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Where are the Lost Ten Tribes?


Where are the Lost Ten Tribes?  

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  1. 1. Where do you think the Lost Ten Tribes are?

    • They are scattered among the peoples of the earth, and are being gathered by missionary work and patriarchal blessings.
    • They are under the polar ice cap.
    • They are on another world.
    • I believe they are separated from us, but still on the earth, and are being/will be gathered.
    • I don't believe the stories about the tribes of Israel are literally true, so I don't believe they will really literally be gathered.
    • None of the above adequately reflect my views (please explain).


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This is one of those "it doesn't really matter, and our salvation doesn't depend on it" topics, but it sure is interesting and fun to discuss and think about. :) 

My choice is #4. I believe that they are separated as a body, and will be gathered (gathering in process to a degree, but not largely) as per D&C 133. I don't think they are under the ice caps, and I think they are on the earth. 

I think that the default belief of most Church leaders (and I'm guessing, most member at large) is the "safe" and "least weird" option #1: that they are scattered among the known peoples of the earth and are being gathered by missionary work and patriarchal blessings. This was strongly taught by Bruce R. McConkie and B. H. Roberts, and is one areas that I differ with Elder Roberts on, much as I respect his thinking and analytical abilities. 

I think that D&C 133 is literal, and would be interested to hear how people who don't interpret it literally explain it to themselves and others. I also notice that Jeremiah repeats several times variations of the expression, "The day will come when it will no longer be said, the God who led the children of Israel out of Egypt, but the God who brought back the tribes from the north;" i.e., that this even will make more of an impression than even the Exodus did. And that is D&C 133 in spades. 

The largest difficulty with my belief is science: where could whole peoples be undetected on the earth in 2020? This is a faith thing for me; in the scheme of God's miracles and abilities, I think that there are harder things to believe, but I admit that Occam's Razor isn't the strong suit for that one. :) 

What do you think? 

 

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 I am from the tribe of Ephriam but I don't live under a polar ice cap, Canada yes, or I don't live on a knob on the earth or in a cave in Utah and Pres. McKay is the only one who knows where-I've heard that before! But so I think Ephraim is part of the lost ten tribes. I know a guy who is from Dan and he is of that lost tribe. So I think we are all over the place and just lost to identity.

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21 minutes ago, Duncan said:

 I am from the tribe of Ephriam but I don't live under a polar ice cap, Canada yes, or I don't live on a knob on the earth or in a cave in Utah and Pres. McKay is the only one who knows where-I've heard that before! But so I think Ephraim is part of the lost ten tribes. I know a guy who is from Dan and he is of that lost tribe. So I think we are all over the place and just lost to identity.

Yes, there are people from all tribes, but nowhere near numbers that would fulfill D&C 133 in my view. 

Ephraim and Manasseh (the overwhelming --- very overwhelming --- bulk of the Church) was and is being found through missionary work and patriarchal blessings, as per Genesis 49 and Deuteronomy 33. I'm talking more about Reuben, Gad, Asher, Dan, Naphtali, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Benjamin, Issachar, and Zebulun. I think most assume that modern Jews would all be from Judah, or that modern cohenim would all be Levi, but I don't think this is necessarily the case with patriarchal blessings (which are not literal descent. My g-g-g-grandfather received his blessing from Hyrum Smith, and he was from Zebulun, but all of his descendants are Ephraim). 

D&C 133 makes it a dramatic return for them, and there are other statements that they have their own prophets and scriptures. How does that work if they are just scattered among us. 

Also --- Canada is close enough to a polar ice cap! ;) 

Edited by rongo
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I think there is a literal descent component --- like, northern Europeans being a concentration of Ephraimites, and Central/South Americans and Pacific Islanders having a high concentration of Manassehites. But, it's not strictly a DNA thing, and transcends that (like with my ancestor from Zebulun). 

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The Polar Ice cap quote is from the unreliable Benjamin Johnson.

