The tribe of Ephraim
According to Religion 430-431 - Doctrinces of the Gospel Student
Manual, the tribe of Ephraim is greatly praised by the LDS Church.
"Of the twelve tribes, the tribes of Joseph’s sons, Ephraim and
Manasseh, will be gathered first and then direct the other tribes
in their gathering (see JST, Genesis 48:5–11; Deuteronomy 33:16–17;
D&C 133:30–39)." -- this is bullet point #6 from chapter 24.
"It is essential in this dispensation that Ephraim stand in his
place at the head, exercising the birthright in Israel which was
given to him by direct revelation. Therefore, Ephraim must be
gathered first to prepare the way, through the gospel and the
priesthood, for the rest of the tribes of Israel when the time
comes for them to be gathered to Zion." -- page 66.
The birthright had nothing to do with the priesthood. The Levites
had the priesthood in the Old Testament, but they did not have
Notice the gathering to Zion ... where is Zion again? All of
America (North + Central + South) as Joseph Smith taught?
"The great majority of those who have come into the Church are
Ephraimites. It is the exception to find one of any other tribe,
unless it is of Manasseh." -- page 66.
Ephraimites and Manassehites make up 100% of the LDS Church, with
no representation from other tribes?
"It is Ephraim, today, who holds the priesthood. It is with
Ephraim that the Lord has made covenant and has revealed the
fulness of the everlasting gospel. It is Ephraim who is building
temples and performing the ordinances in them for both the
living and for the dead. When the "lost tribes" come — and it
will be a most wonderful sight and a marvelous thing when they
do come to Zion — in fulfilment of the promises made through
Isaiah and Jeremiah, they will have to receive the crowning
blessings from their brother Ephraim, the "firstborn" in
Israel" (Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 3:252–53)." -- page 66.
Only Ephraim is building temples? Only Ephraim holds the
priesthood in the LDS Church today?
In fulfilment of the promises made through Isaiah and Jeremiah?
No. This is not the context of the Old Testament prophets.
Both Isaiah and Jeremiah wrote concerning Judah and Jerusalem
(Isaiah chapter 2, Jeremiah chapters 4-6).
Confusion arises when scripture is taken out of context.
Ephraim as the firstborn in Israel?
Israel, David, and Ephraim were called the firstborn (Ex. 4:22;
Jer. 31:9; Ps. 89:27).
In Doctrine and Covenants 133:34, Joseph Smith said that the tribe
of Ephraim would receive the richer blessing above all the other
tribes of Israel.
When you look at the LDS Church's Bible Dictionary for "Ephraim" at
it says, "Ephraim was given the birthright in Israel (1 Chr. 5: 1-2;
Jer. 31: 9), and in the last days it has been the tribe of Ephraim’s
privilege first to bear the message of the restoration of the gospel
to the world and to gather scattered Israel."
If you read that passage in Chronicles, the birthright went to Ephraim
plus Manasseh. Let's not forget that. There is no scripture saying
that Manasseh ever lost this birthright.
By the way, the birthright applies to the physical tribes of Israel.
This Israelite birthright does not extend to non-Israelites.
"The time will come when, through the operation of the gospel of
Jesus Christ, the envy of Judah and Ephraim shall cease (Isa. 11:12-13).
That last part is incorrect.
If you examine Isaiah 11:12-13, you will see that it has also
been mentioned by the Book of Mormon.
"The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah
shall be cut off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not
vex Ephraim" (Isaiah).
2 Nephi 21:13 - "The envy of Ephraim also shall depart, and the
adversaries of Judah shall be cut off; Ephraim shall not envy Judah,
and Judah shall not vex Ephraim."
When you examine both versions, it says that a time will come when
Ephraim will not envy Judah. Judah did not envy Ephraim. It was
Ephraim who envied Judah.
Doctrine and Covenants 133:35 says, "And they also of the tribe
of Judah, after their pain, shall be sanctified in holiness before
the Lord, to dwell in his presence day and night, forever and ever."
This sounds like Judah has a greater blessing for Ephraim is not
said to dwell in God's presence day and night.
Also, one should carefully read the passage cited by the LDS Church
in Doctrine and Covenants 133:26-35. There is no mention of a land
inheritance in the United States.
Also, according to how Joseph Smith writes this, this event
of Ephraim's envy of Judah departing occurs in the future ... after
the Second Coming. See verse 23.
"He shall command the great deep, and it shall be driven back into the
north countries, and the islands shall become one land."
The prophet Isaiah and others give ample reason why Ephraim is not
favoured over the other tribes. It was copied into the Book of
2 Nephi 17:2 - Syria and Ephraim wage war against Judah.
2 Nephi 17:5 - Ephraim takes evil counsel against Judah.
2 Nephi 17:8 - Ephraim would be broken that it be not a people.
2 Nephi 19:9 - Ephraim has pride.
2 Nephi 19:21 - Manasseh and Ephraim are against Judah.
We all know from the Bible that Jesus was of the line of Judah.
This alone should reveal that Judah received the greatest blessing.
Psalm 78:67-68 - "Moreover, he refused the tabernacle of Joseph,
and chose not the tribe of Ephraim. But chose the tribe of Judah,
the mount Zion which he loved."
Jeremiah 7:15 - "And I will cast you out of my sight, as I have cast
out all your brethren, even the whole house of Ephraim."
Jeremiah 31:20 - After Ephraim repents, he receives mercy, not
blessings above the other tribes.
By far, Hosea shows more than any other prophet about the fallen
nature of Ephraim:
Hosea 4:17 - "Ephraim is joined to idols; let him alone."
Hosea 5:3 - "O Ephraim, thou committest whoredom, and Israel is
Hosea 5:9 - "Ephraim shall be desolate in the day of rebuke; among
the tribes of Israel have I made known that which shall surely
Hosea 9:3 - .".. but Ephraim shall return to Egypt, and they shall
eat unclean things in Assyria."
Hosea 12:1 - "Ephraim compasseth me about with lies, and the house of
Israel with deceit; but Judah yet ruleth with God and is faithful
with the saints."
Far from Ephraim receiving a greater blessing, Judah has. It has
in the past, and it will again in the future.
You can see from the above that Mormons who believe they are modern-day
"Ephraimites" still envy Judah so much so that they believe the
physical Zion is the land of America.
As for the Bible, the tribe of Judah received the greater blessing
... and some day, the Eprhaimites will cease to envy Judah (just like
Isaiah 11:13 said).
According to the Bible, the physical Zion refers to the land of
I leave you with some final thoughts ...
"Moreover, he refused the tabernacle of Joseph, and chose not the tribe
of Ephraim. But chose the tribe of Judah, the mount Zion which he
loved" (Psalm 78:67-68).
"For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, and the
men of Judah his pleasant plant" (Isaiah 5:7).