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  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." -- 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 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).

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