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Dear Gramps,

I have two questions about lineage as revealed to an individual in a patriarchal blessing.

First question: Is it necessary to have a tribe designated? Neither my husband nor I have a tribe of Israel designated in our patriarchal blessings. These blessing were give thousands of miles and many years apart long before we even knew each other. We are both told we are of the house of Israel but that is all. Is this adequate? If not, what do we need to do?

Second question: What is the difference between the blessings, assignments, etc. of the tribe of Ephraim and Manasseh? I have heard that during the Millennium, Ephraim will have the responsibility of missionary work while Manasseh will be charged with temple work. Do you know if this is correct? If so, do you know where I can find a reference regarding it? We have nine children and four are of Ephraim and five are of Manasseh. Because of this we are interested in knowing more about what the different tribe designations mean.

Thanks for you help.





Dear Cheryl,

It is common that the specific lineages within the house of Israel be given in patriarchal blessings. It would not be inappropriate to approach your stake patriarch and refer the question to him.

With regard to different assignments for the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh during the Millennium, I know of no scripture that make a distinction. All members of the Church are missionaries. Brigham Young said that “there is neither man or woman in this church who is not on a mission” (DBY 322). We further understand that all of our Father’s children will have the opportunity to hear and accept, if they will, the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ, either in mortality or beyond the veil. We read in D&C 90:11 that

it shall come to pass in that day, that every man shall hear the fulness of the gospel in his own tongue, and in his own language, through those who are ordained unto this power, by the administration of the Comforter, shed forth upon them for the revelation of Jesus Christ.

However, not every one in every nation will hear the gospel preached. But to all those who will not have had the opportunity to know the gospel in this life, it will be taught to them in the post-mortal spirit world. See D&C 138:31-32. Undoubtedly such a great task is not now nor will be restricted to the tribe of Ephraim.

Now the great work of the Millennium will be to provide for all the saving ordinances to be performed in holy temples for all those who accept the gospel in the spirit world following their mortal sojourn. Brigham Young declares that this great work is to be done by the seed of Abraham, not by only one of the tribes of Israel.

“As I have frequently told you, that is the work of the Millennium. It is the work that has to be performed by the seed of Abraham, the chosen seed, the royal seed, the blessed of the Lord, those the Lord made covenants with. They will step forth, and save every son and daughter of Adam who will receive salvation here on the earth; and all the spirits in the spirit world will be preached to, conversed with, and the principles of salvation carried to them, that they may have the privilege of receiving the Gospel; and they will have plenty of children here on the earth to officiate for them in those ordinances of the Gospel that pertain to the flesh” (DBY 403).

If we live faithfully, keeping the commandments, the Lord will direct our labors in the Kingdom through those who hold the keys of priesthood authority. If we respond to the requests for service from our bishops, quorum presidents and stake presidents, we may know that we will be on the Lord’s errand, doing what He would have us do to build up the kingdom of God on the earth and help to establish the cause of Zion.





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