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Posted by: Tevai ( )
Date: December 05, 2018 03:12AM

I am in conversation with an Orthodox rabbi, and I need to explain the inside-Mormonism perspective on Judaism and the Jewish people to him.

Here are my questions:

1) What is the occasion when a given Mormon's "Jewish tribe" is [according to Mormonism] revealed to them?

2) If Number One is correct, then this would indicate that Mormons, by Mormon beliefs, are actually, individually, "in their inner beings," Jews--or sort of "better" or "more true" Jews. Is this correct?

3) My memory of fifteen years ago (when Google directed me here, to RfM) is that Mormons were told, at that time, that the LDS Temple ceremonies and the LDS Temple "architecture" (I don't know of a better word) are both reflective of what used to occur in the Temple in Jerusalem, circa the general time frame of Jesus. Is my memory correct? If not, please correct any of my misconceptions.

4) What am I missing? Is there something else re: Mormonism and Mormons, vis-à-vis Judaism and Jews (either anciently or more recently), that I am still not aware of?

Thank you to everyone who can help me with this.

Your help is greatly appreciated!

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Posted by: bona dea ( )
Date: December 05, 2018 03:26AM

Mormons think they are Jews by adoption and the tribe is revealed in the patriarchal blessing. They temple ceremony is supposed to be similar to the ancient one-I think though of course it isnt.

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Posted by: Wally Prince ( )
Date: December 05, 2018 03:30AM

Usually, a person's "tribe" is proclaimed in their patriarchal blessing.

It's not really a Jewish Tribe. It's one of the 12 tribes of Israe. But in reality it's almost always Ephraim or Manasseh. IIRC, however, usually if a Jewish person is a convert, their patriarchal blessing will assign them to the tribe of Judah. (I wonder how the Patriarch could be so inspired!) People formerly known as Lamanites usually get assigned to Manasseh.

Funnily enough, usually Asians, such as people from Japan are assigned to the lineage of Japeth. I guess the notion was that the "Jap" in Japeth and in Japanese was no coincidence. In any case, the idea seems to be that Asians are more distantly related, so the Biblical ancestry goes farther back to the days of Noah and they aren't part of the line that ran through the twelve tribes of Israel.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: December 05, 2018 03:45AM

Japeth isn't a tribe of Israel.

I am under the impression that Asians get tossed in with Ephraim but that may be incorrect. Do you (or anybody) have direct knowledge about that?



ETA: I did some snooping about. It looks like most East Asians are from Manasseh. That makes sense (???) given that the East Asians share DNA with Native Americans.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/05/2018 03:56AM by Lot's Wife.

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Posted by: Wally Prince ( )
Date: December 05, 2018 05:21AM

That is why I said: "In any case, the idea seems to be that Asians are more distantly related, so the Biblical ancestry goes farther back to the days of Noah and they aren't part of the line that ran through the twelve tribes of Israel."

I've personally known 3 Japanese people whose patriarchal blessings said they were of the line of Japeth. I didn't mean to imply that ALL Asians are invariably of that line. OTOH, the only people I've ever known personally who were assigned to Japeth were Asians.

I have several Polynesian friends who were assigned to Manasseh and one Navajo friend who was assigned to Manasseh. From that I extrapolated that there was a trend. I'm sure that things vary from patriarch to patriarch and what was trending for my generation may be quite different for other generations. Another trend I noticed was that people of European ancestry usually get Ephraimized.

I don't think it's an exact science by any means or that there are any rigid rules. But from what I've seen a lot of patriarchs seemed to have been following certain common notions about where different ethnicities and races came from in the Bible.

Two of my close friends went to the same patriarch that I did and when we compared notes, we found that our blessings were nearly identical. It looked like the patriarch was using a standardized template and then just filling in blank for major things like lineage (as the spirit moved him of course).

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Posted by: Wally Prince ( )
Date: December 05, 2018 05:31AM

What was the data that gave you the idea that most East Asians are assigned to Manasseh?

It wouldn't surprise me much either way. I don't know if they have some kind of "patriarch instructions" (they must, I guess) for new patriarchs. But from all the PB comparing that I did with people when I was a TBM and including missionaries, there seemed to be a clear tendency to assign Manasseh to Pacific Islanders and it wouldn't be surprising if a number of patriarchs just lumped East Asians in with the whole Polynesian/Lamanite thing.

