O Jerusalem

The Book of Mormon begins with a declaration on its title page that twice states that it is written for Jews. And one of its last verses pleads to the Jews to embrace the covenants made by the Eternal Father to the House of Israel.

The Prophet Joseph Smith explained that the ancient prophet Moroni included the title page of the Book of Mormon on the gold plates: “The title-page of the Book of Mormon is a literal translation, taken from the very last leaf, on the left hand side of the collection or book of plates, which contained the record which has been translated, … and … said title page is not by any means a modern composition, either of mine or of any other man who has lived or does live in this generation” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith [2007], 60–61).

* * *

Book of Mormon, Title Page

An Account Written by the Hand of Mormon upon Plates Taken from the Plates of Nephi

Wherefore, it is an abridgment of the record of the people of Nephi, and also of the Lamanites—Written to the Lamanites, who are a remnant of the house of Israel; and also to Jew and Gentile…

And also to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God,…

* * *

Moroni 10

[31] And awake, and arise from the dust, O Jerusalem; yea, and put on thy beautiful garments, O daughter of Zion; and strengthen thy stakes and enlarge thy borders forever, that thou mayest no more be confounded, that the covenants of the Eternal Father which he hath made unto thee, O house of Israel, may be fulfilled.

(See also: Isaiah 52:1-2)

* * *

The phrase O Jerusalem appears six times in the Book of Mormon. The additional references are:

2 Nephi 8

[17] Awake, awake, stand up, O Jerusalem, which hast drunk at the hand of the Lord the cup of his fury — thou hast drunken the dregs of the cup of trembling wrung out —
[24] Awake, awake, put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city; for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean.
[25] Shake thyself from the dust; arise, sit down, O Jerusalem; loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion.

3 Nephi 20

[36] And then shall be brought to pass that which is written: Awake, awake again, and put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city, for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean.
[37] Shake thyself from the dust; arise, sit down, O Jerusalem; loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion.

* * *

– Tom Irvine

Hebrew Book of Mormon Translation


One of the first references to Zion in the Bible is:

Nevertheless David took the strong hold of Zion: the same is the city of David. (2 Samuel 5:7).

This scripture refers to a military battle in which David captured a fortress on Mount Zion from the Jebusites.

Mount Zion is a hill outside the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. The name Zion also became a synonym for Jerusalem itself.

Zion is used 197 times in the King James Bible. This number includes the alternate spelling Sion.

An example which foreshadowed the exile of the Jews to Babylon is:

By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. (Psalm 137:1)

“Return to Zion” refers the return of the Jews from the Babylonian exile to the Land of Israel after the destruction of the First Temple, following the decree of Cyrus the Great. These events are recorded in the Bible books of Ezra and Nehemiah.

* * *

Zion is also used to refer to Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem.

In Salem also is his tabernacle, and his dwelling place in Zion. (Psalm 76:2)

The temple is understood to be God’s dwelling place.

* * *

The phrase “daughter of Zion (or Sion)” is given 28 times in the Bible.

The apostle John wrote of Jesus triumphal entry into Jerusalem in the days before the Last Supper.

Fear not daughter of Sion, behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass’s colt. (John 12:15)

This was a fulfillment of Zechariah 9:9.

* * *

Zion is used 45 times in the Book of Mormon, including references to Isaiah scriptures.

A few examples are:

1 Nephi 13

[37] And blessed are they who shall seek to bring forth my Zion at that day, for they shall have the gift and the power of the Holy Ghost; and if they endure unto the end they shall be lifted up at the last day, and shall be saved in the everlasting kingdom of the Lamb; and whoso shall publish peace, yea, tidings of great joy, how beautiful upon the mountains shall they be.

3 Nephi 21

[1] And verily I say unto you, I give unto you a sign, that ye may know the time when these things shall be about to take place — that I shall gather in, from their long dispersion, my people, O house of Israel, and shall establish again among them my Zion;

Moroni 10

[31] And awake, and arise from the dust, O Jerusalem; yea, and put on thy beautiful garments, O daughter of Zion; and strengthen thy stakes and enlarge thy borders forever, that thou mayest no more be confounded, that the covenants of the Eternal Father which he hath made unto thee, O house of Israel, may be fulfilled.

(Cross reference: Isaiah 52:7-8)

* * *

Zion is also used several times in the Doctrine & Covenants.

An example is:

Therefore, verily, thus saith the Lord, let Zion rejoice, for this is Zion—the pure in heart; therefore, let Zion rejoice, while all the wicked shall mourn. (Doctrine & Covenants 97:21)

* * *

“The building up of Zion is a cause that has interested the people of God in every age; it is a theme upon which prophets, priests and kings have dwelt with peculiar delight; they have looked forward with joyful anticipation to the day in which we live; and fired with heavenly and joyful anticipations they have sung and written and prophesied of this our day; but they died without the sight; we are the favored people that God has made choice of to bring about the Latter-day glory.”

– The Prophet Joseph Smith Jr.

* * *

“Zion is both a place and a people. Zion was the name given to the ancient city of Enoch in the days before the Flood. ‘And it came to pass in his days, that he built a city that was called the City of Holiness, even Zion’ (Moses 7:19). This Zion endured for some 365 years (see Moses 7:68). The scriptural record states, ‘And Enoch and all his people walked with God, and he dwelt in the midst of Zion; and it came to pass that Zion was not, for God received it up into his own bosom; and from thence went forth the saying, Zion is fled’ (Moses 7:69). . . .

“The Lord called Enoch’s people Zion ‘because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them’ (Moses 7:18). Elsewhere He said, ‘For this is Zion—the pure in heart’ (D&C 97:21).”

Elder D. Todd Christofferson, “Come to Zion,” Ensign, Nov. 2008

* * *

– Tom Irvine

Hebrew Book of Mormon Translation

Messiah Ben-Joseph & Joseph Smith


Joseph Smith Jr. (1805-1844)

Jewish teachings outside of the Torah refer to a Messiah Ben-Joseph (aka Messiah ben Ephraim).

“According to the Talmud, the Messiah will be a descendant of the House of David and will be preceded by a secondary Messiah, from the House of Joseph . . .”
Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.

* * *

When the Chief Rabbi, Avraham HaKohen Kook (1865–1935) was appointed in Palestine in the 1920’s, he was asked if the Jews could now build the Temple (destroyed since year 70 A.D.). His response was that the priestly rights had gone and referred to the great 12th century rabbi Moses Maimonides. Maimonides said, in effect, “We are waiting for a Messiah Ben-Joseph, to him will be given the keys of the gathering of Israel, he will restore Temple worship.”

* * *

Other legends state that Messiah Ben-Joseph will rebuild the city of Jerusalem and the temple, and bring to pass the restoration of the ten tribes.

* * *

The Prophet Joseph Smith Jr. (1805-1844) fulfilled some, but not all, of these roles.

Joseph Smith was an Ephraimite and thus a descendant of Joseph who was sold into Egypt.

* * *

Visions manifested to Joseph Smith the Prophet and Oliver Cowdery in the temple at Kirtland, Ohio, April 3, 1836. HC 2: 435–436. The occasion was that of a Sabbath day meeting.

The Prophet prefaces his record of the manifestations with these words: “In the afternoon, I assisted the other Presidents in distributing the Lord’s Supper to the Church, receiving it from the Twelve, whose privilege it was to officiate at the sacred desk this day.

After having performed this service to my brethren, I retired to the pulpit, the veils being dropped, and bowed myself, with Oliver Cowdery, in solemn and silent prayer. After rising from prayer, the following vision was opened to both of us.”

[11] After this vision closed, the heavens were again opened unto us; and Moses appeared before us, and committed unto us the keys of the gathering of Israel from the four parts of the earth, and the leading of the ten tribes from the land of the north.
[12] After this, Elias appeared, and committed the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham, saying that in us and our seed all generations after us should be blessed.
[13] After this vision had closed, another great and glorious avision burst upon us; for Elijah the prophet, who was taken to heaven without tasting death, stood before us, and said:
[14] Behold, the time has fully come, which was spoken of by the mouth of Malachi—testifying that he [Elijah] should be sent, before the great and dreadful day of the Lord come—
[15] To turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers, lest the whole earth be smitten with a curse—
[16] Therefore, the keys of this dispensation are committed into your hands; and by this ye may know that the great and dreadful day of the Lord is near, even at the doors.

