Ephraim and Judah
Note: At the time this article was written and in the mind of its author, the LDS Church was considered to be represented by the tribe of Ephraim. The LDS Church throughout the world has peoples from all the families of Israel (Jacob).
BYU Professor Emeritus Truman Madsen believes that many Christian scholars have failed to understand and acknowledge the redemptive role of Judah and that the Book of Mormon seeks to reverse this failure.
(2 Ne. 21:13 and Isa. 11:13) Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim.
(3 Ne. 29:8) "Ye shall no longer hiss, nor spurn, nor make game of the Jews,…for behold, the Lord remembereth his covenant unto them".
President Heber J. Grant (1856 – 1945) stated, "There should be no ill-will…in the heart of any true Latter-day Saint, toward the Jewish people" (GS, p. 147).
“What thank they the Jews for the Bible which they receive from them? Do they remember the travails, and the labors, and the pains of the Jews, and their diligence unto me, in bringing forth salvation unto the Gentiles?
"Oh ye Gentiles, have ye remembered the Jews, mine ancient covenant people: Nay; but ye have cursed them, and have hated them, and have not sought to recover them. But behold, I will return all these things upon your own heads; for I the Lord have not forgotten my people.” (2 Nephi 29:4-5)
In the “History of The Church”, daily entries from November 21, 1835 to March 25, 1836 show that the Prophet led several apostles in the reading and studying of Hebrew. They believed it was very important they know these ancient writings firsthand. The Mormon Hebrew School was in the translating room in the upper part of the temple. A Hebrew teacher was eventually hired. On Jan 4 they divided the school into classes.
On Jan 19: “It seems as if the Lord opens our minds in a marvelous manner, to understand His word in the original language.” Joseph Smith eventually personally translated some scriptures into Hebrew.
From an address by then President Ezra Taft Benson to Mormons, Non-Mormons, and Jews at the Jubilee Auditorium, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, May 2, 1976
“... our affinity toward modern Judah is ... prompted out of a knowledge of our peculiar relationships together—relationships which claim a common heritage. Jeremiah has prophesied that in the latter times “the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together.” (Jer 3:18.) My prayer is that because of evenings spent together like this one, this prophecy will come to be fulfilled. We need to know more about the Jews, and the Jews ought to know more about the Mormons.”
Joseph Smith’s dedicatory prayer of March 27, 1836 is particularly significant:
Now these words, O Lord, we have spoken before thee, concerning the revelations and commandments which thou has given unto us, who are identified with the Gentiles. But thou knowest that thou hast a great love for the children of Jacob, who have been scattered upon the mountains for a long time, in a cloudy and dark day. We therefore ask thee to have mercy upon the children of Jacob, that Jerusalem, from this hour, may begin to be redeemed; And the yoke of bondage may begin to be broken off from the house of David; And the children of Judah may begin to return to the lands which thou didst give to Abraham their father (D&C 109:60-63).
(D&C 133:32) lost tribes to be crowned with glory by children of Ephraim.