(February 19, 2014)
I suppose what I don’t understand in this narrative right now is why Joseph has not yet revealed himself to his brothers. Is it because he wants the drama of a big reveal? That seems to be the case – he wants to tell his brothers and his father who he is all at the same time. But that doesn’t seem likely – it seems petty for the suffering that his trick is causing. This is one of those times when I think there is a cultural understanding that I am somehow missing in the scriptures. There must be a rational reason for what Joseph is doing that makes sense to a person of his day and culture while it does not make sense to me.
The other thought that I had was in relation to Joseph and his cup. Did I understand correctly that he was divining through the silver cup? I don’t want to be proof-texting, but I think that is what the scriptures were saying. I suppose that there is something to using a tangible, physical object as a focus to our faith. Joseph did it with his cup (assuming I am not reading this wrongly), and Joseph Smith did it with the seer stone. I wonder whether it needed to be something in particular, or whether it was merely an object to enable these prophets to focus their faith on the inspiration needed.