Doctrine & Covenants 110

* * *

Joseph Smith sent Apostle Orson Hyde to Jerusalem in 1841 to offer a dedicatory prayer.

Orson Hyde blessed the land ” . . for the gathering together of Judah’s scattered remnants, according to the predictions of the holy Prophets — for the building up of Jerusalem again after it has been trodden down by the Gentiles so long, and for rearing a Temple in honor of Thy name (the Lord’s name).”

* * *

– Tom Irvine

Hebrew Book of Mormon Translation

Temple Baptismal Font

Baptismal Font, Salt Lake City Temple

1 Kings 7 Description of the Baptismal Font in Solomon’s Temple

[25] It stood upon twelve oxen, three looking toward the north, and three looking toward the west, and three looking toward the south, and three looking toward the east: and the sea was set above upon them, and all their hinder parts were inward.
[26] And it was an hand breadth thick, and the brim thereof was wrought like the brim of a cup, with flowers of lilies: it contained two thousand baths.
[27] And he made ten bases of brass; four cubits was the length of one base, and four cubits the breadth thereof, and three cubits the height of it.
[28] And the work of the bases was on this manner: they had borders, and the borders were between the ledges:
[29] And on the borders that were between the ledges were lions, oxen, and cherubims: and upon the ledges there was a base above: and beneath the lions and oxen were certain additions made of thin work.


Baptismal Font, Mesa, Arizona LDS Temple

The baptismal font in the Mesa Temple is mounted upon twelve oxen. A similar design is used in other LDS Temples.

There are multiple levels of symbolism in this design.

The oxen represent the twelve tribes of Israel. Also, Jesus Christ had twelve apostles.

Furthermore, the oxen represents the tribe of Ephraim, which plays a key role in the restoration of the gospel in the latter-days. (Each of the twelve tribes had a symbol. The ox was the symbol of Ephraim.)

But one ox in the Mesa Temple is unique in that its left horn points backwards and its right horn points forward. Both horns of each of the other eleven oxen point forward.

The accepted explanation is that the unique ox has no particular significance and that its design was only a matter of the sculptor’s whimsy. Perhaps, this is so.

Or perhaps the unique ox repesents the tribe of Judah, with one horn pointed backward to covenant of the Old Testament and the other pointed forward to the covenant of the new testament. The tribe of Judah gave to us our Savior Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ commands us in 2 Nephi 29 to express gratitude to the Jews for their sacrifices in giving us the Holy Bible.

Mesa, Arizona LDS Temple, Further Notes

The Mesa Arizona Temple was built in a style suggestive of Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem. It lacks the spires and Angel Moroni statue which are common in other temples.

The Temple holds an annual Easter Pageant on the Temple grounds. Twice during the presentation, twelve men enter the stage. Each holds a banner with a symbol of one of the twelve tribes. The Lion is symbol of Judah. The Ox, or bullock, is the symbol of Ephraim.


Shema Yisrael is the Jewish daily prayer which comprises Deuteronomy 6:4–9, 11:13-21, and Numbers 15:37–41.

Sh’ma Yis’ra’eil Adonai Eloheinu Adonai echad.
Hear, Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One.

Jesus Christ himself recited the Shema, as recorded in Mark 12.

[29] And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord.

In ancient times, the Kohanim, who were Jewish priests, recited the Shema in Solomon’s temple.

I have offered this prayer in a melodic form when I have been alone in the main baptistry rooms of the Mesa Arizona and the Alabama Birmingham Temples.

I have added a second verse to the Shema prayer, as the Jews sometimes do:

Barukh sheim k’vod malkhuto l’olam va’ed.
Blessed be the Name of His glorious kingdom for ever and ever.

See also

Why are oxen used in the design of our temples’ baptismal fonts?

by Edward J. Brandt, “I Have a Question,” Ensign, Mar. 1993, 54–55

Mesa Temple Wikipedia


Isaiah 61

[1] The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

1 Corinthians 15

[29] Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?

1 Peter 4

[6] For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.


Special thanks to Dawn Malek, whose question prompted me to write this webpage.


– Tom Irvine

Hebrew Book of Mormon Translation

Rasha – The Jew, A Message to All Jews

B.H. Roberts (1857-1933) wrote Rasha – The Jew, published by Deseret News Press in 1932.

Elder Roberts was a member of the First Council of the Seventy of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He dedicated his book “To Judah and Ephraim and the whole House of Israel.”

Roberts begins his book with a reference to Old Man Swartz by Abraham Silverstein. (See Note 1) Silverstein had converted from the Judaism to Christianity, and he had become a minister.

Pastor Silverstein’s Old Man Swartz was the reportedly true story of a Jew of the orthodox faith “who sternly resisted all arguments and endeavors to convert him from the faith of his fathers.” Silverstein convinced this Jew to “accept the reality of Jesus Christ for twenty-four hours.” The Jew did so, and he converted to Christianity.

Pastor Silverstein was also the editor of an evangelical Christian magazine entitled the Redeemed Hebrew. The purpose of the magazine was to convert Jews to Christianity.

Pastor Silverstein printed a letter in the Redeemed Hebrew from “a highly learned and deeply spiritual Hebrew scholar” from Calgary, Alberta, Canada that argued that Jesus Christ was not the Messiah, based on Old Testament scriptures. The Hebrew scholar signed his letter with the pseudonym “Rasha.”

The Redeemed Hebrew challenged its readers to refute the argument of “Rasha.” Elder Roberts took up this challenge, using scriptures from Isaiah and other Old Testament books. Pastor Silverstein selected Elder Roberts’ reply as the best response and printed it in the Redeemed Hebrew.

Roberts continued to write a series of articles for the Redeemed Hebrew. These articles form the basis of Roberts’ Rasha – The Jew.

Robert cites numerous scriptures to show that Jehovah of the Old Testament is the same being as Jesus Christ of the New Testament.

Roberts wrote that the “Seed ” referred to in the following scripture is Jesus Christ, who as the Deliverer and Messiah bruised Satan’s head,

Genesis 3

[15] And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

Roberts explains that Shiloh refers to Jesus Christ in the following verse.

Genesis 49

[10] The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.

Roberts also quotes:

Isaiah 7

[14] Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Immanuel means “God with us.”

Roberts asks the reader “Must a being then, less than Jehovah incarnate be the Immanuel of the text?”

Isaiah 9

[6] For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Roberts asks “. . . would any Jew, dare say that a being less than their Jehovah incarnated could fulfill this prediction?”

Roberts points out that the Jews rejected Jesus as the Messiah because they expected a king who would rescue them from the yoke of Roman bondage.

He explains that Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection were foretold in Isaiah. This could only come about if Jehovah was incarnated with a body subjected to the laws of mortality. No Earthly king or prophet could otherwise fulfill this role.

Isaiah 26

[19] Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.

Job proclaimed his hope and faith in the resurrection as:

Job 19

[25] For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:
[26] And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:
[27] Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.

Futhermore, Daniel wrote

Daniel 12

[2] And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
[3] And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.

Later in his book, Roberts refers to Orson Hyde’s Dedicatory Prayer 1841.

The final chapter is Roberts’ Summary of the Message.

“Rasha,” the Jew, and all Jews, my Message is before you:

Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, incarnated and manifested in the flesh.

Your Jehovah, incarnate is Jehovah-Christ of the New Testament and of the Book of Mormon.

Your Isaiah’s prophecy has been fulfilled (Isaiah 26:19). Jehovah came in person to the earth and received the “body” there predicted; he died and was buried, as there implied; but he rose again from the dead, and was many of Israel’s saints rose with him according to Isaiah’s prophecy, and St. Matthew’s testimony of its fulfillment, and the “earth cast our the dead” (St. Matthew 27:50-53).

The Jehovah of the Old Testament is the Christ of the New Testament; and Jehovah-Christ is the Savior of Israel, of the Jews, of all men. There is no other Savior of the Jews or of all men, Jehovah-Christ is the sole in this.

A new Witness to these truths has been brought forth. The testimony of the ancient peoples of the western world is brought to you, “Rasha,” the Jew and to all Jews. The prophets and apostles of ancient America, your kinsmen, “Rasha,” speak to you through this “American Volume of Scripture.” Their testimony unites with the testimony of your own Old Testament prophets and seers. Their testimony unites with the testimony of the “Twelve Apostles of the Lamb.” – the Apostles and Witnesses of the New Testament. The Lord has spoken, “Rasha,” declaring new things and reaffirming old truths.

