The Branch Broken Off: LDS Doctrine vs. Scriptural Doctrine

And it shall come to pass that they shall be scattered again; and a branch shall be broken off, and shall be carried into a far country; nevertheless they shall be remembered in the covenants of the Lord, when the Messiah cometh; for he shall be made manifest unto them in the latter days, in the Spirit of power; and shall bring them out of darkness into light; out of hidden darkness, and out of captivity unto freedom. —Genesis 50:25

It is profound that Genesis 50 is not in the King James version of the Bible, yet is part of the authentic text as given to Moses and restored by the prophet Joseph Smith.  Why was it excluded?  According to Cleon Skousen:

“…it is likely that the hostility of some ancient scribe resulted in the deliberate purging of this material from the official canon of scripture which was kept in the temple at Jerusalem.  During the bitter days of strife between Judah and the Northern Kingdom it would have been easy for a leading scribe to speculate that perhaps these prophecies… were apocryphal and then persuade himself that they had been inserted by some zealous Josephite who wanted to rob Judah of her honored position in being the tribe through whom the great Messiah would come.  Possibly a scribe of that period would have had little compunction in slashing from the Jewish scriptures any prediction that said a great leader would rise up out of the tribe of Joseph.  Such a prophecy might have been counted an intolerable political liability…” (The Third Thousand Years, p. 130)

Yet the Lord warned Moses that this would happen. Said he: “And in a day when the children of men shall esteem my words as naught and take many of them from the book which thou shalt write, behold, I will raise up another like unto thee; and they shall be had again among the children of men — among as many as shall believe.” —Moses 1:41

It is well known that of the twelve tribes of Israel, Joseph has the birthright.  This is exemplified in both the blessing from Jacob to his sons before his death (Genesis 49), and in the blessing Moses gave to the twelve tribes of Israel (in Deuteronomy 33).  Yet symbolic of Joseph of Egypt being hated by his brothers (except for Benjamin), being thrown into a pit and sold to the Egyptians, the birthright heir has been scattered, abused, and for all intents and purposes nullified by both Jew and Gentile to this day.

But who is the seed of Joseph today?  This is the sixty-four-thousand dollar question since whomever they are, they have the birthright and will take the lead in the ministry of God’s work prior to the second coming of Christ!

LDS church doctrine is clear that it is they who will take the lead in the Lord’s ministry.  This is clearly stated by Daniel H. Ludlow in his article “Of the House of Israel.” (Ensign, January 1991)  In this article it quotes a lot of “Latter-Day” (LDS) prophets after Joseph Smith, but no credible scripture.

It concludes by saying that scattered Ephraim (tribe of Joseph) is mixed in with all kinds of people, and that these are the people who are being baptized into the LDS church, OR that these are the people that are being adopted into current Israel, whom they say they are. If the LDS church consists mostly of Israel, then it didn’t begin this way.  Joseph Smith says in his prayer of D&C 109, “Now these words, O Lord, we have spoken before thee, concerning the revelations and commandments which thou hast given unto us, who are identified with the Gentiles…” (v. 60)

Here, Joseph Smith differentiates between who is Israel and who is Gentile is subsequent verses by petitioning the Lord, “…cause that the remnants of Jacob, who have been cursed and smitten because of their transgression, be converted from their wild and savage condition to the fulness of the everlasting gospel… may all the scattered remnants of Israel, who have been driven to the ends of the earth, come to a knowledge of the truth, believe in the Messiah, and be redeemed from oppression…” (v. 65-67)

The birth of the LDS church continued what Paul began in redeeming the Gentiles, on account of the wickedness of Israel, which era is prophesied of in holy writ as being “the times of the Gentiles” or “the fullness of the Gentiles”—a period in which the Gentiles would take over the reins of the ministry, with the mandate to restore the Lord’s covenant people, and to give back these reins to them—Israel, as it is and has been for the vast majority of the scriptural record.