I chose the "another world" option but that's not exactly how it was described.
There are sufficient recollections from much more reliable people that Joseph taught they were on a portion of the earth that was taken up like the City of Enoch.

  • “I heard Joseph Smith preach baptism for the dead…. I heard him say, ‘the Ten Tribes were not on this globe, but a portion of this earth had cleaved off with them and went flying into space, and when the time comes when the “earth reels to and from like a drunken man and the stars from heaven fall,” it would join on again.' - Bathsheba W. Smith
     
  • “The Prophet Joseph [Smith] once in my hearing advanced his opinion that the Ten Tribes were separated from the Earth; or a portion of the Earth was by a miracle broken off, and that the Ten Tribes were taken away with it, and that in the latter days it would be restored to the Earth or be let down in the Polar regions. Whether the Prophet founded his opinion upon revelation or whether it was a matter of mere speculation with him, I am not able to say.” - Apostle Orson Pratt
     
  • “The evening was spent in conversing upon the subject of the Ten tribes in the North Country…. [A] potion of the North Country Containing the ten tribes may be separated from the Earth. O[rson] Hyde & others believed they would soon return.” - Prophet Wilford Woodruff
     
  • “President Young said he heard Joseph Smith say that the Ten Tribes of Israel were on a Portion of Land separated from this Earth.” - Prophet Wilford Woodruff, Wilford Woodruff's Journal, September 8, 1867

I'm inclined to accept this idea given the caliber and contemporary nature of the people stating it.

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12 minutes ago, rongo said:

I think there is a literal descent component --- like, northern Europeans being a concentration of Ephraimites, and Central/South Americans and Pacific Islanders having a high concentration of Manassehites. But, it's not strictly a DNA thing, and transcends that (like with my ancestor from Zebulun). 

The guy I know from Dan is from England! we have a Jewish man in our Stake but I don't know his tribe though. he was my Bishop when I was a youth

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5 minutes ago, Duncan said:

The guy I know from Dan is from England! we have a Jewish man in our Stake but I don't know his tribe though. he was my Bishop when I was a youth

I liked tormenting Jehovah's Witnesses on my mission by asking why Dan is missing from the tribes in Revelation (Dan is simply missing from the tribes listed among the 144,000; no idea why. But it really bothered them, because the 144,000 is an obsession for them). :) 

If he had been a "literal descendant of Aaron," he could have served without counselors (D&C 107:76). I've always been fascinated by that. It must be needed and applicable at some point, but imagine that today! I don't think it would be someone from the tribe of Levi, either --- I think it would have to be determined by the First Presidency that he is a literal descendant of Aaron, and I don't think they would want to seek to have a bishop serve without counselors. :) 

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26 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

The Polar Ice cap quote is from the unreliable Benjamin Johnson.

I chose the "another world" option but that's not exactly how it was described.
There are sufficient recollections from much more reliable people that Joseph taught they were on a portion of the earth that was taken up like the City of Enoch.

  • “I heard Joseph Smith preach baptism for the dead…. I heard him say, ‘the Ten Tribes were not on this globe, but a portion of this earth had cleaved off with them and went flying into space, and when the time comes when the “earth reels to and from like a drunken man and the stars from heaven fall,” it would join on again.' - Bathsheba W. Smith
     
  • “The Prophet Joseph [Smith] once in my hearing advanced his opinion that the Ten Tribes were separated from the Earth; or a portion of the Earth was by a miracle broken off, and that the Ten Tribes were taken away with it, and that in the latter days it would be restored to the Earth or be let down in the Polar regions. Whether the Prophet founded his opinion upon revelation or whether it was a matter of mere speculation with him, I am not able to say.” - Apostle Orson Pratt
     
  • “The evening was spent in conversing upon the subject of the Ten tribes in the North Country…. [A] potion of the North Country Containing the ten tribes may be separated from the Earth. O[rson] Hyde & others believed they would soon return.” - Prophet Wilford Woodruff
     
  • “President Young said he heard Joseph Smith say that the Ten Tribes of Israel were on a Portion of Land separated from this Earth.” - Prophet Wilford Woodruff, Wilford Woodruff's Journal, September 8, 1867

I'm inclined to accept this idea given the caliber and contemporary nature of the people stating it.