This is my testimony:

A New Dispensation of the old gospel is proclaimed. The Church of the Living God is again organized among men. Divine authority is here, and God’s message to Judah and to the whole world is:

Accept Jehovah-Christ and the Redeemer of the World.
Believe ye the Gospel of the Christ as the power of God unto salvation.
Repent for the hour of God’s judgment is come.
Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!

B.H. Roberts

President of the First Quorum of the Seventy and of all the Seventy, the Special Witnesses of God in the New Dispensation.


1. A hardcopy of Old Man Swartz is not readily available, but the New York Public Library has a microfilm copy listed in its online catalog.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee. Psalms 122:6

– Tom Irvine

Hebrew Book of Mormon Translation

Israel! Do You Know?

LeGrand Richards (1886-1983) wrote the book Israel! Do You Know?, published by Deseret Book in 1954. The paperback edition was published in 1990.

Richards was an apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This church was organized in 1830 in New York. Joseph Smith (1805-1844) was the first prophet of the church.

Richards presents a masterful synthesis of scriptural prophesies regarding the restoration of the House of Israel in the latter days, drawing upon the Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price.

Israel is another name for the Biblical prophet Jacob. Jacob was the son of Isaac, who was the son of Abraham. The Lord promised Abraham that through his seed all the families of the Earth would be blessed. (Genesis 17, Acts 3:25).

The House of Israel consists chiefly of the tribes of Joseph and Judah, with Joseph often represented by Ephraim, who was Joseph’s son. The remaining tribes play lesser but still important roles in the unfolding saga of Jacob’s family.

Richards gives an account of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ through the prophet Joseph Smith. He also discusses Smith’s translation of the Book of Mormon and other key events which are described in the Doctrine & Covenants and in the Pearl of Great Price. He explains that the Bible is the “Stick of Judah” and that the Book of Mormon is the “Stick of Joseph” referenced in Ezekial 37:16-20.

Richards shows that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints represents the gathered, or gathering, tribe of Joseph, or equivalently Ephraim.

Within a comprehensive set of teachings, Richards set forth eight particular prophesies which are to be fulfilled in the latter-days:

1. Gathering of Jews to Jerusalem ( Isaiah 11:12, Zechariah 2:10-12, Doctrine & Covenants 109:61-64).

2. Preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Jews via the Gentiles, or Tribe of Joseph (Book of Mormon Title Page, Mormon 5:12-14, Doctrine & Covenants 133:8).

3. Jew’s acceptance of Jesus Christ as the true Messiah (2 Nephi 10:5-7, 2 Nephi 25:15-20, 2 Nephi 30:7, Zechariah 13:6, Doctrine & Covenants 45:51-53).

4. Construction of a third temple in Jerusalem (Orson Hyde’s Dedicatory Prayer 1841, Wilford Woodruff Prophesy 1879).

5. Two prophets raised up to preach in Jerusalem (Revelations 11, Doctrine & Covenants 77:15).

6. Unification of the tribe of Joseph with the tribe of Judah (Isaiah 11:13, Ezeki e l 37:21-23, Jeremiah 3:18 ).

7. The Nephites and Jews shall have the words, or scriptures, of the lost tribes of Israel (2 Nephi 29).

8. Latter-day Saints will build a temple and City of Zion in Independence, Missouri (Doctrine & Covenants 57:1-3, Tenth Article of Faith).

As of the year 2015, only the first of these prophesies has been fulfilled to any reasonable degree.

President James E. Faust, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, effectively gave a status report concerning some of these prophesies in the October 2005 Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

I recently recalled a historic meeting in Jerusalem about 17 years ago. It was regarding the lease for the land on which the Brigham Young University ‘s Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies was later built. Before this lease could be signed, President Ezra Taft Benson and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, then president of Brigham Young University, agreed with the Israeli government on behalf of the Church and the university not to proselyte in Israel. You might wonder why we agreed not to proselyte. We were required to do so in order to get the building permit to build that magnificent building which stands in the historic city of Jerusalem. To our knowledge the Church and BYU have scrupulously and honorably kept that nonproselyting commitment.

(End of Faust’s quote)

Furthermore, Jewish leaders have objected to Holocaust victims’ names being used in Latter-day Saint temple ceremonies. As a result, The Church has removed some 380,000 names of Holocaust victims from display in its public database known as the International Genealogical Index, or IGI, which is freely available to researchers on the Internet. (Reference: LDS Press Release, Mormons, Jews Set Up Group to Study Concerns, 11 April 2005)

An article published in the Deseret News, Saturday, March 31, 2007, by Marshall Thompson of Associated Press noted some progress in the relationship between the LDS church and Jews but also cautioned:

Israel has laws against missionary work, and for many here, proselytizing is dangerously close to the forced conversions European Jews endured for centuries. To respect cultural and historical sensitivities, BYU students sign a pledge not to speak about their religion while in the Holy Land.
Still, some Israeli officials can’t shake their suspicions about a religion that has more than 50,000 full-time missionaries seeking converts around the world.
“We must remember that the Mormons have a strong belief in missionary work,” said Mina Fenton, an Orthodox member of Jerusalem’s city council. “They have big, big money and they buy things. I call it the money crusade against Jews.”

Furthermore, the LDS Church does not currently offer a Hebrew translation of the Book of Mormon, although it does so in many other languages. Type “Book of Mormon” into the following website to view available languages: http://www.ldscatalog.com

Reviewer’s Editorial Comments

An earnest student of the scriptures is left greatly perplexed and melancholy that such precious prophesies have been rendered utterly dormant by mankind’s neglect and unfaithfulness.

Richards felt certain in 1954 that these prophesies would soon be fulfilled. They may yet be fulfilled. In the meantime, the message of Richards’ book is as heartbreaking as it is enlightening.

An appropriate postscript to Richards’ book would be the warning found in Doctrine & Covenants 82:10:

I, the Lord, am bound when you do what I say; but when you do not do what I say, ye have no promise.

The Jews are ultimately responsible as individuals and as a tribe for their decision to accept or reject Jesus Christ as their Messiah. Those of us who belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, however, must ask ourselves whether we are doing all that we can to bring to pass the fulfillment of these prophecies. Are we praying and fasting for the Jews? Are we donating to Jewish charities? Are we extending a hand of ecumenical fellowship to the Jews?

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee. Psalms 122:6

– Tom Irvine

Hebrew Book of Mormon Translation

Gathering of the Jews and the Lost Tribes of Israel

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee. Psalms 122:6

The Lord made a covenant with Abraham as follows:

Abraham would have a great posterity. He would have many descendents (Genesis 15:5 and 17:2).

Abraham would be a father of many nations (Genesis 17:4).

Kings would come from Abraham’s seed or posterity (Genesis 17:6). King David and Jesus Christ himself were descendents of Abraham.

Abraham and his posterity received the land of Canaan (Genesis 17:8).

The Lord promised Abraham that through his seed all the families of the Earth would be blessed. (Genesis 22:17-18 & Acts 3:25).

In addition, Abraham paid tithing to Melchizedek who was the King of Salem (Genesis 14:18-20). Melchizedek blessed Abraham and conferred the priesthood upon him (Hebrews 7:1-4).
Also refer to (Doctrine & Covenants 84:6-18).

Note that Jesus Christ, who lived two thousand years after Abraham, was called of God an high priest after the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 5:10).

Abraham gave the blessings of the birthright and the priesthood to his son Isaac. The covenant that God made with Abraham continued through Isaac (Genesis 17:15-19 & 21).

Isaac had two sons, Esau and Jacob. These sons were twins, but Esau was born first. So Esau should have received the birthright. But Esau sold his birthright for a bowl of pottage (Genesis 25:29-24).

Isaac instead gave the blessings of the birthright, the priesthood, and the covenant of Abraham to Jacob (Genesis 27 & Genesis 28:3-4).

Jacob had twelve sons: (Genesis Chapters 29 through 35).

1. Reuben
2. Simeon
3. Levi
4. Judah

5. Dan
6. Napthali
7. Gad
8. Asher

9. Issachar
10. Zebulun
11. Joseph
12. Benjamin

God changed Jacob’s name to Israel (Genesis 32:28). Jacob’s sons thus became the heads of the Twelve tribes of Israel. Furthermore, Joseph had two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. Jacob adopted these sons, so Ephraim and Manasseh also became heads of tribes. (Genesis 48:1-5).

