17) TRIBE: How is it determined which tribe we belong to?

Prophetic Statements

Joseph Fielding Smith

Therefore, through the scattering of Israel among the nations, the blood of Israel was mixed with the Gentile nations, fulfilling the promise made to Abraham. Most of the members of the Church, although they are designated as descendants of Abraham, through Israel, also have in their veins Gentile blood. This is to say, no one is a direct descendant through Ephraim through each generation, or through Manasseh or any other one of the sons of Jacob, without having acquired the blood of some other tribe in Israel in that descent. . . . Moreover we have learned that the Lord said that he would scatter Israel among the Gentile nations, and by doing so he would bless the Gentile nations with the blood of Abraham. Today we are preaching the gospel in the world and we are gathering out, according to the revelations given to Isaiah, Jeremiah, and other prophets, the scattered sheep of the house of Israel. These scattered sheep are coming forth mixed with Gentile blood from their Gentile forefathers. Under all the circumstances it is very possible that the majority, almost without exception, of those who come into the Church in this dispensation have the blood of two or more of the tribes of Israel as well as the blood of the Gentiles. In giving blessings the patriarch then is directing the lineage through the blood that predominates, and there could be one son who would be designated as of Ephraim and his brother, of the same father and mother, could correctly be said to be of the blood of Manasseh, or of Benjamin, or of any other member of the tribes of Israel. [1]

  1. Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers To Gospel Questions 3:62-63
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