I see no reason why they would have to be bound to earth and couldn't be somewhere else. It's just a belief preference for me that they are still on the earth.

I am inclined to reconsider, given these. :) 

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I believe that they're in isolated tribes in rural Russia, perhaps Siberia. I think they are being gathered through missionary work and patriarchal blessings, but also that there will be larger component where they come to Zion to receive their blessings in large numbers.

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6 minutes ago, rongo said:

I liked tormenting Jehovah's Witnesses on my mission by asking why Dan is missing from the tribes in Revelation (Dan is simply missing from the tribes listed among the 144,000; no idea why. But it really bothered them, because the 144,000 is an obsession for them). :) 

If he had been a "literal descendant of Aaron," he could have served without counselors (D&C 107:76). I've always been fascinated by that. It must be needed and applicable at some point, but imagine that today! I don't think it would be someone from the tribe of Levi, either --- I think it would have to be determined by the First Presidency that he is a literal descendant of Aaron, and I don't think they would want to seek to have a bishop serve without counselors. :) 

actually now that you mention it!!!, he did have a full operating Bishopric at the beginning but then the one counselour moved- BUT for 18 months he only had one counselour and they had, at the time, almost half the city, how they did it I can't imagine. This was early to mid 90's

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5 minutes ago, rongo said:

I see no reason why they would have to be bound to earth and couldn't be somewhere else. It's just a belief preference for me that they are still on the earth.

I am inclined to reconsider, given these. :) 

Well I'm certain there are descendants of all tribes still on the earth.
But as a group (nation, family, tribe, whatever) I believe the quotes I provided.

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11 minutes ago, Duncan said:

The guy I know from Dan is from England! we have a Jewish man in our Stake but I don't know his tribe though. he was my Bishop when I was a youth

Most Jews are from Judah, but Benjamin is included with them (St Paul was a Benjaminite).  Of course Levi is with all 12 tribes since it is the priestly tribe, and within Levi the Cohens are the main priests as Aaronides -- who have maintained their genetic separation now for over 3,000 years, https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-oldest-institution-organization-that-exists-today/answer/Bob-Smith-3106 .

Quote

Where are the Lost Ten Tribes?

Very briefly, the ten northern tribes of the ancient twelve tribes of Israel were captured by Assyrian troops and taken into exile in Mesopotamia (2 Kings 17:6). Some members of those tribes did escape as refugees to the southern Kingdom of Judah (the tribes of Judah and Benjamin), many of them taking up residence in a new northern section of Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 15:9, 30:1–11).  These likely included the ancestors of Lehi and Nephi and Laban.  Other refugees went to Egypt, and were likely among those living at Elephantine Island in Upper Egypt (Sinim), where they built a temple.

The Lost Ten Tribes taken by the Assyrians have never been heard from again, so it is difficult to say whether they managed to survive assimilation. Remnants of them are supposed to be forthcoming at the apocalyptic and Messianic End Time (Ezekiel 37:15–26, Micah 5:3, Hosea 1:10–11, D&C 133:24-36, in which "Ephraim and his fellows" represents all ten lost tribes).  This means actual lineal descent and is unrelated to tribal membership by adoption.