The inclusion of Ephraim and Manasseh brought the total number of tribes to thirteen, but the Levites were dispersed among the other tribes to perform priestly duties.

Jacob, or Israel, gave each of these sons a special blessing.

As Christians and Jews, we need to study these blessings so that we can understand God’s ongoing plan for the human family.

The birthright should have gone to Reuben because he was the oldest son. Reuben did not receive the birthright, however, because he had sinned (Genesis 35:22). Jacob instead gave the birthright to Joseph (1 Chronicles 5:1-2). Nevertheless, each son received the blessings of the covenant of Abraham.

Joseph’s wife was Asenath (Genesis 41:45).

Joseph received many wonderful blessings as recorded in Genesis 49:

[22] Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall:
[23] The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him:
[24] But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob; (from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel:)
[25] Even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee; and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb:
[26] The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills: they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren.

Joseph was given further blessings as recorded in Deuteronomy 33:13-17. Jacob also gave blessings to Ephraim and Manasseh (Genesis 48:14-22). Ephraim received the birthright, but both received great blessings.

Ephraim’s name literally means “doubly fruitful.”

Judah was given the blessing of the law and kings (Genesis 49:10). Again, King David and Jesus Christ himself were both from the tribe of Judah.

Jesus Christ is the “Lion of Judah” and the “Root of David” (Revelations 5:5). He is the “Son of David” (Matthew 1:1). He is also the “Stem of Jesse” (Isaiah 11:1, Doctrine and Covenants 113:1-6). Jesse was David’s father.

Jacob and his sons moved from Canaan to Egypt because there was a famine (Genesis 46).

The descendents of Jacob, or children of Israel, became slaves in Egypt (Exodus 1). Their captivity lasted 400 years (Acts 7:6).

Moses was from the tribe of Levi (Exodus 2:1-10).

Moses received the priesthood authority from his father-in-law Jethro (Doctrine & Covenants 84:6-18). Jethro was the priest of Midian (Exodus 3:1). Jethro is also referred to as Reuel.

Midian was also the name of one of Abraham’s sons. Jethro was a descendant of Abraham though Midian. Midian’s mother was Keturah, who became Abraham’s wife after Sarah died (Genesis 25:1-1).

God commanded Moses to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt.

According to Rabbinical teachings, the children of Israel were redeemed from Egypt because of four meritorious acts:

1. They kept their Hebrew names.
2. They retained their Hebrew language.
3. They did not reveal their secrets – (They would leave with many of Egypt’s possessions, Exodus 3:21-22).
4. They did not abandoned circumcision.

Moses was not allowed to cross into the Promised Land, however, because he disobeyed the Lord. The Lord had commanded Moses to speak unto a rock at Meribah before the children of Israel so that the rock would bring forth water. Instead, Moses became angry at the people, and he smote the rock twice with his rod. The rock nevertheless sent forth water, but Moses had shown unbelief and had failed to sanctify the Lord before the people (Numbers 20:8-12).

Some authors claim that the rock symbolized Jesus Christ who is the “Rock of our Salvation” (Psalms 89:26 and 1 Corinthians 10:4).

Moses gave blessings to each of the tribes of Israel, Deuteronomy 33.

After many years, Joshua led the children of Israel into Canaan, which is the land of Israel. Each tribe received a portion of land. Joshua was from the tribe of Ephraim (Numbers 13:8 & 16).

Map of the lands given to the Twelve Tribes.


A series of judges ruled over Israel for a period of about four hundred and fifty years, after they arrived in the land. (Acts 13:20).

Saul, who was from the tribe of Benjamin, became the first king. He was anointed by the prophet Samuel.

David, the son of Jesse, became the next King of Israel. He was followed by his son Solomon, and then by Rehoboam.

After the death of King Solomon, the nation of Israel divided in to the northen and southern kingdoms. Rehoboam raised the taxes, which caused the northern tribes to rebel against him.

Ephraim was the head tribe of the northern kingdom, which consisted of ten tribes. The northern kingdom’s capital city was Samaria.

Judah was the main tribe of the southern kingdom. The tribe of Benjamin also settled in the southern kingdom.

The people of Israel were wicked. They worshipped the pagan idols Baal and Ashtaroth (Judges 2:13, Hosea 2:8). They even sacrificed their children as burnt offerings to Baal (Jeremiah 19:4-5).

The prophets Elijah, Elisha, Amos, Micah, and Hosea called the northern tribes to repentance.

Both the northern tribes of Israel and the southern tribes of Judah and Benjamin had to face the consequences of sin. The sins included pride, idolatry, and whoredoms. The Lord withdrew himself from them (Hosea 5:5-7).

The nation of Assyria, led first by Shalmaneser V and then by Sargon II, began carrying away the northern tribes of Israel in 722 to 721 B.C. (2 Kings 17).

King Nebuchadnezzar invaded Judaea, captured Jerusalem, and destroyed its temple. He carried away the tribe of Judah to Babylon sometime between 588 to 586 B.C. (2 Kings 24 ). (See also Acts 7:40-43).

This and other dispersions of the Jews outside of Israel is called the Diaspora.

The Jews returned to Jerusalem after a 70 year captivity.

Jeremiah 25

[11] And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.

Jeremiah 29

[10] For thus saith the LORD, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place.

The Jews remained in Jerusalem until they were dispersed by the Roman legions. The Romans defeated the Jews over a series of wars:

1. Jewish-Roman war or Great Revolt, 66 to 73 A.D.
2. Kitos war,115 to 117 A.D.
3. Bar Kokhba’s Revolt, 132-135 A.D.
4. War against Gallus, 351-352 A.D.

Great Revolt

Titus’ legions besieged and destroyed Jerusalem and burned Herod’s Temple in 70 A.D. Many of the Jews were killed during the Great Revolt. The surviors were sent to work as slaves throughout the Roman Empire.

Kitos war

The Kitos war took place over a vast region including Cyprus, Libya, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Judea and Syria. The name Kitos comes from the Mauretanian Roman general Lusius Quietus who ruthlessly suppressed a Jewish revolt in Mesopotamia.

Bar Kokhba’s Revolt

Bar Kokhba’s Revolt was led by Simon Bar Kokhba, who was believed by some to be the Jewish Messiah. A sovereign Jewish state was restored for two and a half years, until the Roman legions defeated the Jews. The Roman Emperor Hadrian attempted to root out Judaism, which he saw as the cause of continuous rebellions. He prohibited the Torah law, the Jewish calendar and executed Jewish sages.

War against Gallus

Patricius led the Jews into battle against the Romans. The Roman General Ursicinus defeated the Jews.

Revolt against Heraclius, 613-617 A.D.

The Byzantine empire controlled Jerusalem during this period. Heraclius was the Emperor of Byzantine.

The Jews of Palestine joined Persia in a revolt against Emperor Heraclius in order to liberate Jerusalem and to to control it autonomously. The Jews achieved their goal to some degree. Ultimately, Emperor Heraclius massacred and dispersed the Jews of Jerusalem.

The Byzantine Empire lost control of the territory of Palaestina to the Arabs in 638 A.D.

Prophesies of Jesus Christ

Jesus foretold the destruction of Jerusalem and the dispersion of the Jews which occurred over the series of wars.

Luke 19

[43] For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side,
[44] And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.

Luke 21

[24] And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.

Gathering of Israel

Deuteronomy 30

[1] And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee,
[2] And shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul;
[3] That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee.
[4] If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee:
[5] And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers.
[6] And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.
[7] And the LORD thy God will put all these curses upon thine enemies, and on them that hate thee, which persecuted thee.
[8] And thou shalt return and obey the voice of the LORD, and do all his commandments which I command thee this day.
[9] And the LORD thy God will make thee plenteous in every work of thine hand, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy land, for good: for the LORD will again rejoice over thee for good, as he rejoiced over thy fathers:

[9] But if ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there.

Nehemiah 1

[11] And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.
[12] And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.
[13] The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim.
[14] But they shall fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines toward the west; they shall spoil them of the east together: they shall lay their hand upon Edom and Moab; and the children of Ammon shall obey them.
[15] And the LORD shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea; and with his mighty wind shall he shake his hand over the river, and shall smite it in the seven streams, and make men go over dryshod.
[16] And there shall be an highway for the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria; like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt.

Isaiah 11

[5] Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west;
[6] I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth;
[7] Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.

Isaiah 43

[15] But, The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers.

