01) ADOPTION: Are members of the Church literal descendants of Israel or merely adopted? Why is it important to understand that we are literally of the House of Israel?

Prophetic Statements

Joseph Smith

The Covenant with Israel

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#1:

The time has at last arrived when the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has set his hand again the second time to recover the remnants of his people, which have been left from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea, and with them to bring in the fulness of the Gentiles, and establish that covenant with them, which was promised when their sins should be taken away. See Isaiah 11; Romans 11:25, 26 and 27, and also Jeremiah 31:31, 32 and 33. This covenant has never been established with the house of Israel, nor with the house of Judah, for it requires two parties to make a covenant, and those two parties must be agreed, or no covenant can be made. Christ, in the days of His flesh, proposed to make a covenant with them, but they rejected Him and His proposals, and in consequence thereof, they were broken off, and no covenant was made with them at that time. But their unbelief has not rendered the promise of God of none effect: no, for there was another day limited in David, which was the day of His power; and then His people, Israel, should be a willing people;—and He would write His law in their hearts, and print it in their thoughts; their sins and their iniquities He would remember no more.

There are two Comforters spoken of. One is the Holy Ghost, the same as given on the day of Pentecost, and that all Saints receive after faith, repentance, and baptism. This first Comforter or Holy Ghost has no other effect than pure intelligence. It is more powerful in expanding the mind, enlightening the understanding, and storing the intellect with present knowledge, of a man who is of the literal seed of Abraham, than one that is a Gentile, though it may not have half as much visible effect upon the body; for as the Holy Ghost falls upon one of the literal seed of Abraham, it is calm and serene; and his whole soul and body are only exercised by the pure spirit of intelligence; while the effect of the Holy Ghost upon a Gentile, is to purge out the old blood, and make him actually of the seed of Abraham. That man that has none of the blood of Abraham (naturally) must have a new creation by the Holy Ghost. In such a case, there may be more of a powerful effect upon the body, and visible to the eye, than upon an Israelite, while the Israelite at first might be far before the Gentile in pure intelligence. 1

The Covenant to the Gentiles
#2:

Thus after this chosen family had rejected Christ and His proposals, the heralds of salvation said to them, “Lo we turn unto the Gentiles”; and the Gentiles received the covenant, and were grafted in from whence the chosen family were broken off; but the Gentiles have not continued in the goodness of God, but have departed from the faith that was once delivered to the Saints, and have broken the covenant in which their fathers were established (see Isaiah 24:5); and have become high-minded, and have not feared; therefore, but few of them will be gathered with the chosen family. Have not the pride, high-mindedness, and unbelief of the Gentiles, provoked the Holy One of Israel to withdraw His Holy Spirit from them, and send forth His judgments to scourge them for their wickedness? This is certainly the case. 2

Brigham Young

#1:

President Brigham Young delivered a discourse in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, April 8, 1855, from which the following are extracts:

The set time has come for God to gather Israel, and for his work to commence upon the face of the whole earth, and the Elders who have arisen in this Church and kingdom are actually of Israel. Take the Elders who are now in this house, and you can scarcely find one out of a hundred but what he is of the House of Israel. It has been remarked that the Gentiles have been cut off, and I doubt whether another Gentile ever comes into this Church.

Jacob Blessing the Sons of Joseph, Rembrandt

Will we go to the Gentile nations to preach the Gospel? Yes, and gather out the Israelites wherever they are mixed among the nations of the earth. What part or portion of them? The same part or portion that redeemed the House of Jacob, and saved them from perishing with famine in Egypt. When Jacob blessed the two sons of Joseph, “guiding his hands wittingly,” he placed his right hand upon Ephraim, “and he blessed Joseph, and said, God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my,, life long unto this day, the angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads,” etc. Joseph was about to remove the old man’s hands, and bringing his right hand upon the head of the oldest boy, saying; “Not so, my father; for this is the first born; put thy right hand upon his head.” And his father refused, and said, I know it, my son, I know it: he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great; but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations.”

Ephraim has become mixed with all the nations of the earth, and it is Ephraim that is gathering together.