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22 minutes ago, rongo said:

I liked tormenting Jehovah's Witnesses on my mission by asking why Dan is missing from the tribes in Revelation (Dan is simply missing from the tribes listed among the 144,000; no idea why. But it really bothered them, because the 144,000 is an obsession for them). :) 

If he had been a "literal descendant of Aaron," he could have served without counselors (D&C 107:76). I've always been fascinated by that. It must be needed and applicable at some point, but imagine that today! I don't think it would be someone from the tribe of Levi, either --- I think it would have to be determined by the First Presidency that he is a literal descendant of Aaron, and I don't think they would want to seek to have a bishop serve without counselors. :) 

The right of a lineal Aaronide (cohen) to serve without counselors is based on his permanent right as priest.  LDS bishops ordinarily serve in place of the Aaronides by virtue of their calling in the Melchizedek Priesthood, which the Aaronide does not need.  The key point in the D&C is that the LDS Church officially recognizes the lineal descent of Aaronides among the Jews.  Those Aaronides are genetically distinct from members of the other tribes.  https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-oldest-institution-organization-that-exists-today/answer/Bob-Smith-3106 .

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3 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

The right of a lineal Aaronide (cohen) to serve without counselors is based on his permanent right as priest.  LDS bishops ordinarily serve in place of the Aaronides by virtue of their calling in the Melchizedek Priesthood, which the Aaronide does not need.  The key point in the D&C is that the LDS Church officially recognizes the lineal descent of Aaronides among the Jews.  Those Aaronides are genetically distinct from members of the other tribes.  https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-oldest-institution-organization-that-exists-today/answer/Bob-Smith-3106 .

Do you think Joseph Smith had that in mind while dictating it (or, in reading it after)? I don't think he had a solid grounding on the cohenim priesthood, even from Joshua Seixas. I think he had English at his command to express your thought, rather than in terms of Mormon bishoprics. :) 

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25 minutes ago, Gillebre said:

I believe that they're in isolated tribes in rural Russia, perhaps Siberia. I think they are being gathered through missionary work and patriarchal blessings, but also that there will be larger component where they come to Zion to receive their blessings in large numbers.

That is an intriguing thought! I'm fascinated by languages, and am reading a bit about the fragmented, tiny language groups in northern Siberia, around Kamchatka, etc. Maybe there is more there than we realize. :) For me, that would work for "lands of the north." 

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25 minutes ago, Harry T. Clark said:

My view is that they are scattered throughout the earth and are slowly being gathered.  I wonder with the mixing that is bound to have happened over the centuries, what is physically left of lineage?  Perhaps it is now completely in the spiritual realm?

I suspect that this is the default setting for most members and most of the Brethren. I think there is still a physical component, but as you say, it's mostly a spiritual designation. 

I do think that the northern Europeans that took to the gospel so readily in the early days of the Restoration had physical descent from renegades of Ephraim who made their way up and mixed with the Celtic tribes. 

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My conception is a combination of 1 and 4, but I wouldn't be surprised if there was also an element of 3 and 2, 3 seeming more plausible given that Zion might be "up there" and not under the (North?) polar ice cap.

Fun Anecdote: More than one Church member stationed at Loring AFB told me (and forgive my lack of specificity here, it wasn't that important to me): either a dedication or leader's patriarchal blessing stated that the lost tribes would come down through Canada and the Northeast USA where the districts / stake(s) were established at the time (and the members would have a roll in that).

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My entire family is Ephraim except my one son is declared Manassa. Go figure... (before you go there, he looks remarkably like me ;) )

Non-josephite tribes seem to be very prevalent in Russia and the other eastern block countries with all the other tribes represented... that would explain the iron curtain while Ephraim and Manassa were gathered.

I live in the Africa South East area and Judah is coming out in spades in patriarchal blessings of black africans. This is backed up in some cases by genetic studies 

https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/zimbabwe-s-quot-black-jews-quot-the-lemba-people

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8900243/

This may also be an interesting side note to the blacks and the priesthood discussion since Judah was first but in the last days would be last. 

 

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From the historical record we know that the so called 10 tribes, more specifically, the Northern Kingdom AKA Israel, were assimilated and dispersed throughout the Assyrian Empire following defeat during multiple military encounters with the Assyrian Empire.  It is false to claim that these Northern tribes somehow found their way into Europe, America, some secret region under the Polar Ice Cap or the most bizarre explanation that they were carried away to some distant planet. 