Jeremiah 16

[42] And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall bring you into the land of Israel, into the country for the which I lifted up mine hand to give it to your fathers.

Ezekial 20

[14] And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them.
[15] And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God.

Amos 9

[10] Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the LORD.
[11] And many nations shall be joined to the LORD in that day, and shall be my people: and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto thee.
[12] And the LORD shall inherit Judah his portion in the holy land, and shall choose Jerusalem again.

Zechariah 2

Prayer offered at the dedication of the temple at Kirtland, Ohio, March 27, 1836. HC 2: 420–426. According to the Prophet Joseph Smith’s written statement, this prayer was given to him by revelation.

61 But thou knowest that thou hast a great love for the children of Jacob, who have been scattered upon the mountains for a long time, in a cloudy and dark day.

62 We therefore ask thee to have mercy upon the children of Jacob, that Jerusalem, from this hour, may begin to be redeemed;

63 And the yoke of bondage may begin to be broken off from the house of David;

64 And the children of Judah may begin to return to the lands which thou didst give to Abraham, their father.

Doctrine & Covenants 109

Visions manifested to Joseph Smith the Prophet and Oliver Cowdery in the temple at Kirtland, Ohio, April 3, 1836. HC 2: 435–436. The occasion was that of a Sabbath day meeting. The Prophet prefaces his record of the manifestations with these words: “In the afternoon, I assisted the other Presidents in distributing the Lord’s Supper to the Church, receiving it from the Twelve, whose privilege it was to officiate at the sacred desk this day. After having performed this service to my brethren, I retired to the pulpit, the veils being dropped, and bowed myself, with Oliver Cowdery, in solemn and silent prayer. After rising from prayer, the following vision was opened to both of us.”

11 After this vision closed, the heavens were again opened unto us; and Moses appeared before us, and committed unto us the keys of the gathering of Israel from the four parts of the earth, and the leading of the ten tribes from the land of the north.

Doctrine & Covenants 110

1 Nephi 19

[15] Nevertheless, when that day cometh, saith the prophet, that they no more turn aside their hearts against the Holy One of Israel, then will he remember the covenants which he made to their fathers.

[16] Yea, then will he remember the isles of the sea; yea, and all the people who are of the house of Israel, will I gather in, saith the Lord, according to the words of the prophet Zenos, from the four quarters of the earth.

1 Nephi 22

[11] Wherefore, the Lord God will proceed to make bare his arm in the eyes of all the nations, in bringing about his covenants and his gospel unto those who are of the house of Israel.

[12] Wherefore, he will bring them again out of captivity, and they shall be gathered together to the lands of their inheritance; and they shall be brought out of obscurity and out of darkness; and they shall know that the Lord is their Savior and their Redeemer, the Mighty One of Israel.

[1] And now behold, I say unto you that when the Lord shall see fit, in his wisdom, that these sayings shall come unto the Gentiles according to his word, then ye may know that the covenant which the Father hath made with the children of Israel, concerning their restoration to the lands of their inheritance, is already beginning to be fulfilled.

[2] And ye may know that the words of the Lord, which have been spoken by the holy prophets, shall all be fulfilled; and ye need not say that the Lord delays his coming unto the children of Israel.

[3] And ye need not imagine in your hearts that the words which have been spoken are vain, for behold, the Lord will remember his covenant which he hath made unto his people of the house of Israel.

[4] And when ye shall see these sayings coming forth among you, then ye need not any longer spurn at the doings of the Lord, for the sword of his justice is in his right hand; and behold, at that day, if ye shall spurn at his doings he will cause that it shall soon overtake you.

[5] Wo unto him that spurneth at the doings of the Lord; yea, wo unto him that shall deny the Christ and his works!

[6] Yea, wo unto him that shall deny the revelations of the Lord, and that shall say the Lord no longer worketh by revelation, or by prophecy, or by gifts, or by tongues, or by healings, or by the power of the Holy Ghost!

[7] Yea, and wo unto him that shall say at that day, to get gain, that there can be no miracle wrought by Jesus Christ; for he that doeth this shall become like unto the son of perdition, for whom there was no mercy, according to the word of Christ!

[8] Yea, and ye need not any longer hiss, nor spurn, nor make game of the Jews, nor any of the remnant of the house of Israel; for behold, the Lord remembereth his covenant unto them, and he will do unto them according to that which he hath sworn.

[9] Therefore ye need not suppose that ye can turn the right hand of the Lord unto the left, that he may not execute judgment unto the fulfilling of the covenant which he hath made unto the house of Israel.

3 Nephi 29

And then also cometh the Jerusalem of old; and the inhabitants thereof, blessed are they, for they have been washed in the blood of the Lamb; and they are they who were scattered and gathered in from the four quarters of the earth, and from the north countries, and are partakers of the fulfilling of the covenant which God made with their father, Abraham.

Ether 13:11

Additional Scriptures concerning the Gathering of Israel: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/gs/israel/the-gathering-of-israel?lang=eng

The Spanish Expulsion, 1492

The Alhambra Decree was issued on March 31, 1492 by the Catholic Monarchs of Spain, Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon, following the final triumph over the Moors after the fall of Granada. The decree ordered the expulsion of all Jews from Spain and its territories and possessions by July 31, 1492.

Hundreds of thousands of Jews were thus expelled from Spain in 1492. Tens of thousands of refugees died while trying to reach safety.

The Spanish Jews who ended up in Turkey, North Africa, Italy, and elsewhere throughout Europe and the Arab world, were known as Sephardim — Sefarad being the Hebrew name for Spain.

Some Jews remained in Spain and converted to Christianity either voluntarily or by coersion. They became “New Christians,” “Conversos” or “Marranos.” Nevertheless, the Spanish Inquisition persecuted the New Christians and drove them out of Spain.

Tomás de Torquemada (1420-1498) was the leader of the Inquisition. He ordered the burning of Talumds, which are Jewish books of laws, ethics and customs.


The year 1881 was a milestone in the Zionist movement, as ideas supporting Jewish statehood became more widespread. The Chovevei Tzion (Lovers of Zion) movement, stressing a return to Zion, became increasingly popular.

Jewish refugees fled persecution in Russia and immigrated to the Holy Land from 1882 to 1903.

Theodore Herzl (1860-1904) published his book Der Judenstaat (German, The Jewish State) in 1896.

Herzl was motivated by the Dreyfus Affair, a notorious anti-Semitic incident in France in which a French Jewish army captain was falsely convicted of spying for Germany.

Herzl convened the First Zionist Congress and proclaimed the right of the Jewish people to national rebirth in its own country. This Congress was held in Basel, Switzerland in1897.

Ottoman Turks, Arab Revolt, T.E. Lawrence, General Allenby

The Ottoman Turks conquered Palestine in 1516, and the country was incorporated in the dominions of the Ottoman Empire. Local governors were appointed from Constantinople.

Sherif Hussein (1852-1931), as the head of the Arab nationalists, entered into an alliance with the United Kingdom and France against the Ottomans around June 8, 1916.

T.E. Lawrence (1888-1935) convinced the Arab leaders Faisal and Abdullah to co-ordinate their actions in support of British strategy.

English General Sir Edmund Allenby (1861-1936) led the Egyptian Expeditionary Force in the conquest of the Land of Israel and Syria in 1917 and 1918.

General Allenby officially entered Jerusalem on December 11, 1917.

The Arab cavalry gained in strength in 1918. They were able to provide the British army with intelligence on Ottoman army positions. They also harassed Ottoman supply columns, attacked small garrisons, and destroyed railroad tracks.

Balfour Declaration

British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour (1848-1930) wrote the following letter in 1917. Note that Balfour had previously served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1902 to 1905.

Lord Rothschild (1868-1937) was a British banker and zoologist from the international Rothschild financial dynasty.

Foreign Office,
November 2nd, 1917.

Dear Lord Rothschild,

I have much pleasure in conveying to you, on behalf of His Majesty’s Government, the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations which has been submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet:

“His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country”.

I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation.

Yours sincerely
Arthur James Balfour

Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass


German stormtroopers ransacked Jewish homes, shops and synagogues in numerous German cities and in Vienna on November 9-10, 1938.

Some Jews were killed. Around 30,000 Jewish men were taken to concentration camps.

SS Saint Louis

The SS Saint Louis was a German ocean liner. Over 950 Jewish refugees sailed out of Hamburg on this ship in the summer of 1939. The Jews were seeking asylum from Nazi persecution just before World War II.

