Who Are We?
~ Who Are the Latter-day Saints? ~
! Hoorah, Hurrah, Harrah for Israel** !

prepared by Don R. Hender

     Perhaps mostly to the default perceptions and declarations of those who are anti-Mormon, the world has very little understanding as to exactly who we as the Latter-day Saints are. Even we most frequently will only go as far to introduce ourselves as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. But that only presents us as just another Christian church and religion. And the enemies of the 'Mormon Church' make quick work of that to the gullible and ignorant who will believe anything 'bad' which is stated about someone or some group with whom they are unacquainted with and know virtually nothing about. Thus I would like to take a different approach and that is to state up front and foremost just who we as Latter-day Saints are.

The short of it is that we hold to the fact that we represent those who are a remnant of Ephraim, the House of Israel and also those who are his companions. Or as it might be said in the book of Ezekiel, 'We are of the seed of Joseph, particularly of Ephraim and further all of the gathered house of Israel associated with Ephraim as Israel and all such of his companions who have joined themselves to them to become one with Israel. (Ezekiel 37:16) And in addition to the purpose of bringing about the 'Restoration of Jesus Christ's Church', we have been gathered and brought forth for the purpose of the fulfilling of the Covenant of Abraham unto the blessing of all the nations of the earth as to the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to the covenant of God which God made unto father Abraham, which was of those ancient promised blessings of the father from the beginning, even that Everlasting Covenant of the Plan of Salvation.

We are the only orgainized religion which has come forth by the power of God to enable all of God's children, past, present and future to receive of the blessings of God through and by way of the Gospel principles and ordinances of the Gospel of Jesus Christ unto the bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. And unto this end has the Church been established that by and through the work of the Lord's temples all his children may be blessed with the blessings of heaven.

Where other religions preach 'elitism', salvation for the few, that is them and theirs and none others; we teach and provide a means and way whereby all who ever have, do or will live to receive and obtain the blessings of God as promised to the fathers including Abraham with whom God has so covenanted that through his seed, including Jesus Christ, the world might be saved.

And though we will not accomplish all this prior to the Second Coming, we are laying the foundational preparations for Christ's Second Coming both in providing him a people and church of his own where unto he might come and begin his thousand year reign as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

And we exclude no one, but say to everyone, 'Come and join with us and learn of and follow the ways of the Lord.'

How Are We Doing This?

As not to overwhelm, let a brief statement of what is being done surfice. It is now scholarly recognized that the early Christian church established by Jesus and his apostles practiced such as baptism for the dead (1 Corinthians 15:29). Jesus taught that, 'Except a man be born of the water and of the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.' (Jesus to Nicodemus John 3) To this end such initial saving ordinances in behalf of the dead have been and are being performed in the LDS temples for our dead ancestors. Thus by such gospel priesthood ordinances being performed for the dead are the dead enabled to obtain these blessing according to their own agency of acceptance and compliance to living the gospel of Jesus Christ. And then they also may be judged according to men in the flesh at that great and last judgment day.

Wait says someone, you mean to tell me that everyone who ever has lived will at some time receive the blessing of baptism vicariously performed by a living person in their behalf? How can that be possible for all who have lived since Adam? Just what does one think members of Jesus Christ Church will be doing for that 1000 year Millennial day? Will they merely be playing harps and singing praises to God? NOT. They will do that but they will also be doing the Lord's work and the Lord's temples will be in operation endlessly over that course of time until that work is done that the words of Christ might be fulfilled to the benefit and blessing of all the children of God.

Now back to being of Joseph and Ephraim, that is being of Ephraim as Israel and his companions. It is through Abraham, Issac, Jacob and Joseph that the blessing of the fathers have remained, that is the covenant blessing of God the Father that salvation and exaltation would be provided through Jesus Christ our Savior (D&C 27:10). Those covenant blessings through Christ were promised to God's children before the foundation of the world. Then through such as Adam, Enoch, and Noah, and then through such as Abraham, Issac, Jacob and Joseph has those covenants and blessing been carried forward to the blessing of every nation, kindred, tongue and people. And thence by the birthright responsibility has it fallen upon the sons of Joseph by the adoption and blessing of Jacob upon the heads of Ephraim and Manasseh, Ephraim being the primary recipient, and upon whom the responsiblity has fallen to fulfill the covenant of Abraham to the blessing of every nation, kindred, tongue and people. (see Genesis 48 and JST Genesis 48)

This is a very candid and forth coming explanation of just who the Latter-day Saints are of the Church of Jesus Christ. We not only seek our own blessing and reward in the Heavenly Kingdom of God, but we by covenant obligation are also fulfilling the covenant of Abraham to the end of providing the blessings of God to every nation, kindred, tongue and people. A substantial number of the scattered remnant of Ephraim has been so gathered to even the fulness of the blessings being open to every nation, kindred, tongue and people. The kingdom has been cut out and is rolling forth and during that time and duration of the Lord's Second Coming and Millennial reign it will fill the earth to the blessing of all of mankind. That they may have the opportunity to the blessings of heaven pending their own exercise of personal agency and acceptance.

Hurrah for Israel! That is who we are, of Joseph the son of Jacob, which is of Ephraim as Israel and his companions of the latter day. Beyond seeking the blessings of God in our own behalf, we further seek them to be upon all of mankind, that is all of God's children. As agents of God, our intent is to serve Him in his cause and purpose of bringing to pass the immortality and eternal life of man (Moses 1:39).

** ISRAEL: Israel means to 'prevail with God' or 'one who has prevailed with/in God'. It was the name given to Jacob after his 'wrestle' with the Lord wherein he did prevail in obatianing the covenant blessings of the Lord. And thus all who have descended from Jacob has become know as the house of Israel. But that in itself it a limiting view of what it really means to be of 'Israel', that is to have prevailed in God. And where as the children of Israel are viewed as being the children of God or God's people, the concept of 'God's People' and those who have 'Prevailed in the Lord' goes all the way back to Adam and his children. Though the 'word' may not have been 'israel' in the Adamic language, the meaning and the concept was the same. That is there always has been those who are named and called as those People of God who have Prevailed in the Lord. Thus from the ends of the earth, from Adam to and through the final judgment there has been 'Israel', a people who has prevailed in the Lord. And though a times their numbers may have been few, such as in the days of Noah, they have always been and have always prevailed. Thus ALL who come unto Christ and Christ's Church and Kingdom are of Israel. They are all Israel and His Companions. 'Hurrah for Israel!'
rev. 2 October 2015