Should we condemn the prophet Joseph for apparent use of techniques that we would call magic or occult in our day? Things like using a solid object for purposes of divining or seeking revelation? Because of our modern discomfort with such concepts, do we reject him as a prophet of God and reject the scriptural records associated with him? I think that would be an unfortunate mistake, though the evidence of his "guilt" in this area is hard to overlook completely. Here is the primary evidence, straight from a part of the LDS scriptures, Genesis 44, which describes Joseph's use of an object that plays a key role in the interesting story of that record:
5 Is not this it in which my lord drinketh, and whereby indeed he divineth? ye have done evil in so doing.
This is from the story in which the great ancient prophet, Joseph, used his cup, the cup he allegedly used for "magical" or revelatory divination, to frame one of his brothers as a thief in a clever scheme to save his entire family. It's a beautiful, touching, inspiring story, infused with a touch of the occult, at least when viewed from our modern perspective. Do we therefore reject Joseph, his revelations and inspired deeds as a prophet, and the scriptural records associated with him and that praise him--you know, records like the Bible? Personally, I think that would be a mistake.
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