We really love your site and have been a subscriber for years. Thank you for the kind service you render to those of us seeking answers. My question…My husband, (I am his second wife) has several children in the tribe of Ephraim. He has one daughter who is of the tribe of Manasseh. He is wondering why that would happen and what the responsibilities, blessings, and patriarchal blessing are of the tribe of Manasseh. Also, when someone is adopted into a tribe does it always or sometimes state that the person is being adopted into the tribe. Thanks for your help.
Shirley & CL
Dear Shirley and CL,
President James E. Faust has shared some excellent insights about patriarchal blessings. He mentions families just like your own where some are of Ephraim and some of Manasseh.
“Since families are of mixed lineage, it occasionally happens that members of the same family have blessings declaring them to be of different lineage. There has been an intermixture of the tribes one with another. One child may be of Ephraim, another in the same family of Manasseh, Judah, or one of the other tribes. The blood of one tribe, therefore, may be dominant in one child and the blood of another tribe dominant in another child, so children from the same parents could belong to different tribes.”
Like Ephraim’s descendants, the tribe of Manasseh is heir to all the blessings and obligations given to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. A study of those patriarchs will show that regardless of which tribe you fall in, your blessing is bounteous. Studying Manasseh specifically, you will find that he is often mentioned in company with his brother Ephraim. Even centuries later, he is still mentioned alongside his sibling. The latter day duty of Manasseh is probably best described by Moses as he blessed the tribe of Joseph: “[Joseph’s] glory is like the firstling of his bullock, and his horns are like the horns of unicorns: with them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth: and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh.” (Deuteronomy 33:17, see 13-17).
Along with Ephraim, Manasseh is responsible to gather the other tribes. Ephraim is to head up this great work, but Manasseh is to roll up his sleeves and be there at his side. As Manasseh does this, he will reap the blessing of the patriarchs with visible results. This grand outpouring of bounty is a sign of the times. The children of Lehi (a famous Manassehite) will prosper as proof that the Lord is speeding His coming. “But before the great day of the Lord shall come, Jacob shall flourish in the wilderness, and the Lamanites shall blossom as the rose” (D&C 49:24).