Mormon scholar understands BI, lectures in Australia and N.Z.
The founder is a founding member of the United Church of God in Sydney and coordinator of the Origin of Nations seminar series. Write Mr. White at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Craig White
SYDNEY, Australia--Church of God folk are aware of the peculiarities of doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons). But how many are aware that the Mormons believe that Israelites are the ones who are most likely to respond to God's call to repentance?
For well over a century the Mormons, based in Salt Lake City, Utah, have believed that the Israelites are among the American Indians and the aborigines of New Zealand, the Maoris.
Many years ago, while I was living in Western Australia, I met two Mormon evangelists. One was a North American Indian, the first one I had ever met.
During the conversation they mentioned how Manasseh may be found among North Americans and Ephraim among the English. They seemed to be saying that these tribes were not exclusive to American Indians.
Our talk left me wondering if there were not a small truth of the British-Israel identity lurking somewhere in the organization.
Now some Mormon scholars are moving closer to a British-Israel perspective on the issue of the identify of Israel in prophecy.
Inviting a Mormon speaker
Intrigued with this trend, I invited a Mormon scholar, Professor Terry Blodgett of Southern Utah University, Cedar City, Utah, to New Zealand and Australia to present a seminar series on the subject of the migrations of Israel.
Well aware of the protocol when talking to other groups, Professor Blodgett tailored his presentation to a non-Mormon audience, avoiding traditional Mormon teachings.
He related that he had read Herbert W. Armstrong's writings on Israel in prophecy many years ago.
Today a new generation of British-Israel scholars has emerged with much new information, among them Steven Collins of Sioux Falls, S.D., a Church of God member whose books have been for sale in the bookstore of the principal Mormon institution of higher learning, Brigham Young University, Salt Lake City.
Mr. Collins said he has shipped orders of books twice to the bookstore.
Another member of the Mormon church has written a book on the subject of the lost tribes of Israel. Dale W. Nelson of Orem, Utah, an inventor, entrepreneur and author, identifies the tribes with the Anglo-Saxon Celts in his book The Migrations, Alliances, and Power of Israel in Western Europe and Central Asia.
Other Mormon scholars moving in the British-Israel direction are John Pratt, who authored the article "Geological Evidence for the British Throne of David?" in Meridian magazine in June.
Brigham Young and Joseph Smith
I also recently came across an unofficial Mormon Web site (www.whyprophets.com) by an LDS member who was investigating British-Israelism. The site's contents showed that some Mormon researchers are coming to conclusions regarding Israel in prophecy different from the official Mormon doctrine.
"Many 'British Israel'-ers claim that Britain is so strongly descended from Israel that the Biblical prophecies regarding Israel are fulfilled in Britain," according to an article on the site. "Most scholars strongly disagree. The LDS church also disagrees. Israel in the Bible refers either to the nation of Israel or to the church. The case for Britain being predominantly biological Israel is weak. And the case for Britain representing the true church died in the Dark Ages, the Great Apostasy."
Brigham Young, an early leader of the LDS church who died in 1877, wrote that Israel is "diluted," mixed with other nations.
He wrote that "the blood of Ephraim is mixed with the blood of all the earth. Abraham's seed is mingled with the rebellious seed through the whole world of mankind."
Mormon founder Joseph Smith, who died in 1844 and whose ancestors came from Britain, claimed to be a literal descendant of Ephraim.
The following is a list of books by Mormons that apparently address, in part, that the Anglo-Saxon Celts descend from Israel. I am trying to locate these works to ascertain if they do indeed overlap with the British-Israel truth. If anyone could assist me with locating them, it would be appreciated.
In any event, be aware that the LDS church does not officially recognize British-Israelism, but there is some overlap between their belief and BI. It may be that this truth is becoming more and more known among Mormons.
Of course, I do not advocate Mormon doctrines.
The list: E.L. Whitehead (The House of Israel); Lyman D. Platt (The World Book of Generations: A Genealogical History); Thomas J. Yates (Origin and Brief History of Nations); Joseph C. Littke (The Mission and Travels of the Israelitish Peoples); James H. Anderson (God's Covenant Race); Jerry Murray, who has written two large volumes, one on the history of the Celts and one on the history of the Germanic tribes; Robert L. Millet and Joseph Fielding McConkie (Our Destiny: The Call and Election of the House of Israel); Anthony W. Ivins (The Lost Tribes); Stephen Malan (The Ten Tribes Discovered and Identified); George Reynolds (Are We of Israel?); Walt A. Whipple (A Discussion of the Many Theories Concerning the Whereabouts of the Lost Ten Tribes); R. Clayton Brough (The Lost Tribes: History, Doctrine, Prophecies, and Theories About Israel's Lost Ten Tribes); and Vaughn E. Hansen (Whence Came They? Israel, Britain and the Restoration). This issue of The Journal includes many photos and several other graphics, besides the Connections advertising section. Don't forget to subscribe to the print version of The Journal to read all the news and features previewed here.
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