By Nicole Marie Hilton, September 8th, 2022
So, we (my mom, dad, and I) are currently watching Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, at Tuachan—just outside of St. George, Utah, even as I write this. I’m sitting next to my dad up on the top level in my wheelchair. It may seem on the outside as if I’m not paying any attention to the show…however I’d be surprised to find someone in this audience who’s more attentive to the deeper meaning and symbolism behind every belted note and tapping heel.
I’ve been reflecting on how Joseph was so very aware of God’s working in his life. I mean, it’s like nothing could get him down—to be sure, he was still human in every sense—but he found an almost superhuman ability to endure unimaginable trials by relying wholly upon God.
It’s interesting to me when I remember that my dad spent an entire year of his life in Egypt when he was 17, in 1976-1977. How on earth did this occur? My grandparents up and left their cozy home in Salt Lake City for a water-well drilling business there—which was actually a front for the missionary work they were doing! (See In Search of Lehi’s Trail, by my grandfather, Lynn Mathers Hilton.)
Oh! The stories my dad tells about his time in Egypt. I would listen—absolutely enthralled—on his knee growing up. He climbed to the top of the Pyramid of Cheops, and saw all the ancient signatures carved into the topmost stone. He remembers the flies upon flies upon flies in the air, which never left since the time of Moses. He graduated from high school in front of the Sphinx. And he cursed an angry Egyptian who kept on ramming into the back of his motorbike, and then was violently pulled off of it and beaten almost to death by an Egyptian mob. (His hotheadedness calmed down significantly after his Egypt experience…) And there are many more crazy stories, which I don’t have time for here…
I remember that once my dad dreamed a dream—and if anything this crazy show is teaching me right now is, is that we should definitely pay attention to our dreams. But we must also have the Spirit to be able to interpret them correctly.
In his first dream, he was driving his car, and a Devil was running to the side of his window. No matter how fast he stepped on the gas, the evil man could keep up with him and was leering through the window—an evil grin twisting his features.
The second dream he had was that he was in a Great and Spacious Office Building, and he was on a floor filled with all manner of detritus—desks, trash, notes upon notes in great stacks up to the ceiling. He was pressing forward through it all, when he heard a kind voice behind him, saying three times, “R——, R——, R——,…I have a gift for you.”
He waved behind him with his hand—still looking “forward” into the corner of the room—saying, “I’m too busy! Come back later!” Then his dream ended.
After he told me that, I felt the Spirit impress on me that it was the Savior, Jesus Christ, who had been beckoning for him to turn around.
To this day, he still doesn’t know what the gift was.
What Doth It Profit a Man
God has asked, What doth it profit a man, when a gift is bestowed upon him, and he receives not the gift?
The answer sadly, is Nothing. Just like how Joseph’s brothers are mourning right now on stage for Those Canaan Days, they didn’t have the eyes to see, to turn around from the detritus of the desert, and see Joseph—the Christ-figure—who was right in front of them.
It could be argued that everything happened just the way God planned it to, of course—God knew the character of the brother’s hearts, after all. And this scene is very applicable, as well:
However, happy endings must not be an excuse for rejecting the gifts that God is begging us to turn around and accept right now. (Even when those gifts are completely in disguise—as the cup hidden in Benjamin’s grain sack was.)
We must also be forgiving of ourselves and of others. We mustn’t curse ourselves for not knowing what we didn’t know. Only then will we be able to move forward and see the new gifts which are right in front of us. Which is my prayer and blessing upon you who are reading this, in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, Amen.