Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Lost & Found: Israel's 10 Tribes

The Bible teaches that the Church of Christ was organized with Apostles, Prophets, Pastors, Teachers, and Evangelists (Eph. 4: 11). Joseph Smith taught that Evangelists in the New Testament were the same as what are called Patriarchs in the LDS Church. In the Old Testament we read about Jacob giving his sons special blessings which contained words of comfort, warning, blessing as well as prophecy about thier purpose in life (Gen. 49: 1). Lehi, in the Book of Mormon, gives similar blessings to his sons before his death (2 Ne. 1-4).

I think everyone has an innate desire to know what purpose God has for them. A patriarchal blessing is the Lord's way to communicate to his children his love and that purpose. LDS members meed with their Bishops and if found worthy set a date with a patriarch who is set appart and ordained with the authority to give these special blessings. The Patriarch and members prepare for the blessing through personal prayer, scripture study, and fasting.

President Joseph F. Smith, sixth President of the Church taught: “It is [a stake patriarch’s] business and right to bestow blessings upon the people, to make promises unto them in the name of the Lord, … by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, to comfort them in the hours of sorrow and trouble, to strengthen their faith by the promises that shall be made to them through the Spirit of God” (Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed. [1939], 181).

An important aspect of the patiarchal blessing is the inspired declaration of lineage of the recipient. The Patriarch will tell the recipient to which tribe of Isreal he/she belongs. It is not yet certain the full significance of the declaration of lineage except that the Bible states that certain lineage have been given specific callings and duties to perform in this life and in the last days.

You will remember that Jacob had 12 sons, which constitute the 12 tribes of Isreal. The Bible says that when the Kingdom of Israel was conquered by the Assyrians, the 10 tribes were subsequently scattered in the "lands of the north" (D&C 133: 26)(D&C 110: 11). The Bible says that in the last days the Lord would proceed to perform a "marvelous work and a wonder" to restore Isreal and the lost 10 tribes. Judah, or the jews, makes up only one tribe of the house of Isreal. Ephraim is generally associated with the Gentile nations of Europe and America.

There have been, over the years, dozens of wild theories about the whereabouts of the 10 tribes of Isreal. Now, there is no longer any need for speculation because the lost 10 tribes are are no longer lost. The Bible teaches that the God will “sprinkle many nations” with the Blood of Abraham (Isa. 52: 15). However, because of the LDS patriarchal blessing, you will find LDS members of the church with all 10 tribes lineage in Armenia, Siberia, Mongolia, and Southeast Asia. A scholarly article which discusses this topic can found at FAIR LDS website or at http://cumorah.com/12tribes.html.

Another article by David Stewart MD addresses the significance of new DNA research of native americans and the Book of Mormon also discusses modern LDS patriarchal blessings. This article is available at FARMS and FAIRLDS websites. An excerpt reads:

“I had confirmed from missionaries and members that modern patriarchal blessings have identified members of all the tribes of Israel in Mongolia—a greater number than I am aware ofbeing found in any other country to date. These blessings were givenindependently by Latter-day Saint patriarchs in stakes throughout the world where ethnic Mongolian missionaries served, as Mongolia had no stakes or patriarchs at the time. More recently, a similar phenomenon has been reported from Siberia. A recently returned missionary from the Russia Novosibirsk Mission wrote: “While there, I had the unique opportunity to be present for the coming of twoAmerican patriarchs who delivered the first-ever patriarchal blessings to Siberian Saints on two separate occasions. What turned up was a staggering number of representatives from every single tribe in the relatively few blessings given.”

While serving an LDS mission in Milwaukee WI, we had a large population of ethnic Hmong Americans. These people are ethnic minorities who live in the mountains of northern Loas, Thailand, and Vietnam. They were US allies during the Vietnam war and were left to suffer the wrath of the VietKong after we pulled out of the war. Years later, many have imigrated to the US under refugee protection programs. The Hmong now live in certain designated refugee cities in California, North Carolina, and the Midwest. There are many Hmong in France because of Vietnam's history as a French colony.

The Hmong have a peculiar history. They are very caucasion for asians. Every so often a Hmong child will be born with blonde hair and blue eyes. In their oral history and recorded in cross-stitch tapestry are stories which parallel with the Bible stories of the Garden of Eden, Noah and the Flood, and the Tower of Babel. They also say that their people originated from the "north." After leaving the north, presumably Mongolia and Siberia, they lived for centuries among the Chinese. Then a great persecution began, their records were burned, and they were forced to flee into the mountains of Southeast Asia where they can be found today. I was a spanish missionary in Wisconsin, but the Hmong missionaries in my District told me that Hmong have lost 10 tribe lineage declared in their patiarchal blessings.

Read this great article at NOVA online about the 10 tribes of Isreal. Of particular interest are the many quotes from Spanish explorers that were convinced the Native Americans were of Isrealite lineage. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/israel/

Parallels in Japanese Culture: http://www.biblemysteries.com/library/tribesjapan.htm
Parallels in Chinese Language: http://www.restoredcovenant.org/Document.asp?CAT=Chinese+Connection&DOC=Chinese
Hmong in America: http://www.jefflindsay.com/Hmong_tragedy.html
Tarim mummies: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarim_mummies

Although, the 10 tribes are no longer lost. Many still remain unrestored to a knowlege of the gospel of Jesus Christ and a covenant relationship with God. Members and missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ are sharing in the work to restore the dispersed of Israel and bring them home to Zion.


Preston Her said...

I am 14 years old aaronic priesthood holder and I am Hmong. I have a missionary moment with my friend and after finnaly realizing that the hmong folktales seemed to familiar I realized they were CONNECTED. I mean about 4 similiar stories but 1 giant gap between two far away countries it could not be a coincedice. I testified what i knew to him. This is all proof of something very true.

Anonymous said...

Garbage-look in the institute manual for the old testament...in 1917 in a general conference an apostle stated that we find the lost tribes and that they would have more scriptures for us about Jesus and that we would learn from said scriptures-and that people who were in the congregation at that time would read the lost tribes scriptures before they passed on.

Dave said...

Hey Anon.
Mormons have a longer than average life expectancy, some of the children could still be alive. Or another Idea, Maybe one of the three Nephites was present. Not to mention, He could have been talking about after the resurrection.

I am veeerry inactive, but I wouldn't be a hater if i were you. remember Only a prophet, can receive revelation for the entire church. So, this was not ment for you. :)

Anonymous said...

Genetically Hmong can be tied by what they call is Morton's / Greek Toe. Many Hmong today have the Greek Toe which is mostly common in Greece and Europe. Jesus also had the Greek Toe. Conclusion is that Hmong origins are from Europe before migrating to Asia.

Anonymous said...

Genetically Hmong can be tied by what they call is Morton's / Greek Toe. Many Hmong today have the Greek Toe which is mostly common in Greece and Europe. Jesus also had the Greek Toe. Conclusion is that Hmong origins are from Europe before migrating to Asia.