Initially, the refugees tried to enter Havana, Cuba. Each passenger carried a visa which was valid for temporary entrance to Cuba. Cuban President Federico Laredo Bru (1875-1946), however, declared the visas invalid and refused entry to the passengers.

The ship next sailed toward Florida. Secretary of State Cordell Hull (1871-1955) vehemtly opposed granting asylum to the refugees. President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945) issued an order to deny entry to the refugees on June 4, 1939.

Eventually France, Belgium and the Netherlands each took in a number of the refugees, most of whom were later killed in the Holocaust. Other refugees were granted asylum in Great Britain and survived.

The Holocaust

Adolf Hitler (1889-1945) was Chancellor of Germany from 1933, and Führer of Germany from 1934 until his death.

The Nazis used the term “Final Solution” to refer to their plan to annihilate the Jewish people.

Heinrich Himmler (1900-1945) was in charge of the Einsatzgruppen squads and the concentration camps.

The Einsatzgruppen squads were mobile killing units staffed with German SS and police personnel that killed over one million Jews through mass shootings.

The largest concentration camp was Auschwitz in southern Poland. Rudolf Hoess was the commandant of Auschwitz.

Auschwitz was actually a complex consisting of three main camps and numerous satellite camps. Many of the Jews were forced to perform slave labor at industrial factories. Most prisoners at Auschwitz survived only a few weeks or months. Those who were too ill or too weak to work were condemned to death in the gas chambers.

Dr. Josef Mengele (1911-1979) performed cruel medical experiments on human subjects at the Auschwitz.

Altogether, Nazi Germany killed approximately six million European Jews in World War II. This number included three million Polish Jews.

On January 27, 1945, the Soviet army entered Auschwitz, Birkenau, and Monowitz and liberated around 7,000 prisoners, most of whom were ill and dying.

Righteous Gentiles

Corrie Ten Bloom – sheltered Jews in her home in Holland. She wrote her story in the book “The Hiding Place.”

Irena Sendler – rescued more than 2400 Jewish children in Nazi-occupied Poland.

Pastor Andre Trocme – made the town of Le Chambon a haven for persecuted Jews.

Varian Fry – journalist who worked in Marseilles, France. He became known as the “American Oskar Schindler.”

Waitstill & Martha Sharp – left Massachusetts and traveled to Prague, Czechoslovakia in 1938 to save Jews.

Raoul Wallenberg – a Swedish Christian who rescued thousands of Hungarian Jews from the Nazi death machine by issuing them protective passports from the Swedish embassy.

Pope Pius XII

The role of Pope Pius XII, who reigned from 1939 until his death in 1958, has long been controversial. The Vatican has struggled to defend him over his silence during the mass murder of 6 million Jews.

Critics have portrayed him as an anti-Semite and Germanophile whose views were formed while working in Germany before his election as Pope in 1939.

Pope Pius XII refused pleas of Jews for help on the grounds of neutrality, while making statements condemning injustices in general. Privately, he sheltered a small number of Jews and spoke to a few select officials, encouraging them to help the Jews.

The Vatican has always insisted that the pontiff worked diplomatically to save Jews.

Rebirth of the Modern State of Israel

Throughout 1947, the United Nations Special Commission on Palestine examined the Palestinian question and recommended the partition of Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab state. On November 29, 1947 the United Nations adopted Resolution 181 (also known as the Partition Resolution) that would divide Great Britain’s former Palestinian mandate into Jewish and Arab states in May 1948 when the British mandate was scheduled to end.

The Provisional Government of Israel proclaimed a new State of Israel at midnight on May 14, 1948. On that same date, the United States, in the person of President Truman (1884-1972), recognized the provisional Jewish government as de facto authority of the Jewish state.

Chaim Azriel Weizmann (1874-1952) served as the first president of Israel. David Ben-Gurion (1886-1973) served as the prime minister.

Six-Day War, 1967


Israel fought against the armies of Egypt, Jordan and Syria. Algeria, Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia also contributed troops and arms to fight against Israel. Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser led the Pan-Arab army.

The Jews reunited or compacted Jerusalem on June 7, 1967, by capturing East Jerusalem.

Rabbi Shlomo Goren (1917-1994) sounded a shofar at the Western Wall to commemorate the reunification of Jerusalem .

Psalms 122

[1] I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.
[2] Our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem.
[3] Jerusalem is builded as a city that is compact together:
[4] Whither the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD, unto the testimony of Israel, to give thanks unto the name of the LORD.
[5] For there are set thrones of judgment, the thrones of the house of David.
[6] Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.
[7] Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces.
[8] For my brethren and companions’ sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee.
[9] Because of the house of the LORD our God I will seek thy good.


Aliyah, (pl. aliyot) “ascension” or “going up” is the arrival of Jews as individuals or groups, from exile or Diaspora to live in Eretz Yisrael – the Land of Israel. Those who “go up” for this purpose are known as olim – a term used in the Bible when the Children of Israel went up from Egypt (Gen. 50:14 and Num. 32:11) and – at a later period – for the exiles who returned from captivity in Babylon (Ezra 2:1,59 and Neh. 5-6). The call of Cyrus, King of Persia, in 538 B.C.E., – “Whosoever there is among you of all His people, his God be with him, – let him go up.” (Ezra 1:3, IIChron. 36:23) – has been used as a watchword for aliyah. Reference: http://www.jafi.org.il/education/100/CONCEPTS/aliyah1.html

Jewish Community of Ethiopia

Ethiopian Jews refer to themselves as Beta Israel, the house of Israel. They have lived in the northern province of Gondar. Their neighbors, however, have called them Falashas—the alien ones, the invaders.

There are four theories for the origin of the Ethiopian Jews:

1) The Beta Israel may be the lost Israelite tribe of Dan.
2) They may be descendants of Menelik I, son of King Solomon and Queen Sheba.
3) They may be descendants of Ethiopian Christians and pagans who converted to Judaism centuries ago.
4) They may be descendants of Jews who fled Israel for Egypt after the destruction of the First Temple in 586 BCE and eventually settled in Ethiopia.

Operation Moses began on November 19, 1984 and ended six weeks later on January 5, 1985. As a result, 8000 Ethiopian Jews arrived in Israel via Sudan.

Operation Joshua was conducted in 1985, bringing 800 Ethiopian Jews to Israel.


More Ethiopian Jews fled to Israel in Operation Solomon in 1990-91. A total of 14,324 Ethiopian Jews were rescued and resettled in Israel, a modern exodus.

The Likud government of Yitzhak Shamir authorized a special permit for the Israeli airline, El Al, to fly on the Jewish Sabbath. On Friday, May 24, and continuing non-stop for 36 hours, a total of 34 El Al jumbo jets and Hercules C-130s—seats removed to accommodate the maximum number of Ethiopians—began a new chapter in the struggle for the freedom of Ethiopian Jewry.
(Reference: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/ejhist.html)

The Ethiopian Jews boarded the aircraft at Addis Ababa International Airport.

The operation set a world record for single-flight passenger load on May 24, 1991 when an El Al 747 carried 1,087 passengers to Israel. Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Solomon

An estimated 36,000 Ethiopian Jews now live in Israel, although some sources give much higher estimates.

The Lemba People

The Lemba are a black, southern Africa tribe of Jewish ancestry.

There are several oral traditions regarding their origin.

According to one version, a group of Jews left Jerusalem about 2500 years ago. They settled in Yemen and built a city called Sena or Senna . The group then traveled to Africa and split into two sections. One group settled in Ethiopia. The other group went further south along the East Coast.

The second group settled in what today is known as Tanzania and Kenya, where they built a second city which was also called Senna. Here they prospered and increased in numbers.

Another version states that the Lemba are descendants of attendants of the Israelite King Solomon who traveled to Ophir (Zimbabwe) in search of gold.

Some of the Lemba moved to southern Africa. They live today in Malawi, Zimbabwe and the South African region of Venda, where their total population is 70,000. They speak the Bantu language.

The Lemba have religious beliefs and practices similar to those in Judaism.

1. They are monotheists and call their creator God, “Nwali.”

2. They consider one day per week holy and praise “Nwali” on that day. This resembles the Jewish Sabbath.

3. They teach their children to honour their parents.

4. They refrain from eating Pork or other foods forbidden by the Old Testament. Their form of slaughter resembles Jewish Shechita.

