bankruptcy when he died in 1844.
He was told by God he could not judge between the righteous and wicked. (D&C 10:37.) That would plague him throughout life, and lead him to foolishly trust John Bennett.
Joseph made other mistakes and had other failures. Weaknesses are nothing, for all men are subject to weakness. For our part, we should “take no advantage of [any man’s] weakness.” (Ether 12:26.) Weaknesses are unimportant to me because we are all imperfect. (Ether 12:25-27.) Joseph Smith was great in God’s eyes (2 Ne. 3:8) and therefore great in mine also.