I had to stifle a laugh when the first Japanese person I knew told me that she was assigned to Japeth. And then when two more came along, I figured it was a trend. May have been the same patriarch, though, since they were in the same area.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: December 05, 2018 12:45PM

Hi Wally,

I have nothing definitive. I spent a lot of time in Asia back when our grandfathers' fathers were young and knew a couple of people who were assigned Manasseh. Then last night I googled the question and found a few references to people who had, or whose families had, the same heritage. I also read several statements that the tribe of Dan appears in Russia and some of Eastern Europe.

It's not a firm foundation, but there do appear to be patterns. Ephraim, as you note, and here I'm more confident, appears to be the default for Western Europeans.

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Posted by: ApostNate ( )
Date: December 05, 2018 03:31AM

Mormons still believe that Native Americans are of Jewish descent.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: December 05, 2018 03:38AM

I will take, rashly, a shot.

-------------------------------------------------------
> 1) What is the occasion when a given Mormon's
> "Jewish tribe" is revealed to them?

When people get their patriarchal blessings, they are told the tribe from which they derive. They are not "Jewish" tribes but rather Tribes of Israel, one of which is Judah. As a practical matter, though, almost all Mormons are from the tribe of Ephraim with the exception, IIRC, of Native Americans who are often from Manasseh.


--------------
> 2) If Number One is correct, then this would
> indicate that Mormons, by Mormon beliefs, are
> actually, individually, "in their inner beings,"
> Jews--or sort of "better" or "more true" Jews. Is

Not Jews, but Israelites. And it is not "in their inner beings." Mormons are the descendants of the ten tribes which were scattered to the winds. In those unusual cases where someone is not of the blood of Israel, they are adopted into a tribe at baptism. In its extreme form (McConkie's Mormon Doctrine, and probably his father-in-law's Doctrines of Salvation), that baptismal adoption into a tribe caused the convert's blood to transform into actual Isrealite blood. So we are all Isrealites, doncha know.


------------------
> 3) My memory of fifteen years ago (when Google
> directed me here, to RfM) is that Mormons were
> told, at that time, that the LDS Temple ceremonies
> and the LDS Temple "architecture" (I don't know of
> a better word) are both reflective of what used to
> occur in the Temple in Jerusalem, circa the
> general time frame of Jesus. Is my memory
> correct? If not, please correct any of my
> misconceptions.

Not at the time of Jesus. Recall that the BoM peoples left at the time of the Tower of Babel and then later at about 600 BCE. The biblical pattern of the temple was supposedly used by the Nephites in the Americas and was restored by Joseph Smith.

Parts of the architecture are indeed based on the Biblical model, including the font over the twelve oxen (representing the 12 tribes). Other parts are completely different. There is no area for animal sacrifices, no inner sanctum surrounded by a courtyard, no screaming commoners buying animals to kill, etc.

The rituals, by contrast, were transmitted to Mormonism through freemasonry. Joseph said that the masonic rituals dated back to the Solomonic temple, presumably passed down through architects and stone masons. So he took the basic masonic rituals, added a lot of Mormon stuff, and voile: Solomon would be proud.


---------------
> 4) What am I missing? Is there something else
> re: Mormonism and Mormons, vis-à-vis Judaism and
> Jews (either anciently or more recently), that I
> am still not aware of?

It's a vague question, but I'll add a couple of points that may help. First, Israel and then Judah defected from the true faith. Joseph Smith restored it, and will spread it to the Jews at the appropriate time. There is a prophecy that two elders (apostles) of (Mormon) Israel will travel to Jerusalem and preach the gospel; they will be killed and their corpses left in the streets for three days. But Jews will see the light and Mormons will join with them to fend off the assault on Israel by the rest of the world at the final war. Then cometh Jesus the Christ in power and majesty.

Second, Joseph was fascinated by Judaism--particularly the more mystical aspects--and retained a rabbi to teach him. He had some role in the evolution of Mormonism and its beliefs. Orson Pratt and one or two other early apostles also developed close relationships with some Jews while on their missions. They took the doctrine of Jewish origins and Jewish restoration seriously and felt they had things to learn.

Further deponent sayeth not.*




*Written in memory of an old dog who apparently wandered away for a while.

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Posted by: dagny ( )
Date: December 05, 2018 08:17AM

That was my understanding as well, Ms. Lot.

