Source:Book of Mormon as Stick of Ephraim:Joseph Fielding Smith statement

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Joseph Fielding Smith (1957): "It is true that Lehi was a descendant of Manasseh...Ishmael, who was the other founder of the colony, was a descendant of Ephraim"

From Answers to Gospel Questions 3:197–98

Question: "Our missionary manual gives us the Bible quotation Ezekiel 37:15-20 as a prophecy concerning the coming forth of the Book of Mormon and calls it ' . . . for Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions.'

"Amulek, in giving his genealogy in Alma 10:3, says that Lehi was 'a descendant of Manasseh, who was the son of Joseph who was sold into Egypt by the hands of his brethren.'

"How can we reconcile these two passages of scripture?"

Answer: It is true that Lehi was a descendant of Manasseh (Alma 10:3), but the Nephites were just as much the descendants of Ephraim, for we know that Ishmael, who was the other founder of the colony, was a descendant of Ephraim. This we learn from the Prophet Joseph Smith, but it is not so stated in the Book of Mormon. This information was contained in the 116 pages of lost manuscript which was not re-translated into the Book of Mormon.

You are aware of the fact that the sons of Lehi married the daughters of Ishmael.


Ezekiel 37:19 reads as follows:

Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God, Behold I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and they shall be one in mine hand.

Now if you will carefully analyze this verse, you will discover that it positively states that this "stick" which is the "stick of Joseph," thus covering both tribes, is "in the hand of Ephraim." The record, after its presentation to the Prophet Joseph Smith, was placed in the hand of Ephraim, for Joseph Smith was of Ephraim.

There is no reason for us to attempt a reconciliation. The Book of Mormon is as much the stick of Ephraim as it is of Manasseh, because both Ephraim and Manasseh were the sons of Joseph. The record of Joseph is now in the hand of Ephraim. So far as the fulfilment of the prophecy is concerned, it becomes the record of Ephraim, for the Latter-day Saints are, in the main, of Ephraim.

There are many statements in the Bible of similar nature to this, but they all make sense when the proper inspiration is received.