It is Ephraim that I have been searching for all the days of my preaching, and that is the blood which ran in my veins when I embraced the Gospel. If there are any of the other tribes of Israel mixed with the Gentiles, we are searching for them. Though the Gentiles are cut off, do not suppose that we are not going to preach the Gospel among the Gentile nations, for they are mingled with the House of Israel, and when we send to the nations we do not seek for the Gentiles, because they are rebellious and disobedient. We want the blood of Jacob, and that of his father, Isaac, and Abraham, which runs in the veins of the people. There is a particle of it here, and another there, blessing the nations as predicted.

Take a family of ten children, for instance, and you may find nine of them purely of the Gentile stock, and one son, or one daughter in that family who is purely of the blood of Ephraim. It was in the veins of the father or the mother, and was produced in the son or daughter, while all the rest of the family are Gentiles. You may think that it is singular, but it is true. It is the House of Israel we are after, and we care not whether they come from the east, the west, the north, or the south; from China, Russia, England, California, North or South America, or some other locality; and it is the very lad on whom father Jacob laid his hands, that will save the House of Israel. The Book of Mormon came to Ephraim, for Joseph Smith was a pure Ephraimite, and the Book of Mormon was revealed to him, and while he lived he made it his business to search for those who believed the Gospel….You understand who we are; we are of the House of Israel, of the royal seed, of the royal blood.”  3

John Taylor

#1:

Isaiah his eleventh chapter, to which I refer my readers, in speaking of the establishment of this kingdom, says,

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“In that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek, and his rest shall be glorious. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.”

From the above it would seem, that an ensign or standard is to be raised to the nations; that the Gentiles shall seek to it; and that the ten tribes return, as well as the Jews to their land; that the dispersed of Judah, and the outcasts of Israel are to return. 4

Wilford Woodruff

#1:

We are of the seed of Ephraim, and of Abraham, and of Joseph, who was sold into Egypt, and these are the instruments that God has kept in the spirit world to come forth in these latter days to take hold of this kingdom and build it up. These are my sentiments with regard to the Latter-day Saints. 5

Joseph Fielding Smith

#1:

PROCESS OF ADOPTION INTO HOUSE OF ISRAEL. Is it necessary that we be of the house of Israel in order to accept the gospel and all the blessings pertaining to it? If so, how do we become of the house of Israel, by adoption or by direct lineage? Every person who embraces the gospel becomes of the house of Israel. In other words, they become members of the chosen lineage, or Abraham’s children through Isaac and Jacob unto whom the promises were made. The great majority of those who become members of the Church are literal descendants of Abraham through Ephraim, son of Joseph, Those who are not literal descendants of Abraham and Israel must become such, and when they are baptized and confirmed they are grafted into the tree and are entitled to all the rights and privileges as heirs. 6

#2:

Because of Abraham’s faithfulness and obedience, the Lord said unto him:

“And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee above measure, and make thy name great among all nations, and thou shalt be a blessing unto thy seed after thee, that in their hands they shall bear this ministry and Priesthood unto all nations;

“And I will bless them through thy name: for as many as receive this Gospel shall be called after thy name, and shall be accounted thy seed, and shall rise up and bless thee, as their father;

“And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee and in thee (that is, in thy Priesthood) and in thy seed (that is, thy Priesthood), for I give unto thee a promise that this right shall continue in thee, and in thy seed after thee (that is to say, the literal seed, or the seed of the body) shall all the families of the earth be blessed, even with the blessings of the Gospel, which are the blessings of salvation, even of life eternal.” 7

#3:

It is in harmony with this promise to Abraham the Lord declared to these Elders of the Church that the Priesthood had continued through the lineage of their fathers “for ye are lawful heirs, according to the flesh, and have been hid from the world with Christ in God.” (V. 9.) Moreover that this Priesthood must remain through them and their lineage until the restoration of all things. This saying does not mean that the Priesthood has come down from olden times by lineage from generation to generation, for there was a great apostasy intervening between the days of their fathers who held the Priesthood and these elders unto whom this revelation was given. But, since they were of the House of Israel, and therefore descendants of Abraham, they were lawful heirs to the Priesthood according to the covenant made with Abraham, and the Priesthood which they held had come down to them from them of old who held it. 8