Sometimes the truth is just the simple truth.

https://www.atour.com/education/pdf/20040416a.pdf

 

Edit to Add:  Patriarchal blessing which assign the one being blessed a linage is merely figurative and NOT literal.  There is NO evidence that European's, Native American's, Pacific Islanders, those of African decent or those in Asia, out side of the middle east, have any connection to some fictional dispersal event of the tribes of Israel throughout the world.  It didn't happen.

 

 

Edited by Fair Dinkum
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My mom believes they left on the city of Enoch, which was transported somewhere else, I dont know where. But she thinks they'll return and the city of Enoch will land in the gulf of Mexico. I kid you not🤣

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2 hours ago, rongo said:

My choice is #4. I believe that they are separated as a body, and will be gathered (gathering in process to a degree, but not largely) as per D&C 133. I don't think they are under the ice caps, and I think they are on the earth. 

I'm having a hard time distinguishing the difference between these two choices:   "They are scattered among the peoples of the earth, and are being gathered by missionary work and patriarchal blessings.", and "I believe they are separated from us, but still on the earth, and are being/will be gathered."

Can you explain the difference?

I chose the first option for many reasons, but partly because of the following....

I've shared this on this board before, but every time this topic comes up I am reminded of Sister Nelson's remarks from the Worldwide Youth Devotional in June of 2018:

Hope of Israel:  President Russell M. Nelson and Sister Wendy W. Nelson  :  Worldwide Youth Devotional • June 3, 2018 • Conference Center, Salt Lake City, Utah

Quote

While President Nelson met with priesthood leaders, I had the privilege of meeting with nearly 100 of our sisters. I love our Russian sisters. They are spectacular!

When I stepped to the pulpit to speak, I found myself saying something I’d never anticipated. I said to the women: “I’d like to get to know you by lineage. Please stand as the tribe of Israel that represents the lineage declared in your patriarchal blessing is spoken.”

“Benjamin?” A couple of women stood.

“Dan?” A couple more.

“Reuben?” A few more stood.

“Naphtali?” More stood.

As the names of the twelve tribes of Israel were announced—from Asher to Zebulun—and as the women stood, we were all amazed with what we were witnessing, feeling, and learning.

How many of the twelve tribes of Israel do you think were represented in that small gathering of fewer than 100 women on that Saturday in Moscow?

Eleven! Eleven of the twelve tribes of Israel were represented in that one room! The only tribe missing was that of Levi. I was astonished. It was a spiritually moving moment for me.

Immediately after those meetings my husband and I went directly to Yerevan, Armenia. The first people we met as we got off the plane were the mission president and his wife. Somehow, she had heard about this experience in Moscow, and with great delight, she said, “I’ve got Levi!

Just imagine our thrill when my husband and I met their missionaries the next day, including an elder from the tribe of Levi who just happened to be from Gilbert, Arizona.

She added later:  "I have since learned that I probably should not have asked those sisters to identify themselves by lineage because patriarchal blessings are sacred and the lineage declared in them is personal. Yet I am so grateful for the privilege I had of seeing the fruits of the gathering of Israel firsthand. The impact of that experience has never diminished in my heart or mind."

 

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https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ten_Lost_Tribes

The Lost 10 Tribes refers to 10 of the 12 tribes of Israel being dispersed during the Assyrian Empire. Only two tribes, Judah (Jewish people) and Benjamin remain, although I believe Benjamin was assimilated into Judah centuries ago.  The Talmud seems to indicate one day all of these lost tribes will be assimilated into Judah.

Where did they go? These list tribes didn’t go anywhere. They were assimilated into different groups of people. 
 

To me, this Ten Tribes theory is a religious conspiracy theory from millennia ago...still continues today. 

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