Connections - LDS and Jewish Theology - Series

LDS Views
See also: Ephraim and Judah

The views of THE CHURCH of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints and its members toward Jews and Judaism have been shaped chiefly by LDS teachings and by historical contacts with Jewish communities. These teachings include regarding the Jews as an ancient covenant people with a prophesied role in the contemporary gathering of Israel and in events of the last days, and the contacts include educational activities in Israel and LDS proselytizing efforts outside of Israel.

Latter-day Saints share some traditional Christian positions toward Judaism, such as acknowledging debts for ethical foundations and religious terminology. Moreover, they have adopted stances expressed in Paul's mildly universalistic writings: Bible-era Judaism, based on the Law of Moses and embodying the Old Testament or covenant, was essentially "fulfilled" in Jesus Christ (cf. 3 Ne. 15:4-8), so Christianity became the New Covenant and therefore spiritual "Israel." However, they have tended not to share the anti-Semitic postures of some Christian eras or groupings. Reflecting a more positive view, the Book of Mormon contains such passages as "Ye shall no longer hiss, nor spurn, nor make game of the Jews,…for behold, the Lord remembereth his covenant unto them" (3 Ne. 29:8), and President Heber J. Grant stated, "There should be no ill-will…in the heart of any true Latter-day Saint, toward the Jewish people" (GS, p. 147).

Mormons consider themselves a latter-day covenant people, the divinely restored New Testament Church. In this light, they have interpreted literally the Lord's mandate to them to regather Israel. While seeing historical judgment in Assyrian, Babylonian, and Roman treatment of biblical peoples, they have viewed the "scattering" as having beneficially diffused the "blood of Israel" worldwide. As a result, the Prophet Joseph Smith said that the Church believes in the "literal gathering of Israel" (A of F 10). This is done principally by missionary work searching for both biological and spiritual "Israelites" among the Gentile nations.
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