#4:

On the 18th day of December 1833, . . . the Prophet pronounced a blessing upon his father and ordained him to the office of Patriarch bestowing upon him the keys of this Priesthood. This was the first ordination to this sacred office in this dispensation.It was this order of Priesthood which was conferred upon Adam and which continued from generation to generation from the day of Adam to the day of Moses. In the Doctrine and Covenants the Lord has informed us in detail how this Priesthood descended. After explaining that it is the duty of the twelve apostles to ordain “evangelical ministers,” or patriarchs, in this dispensation, he declares that “the order of this Priesthood was confirmed to be handed down from father to son, and rightly belongs to the literal descendants of the chosen seed, to whom the promises were made.” Then follows the order of descent of Priesthood through the generations until the time of the flood. 9 10

#5:

“We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion will be built upon this [the American] continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.”The literal gathering of Israel is taught all through the Bible, yet it is a discarded doctrine in the religious world. It took modern revelation to point out the places where the City Zion would be built; without this revelation no one could have known this important truth. 11

#6:

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“The great majority of those who become members of the Church are literal descendants of Abraham through Ephraim, son of Joseph, Those who are not literal descendants of Abraham and Israel must become such, and when they are baptized and confirmed they are grafted into the tree and are entitled to all the rights and privileges as heirs.” 12

#7:

LINEAGE IN ISRAEL BY BLOOD RELATIONSHIP. Is the lineage of Ephraim traced through blood relationship, or is it traced by the believing class?

When a man who is of Israel joins the Church, his tribal relationship does not change. For instance, a descendant of Judah would be classed as of the tribe of Judah, a descendant of Benjamin as of the tribe of Benjamin, and so with those of other tribes. Ephraim was blessed with the birthright in Israel, and in this dispensation he has been called to stand at the head to bless the other tribes of Israel. This is the interpretation as discovered in the discourses of the leading brethren and in the blessings of the patriarchs of the Church from the beginning, as the following excerpts will show:

“There is the fact revealed through the Prophet Joseph Smith, who was of the lineage of Joseph through the loins of Ephraim, that the majority of the people who have been first to receive the gospel and priesthood of the latter-day dispensation, are descendants of some of the house of Ephraim scattered among the nations, and therefore, the stick of Joseph-the Book of Mormon-is in their hands.”

“It is Ephraim that I have been searching for all the days of my preaching, and that is the blood which ran in my veins when I embraced the gospel. If there are any of the other tribes of Israel mixed with the Gentiles, we are also searching for them, Though the Gentiles are cut off, do not suppose that we are not going to preach the gospel among the Gentile nations, for they are mingled with the house of Israel…. You understand who we are; we are of the house of Israel, of the royal seed, of the royal blood.”President Brigham Young also said: “You have heard Joseph say the people did not know him; he had his eyes on the relation to blood-relations…. His descent from Joseph that was sold into Egypt was direct, and the blood was pure in him. This is why the Lord chose him, and we are pure when this blood-strain from Ephraim comes down pure. The decrees of the Almighty will be exalted-that blood which was in him was pure, and he had the sole right and lawful power, as he was the legal heir to the blood that has been on the earth and has come down through a pure lineage.”

#8:

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PATRIARCHAL BLESSINGS REVEAL TRIBAL ANCESTRY. “If the patriarch who is here should lay his hands upon your head and declare your genealogy, he would tell you . . . that, almost without exception, you are the descendants of Ephraim.”