The times of the Gentiles followed by the recovery of Israel is what is meant in Jacob 5 in describing the natural and wild branches; natural being the Lord’s covenant people, and wild referring to the Gentiles.  Says Zenos:

Take thou the branches of the wild olive tree, and graft them in, in the stead thereof; and these which I have plucked off I will cast into the fire and burn them, that they may not cumber the ground of my vineyard. (v. 9)

Following this direction, and many verses later, the Lord of the vineyard continues with His explanation and directive:

And, behold, the roots of the natural branches of the tree which I planted whithersoever I would are yet alive; wherefore, that I may preserve them also for mine own purpose, I will take of the branches of this tree, and I will graft them in unto them. Yea, I will graft in unto them the branches of their mother tree… And it came to pass that they took from the natural tree which had become wild, and grafted in unto the natural trees, which also had become wild. And they also took of the natural trees which had become wild, and grafted into their mother tree. (v. 54-56)

Dellas W. Lee further explains the LDS doctrine on specifically the house of Joseph by his interpretation that Joseph itself is the tree, and that only one branch was placed in a “far country,” while the rest, the main trunk of the tree ended up in Europe.  Says he concerning Genesis 49:26 (his words in brackets):

The blessings of thy fathers [through branches of Joseph’s seed: (i) the Nephites and Lamanites, and (ii) the main trunk of the tree of Joseph, those who were taken captive by the Assyrian army] have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors [Heb: offspring i.e., above the blessings of Jacob’s other sons] unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills [America, the land of Joseph]: they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him [Joseph and his offspring] that was separate from his brethren. (Israel the Lord’s Chosen People, 2009, p. 405)

Evidently, the “main trunk of the tree” went onward, according to LDS views, and inhabited the European countries, while only one branch went into “a far country.”  And this despite the fact that we have an entire volume of scripture (The Book of Mormon) dedicated to this branch, and nothing at all in scripture dedicated to the main trunk of the tree. Furthermore, what Mr. Lee explains is in direct conflict with what the scriptures themselves say, especially in the Book of Mormon.  Captain Moroni compares the branch broken off to a remnant of Joseph’s coat, explaining that all the remaining seed of Joseph shall perish.  Says he:

…we are a remnant of the seed of Joseph, whose coat was rent by his brethren into many pieces…  Yea, let us preserve our liberty as a remnant of Joseph; yea, let us remember the words of Jacob [Israel], before his death, for behold, he saw that a part of the remnant of the coat of Joseph was preserved and had not decayed.  And he said—Even as this remnant of garment of my son hath been preserved, so shall a remnant of the seed of my son be preserved by the hand of God, and be taken unto himself, while the remainder of the seed of Joseph shall perish, even as the remnant of his garment.  Now behold, this giveth my soul sorrow; nevertheless, my soul hath joy in my son, because of that part of his seed which shall be taken unto God. —Alma 46:23-25

The prophet Moroni removes all doubt as to just who the seed of Joseph are, being those descendants of the people in the Book of Mormon and NOBODY ELSE.  He likens Joseph’s father Jacob being led to Egypt (by his son Joseph), whereby “perish[ing] not,” to the house of Joseph “perish[ing] not” because of Lehi, and his seed who were led out of Jerusalem and into America.  Few will argue that Lehi’s seed today in America are Native Americans (Indians).  Says Moroni:

For as Joseph brought his father down into the land of Egypt, even so he died there; wherefore, the Lord brought a remnant of the seed of Joseph out of the land of Jerusalem, that he might be merciful unto the seed of Joseph that they should perish not, even as he was merciful unto the father of Joseph that he should perish not.   Wherefore, the remnant of the house of Joseph shall be built upon this land; and it shall be a land of their inheritance… —see Ether 13:7-8

Moreover, the Book of Mormon explains, in 1st Nephi 13, that the people who came over to inhabit America from the European countries were Gentiles:

And it came to pass that I looked and beheld many waters; and they divided the Gentiles from the seed of my brethren…  And it came to pass that I beheld the Spirit of God, that it wrought upon other Gentiles; and they went forth out of captivity, upon the many waters.  And it came to pass that I beheld the Spirit of God, that it wrought upon other Gentiles; and they went forth out of captivity, upon the many waters.  And I beheld the Spirit of the Lord, that it was upon the Gentiles, and they did prosper and obtain the land for their inheritance… (beginning with v. 10)