My take-away is that in Bible talk, Jews were "chosen" so Mormons found a way to be just as chosen (based on Israel and tribe gibberish) but not actually Jewish. The idea was to implant the "special tribe" mentality.


This is the same kind of thing as when he decided to claim some Egyptian funeral scroll was a holy Mormon writ. He decided to work in Egyptian hieroglyphs into the story too.

Then he had to work in Native Americans into the story.

He saw some usable aspects from Masons as well.

He adapted all kind of concepts from anything he encountered and felt "inspired" to incorporate into his giant interwoven story as it was "revealed" to him. Even Jews only have partial knowledge of all these things of course (eye roll) when it comes to revelations from God.


He had to link the Mormon myths to the Jewish myths to claim a place in that overall narrative. It was irrelevant if something was actual history or myth.


So, tribes are a way that Mormons plant the chosen tribe concept too.


Theories about where the tribes are today abound. That's where the real hilarity is, IMO.

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Posted by: 2 late 2 log in ( )
Date: December 05, 2018 04:01AM

The OT Jewish god Jehovah is (per church) antemortal Jesus.

So when Jehovah commits some random atrocity (drowning the world, ordering Midianite genocide, killing an Israelite for touching the Ark of the Covenant, torching Sodom & Gomorrah), it's Jesus!

And when pre-existent Jesus makes Mahonri Moriancumer's rocks glow in the Book of Ether, it's Jehovah!

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Posted by: babyloncansuckit ( )
Date: December 05, 2018 12:26PM

If your rocks are glowing, and you’re not an angel or resurrected being, see your doctor.

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Posted by: Heartless ( )
Date: December 05, 2018 04:48AM

Mormons differentiate between "Jews" and Israelites. Jews are descendants of Judah the son of Jacob also called Israel. Most Mormons are declared descendants of either Ephraim or usually if native American Mannasseh (forgive my spelling) both sons of Joseph the son of Jacob. This designation is given during their patriarchal blessing. A few members may be designated as other tribes. Mormons would not consider themselves "Jews" but members of Israel. With a mission to gather the lost tribes of Israel, of which Judah is only one tribe.

Joseph Smith considered himself a direct true descendant of Joseph through his chosen son Ephraim. Joseph of Egypt fame of course was a seer, an interpreter of dreams, a prophet. Mormons would not necessarily believe they are better than the descendants of Judah (Jews) but different in that they would claim the rights to revelation. Also Joseph taught that a seer is the highest office, even higher than prophet.

By the same token they would consider descendants of Levi (also an Israelite, not a Jew) as having the rights to oversee the priesthood of Aaron.

Judah of course was promised that the Messiah would be of his blood.

Now as with all Mormon Doctrine, this is how I was taught in the 60s and 70s.

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Posted by: Heartless ( )
Date: December 05, 2018 05:15AM

This may help.

Joseph Smith saw Joseph of Egypt as special due to Joseph of Egypt's own dreams of his brothers bowing before him.

Further, Mormons use a passage in Genesis stating "Joseph is a fruitful bough whose branches runneth over the wall" Mormons interpret the wall as a barrier like the oceans and the branches as the children of Lehi or the Native Americans. They saw the Native Americans as part of the lost 10 tribes and not as Jews.

They also use a passage in Ezekiel where he is told to take the stick of Judah and combine it with the stick of Joseph. Again a distinct seperation of Josephites from Jews.

Another supporting doctrine. That the Gospel would be carried firdt to the gentile and then to the Jew. So the sons of Joseph carry the message to the world and then to the Jews.

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Posted by: Brother Of Jerry ( )
Date: December 05, 2018 07:14AM

I always had the impression that Ephraim was the cool, or perhaps I should say "pure and delightsome" tribe, and Manasseh was a consolation prize. European, and especially U.K. ancestry was pretty much invariably Ephraim, unless the person was Jewish.

Every once in a great while, another tribe was thrown in. The only ones I ever heard of personally were Dan and Benjamin.

Pet peeve: Mormons universally pronounce it Ee-free-um, instead of what I assume to be more proper Eff-rah-eem. Same thing with Iz-ree-ul, as opposed to Ees-rah-el, though that could be American, or maybe English in general, instead of just a Mormon quirk.

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Posted by: dagny ( )
Date: December 05, 2018 08:25AM

Exactly. We ~wink wink~ knew which tribes were more special. There was definitely a white connotation for the elite ones when I was young anyway.