In the greater number of blessings given by our patriarchs similar expressions will be found to these:

“Brother Hyde, I seal upon thee the blessings of Joseph, for thou art a pure descendant of Joseph through the loins of Ephraim.” 13

“Thou art of the lineage of Joseph, and a joint-heir of Abraham’s blessings.” 14

Occasionally in patriarchal blessings the lineage is declared to be of other tribes. Here are examples:

“Dear Brother: In the name of Jesus Christ I lay my hands on thy head and pray God the Eternal Father that the vision of my mind may be opened . . . Thou art of the tribe of Dan, yet if thou art faithful thou shalt attain to all the promised blessings.” 15

“Thou art partly of the lineage of Judah.” 16

“Thou art of a slow and fearful spirit, but awake, arise, and be energetic, and thou shalt see within the veil, and the Lord will make known thy lineage to thee.” 17

“Thou art of the blood of Joseph and of the tribe of Manasseh.” 18

“Thou art of the blood of Joseph and of the lineage of Manasseh.” 19

It is clearly shown from these blessings and the interpretations given to the scriptures that the brethren from the beginning of the Church in these last days believed and taught that lineage is a matter of blood relationship. However, if a person should join the Church, and he is a pure Gentile, the Prophet has said the old blood would be purged out and he would be grafted into the house of Israel. In such a case the individual could be properly assigned to one of the tribes, probably to Ephraim. 20

#9:

“ . . . the Gentiles who receive the gospel are, in the greater part, gentiles who have the blood of Israel in their veins.”

“The great majority of those who become members of the church are literal descendants of Abraham . . .the brethren from the beginning of the church in these last days believed and taught that lineage is a matter of blood relationship.”

“I have heard people say , and members of the Church too, ‘ I have a right to do as I please.’ My answer is: No, you do not. You haven’t any right at all to do just as you please. There is only one right that you have, and that is to do just what I read to you: keep the commandments of Jesus Christ. He has a perfect right to tell us so. We have no right to refuse. I do not care where he lives, or what he is — when the gospel of Jesus Christ is presented to him, he has no right to refuse to receive it. He has the privilege. He is not compelled to receive it, because our Father in heaven has given to everyone of us in the Church and out, the gift of free agency. That free agency gives us the privilege to accept and be loyal to our Lord’s commandments. But it has never given us the right to reject them. Every man who rejects the commandments of our Father in heaven is rebellious.” (Joseph Fielding Smith, CR, April 1967, pp. 120-121)

Scriptures

D&C 86:8–11

“Therefore, thus saith the Lord unto you, with whom the priesthood hath continued through the lineage of your fathers—

For ye are lawful heirs, according to the flesh, and have been hid from the world with Christ in God—

Therefore your life and the priesthood have remained, and must needs remain through you and your lineage until the restoration of all things spoken by the mouths of all the holy prophets since the world began.

Therefore, blessed are ye if ye continue in my goodness, a light unto the Gentiles, and through this priesthood, a savior unto my people Israel. The Lord hath said it. Amen.”

Article of Faith #10

“We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.”

Abraham 2:10–11

“And I will bless them through thy name; for as many as receive this Gospel shall be called after thy name, and shall be accounted thy seed, and shall rise up and bless thee, as their father;

And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee; and in thee (that is, in thy Priesthood) and in thy seed (that is, thy Priesthood), for I give unto thee a promise that this right shall continue in thee, and in thy seed after thee (that is to say, the literal seed, or the seed of the body) shall all the families of the earth be blessed, even with the blessings of the Gospel, which are the blessings of salvation, even of life eternal.”

Doctrine and Covenants 77:9

Q. What are we to understand by the angel ascending from the east, Revelation 7th chapter and 2nd verse?

A. We are to understand that the angel ascending from the east is he to whom is given the seal of the living God over the twelve tribes of Israel; wherefore, he crieth unto the four angels having the everlasting gospel, saying: Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. And, if you will receive it, this is Elias which was to come to gather together the tribes of Israel and restore all things.

Doctrine and Covenants 77:14

Q. What are we to understand by the little book which was eaten by John, as mentioned in the 10th chapter of Revelation?

A. We are to understand that it was a mission, and an ordinance, for him to gather the tribes of Israel; behold, this is Elias, who, as it is written, must come and restore all things.

Doctrine and Covenants 109:67

“And may all the scattered remnants of Israel, who have been driven to the ends of the earth, come to a knowledge of the truth, believe in the Messiah, and be redeemed from oppression, and rejoice before thee.”

Doctrine and Covenants 103:17

“For ye are the children of Israel, and of the seed of Abraham, and ye must needs be led out of bondage by power, and with a stretched-out arm.”