In this chapter (1st Nephi 13) it uses the word Gentiles thirty-four times to describe those who came to America from the European countries. Additionally, the branch broken off is plentifully described elsewhere in holy writ, with Genesis 50.  Nephi explains in 1st Nephi 19:24:

Wherefore I spake unto them, saying: Hear ye the words of the prophet (Isaiah), ye who are a remnant of the house of Israel, a branch who have been broken off; hear ye the words of the prophet, which were written unto all the house of Israel, and liken them unto yourselves, that ye may have hope as well as your brethren from whom ye have been broken off; for after this manner has the prophet written.

Dellas W. Lee and the LDS church would have you believe that the “brethren from whom ye have been broken off” are other remnants of Joseph left behind, ending up in Europe, but carefully read the scripture again and you’ll see that the “tree” is actually the house of Israel, NOT the tribe of Joseph! 1st Nephi 15:12 explains the tree that is the House of Israel even more clearly by stating: Behold, I say unto you, that the house of Israel was compared unto an olive tree, by the Spirit of the Lord which was in our father; and behold are we not broken off from the house of Israel, and are we not a branch of the house of Israel? The following was taken from a kids Sunday school activity online and demonstrates what Nephi is referring to: Israel_Tree_1 Finally, 2nd Nephi 3 gives us a comparable scripture to the one first quoted, in Genesis 50.  Says father Lehi:

Wherefore, Joseph truly saw our day.  And he 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; not the Messiah, but a branch which was to be broken off, nevertheless, to be remembered in the covenants of the Lord that the Messiah should be made manifest unto them in the latter days, in the spirit of power, unto the bringing of them out of darkness unto light—yea, out of hidden darkness and out of captivity unto freedom.

From scripture, the tribe of Joseph is not the LDS church!  Joseph are the native Americans; he (Joseph) is the posterity of the people the Lord Jesus Christ spoke to in the prophecy given (by command of his father) to the Book of Mormon peoples after the great destruction in 3rd Nephi 8.  Said the Lord:

And thus commandeth the Father that I should say unto you: At that day when the Gentiles shall sin against my gospel, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, and shall be lifted up in the pride of their hearts above all nations, and above all the people of the whole earth, and shall be filled with all manner of lyings, and of deceits, and of mischiefs, and all manner of hypocrisy, and murders, and priestcrafts, and whoredoms, and of secret abominations … then will I remember my covenant which I have made unto my people, O house of Israel, and I will bring my gospel unto them.  And I will show unto thee, O house of Israel, that the Gentiles shall not have power over you; but I will remember my covenant unto you, O house of Israel, and ye shall come unto the knowledge of the fulness of my gospel.

Spencer W. Kimball rightly spoke of Lamanite prophets (plural) (Conference Report, Oct. 1947) and it is a historical fact that a 1905 Book of Mormon footnoted by Orson Pratt names the “one mighty among them” as an Indian prophet.  This is the same person Zechariah appropriately refers to as “the BRANCH.” (see Zechariah 3:8) Those with an eye single to the glory of God, and who are beholden NOT to an organization, but to God’s holy word as revealed through the power of the Holy Ghost will recognize this message as truth, and will work to be a laborer in the Lord’s vineyard on behalf of Joseph’s restoration to his rightful place, or, afterwards, to the restoration of the Jews.  These will not be caught exclaiming that which the kings of the earth will exclaim at that day, for:

…when that day shall come, it shall come to pass that kings shall shut their mouths; for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider. —3rd Nephi 31:8

Joseph will takes his place as leading the ministry of God in the last days, and becoming the saviors upon Mount Zion spoken of; and the branch broken off will be remembered again, as prophesied, just as he was remembered when his eleven brothers remembered him once again in the courts of Pharaoh in the land of Egypt.

Kelly Gneiting

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