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Question

 

Gramps,

Do you know of any place in the scriptures or any Gospel talks that give reference to what happened to Joseph, the carpenter? I was wondering about him, and where he was when Jesus was crucified. I know he loved Mary very much and also Jesus. Do you know if Bruce R. McConkie talks about Joseph in his writings? I appreciate your help.

Rosanne

 

Answer

 

Rosanne,

Very little is known about Joseph outside of the Gospels although, very little is known about Joseph from the Gospels. He is “a just man” who decides to secretly end his engagement with Mary rather than publicly shaming her for her apparent indiscretion (Matthew 1:19). He is worthy to receive revelation – on three separate occasions he listened to an angel in a dream (Matt 1:20, 2:13, 2:19). He is at Mary’s side as she attends to her duty in the temple (Luke 2:33) and himself makes the required trips to Jerusalem for the feasts (Luke 2:43).

This is the last we hear of Joseph. When Jesus attends the wedding feast at Cana with his mother, Joseph is not mentioned. He even leaves from Cana to Capernaum with “his mother, and his brethren” (John 2). Joseph is again missing throughout Jesus’ ministry when his mother and brothers come to visit (Matt 12:46). Finally, Jesus turns over the care of his mother to John, instead of letting Joseph continue in his duties (John 19:26-27). All this has led to the speculation that Joseph died before Jesus started his ministry.

There are some other extra-biblical accounts that mention Joseph. These “infancy gospels” did not make the cut into the Bible because of a combination of questionable authorship and content. The stories they tell of Joseph paint him with the same pious, devoted, and worthy brush as our Gospels.

 

Gramps

 

 

 

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