Doctrine and Covenants 110:11

“After this vision closed, the heavens were again opened unto us; and Moses appeared before us, and committed unto us the keys of the gathering of Israel from the four parts of the earth, and the leading of the ten tribes from the land of the north.”

Deuteronomy 32:8–9

“Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee.

When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.

For the Lord’s portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.”

Doctrine and Covenants 113:5–6

“What is the root of Jesse spoken of in the 10th verse of the 11th chapter?

Behold, thus saith the Lord, it is a descendant of Jesse, as well as of Joseph, unto whom rightly belongs the priesthood, and the keys of the kingdom, for an ensign, and for the gathering of my people in the last days.”

Doctrine and Covenants 64:34–36

“Behold, the Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind; and the willing and obedient shall eat the good of the land of Zion in these last days.

And the rebellious shall be cut off out of the land of Zion, and shall be sent away, and shall not inherit the land.

For, verily I say that the rebellious are not of the blood of Ephraim, wherefore they shall be plucked out.”

2 Nephi 3:11–15

“But a seer will I raise up out of the fruit of thy loins; and unto him will I give power to bring forth my word unto the seed of thy loins—and not to the bringing forth my word only, saith the Lord, but to the convincing them of my word, which shall have already gone forth among them.

Wherefore, the fruit of thy loins shall write; and the fruit of the loins of Judah shall write; and that which shall be written by the fruit of thy loins, and also that which shall be written by the fruit of the loins of Judah, shall grow together, unto the confounding of false doctrines and laying down of contentions, and establishing peace among the fruit of thy loins, and bringing them to the knowledge of their fathers in the latter days, and also to the knowledge of my covenants, saith the Lord.

And out of weakness he shall be made strong, in that day when my work shall commence among all my people, unto the restoring thee, O house of Israel, saith the Lord.

And thus prophesied Joseph, saying: Behold, that seer will the Lord bless; and they that seek to destroy him shall be confounded; for this promise, which I have obtained of the Lord, of the fruit of my loins, shall be fulfilled. Behold, I am sure of the fulfilling of this promise;

And his name shall be called after me; and it shall be after the name of his father. And he shall be like unto me; for the thing, which the Lord shall bring forth by his hand, by the power of the Lord shall bring my people unto salvation.”

Jeremiah 16:14–15

“Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that it shall no more be said, The Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt;

But, The Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers.”

Supporting Statements

Joseph Fielding McConkie and Robert L. Millet

#1:

“Attendant to the doctrine of a covenant people is the concept of a chosen people. Just as the Lord’s people are always a covenant people, so it can be said that they are also always a chosen people—a people whose claim both a special calling and an election. In so saying, we are keenly aware that the idea of a covenant or chosen people is not a particularly popular or fashionable doctrine in our egalitarian age. It is nevertheless an eternal part of the gospel plan. To suppose that it is but a loose thread that can be pulled from the fabric of the gospel cloth would be to make the mistake of unraveling the entirety of holy writ and the entirety of the gospel plan.” 21

#2:

“As a people, we Latter-day Saints suffer with a spiritual schizophrenia, desiring one the one hand not to be thought of as supposing ourselves different or more loved of God than any other, and yet anxious on the other hand to be true to our birthright as a people—a people called and set apart at a special time for a special purpose. But our calling requires that we seek to echo the prayer of the Prophet: ‘[Lord,] put upon thy servants the testimony of the covenant.’ Our destiny as a people is to make a difference in this world, something that we can only do if we are willing to be different.” 22

George Q. Cannon

“In many respects these [chapters, Deuteronomy 7] are most applicable to us as a people; for the same covenant which the Lord made with the children of Israel, and which are contained in part in this chapter, have been renewed unto us.

“We are their descendants; God has revealed this, and it is manifest that we are the descendants of the house of Israel, by the operations of the Gospel among us.