I only knew of a few people who were white who got other tribes. It was kind of like giving everyone in the temple important common secret names.

JS instinctively recognized how to incorporate things that make people feel special and privileged.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: December 05, 2018 07:59AM

I was born both under the covenant in Mormonism, then Jewish through my mum's side. The patriarch who gave me my blessing at age 12 didn't know I was actually Jewish. Mine, like my brothers and parents blessings, lumped all of us into tribe of Ephraim "through the loins of Joseph."

If not for the PB's there would be no random assignment of tribes. Manasseh is the other most commonly used. Manasseh and Ephraim were Joseph's sons. Joseph only represented one of the twelve tribes of Israel. That was a blooper on tscc's part. All are basically grafted, or adopted in, since there is no actual descent from them. It is spiritual nonsense, in other words. Heresy if not for their firm convictions it is the gospel truth.

Christianity believes they are 'grafted into' the Jewish covenant. Some go as far to call their Christianity replacement theology to Judaism, eliminating or more like their attempt to annihilate the special covenant God made with the Jews, since Abraham.

Mormons believe the Jews are God's chosen elect. And so are Mormons. Jews are considered to be from the "stick" of Judah, in Moism understanding. Whereas Mormons are from the "stick" of Joseph.

In Judaism the twelve tribes are named after the sons of Jacob. It is possible to be from any of them, per the Jewish genealogy. Not so in the Mormon.

The temples for Mormonism today are modern taj mahals. It is the oxen that surround the baptismal font that represents the twelve tribes of Judah. Jewish temples wouldn't have had or needed sealing room, or use secret handshakes or passwords or assigned madeup names as part of their business. Maybe having pharisees comes closer to Mormons practicing some of their peculiarities is closer than any real similarities between the religions.

A rabbi in SLC tried telling my Jewish grandmother and me when we visited the former B'nai Israel synagogue there in 1973, that the Jews considered the Mormons one of the lost ten tribes of Israel. I haven't heard that from any other Jewish person since, nor written down anywhere. He lived and worked in the heart of the Mormon capitol, so perhaps being surrounded by them he decided it a good idea to latch onto that belief. I dunno. He told us they have many Mormon converts there.

My friend here from shul spent fifteen winters in SLC for skiing vacations before her husband became injured while in a SLC hospital and subsequently died. She told me that at any given time in the SLC shul there are classes of app 20-30 new converts, most all of them from Mormonism. That hasn't changed since my grandma and I visited there early 70's.

She went to shul there with someone from the former B'nai Israel synagogue who lived well into her 90's. My friend here thinks it's possible she had known my grandmother and her mom and grandma since that was the same place she used to worship and at possibly around the same earlier timeframe.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/05/2018 10:12AM by Amyjo.

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Posted by: Dave the Atheist ( )
Date: December 05, 2018 08:05AM

So which tribe had the submarines ?

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: December 05, 2018 09:22AM

That was the Beatles tribe, and it was yellow.

:)

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Posted by: Heartless ( )
Date: December 05, 2018 07:38PM

No tribes had submarines.

The submarines belonged to the Jaredites that supposedly ecisted a few hundred years before Jacob and his sons.

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Posted by: anono this week ( )
Date: December 05, 2018 08:50AM

1) What is the occasion when a given Mormon's "Jewish tribe" is [according to Mormonism] revealed to them?

Everyone seems to be taking occasion with being Jews and are trying to explain that it's actually Israel. But most Europeans connect into Royalty and Royalty connects into Judah. All we actually know is that we are Jews (maybe not the ashkanazi Jews, but Jews just the same). So the Rabbi is right.

There is no way to verify if someone is an ephramite.

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Posted by: ificouldhietokolob ( )
Date: December 05, 2018 09:01AM

anono this week Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Everyone seems to be taking occasion with being
> Jews and are trying to explain that it's actually
> Israel. But most Europeans connect into Royalty
> and Royalty connects into Judah. All we actually
> know is that we are Jews (maybe not the ashkanazi
> Jews, but Jews just the same). So the Rabbi is
> right.

Except that "Jews" actually arose as a distinct religious sect in the midst of the Caananites, not from the (almost certainly) imaginary Jacob/Israel or (the same)Judah.

And that "royalty" doesn't come from that mythical line, either. And that we're all (self-identifying Jews included) African.

