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As the first chapter of Second Nephi begins, we see that Lehi has grown old and is about to die. As was customary, he wished to leave a blessing on his children before he passed on. He gives both Laman and Lemuel conditional first blessings…if they follow the instructions of Nephi, they have the blessing; if not, it’s Nephi’s. Lehi also includes Sam and the sons of Ishmael into this “first blessing” category, provided they listen to (and follow) Nephi (1:28). Jacob and Joseph are not included, but no explanation is offered. Then, in a very bizarre episode, Lehi bypasses all the other children to give a blessing to Zoram, who isn’t even a member of the family! (1:30-32).

Chapter 2 begins with a blessing given to young Jacob and ends with a small sermon about Adam and the Messiah.

Chapter 3 begins with a blessing given to the youngest child, Joseph. We’re also treated to a sermon about Joseph in Egypt, as well as Joseph Smith presenting a gratuitous prophesy about himself & the coming forth of the Book of Mormon.

Chapter 4 sees Lehi gathering his grandchildren, to give them a blessing. Then, he gives blessings to the sons of Ishmael. In what has now become the most bizarre blessing sequence in any religious text, it appears that Joseph Smith remembers, ‘Oh ya…and SAM!’ In the biggest slighting of all, Sam receives a blessing in verse 11, after everyone else; including Laban’s servant, all of the grandchildren, and all of the son-in-laws. Lehi abruptly dies in verse 12.

Joseph Smith’s unorganized dictation flaws are front and center here. One can hardly find fault with Lehi wanting to bless as many people as he can, but the traditional routine would be to give blessings to ALL the children first, in order from Oldest-to-Youngest. After that, it was normally proper (if desired) to give blessings to extended family, and finally to friends and other loved ones.