“No doubt many of you have been led to wonder in your experience how it was that you should receive the Gospel, and that others who had equal opportunities with you, probably belonging to the same household, and numbered among your friends and acquaintances; that when you received the Gospel, they could see nothing desirable or attractive about it, while your hearts were kindled into a glow, and felt like fire within you when you heard the testimony of the servants of God concerning the Gospel that He had revealed. Nothing that I know of more plainly demonstrates the fact that this is the blood of Israel, that has been gathered out: that we are of the chosen seed, though we have been mixed, or our fathers have been mixed, among the Gentiles. God has saved to himself a seed among all nations; and when the Gospel came to the lands where this seed dwelt, there was, on their part, a natural affinity, a natural attraction to the principles of righteousness, and they received them gladly, and were gathered out by the wonderful power of God to this land, and are numbered now among His Saints.

The covenants that our Father made with his ancient chosen people have been renewed in our day and unto us, and there is no promise that was made in ancient days unto the house of Israel, that has not been renewed unto the Latter-day Israel.” (George Q. Cannon, “The Latter-day Saints a Peculiar and Distinct People“, Journal of Discourses, vol. 25, pp. 360-371, November 16, 1884.)

George Reynolds

Read “Are We of Israel?” by Elder George Reynolds online

Parley P. Pratt

#1:

“In this peculiar lineage, and in no other, should all the nations be blessed. From the days of Abraham until now, if the people of any country, age or nation, have been blessed with the blessings peculiar to the everlasting covenant of the Gospel, its sealing powers, Priesthood, and ordinances, it has been through the ministry of that lineage, and the keys of Priesthood held by the lawful heirs according to the flesh.” 23

Bruce R. McConkie

#1:

Heirs of promise:

Abraham’s seed, the house of Israel, the children of the prophets, those who are natural inheritors of the promises made to Abraham. 24 These heirs have the “right” to the priesthood. Speaking of this the Lord said to Abraham concerning his seed: “I give unto thee a promise that this right shall continue in thee, and in thy seed after thee (that is to say, the literal seed, or the seed of the body) shall all the families of the earth be blessed, even with the blessings of the Gospel, which are the blessings of salvation, even of life eternal.” 25 26

Russel M. Nelson

#1:

“Once we know who we are, and the royal linage of which we are a part, our actions and directions in life will be more appropriate to the inheritance.” 27

John A. Widtsoe

#1:

“So we need, in this Church and Kingdom, for our own and the world’s welfare a group of men and women in their individual lives who shall be as a light to the nations, and really standards for the world to follow. Such a people must be different from the world as it now is. There is no opportunity for Latter-day Saints to say we shall be as the world is, unless the world has the same aim that we have. We are here to build Zion to Almighty God, for the blessing of all the world. In that aim we are unique and different from all other people. We must respect that obligation, and not be afraid of it. We cannot walk as other men, or talk as other men, or do as other men, for we have a different destiny, obligation, and responsibility placed upon us, and we must fit ourselves for that great destiny and obligation.” 28


References:

  1. Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith p. 149-150
  2. Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith p. 14-15
  3. George Reynolds and Janne M. Sjodahl, Commentary on the Book of Mormon, edited and arranged by Philip C. Reynolds, 7 vols. [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1955-1961], 2: 340
  4. John Taylor, The Government of God [Liverpool: S. W. Richards, 1852], 93 – 94
  5. Wilford Woodruff, Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints’ Book Depot, 1854-1886], 22: 233 – 234.
  6. Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 3 vols., edited by Bruce R. McConkie [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1954-1956], 3: 245
  7. Abraham 2:9–11
  8. Joseph Fielding Smith, Church History and Modern Revelation, 4 vols. [Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1946-1949], 2: 120
  9. D&C 107:39–53
  10. Joseph Fielding Smith, Church History and Modern Revelation, 4 vols. [Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1946-1949], 3: 8
  11. Joseph Fielding Smith, Church History and Modern Revelation, 4 vols. [Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1946-1949], 4: 101
  12. Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation vol. 3 p. 246
  13. Blessing by Joseph Smith, Sen
  14. Blessing by Joseph Smith, Sen
  15. Blessing by Joseph Smith, Sen
  16. Blessing by Joseph Smith, Sen
  17. Blessing by Joseph Smith, Sen
  18. Blessing by John Smith.
  19. Blessing by John Smith.
  20. Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 3 vols., edited by Bruce R. McConkie [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1954-1956], 3: 247
  21. Our Destiny – The Call and Election of the House of Israel Joseph Fielding McConkie and Robert L. Millet. pg. 2)
  22. Our Destiny – The Call and Election of the House of Israel Joseph Fielding McConkie and Robert L. Millet. pg. 3)
  23. Parley P. Pratt, Journal of Discourses 1:257-58, 261;
  24. 3 Nephi 20:25–26
  25. Abraham 2:11
  26. Bruce R. McConkie, Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3 vols. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965-1973], 3: 164
  27. Thanks for the Covenant, 1988-89 Birgham Young University Devotional and Fireside Speeches, p. 50
  28. Widtsoe, CR, April, 1940, p.36