5. They practice male circumcision.

6. They have strict rules against marrying outside their tribe.

Furthermore, the Lemba males posses the Priestly Cohanim gene on their Y chromosome (from work done by Jenkins and Spurgle -Wits University)

Bnei Menashe


The Bnei Menashe live in North East India, in the land that lies between Myanmar (formerly Burma) and Bangladesh.

The Bnei Menashe are descendants of the Tribe of Menashe, or Manasseh, according to their oral traditions. Their exile began when the Northern Kingdom of Israel was taken captive in 721 B.C. They escaped from slavery in Assyria and traveled to Media/Persia. They crossed the silk route finally ending up in India.

The Bnei Menashe have kept Jewish traditions, including observing Shabbat, keeping the laws of Kosher, practicing circumcision on the eighth day of a baby boy’s life and observing Talmudic family purity.

One Bnei Menashe song, which had been handed down and carried throughout their travels, describes part of the Exodus from Egypt:

We must keep the Passover festival.
Because we crossed the Red Sea on the dry land.
At night we crossed with a fire.

And by day with a cloud.
Enemies pursued us with chariots.
And the sea swallowed them up.

And used them as food for the fish.
And when we were thirsty.
We received water from the rock.

In recent years, over 800 members of the Bnei Menashe community have made Aliyah, immigration to Israel.

In addition to Bnei Menashe, there are at least four other native Jewish or Israelite communities in India:

The Cochin Jews arrived in India 2,500 years ago and settled down in Cochin, Kerala as traders.

The Baghdadi Jews arrived in the city Mumbai from Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan, and Arab countries about 250 years ago.

The Bene Israel arrived in the state of Maharashtra 2,100 years ago. Most Bene Israel have now emigrated to Israel.

The Bene Ephraim (also called Telugu Jews) are a small group who speak Telugu; their observance of Judaism dates to 1981.

Additional Jewish Communities in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan

The Afridi Pashtun tribe is identified with Ephraim. Pashtun tribes mainly live in the highlands of Afghanistan and Pakistan, and they are divided into 60 tribes and 400 clans. The Afridi tribe is one of the largest (about three million). For hundreds of years, Afridis have called themselves Bani Israel (Pushto for the Hebrew B’nei Yisrael, meaning “Children of Israel”) and believe that they originated from the Ephraim tribe.

According to some Jewish and European explorers from the Middle Ages until the present day, the Afridi tribe originates from Ephraim, the Yusufzai tribe from Joseph, the Rabbani from Reuben, the Levani from Levi, the Ashuri from Asher, etc.


Some of the Israelites may have traveled to Japan.

Joseph Eidelberg wrote a book called The Biblical Hebrew Origin of the Japanese People.

Some Japanese words appear to correspond with Hebrew words:

Daber: in Hebrew, to speak.
Daberu: Japanese for chatting.

Goi: a non-Hebrew or foreigner.
Gai’Jeen: prefix for a foreigner, a non-Japanese.

Kor: cold in Hebrew.
Koru: to freeze in Japanese.

Knesset: Parliament in Hebrew.
Kensei: Constitutional government in Japanese

The common Japanese surname, Sakai, is very close to what the Persians called the Israelites: Sakka, for the sons of Isaac.

Furthermore, the name ‘Samurai’ resembles ‘Samaria.’

Some sources claim that the Mikado, the Japanese emperor, is a descendant of the Hebrew tribe of Gad. ‘Mikado’ recalls the Hebrew word for ‘his majesty the king,’ ‘Malchuto’.

Other sources claim that Reuben and half of Manasseh moved eastward, perhaps as far as Japan.

The Hata or Hada tribe in Japan may have had Jewish origins. This tribe was active during the Yamamoto era. Members of this tribe served as financial advisors to the Yamato Court for several centuries. Some towns in Japan are named after the tribe, such as Ohata, Yahata, and Hatano.

Also refer to:



Chiang Tribe in China may be a remnant of an Israelite tribe. The Chiang live in the mountainous area of northwest China, west of the Min River, near the border of Tibet, in Szechuan. Their population is about 250 thousand people.

The Chiang Tribe’s oral tradition is that they are descendants of Abraham and of his twelve sons.

They also have a tradition that their ancestors migrated from the West after a journey of three years and three months.

They believe in one God whom they call Abachi meaning the father of heaven, or Mabichu, the spirit of heaven, or also Tian, heaven.

The Chiang perform ritual animal sacrifices similar to those of ancient Israel.

Furthermore, the prophet Isaiah may have a vision of these people when he wrote concerning the gathering of Israel:

Behold, these shall come from far: and, lo, these from the north and from the west; and these from the land of Sinim. (Isaiah 49:12)

Sinim is the Hebrew word for China.

Refer to: http://www.moshiach.com/tribes/china.html

– Tom Irvine

Hebrew Book of Mormon Translation

Remembering the Jews


Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee. Psalms 122:6


[1] Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:

[2] And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:

[3] And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

Genesis 12


Isaac’s Blessing upon Jacob

[29] Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother’s sons bow down to thee: cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee.

Genesis 27


[1] Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.
[2] Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the LORD’s hand double for all her sins.

Isaiah 40


[13] Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion: for the time to favour her, yea, the set time, is come.

Psalms 102


A Roman Centurion recevies blessings because he loved Israel and built a synagogue for the Jews.

[1] Now when he had ended all his sayings in the audience of the people, he entered into Capernaum.
[2] And a certain centurion’s servant, who was dear unto him, was sick, and ready to die.
[3] And when he heard of Jesus, he sent unto him the elders of the Jews, beseeching him that he would come and heal his servant.
[4] And when they came to Jesus, they besought him instantly, saying, That he was worthy for whom he should do this:
[5] For he loveth our nation, and he hath built us a synagogue.
[6] Then Jesus went with them. And when he was now not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to him, saying unto him, Lord, trouble not thyself: for I am not worthy that thou shouldest enter under my roof:
[7] Wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto thee: but say in a word, and my servant shall be healed.
[8] For I also am a man set under authority, having under me soldiers, and I say unto one, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.
[9] When Jesus heard these things, he marvelled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.

Luke 7


The Restoration of Israel

25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits, that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

Romans 11


Charity toward the Jews

For if the Gentiles have come to share in their [the Jewish people’s] spiritual blessings, they ought also to be of service to them in material blessings.

Romans 15:27b


[10] And after they had given thanks unto the God of Israel, my father, Lehi, took the records which were engraven upon the plates of brass, and he did search them from the beginning.

[11] And he beheld that they did contain the five books of Moses, which gave an account of the creation of the world, and also of Adam and Eve, who were our first parents;

1 Nephi 5


The Torah consists of the five books of Moses. The Book of Mormon instructs us to study the Torah through the example of Lehi. Many Jews believe that Torah study is best done in a group setting.

[4] But thus saith the Lord God: O fools, they shall have a Bible; and it shall proceed forth from the Jews, mine ancient covenant people. And what thank they the Jews for the Bible which they receive from them? Yea, what do the Gentiles mean? Do they remember the travails, and the labors, and the pains of the Jews, and their diligence unto me, in bringing forth salvation unto the Gentiles?

[5] O ye Gentiles, have ye remembered the Jews, mine ancient covenant people? Nay; but ye have cursed them, and have hated them, and have not sought to recover them. But behold, I will return all these things upon your own heads; for I the Lord have not forgotten my people.

2 Nephi 29


[8] Yea, and ye need not any longer hiss, nor spurn, nor make game of the Jews, nor any of the remnant of the house of Israel; for behold, the Lord remembereth his covenant unto them, and he will do unto them according to that which he hath sworn.

3 Nephi 29


[62] We therefore ask thee to have mercy upon the children of Jacob, that Jerusalem, from this hour, may begin to be redeemed;

[63] And the yoke of bondage may begin to be broken off from the house of David;

[64] And the children of Judah may begin to return to the lands which thou didst give to Abraham, their father.

Doctrine and Covenants 109

Prayer offered at the dedication of the temple at Kirtland, Ohio, March 27, 1836


In 1879 Wilford Woodruff, then an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, who later became the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, made the following statement concerning the gathering of the Jews to their promised land:

I wish in this testimony to say that the time is not far distant when the rich men among the Jews will be called upon to use their abundant wealth to gather the dispersed of Judah, and purchase the ancient dwelling places of their fathers in and about Jerusalem, and rebuild the holy city and temple.

