JOEL - Ephraim was the son of Joseph and Asenath and the younger brother of Manasseh (Gen. 41:50-52). According to the Bible, when Joseph brought his two sons to his father, Jacob, for a blessing, Ephraim received the birthright blessing in place of Manasseh (Gen. 48:13-20), one of the departures noted in the Bible from the custom of bestowing on the firstborn son. Even though this seemed a breech of tradition, the Lord has nevertheless always acknowledged Ephriams blessing throughout the centuries.
Included in the mission of the lineage of Ephriam are the following:
1. Joseph of old "obtained a promise of the Lord, that out of the fruit of his loins the Lord God would raise up a righteous branch unto the house of Israel…to be remembered in the covenants of the Lord" (2 Ne. 3:5). Latter-day Saints today believe they are this righteous branch that was spoken of.
2. A "choice seer" would arise from Joseph's descendants who would "do a work for the fruit of [Joseph's] loins, his brethren, which shall be of great worth unto them, even to the bringing of them to the knowledge of the covenants which I [the Lord] have made with thy fathers" (2 Ne. 3:7). This of course refers to the prophet Joseph Smith.
3. Ephraim's descendants have the privilege and responsibility to bear the message of the restoration of the gospel to the world and to gather scattered Israel (D&C 113:3-6). "We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent" (A of F 10; cf. Deut. 4:27-31; 28; 29; 30; 3 Ne. 20-21).
When Latter-day Saints receive their patriarchal blessing their lineage is most often identified as being that of the tribe of Ephriam, either by blood or by adoption. Because of this all members feel a responsibility to help fulfill the mission of the lineage of Ephriam as described above.
Return to top