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5 Responses

  1. Terry says:

    Brigham Young only said that Joseph Smith was a pure Ephraimite, but somewhere I have heard that he was a pure Ephraimite through his father’s line, and that he also had a pure lineage back to Jesse and King David through his mother’s side. Can anyone confirm or deny which is right?

    • Jeanne says:

      D&C 113:1–6
      1 Who is the Stem of Jesse spoken of in the 1st, 2d, 3d, 4th, and 5th verses of the 11th chapter of Isaiah?

      2 Verily thus saith the Lord: It is Christ.

      3 What is the rod spoken of in the first verse of the 11th chapter of Isaiah, that should come of the Stem of Jesse?

      4 Behold, thus saith the Lord: It is a servant in the hands of Christ, who is partly a descendant of Jesse as well as of Ephraim, or of the house of Joseph, on whom there is laid much power.

      5 What is the root of Jesse spoken of in the 10th verse of the 11th chapter?

      6 Behold, thus saith the Lord, it is a descendant of Jesse, as well as of Joseph, unto whom rightly belongs the priesthood, and the keys of the kingdom, for an ensign, and for the gathering of my people in the last days.

      Elder McConkie, commenting on D&C 113:

      “Are we amiss in saying that the prophet here mentioned is Joseph Smith, to whom the priesthood came, who received the keys of the kingdom, and who raised the ensign for the gathering of the Lord’s people in our dispensation? And is he not also the ‘servant in the hands of Christ, who is partly a descendant of Jesse as well as of Ephraim, or of the house of Joseph, on whom there is laid much power’? (D&C 113:4–6.) Those whose ears are attuned to the whisperings of the Infinite will know the meaning of these things.” (Bruce R. McConkie, The Millennial Messiah: The Second Coming of the Son of Man [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1982], 339.)

  2. camille says:

    Members of the Church can be either or both . Literal descent is usually defined in priesthood blessings as ” from the loins ” of Eprhaim (etc), but it is more than a natural heritage, though great are the blessings promised, it is a mission of sorts as given to particular tribes to accomplish, and one achieves the blessings and attibutes by obedience to covenants and commandments. It is of particular interest to me that attention is given to elder brother Manassah as holding the Land in sacred reserve for Ephraim to gather .. Manassah was prepared by God in the wisdom of God to assist in this plan of Gathering through Saviours appearance on this continent which appears to me to be preliminary to the great law of peace .. patterned after the Church pattern , but as a manner of governing thier people … Women were given the rights to select the three men called to lead ( three chiefs ) who were to govern by concensus . They had at least 12 elders on whom they could call for additional prayer and insight into matters at issue until all three chiefs could agree . Addition counsel as needed was by consideration to the younger ” truth keepers ” . There were additional conflict of interests matters addressed as well and this pattern was one for peace.. Women and men were equal, but not same , equal and different in their respective roles . Men regarded women as generally more sensitive to things of spirit and gave respect to them as only allowing women to vote and women were never chiefs . That authority rested with the men only .. Joseph’s two sons , Ephraim and Manassah have each played signifigant roles in America and laid a foundation in law .. The great law of peace is relevant and signifigant today and was a proper foundation for the establishement of The Constitution for the United States of America . ( Ephraim and Manassah as two sons of Joseph working together ) under the Commandments given of God , for all men . Three great laws in the establishement of America for the cause of truth , liberty and peace .. Joseph Smith was by the genealogy of Albert Schmuhl a descendant of both Judah and Ephraim as was printed on large genealogical chart made for New York assignment .. I have a copy of this and I perceive that a few others may have this double blessing .. ” Judah shall hold the sceptor until the coming of the Lord ” .. Judah is involved as leaders in Law and authority . I believe the particular emphasis is on the Commandments , written through instrumentality of Moses who is tribe of LEVI .. and is and should be main focus.Elder Jeffry R. Holland indicated once in Sunday School that the last five of ten commandments were relative to tresspassing on anothers rights and the first are reserved for each in relationship with God, as are the second but indeed the second last 5 thou shalt nots are forbidden as tread on the rights of another and serious in cause and effect of harm on this earth . Camille ( random thoughts re this matter this a.m. ) http://www.S-HeritageInternationalConsultingInc.com