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Posted by: Brother Of Jerry ( )
Date: December 05, 2018 12:15PM

Most Europeans connect to royalty because it was cool to claim that. Royalty connected to Judah to justify their divine right. Any basis in reality for either claim was purely coincidental, and unlikely

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: December 05, 2018 03:50PM

"If you’re vaguely of European extraction, you are also the fruits of Charlemagne’s prodigious loins. A fecund ruler, he sired at least 18 children by motley wives and concubines, including Charles the Younger, Pippin the Hunchback, Drogo of Metz, Hruodrud, Ruodhaid, and not forgetting Hugh.

This is merely a numbers game. You have two parents, four grandparents, eight great-grandparents, and so on. But this ancestral expansion is not borne back ceaselessly into the past. If it were, your family tree when Charlemagne was Le Grand Fromage would harbour more than a billion ancestors – more people than were alive then. What this means is that pedigrees begin to fold in on themselves a few generations back, and become less arboreal, and more web-like. In 2013, geneticists Peter Ralph and Graham Coop showed that all Europeans are descended from exactly the same people. Basically, everyone alive in the ninth century who left descendants is the ancestor of every living European today, including Charlemagne, Drogo, Pippin and Hugh. Quel dommage.

With the advent of cheap genetic sequencing, the deep, intimate history of everyone can be revealed. We carry the traces of our ancestors in our cells, and now, for the price of a secondhand copy of Burke’s Peerage, you can have your illustrious past unscrambled. Plenty of companies have emerged that provide this service, such as 23andMe and Ancestry DNA. Spit in a test tube, and they will match parts of your DNA with people from all over the world. The results are beguiling, but don’t necessarily show your geographical origins in the past. They show with whom you have common ancestry today.

People love discovering that they’re a bit Viking, or a bit Saracen. This is big business nowadays, and some companies spin fabulous yarns about your forebears as marketing devices. I’ve been making a documentary for Radio 4 on what genetics can and can’t tell you about ancestry, and examining some of the more outlandish claims that some ancestry businesses make. One company offered a service whereby it would tell you the precise village location of your genetic ancestry 1,000 years ago. It’s a peculiar thing to claim, as you will have thousands of ancestors 1,000 years ago, and I’m pretty sure they won’t have all come from the same village. Their algorithm clearly needed some work: it placed the genetic origin of one paying customer in the depths of the Humber estuary.

The truth is that we all are a bit of everything, and we come from all over. If you’re white, you’re a bit Viking. And a bit Celt. And a bit Anglo-Saxon. And a bit Charlemagne. This is not to disparage genetic genealogy and ancestry. Done right, it is an immensely powerful tool for studying families and human migrations. DNA can disclose unknown cousins or parents. Further back, the past becomes dimmer, but not invisible. A dazzling, detailed analysis of the British genome last month scrutinised the history of immigration over the past 10,000 years. Expect many more studies like this from all over the world revealing all manner of dalliances from the foggy past.

Often genetic ancestry relies on the Y chromosome, which is inherited only via the paternal line, or mitochondrial DNA, which is only passed on from mothers. These make for persuasive – but often simplistic – analyses of ancestry. These two chunks of DNA make up 2% of your genome. But the other 98% has to come from somewhere too, and that is a pick-and-mix from all the rest of your ancestors.

Each subsequent generation, the contribution from an individual from your lineage becomes less. Professor Mark Thomas from University College London describes this dilution as “homeopathic”. After a few rounds of preparation, homeopathic dilutions contain no molecules of whatever the active ingredient is imagined to be. Genetic inheritance works in a similar way. Half of your genome comes from your mother and half from your father, a quarter from each of your grandparents. But because of the way the DNA deck is shuffled every time a sperm or egg is made, it doesn’t keep halving perfectly as you meander up through your family tree. If you’re fully outbred (which you aren’t), you should have 256 great-great-great-great-great-great-grandparents. But their genetic contribution to you is not equal. Before long, you will find ancestors from whom you bear no DNA. They are your family, your blood, but their genes have been diluted out of your bloodline. Even though you are directly descended from Charlemagne, you may well carry none of his DNA.

So what does this all mean? Ancestry is messy. Genetics is messy, but powerful. People are horny. Life is complex. Anyone who says differently is selling something. A secret history is hidden in the mosaics of our genomes, but caveat emptor. If you want to spend your cash on someone in a white coat telling you that you’re descended from Vikings or Saxons or Charlemagne or even Drogo of Metz, help yourself. I, or hundreds of geneticists around the world, will shrug and do it for free, and you don’t even need to spit in a tube."

