Mormons and the tribe of EPHRAIM

Today, the tribe of Ephraim is greatly praised by the LDS Church.

Excerpts from LDS Learning

The Mormon people regard them-selves as of Israel, and the term “Israel” as applying to themselves is frequently heard in their congregations. They believe themselves to be of Ephraim, and cousins of the Jews, who are of Judah.

The Book of Mormon: Great Britain….The Blessing Given to Manasseh, Not Ephraim?

To a Mormon those not of their faith are regarded as “Gentiles.” Gentiles in Utah often say, in a bantering way, that everybody in Utah outside of the Mormons is a Gentile, even the Jews! But the Mormons themselves would add “Excepting the Jews,” for, as already pointed out. they regard the Jew in the same light that he regards himself as of Israel, but of another “branch” of the faith.

The Mormons hold Heber J. Grant, who is an insurance man by profession as a literal prophet of God, even as Abraham and Moses. Joseph Smith was their first prophet and Brigham Young the second. Others followed until Mr Grant took the office nearly a decade ago.

They assert that they are hated by some sects because of their teachings respecting exclusive divine authority rather than because of polygamy. Polygamy was dropped in the ’90’s, and if anybody in the church attempted it today he would be set upon by church leaders without mercy, as far as immediate excommunication has any terrors. This is because the church undertook to abandon polygamy after the US Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional, and not because of any retraction of faith.


The Book of Mormon is a history, chiefly, of the descendants of Joseph; and in the mighty nations which have peopled the American continent, the Latter-day Saints see, in part, the fulfillment of the great blessings pronounced upon his head.

Mormons believe their relationship as Ephraimites and the Jews. “With us Mormons who are Ephraimites the time has come when Judah shall not envy Ephraim and Ephraim shall not vex Judah.”

“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.”

The birthright had nothing to do with the priesthood. The Levites had the priesthood in the Old Testament, but they did not have the birthright.

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.”

“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.

Great Britain was first because Manasseh was first born and Great Britain was a nation first, long before America; but Ephraim was considered 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. The meaning of the name Manasseh, which is forgetful or he who forgets.

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.

The Throne of Britain on The Stone of Scoon 

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 Mormon.

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 defiled.”

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 be.”

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 physical Israel.

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).

~ by Joel Huan on August 7, 2022.

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