Genesis 39:3 the Lord made all that he did to prosper in his hand
L. Tom Perry
They took their seventeen-year-old brother and sold him as a slave to a caravan going into Egypt, a strange land, where they spoke a strange tongue and had strange customs. But the Lord was with this remarkable young man, and he seemed never to be discouraged. Though a stranger, a slave, his countenance must have radiated a special spirit. When offered for sale, he was purchased by a captain of the king's guard. It was only a short time before Joseph had so distinguished himself to the captain that he made him ruler over his house. In authority he was the first servant; and he was made overseer over all the captain had, and the captain put his complete trust, his properties, his income, into the hands of Joseph. ("Trust in the Lord," Ensign, May 1978, 51-52)
Genesis 39:7 his master's wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me
Gordon B. Hinckley
For some unknown reason there is constantly appearing the false rationalization that at one time in the long-ago, virtue was easy and that now it is difficult. I would like to remind you that there has never been a time since the creation when the same forces were not at work which are at work today. The proposal made by Potiphar's wife to Joseph in Egypt (Gen. 39:7) is not essentially different from that faced by many a young man and woman in our day.
The influences today may be more apparent and more seductive, but they are no more compelling. You cannot be shielded entirely from these influences. They are all about us. Our culture is saturated with them. But the same kind of self-discipline exercised by Joseph will yield the same beneficial result. Notwithstanding the so-called "new morality," notwithstanding the much-discussed changes in our moral standard, there is no adequate substitute for virtue. The old standard is challenged on every campus in America as it is in Europe. But God has not abrogated his commandments.
The violation of these commandments in this, as in any other age, brings only regret, sorrow, loss of self-respect, and in many cases tragedy. Rationalization and equivocation will not erase the cankering scar that blights the self-respect of a young man who takes that virtue which he can never replace. Self-justification will never mend the heart of a young woman who has drifted into moral tragedy. (Conference Report, October 1964, pp. 116-119)
Genesis 39:10 she spake to Joseph day by day
Spencer W. Kimball
The case of Potiphar's wife is an example of the creeping tentacles of sin (Gen. 39:7-20). Even though this scheming woman did not succeed in defiling Joseph, her sin was most grievous. The intent was there and the desire and the lust and the coveting. She had "already committed adultery with him in her heart and mind . . ." as she "cast her eyes upon Joseph day by day" (Gen. 39:7,10). This woman's transgression did not begin when she ripped the clothes from the body of this fleeing stalwart. Her perfidy had been born and nurtured in her mind and heart in the "day by day" of wanting him, teasing him, desiring him, lusting for him, and coveting him. Her sin was a progressive thing. So, for all the numerous people, who, like this seductive woman, carry in their hearts and minds designs or desires or covetings, deep sin lieth already at their doors. (Conference Report, October 1962, pp. 55-60)
Genesis 39:20 Joseph's master took him, and put him into the prison
"The life of Joseph illustrates the truth that when the Lord wants something done, he has a particular baby born who will grow up and do it. That is true of all the prophets and apostles and was true of Joseph. The Lord foresaw the need to preserve the house of Israel during a widespread famine and through other dangers, and he had Joseph waiting and ready, able to do the work.
"The story of Joseph exemplifies the Lord's knowledge of the situation of all his children and his awareness of their individual circumstances. He often proves and tries them to the uttermost, tempering and strengthening them to accomplish very difficult tasks. Perhaps the most significant test of Joseph's faithfulness and love of God came through his experience with Potiphar's wife, who day by day sought to have him 'lie' with her in carnal immorality. Joseph's response was that he would not do so because his master, her husband, trusted him, and he could not do this great wickedness and sin against God. Thereupon, the woman, frustrated in her efforts to seduce him, falsely accused him of trying to seduce her, and he was thrown into prison (see Gen. 39:3-20). That must have been a very discouraging turn of events to be so treated for obeying the Lord's law of chastity. Joseph's experiences with his older brothers who sold him as a slave, the false accusation by Potiphar's wife, Joseph's leadership in the prison, and finally, the God-given inspiration to interpret the Pharaoh's dream-all signify that the Lord does not make our paths easy, but he does help those who trust in him. Joseph would not have had the wisdom, and perhaps not even the opportunity to use his wisdom, if he had not been blessed of the Lord for his faithfulness in times of adversity. The Lord, who looketh on the heart, knew of Joseph's integrity." (Robert J. Matthews, Selected Writings of Robert J. Matthews: Gospel Scholars Series [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1999], 165 - 166)
Genesis 39:21 The Lord was with Joseph...l and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison
Dallin H. Oaks
A common element in many of my best-loved Bible stories was the way the Lord protected his righteous and faithful sons. When I was young, that was my favorite part of the story of Joseph...
In Egypt, Joseph was unjustly sent to prison. But even there he excelled, and the Lord blessed him. In time he came forth to interpret Pharaoh's dream, and he was made ruler of all Egypt. In that powerful position, he became the instrument to save his people from famine and to love and forgive the brothers who had wronged him. (See Gen. 40-45.)
As a young boy, I was thrilled with Joseph's adventures and impressed with how the Lord had rescued him from the perils of murder, slavery, and prison. The first time I read the Book of Mormon, I found the statement that "Joseph ... who was sold into Egypt ... was preserved by the hand of the Lord." (1 Ne. 5:14.) In later readings in the scriptures, I found that this kind of protection is available to all. For example, the Bible states that "the Lord preserveth the faithful" (Ps. 31:23), and that God "is a shield unto them that put their trust in him" (Prov. 30:5). ("Bible Stories and Personal Protection," Ensign, Nov 1992, 37)
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