And that's it in a nutshell.

https://www.theguardian.com/science/commentisfree/2015/may/24/business-genetic-ancestry-charlemagne-adam-rutherford

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: December 05, 2018 05:02PM

Yes, that is the point I made to you on November 18th.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: December 05, 2018 12:58PM

somebody needs to read the Book of Kings. Israel and Judeah were different states with their own kings. It is entirely possible to have royal blood and not be from Judeah.

Jewishness is also distinct from Judeah, since the latter was a territorial identity and the former a religious one. The vast majority of people living in Judeah were Canaanite pagans. As Hie stated, Judaism emerged in the sixth century BCE and was an elite religion that did not displace the Canaanites for a very long time.

Putting the Mormon mysticism aside, it is almost certain that everyone of us have the blood of Jewish and Isrealite kings in our veins for mathematical reasons. All you would need is for one Jew or Isrealite to mate with a gentile 2,000 years earlier and for that union to produce lines of children that did not die out somewhere in Europe or North Africa. Mathematics then take over.

Just as everyone with European heritage has Charlemagne's blood, so too is everyone the descendant of Jewish, Israelite, and for that matter Hunnish and Turkish and Moorish royalty.

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Posted by: Shinehah ( )
Date: December 05, 2018 10:25AM

As a "Latter-day Saint" I was taught that this was the true church and everyone else are Gentiles. Does that include Jews?

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: December 05, 2018 11:12AM

No, not even to Mormons.

Jews aren't Gentiles. But to Jews, Mormons are Goyim.

;-)

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Posted by: fossilman ( )
Date: December 05, 2018 11:55AM

I thought this sounded familiar.

Ephraim = Ravenclaw

Manasseh = Gryffindor

Judah = Huffelpuff

Naphtali = Slytherin

You don’t hear much about people being assigned to Naphtali anymore.

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Posted by: mikemitchell ( )
Date: December 05, 2018 12:05PM

"1) What is the occasion when a given Mormon's "Jewish tribe" is [according to Mormonism] revealed to them?"

A Mormon's so-called lineage is given in the patriarchal blessing. Most are given the tribe of Ephraim except brown skinned people in the Americas, particularly American Indians and Hispanics, etc. who are mostly told they are from Manasseh. And most of the patriarchal blessings make it clear that it is a literal bloodline, not just an adoption into what they call the house of Israel. See this article from the Mormon magazine Ensign.
https://www.lds.org/ensign/1991/01/of-the-house-of-israel?lang=eng


"2) If Number One is correct, then this would indicate that Mormons, by Mormon beliefs, are actually, individually, "in their inner beings," Jews--or sort of "better" or "more true" Jews. Is this correct?"

The Mormon teachings are that being from Ephraim is better than being a Jew. They claim to have greater blessings. See this from Joseph Fielding Smith's book Doctrines of Salvation.
https://archive.org/details/Doctrines-of-Salvation-volume-2-joseph-fielding-smith/page/n153

Those teachings can still be found in lesson manuals, etc. Tevai, after I came to grips with the truth, that the Book of Mormon is not real and that the church is a fraud, I now find these Mormon teachings disgusting and sick. But I did believe them when I was a Mormon.

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Posted by: bona dea ( )
Date: December 05, 2018 12:28PM

Mormons refer to non Mormons as Gentiles so that makes Jews Gentiles. Go figure.

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Posted by: Tevai ( )
Date: December 05, 2018 03:02PM

Thank you everyone!!

You have provided me with the information I most wished for and I am VERY appreciative! :)

One further question: When (in a given Mormon's chronological life), and under what circumstances, is a patriarchal blessing given?

My sense from reading past posts over the years is that the patriarchal blessing is common, but not universal (to all Mormons), that it is given to both genders, and that when it happens, it generally happens at about the age of 18 or 19--which means, for most Mormons, that it is generally somehow connected to the time a given Mormon is expected to go on a mission.

As I also understand (I think!), the patriarchal blessing is a personalized, and rather detailed, prophecy or prediction, of several hundred words, of what that person's life is destined to be throughout their adulthood and until their death (as well as informing them of the Israelite tribe they are "ancestrally" a member of).

Again: I would appreciate corrections for anything I have gotten wrong here.