For the fullness of the Gentiles has come in, and the Lord had decreed that the Jews should be gathered from all the Gentile nations where they have been driven, into their own land, in fulfillment of the words of Moses their law-giver. And this is the will of your great Elohim, O house of Judah, and whenever you shall be called upon to preserve this work, the God of Israel will help you. You have a great future and destiny before you and you cannot avoid fulfilling it; you are the royal chosen seed, and the God of your father’s house has kept you distinct as a nation for eighteen hundred years, under all the oppression of the whole Gentile world. You may not wait until you believe in Jesus of Nazareth, but when you meet with Shiloh your king, you will know him; your destiny is marked out, you cannot avoid it. It is true that after you return and gather your nation home, and rebuild your City and Temple, that the Gentiles may gather together their armies to go against you to battle, to take you a prey and to take you as a spoil, which they will do , for the words of your prophets must be fulfilled; but when this affliction comes, the living God that led Moses through the wilderness, will deliver you, and your Shiloh will come and stand in your midst and will fight your battles; and you will know him, and the afflictions of the Jews will be at an end, while the destructions of the Gentiles will be so great that it will take the whole house of Israel who are gathered about Jerusalem, seven months to bury the dead of their enemies, and the weapons of war will last them seven years for fuel, so that they need not go to any forest for wood. There are tremendous sayings–who can bear them? Nevertheless they are true, and will be fulfilled, according to the sayings of Ezekiel, Zechariah and other prophets. Though the heavens and earth pass away, not one jot or tittle will fall unfulfilled.


Matthias F. Cowley, The Life of Wilford Woodruff.
LeGrand Richards, Israel! Do You Know?


Excerpt from President Wilford Woodruff’s Dedicatory Prayer for the Salt Lake Tempe, Dedicated April 6–24,1893

O God of Israel, turn Thy face, we pray Thee, in loving kindness toward Thy stricken people of the House of Judah. Oh, deliver them from those that oppress them. Heal up their wounds, comfort their hearts, strengthen their feet, and give them ministers after Thine own heart who shall lead them as of old, in Thy way. May the days of their tribulation soon cease, and they be planted by Thee in the valleys and plains of their ancient home; and may Jerusalem rejoice and Judea be glad for the multitude of her sons and daughters, for the sweet voices of children in her streets, and the rich outpouring of Thy saving mercies upon them. May Israel no more bow the head, or bend the neck to the oppressor, but may his feet be made strong on the everlasting hills, never more, by violence, to be banished therefrom, and the praise and the glory shall be Thine.


[20] Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing.

John 18

As Christians, we should also visit the Jews in their temples.

We as Christians must comfort Israel (Isaiah 40:1), bless her (Genesis 12:3), pray for her (Psalm 122:6) and encourage her with God’s precious eternal Word. We do not do this for our own blessing because God promises to bless those who bless her, and to prosper those who love her. Nor do we bless her because we believe her existence is to bring about some prophesied event. No, we stand with her and for her simply because if God is with her, so are we.

Susan M. Michael
US Director
International Christian Embassy Jerusalem


There are numerous references in the Book of Mormon which remind us that we should be grateful to the Lord for delivering our forefathers from the the Land of Egypt.

The Book of Mormon


1 Nephi 4

[3] Now behold ye know that this is true; and ye also know that an angel hath spoken unto you; wherefore can ye doubt? Let us go up; the Lord is able to deliver us, even as our fathers, and to destroy Laban, even as the Egyptians.


1 Nephi 5

[14] And it came to pass that my father, Lehi, also found upon the plates of brass a genealogy of his fathers; wherefore he knew that he was a descendant of Joseph; yea, even that Joseph who was the son of Jacob, who was sold into Egypt, and who was preserved by the hand of the Lord, that he might preserve his father, Jacob, and all his household from perishing with famine.

[15] And they were also led out of captivity and out of the land of Egypt, by that same God who had preserved them.


1 Nephi 17

[23] And it came to pass that I, Nephi, spake unto them, saying: Do ye believe that our fathers, who were the children of Israel, would have been led away out of the hands of the Egyptians if they had not hearkened unto the words of the Lord?

[27] But ye know that the Egyptians were drowned in the Red Sea, who were the armies of Pharaoh.

[40] And he loveth those who will have him to be their God. Behold, he loved our fathers, and he covenanted with them, yea, even Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and he remembered the covenants which he had made; wherefore, he did bring them out of the land of Egypt.


1 Nephi 19

[10] And the God of our fathers, who were led out of Egypt, out of bondage, and also were preserved in the wilderness by him, yea, the God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, yieldeth himself, according to the words of the angel, as a man, into the hands of wicked men, to be lifted up, according to the words of Zenock, and to be crucified, according to the words of Neum, and to be buried in a sepulchre, according to the words of Zenos, which he spake concerning the three days of darkness, which should be a sign given of his death unto those who should inhabit the isles of the sea, more especially given unto those who are of the house of Israel.



2 Nephi 3

[10] And Moses will I raise up, to deliver thy people out of the land of Egypt.


2 Nephi 21

[11] And it shall come to pass in that day that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.

[15] And the Lord shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea; and with his mighty wind he shall shake his hand over the river, and shall smite it in the seven streams, and make men go over dry shod.

[16] And there shall be a highway for the remnant of his people which shall be left, from Assyria, like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt.


2 Nephi 25

[20] And now, my brethren, I have spoken plainly that ye cannot err. And as the Lord God liveth that brought Israel up out of the land of Egypt, and gave unto Moses power that he should heal the nations after they had been bitten by the poisonous serpents, if they would cast their eyes unto the serpent which he did raise up before them, and also gave him power that he should smite the rock and the water should come forth; yea, behold I say unto you, that as these things are true, and as the Lord God liveth, there is none other name given under heaven save it be this Jesus Christ, of which I have spoken, whereby man can be saved.



Mosiah 7 King Limhi –

[19] Therefore, lift up your heads, and rejoice, and put your trust in God, in that God who was the God of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob; and also, that God who brought the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt, and caused that they should walk through the Red Sea on dry ground, and fed them with manna that they might not perish in the wilderness; and many more things did he do for them.


Mosiah 12 Abinadi quotes the Lord –

[34] I am the Lord thy God, who hath brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.



Alma 29 Alma the Younger –

[12] Yea, I have always remembered the captivity of my fathers; and that same God who delivered them out of the hands of the Egyptians did deliver them out of bondage.

Alma 36 Alma the Younger –

[28] And I know that he will raise me up at the last day, to dwell with him in glory; yea, and I will praise him forever, for he has brought our fathers out of Egypt, and he has swallowed up the Egyptians in the Red Sea; and he led them by his power into the promised land; yea, and he has delivered them out of bondage and captivity from time to time.



Helaman 8 Nephi –

[11] Therefore he was constrained to speak more unto them saying: Behold, my brethren, have ye not read that God gave power unto one man, even Moses, to smite upon the waters of the Red Sea, and they parted hither and thither, insomuch that the Israelites, who were our fathers, came through upon dry ground, and the waters closed upon the armies of the Egyptians and swallowed them up?



Ether 13 Moroni summarizes the teachings of Ether –

[7] 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.


Hebrew Book of Mormon Translation

Christians in the Book of Mormon

The English Book of Mormon uses the term “Christian” four times. See Alma 46:13, 15, 16 & Alma 48:10. (There is also a reference to Christian Whitmer, a nineteenth century witness to the Book of Mormon plates.) This usage is well and good for English speakers.

A challenge is that “Christian” is derived from the Greek word “Christos” which means “anointed one.” The ancient Book of Mormon people were almost certainly unfamiliar with Greek. Rather they spoke Hebrew, or a modified version of Hebrew. They wrote in reformed Egyptian. Instead of a phonetic term for “Christian,” they would have probably used the equivalent Hebrew title “follower of the Messiah.” (לַתַּלְמִידִים מְשִׁיחִיִּים)

– Tom Irvine

The Purpose of Baptism

3 Nephi 30

[1] Hearken, O ye Gentiles, and hear the words of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, which he hath commanded me that I should speak concerning you, for, behold he commandeth me that I should write, saying:

[2] Turn, all ye Gentiles, from your wicked ways; and repent of your evil doings, of your lyings and deceivings, and of your whoredoms, and of your secret abominations, and your idolatries, and of your murders, and your priestcrafts, and your envyings, and your strifes, and from all your wickedness and abominations, and come unto me, and be baptized in my name, that ye may receive a remission of your sins, and be filled with the Holy Ghost, that ye may be numbered with my people who are of the house of Israel.