  3. Sarah says:

    As we come to realize the obligation and duties we have as members of the House of Israel, we will be better able to understand and accomplish the individualized tasks God has given us. As we understand who we are and what we are to accomplish, we will be prepared to act accordingly. If we know who we are, what our heritage is, and what our legacy should be, our thoughts and actions will reflect this knowledge. We will understand the blessings we are entitled to as we pattern our lives in a certain way. Understanding that we are literal decedents of Father Abraham will better equip us for the trying times ahead. We will come to know of the power God blesses us with and appreciate the natural tendency we have to resonate with absolute truth. We will be more prepared to defend the gospel, to defend truth, and to participate to the best of our ability in the cause of Christians.

  4. We have plenty of gentile members, and we have literal descendents. The main problem is that we think of being made into Abraham’s seed using the word “adoption” and that words causes us problems. Adoption is an immediate effect. You are either adopted, or you are not. But the actual process is a much slower process.

    That should not really surprise us. It is the same process as being born again. Neither is attained in its fullness in a moment. But because we keep using the word “adoption” we get the wrong idea and think it is completed at baptism. It is no more completed at baptism than being born again is completed at baptism.

    And interestingly, you can see it for yourself with your own eyes.

    Joseph Smith taught “This first Comforter or Holy Ghost has no other effect than pure intelligence. It is more powerful in expanding the mind, enlightening the understanding, and storing the intellect with present knowledge, of a man who is of the literal seed of Abraham, than one that is a Gentile, though it may not have half as much visible effect upon the body; for as the Holy Ghost falls upon one of the literal seed of Abraham, it is calm and serene; and his whole soul and body are only exercised by the pure spirit of intelligence; while the effect of the Holy Ghost upon a Gentile, is to purge out the old blood, and make him actually of the seed of Abraham. That man that has none of the blood of Abraham (naturally) must have a new creation by the Holy Ghost. In such a case, there may be more of a powerful effect upon the body, and visible to the eye, than upon an Israelite, while the Israelite at first might be far before the Gentile in pure intelligence.” (TPJS page 149-150)

    When we watch general conference we generally see the Holy Ghost fall “calm and serene” upon the speakers. They have the literal blood of Abraham. Those that don’t have the blood of Abraham naturally must have a new creation by the Holy Ghost, and so we see “a more powerful effect upon the body, and visible to the eye”.

    What sort of “effect upon the body, and visible to the eye”? Do these people sprout more facial hair? Suddenly gain bigger ears or more prominent eyebrows? No, nothing like that. The visible effect upon the body is most commonly just a lot of crying. That is why we see the Holy Ghost generally settle so calmly and serenely upon the twelve in general conference, but our fast and testimony meetings are frequently full of tears. Those who generally weep when the Holy Ghost is upon them are having the old blood purged out of them and being made actually of the seed of Abraham. They need a new creation by the Holy Ghost.

    It is common knowledge in the church that when a gentile is baptized into the church they are adopted into the house of Israel. But Joseph Smith gives us additional insight. It isn’t an instantaneous affair, because it isn’t really adoption. It is to obtain a new creation by the Holy Ghost. It is not like being handed an adoption certificate. Instead, it is a process, as the old gentile blood must be purged out by the Holy Ghost, and we see the visible effects of that all the time.

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