Thank you so much for all your help!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/05/2018 03:03PM by Tevai.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: December 05, 2018 03:55PM

The patriarchal blessings are typically given during adolescence - more often by high school, and well before college. At least where I grew up in the Morridor.

My oldest brother received his at age 16. Because I was persistent, and our birthdays were close together I was able to convince my parents to let me get mine when he got his. I was 12.

I still have my blessing, have kept it all these years from sentimentality and nostalgia more than anything. It was a "milestone" in the life of a young Mormon, like getting baptized was. Or say bar mitzvahed if you're Jewish.

My mom received hers after converting well into her 20's. Not sure when my dad had his given, but imagine it was during his teens in the Mormon pioneer community he grew up in.

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Posted by: Heartless ( )
Date: December 05, 2018 07:45PM

Patriarchal blessings are optional and can be given anytime after baptism if the bishop thinks the person is ready.

Teens are encouraged to get one before a mission, going to college, joining the military or getting married. (You get one blessing, these are just examples of what could cause a person to get one.)

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Posted by: dagny ( )
Date: December 05, 2018 08:03PM

Right. It is sort of a "becoming an adult" rite intended to provide guidance as life decisions are being planned.

It is usually a page or two when the transcription of the blessing is completed.

I sat in a chair. The stake patriarch stood and put his hands on my head. He gave the Mormon version of a horoscope. He said what tribe I am from, talked about some qualities he decided I possessed and made predictions about my future. "The Lord is proud of you and you will rejoice when you will be married in the temple...blah blah."

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: December 05, 2018 08:35PM

I've heard of people getting more than one. It isn't commonly done, but does happen. If you request it anyway.

Such as at different stages in life.

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Posted by: Wally Prince ( )
Date: December 05, 2018 10:36PM

Joseph Smith's father, IIRC, was the first patriarch and charged money for patriarchal blessings (a Mormon version of fortune-telling). I think it was only a couple of dollars per blessing or something like that. But in those days a couple of dollars was not insignificant. Also, IIRC, a person could get multiple PBs. Things change and it never hurts to go back to the fortune teller for an update.

As others have pointed out, in modern times you usually get a PB in your teen years. The PBs get some hype similar to the temples, so kids who are trying to be good TBMs will often ask for one. (Hey, who isn't curious to get a reading from a fortune teller?)

They're filled with a lot of grandiose, but vague promises that are always conditioned upon righteous living. So if anything doesn't come to pass, it's your fault. You just have to figure out what you did wrong and, being human, there's always something that you did wrong.

As I mentioned above, it also appears that some patriarchs use standard templates, and fill in certain blanks. They may change things when there's an obvious problem. For example a kid who is really healthy and athletic may get the standard spiel about continued good health and future family life and stuff, while a kid who is obviously at death's door will get some customized "comfort" language. ("Our Father in heaven has great things in store for you in this life and even more so in the next life.")

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Posted by: bona dea ( )
Date: December 05, 2018 03:07PM

I never got one, but sometime in the teens is common.

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: December 05, 2018 06:49PM

I found this quote by Joseph Smith on a BYU site when I typed in "Old blood changed to new blood--Joseph Smith."


"The Holy Ghost has no other effect than pure intelligence. It is more powerful in expanding the mind, enlightening the understanding, and storing the intellect with present knowledge, of a man who is of the literal seed of Abraham, than one that is a Gentile, though it may not have half as much visible effect upon the body; for as the Holy Ghost falls upon one of the literal seed of Abraham, it is calm and serene; and his whole soul and body are only exercised by the pure spirit of intelligence; while the effect of the Holy Ghost upon a Gentile, is to purge out the old blood, and make him actually of the seed of Abraham. That man that has none of the blood of Abraham (naturally) must have a new creation by the Holy Ghost. In such a case, there may be more of a powerful effect upon the body, and visible to the eye, than upon an Israelite, while the Israelite at first might be far before the Gentile in pure intelligence."


I was always taught that the Holy Ghost literally changed our gentile blood to House of Israel blood if we had gentile blood and this quote seems to verify that. I never heard the "adopted" thing.

Mormons I knew then considered themselves literally of the House of Israel and in fact superior because they had not rejected Jesus.

I didn't have time to read all of the above but wanted to throw this in anyway.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: December 05, 2018 07:26PM

Yes, that was taught also in Doctrines of Salvation and Mormon Doctrine.

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