Source:Book of Mormon as Stick of Ephraim:Franklin D. Richards statement


Franklin D. Richards (1896): "Brother Joseph, how is it that we call the Book of Mormon the Stick of Joseph, in the hands of Ephraim, when the book itself tells us that Lehi was of the lineage of Manasseh?"

As cited in B. H. Roberts's 1909 New Witnesses for God, vol. 3

One day in the autumn of that year, (1843) as I was passing near, (the "Nauvoo Mansion") it being in warm weather, I observed the door standing open and the Prophet Joseph inside conversing with one of the brethren, leaning against the counter. It being a public house, I ventured to walk in, and scarcely had more than time to exchange usual civilities, when this brother said: "Brother Joseph, how is it that we call the Book of Mormon the Stick of Joseph, in the hands of Ephraim, when the book itself tells us that Lehi was of the lineage of Manasseh? I cannot find in it about the seed of Ephraim dwelling on this land at all."

Joseph replied: "You will recollect that when Lehi and his family had gone from Jerusalem out into the wilderness, he sent his son Nephi back to the city to get the plates which contained the law of Moses and many prophecies of the prophets, and that he also brought out Ishmael and his family, which were mostly daughters. This Ishmael and his family were of the lineage of Ephraim, and Lehi's sons took Ishmael's daughters for wives, and this is how they have grown together, 'a multitude of nations in the midst of the earth.'

"If we had those one hundred and sixteen pages of manuscript which Martin Harris got away with, you would know all about it, for Ishmael's ancestry is made very plain therein. The Lord told me not to translate it over again, but to take from Nephi's other plates until I came to the period of time where the other translation was broken off, and then go on with Mormon's abridgment again. That is how it came about that Ishmael's lineage was not given in the Book of Mormon, as well as Lehi's."'—Franklin D. Richards, The Contributor, Vol. XVII, p. 425.

Notes