Friday Forum: Adopted into the House of Lehi

JA Benson’s son, Tex, fills in this morning with today’s Friday Forum.

This scripture is from a revelation given to Nephi concerning his
descendants and the land Promised to Lehi.

1 Nephi 14: 1–2

And it shall come to pass, that if the Gentiles shall hearken unto the
Lamb of God in that day that he shall manifest himself unto them in
word, and also in power, in very deed, unto the taking away of their
stumbling blocks—

And harden not their hearts against the Lamb of God, they shall be
numbered among the seed of thy father
; yea, they shall be numbered
among the house of Israel; and they shall be a blessed people upon the
promised land forever; they shall be no more brought down into
captivity; and the house of Israel shall no more be confounded.

I was reading in the Book of Mormon and this particular scripture just
stood out to me. In my humble opinion, the meaning of 1 Nephi 14: 1–2
is all righteous Americans (North and South) are adopted into the
House of Lehi and numbered among his seed.  I have never heard
anything along these lines in any Sunday school or at any other place
in the scriptures. I was wondering if a greater scriptorian than me
could tell me anything more about this, or prove me wrong.

3 thoughts on “Friday Forum: Adopted into the House of Lehi

  1. Tex, I am not a greater scriptorian than anybody, but I think your reading of this is correct. I think the battle is really over what defines a “righteous” person. Is it only those who are baptized into the Church? This was a big issue for me when I was baptized, and nobody could really answer it to my satisfaction. There are plenty of good non-members and plenty of not-so-good members. So, does a good non-member not get numbered among the house of Israel?

    I have settled this for myself by saying there is a continuum and God will works things out fairly. All I can do is be the best I can be and things will work themselves out.

  2. I once read a US historian who guesstimated if your ancestors came to the US by the mid-1700′s you had a 50% chance of having some Native American ancestry. If your ancestors came to the US in the 1600′s it was 80% likely you had Native American ancestors. A lot of us are probably literal children of Lehi.

  3. All believers become _adopted_ into the “House of Israel (Jacob)” or “seed of Abraham” if they are not already a literal descendent. This concept is generaly understood by Christians (non-LDS) in general, and is well laid out by Paul in his letters to various churches comprised mainly of Gentiles.

    The LDS twist on this is that in addition to being adopted into the “House of Israel”, one is assigned an actual _tribe_, and this “assignment” (if not already a literal descendent) is revealed via one’s patriarchal blessing.

    Granted, one’s patriarchal blessing may not specifically state one way or the other whether the individual is a _literal descendent_ or is _adopted_.

    Another take on “numbered among the seed of thy father” may not indicate an adopted ancestry to Lehi, but rather an adopted grouping with Lehi’s descendents.

    “Gentiles” who join the church in the Americas are generally declared Ephraimites in their patriarchal blessing, and Native Americans are generally declared to be of Manassah. Both are under the overall tribe of Joseph, but it is believed that Lehi was of the 1/2 tribe of Manassah. I don’t think the BoM states whether Lehi was of Ephraim or of Manassah.

    Yet another take may be that due to the connection with the Book of Mormon, and modern members being known as “Mormons”, we become “Lehites” since Mormon was a Lehite and the spiritual successor of Lehi. The Book of Mormon is the story of Lehi’s seed, and it is that book, as the keystone of the church (or one of the four cornerstones, I forget which) that sort of defines us.

Comments are closed.