1 Peter 5:8; “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour”.
We’re looking at a verse in the Book of Mormon that sits out of place, and out of context. It serves as a sign for us to be vigilant, and to watch out for the false teachers roaming the earth.
3 Nephi 17:3-4 “Therefore, go ye unto your homes, and ponder upon the things which I have said, and ask of the Father, in my name, that ye may understand, and prepare your minds for the morrow, and I come unto you again. 4 But now I go unto the Father, and also to show myself unto the lost tribes of Israel, for they are not lost unto the Father, for he knoweth whither he hath taken them.”
Today we have a few questions about the opening scene in 3 Nephi 17. Although the rest of the chapter needs serious attention, it’ll have to wait for another day!
One of the hot topics in Joe Smith’s day consisted of rumors, and speculations of who the ‘Ten Lost Tribes’ might be, and where they resided at the end of the Revolutionary War era. The subject matter had waned and peaked in strength for over a thousand years.
Like other coincidental history events in Smith’s BoM, rumors about the Lost Tribes made its debut as well. No doubt, for those living at the time, their introduction into Smith’s gospel narrative helped add to the story’s excitement.
With that in mind, here’s a list of our questions about the dubious scenario –
Why is this Jesus bouncing around from one place to the next with seemingly no set agenda, or purpose?
Does it seem reasonable that while Jesus was visiting the Nephites, He’d leave to visit ‘the Father’, and the ‘Lost Ten Tribes’, and then return the next day to visit the Nephites again?
If the BoM is a companion book alongside the Bible as the Church claims, where in the word of God can we find a similar story?
Does this scenario match up with anything the Bible says about the ‘Ten Lost Tribes’?
The tribes being ‘lost’ wasn’t actually a topic of discussion for hundreds of years, c. 700-800 AD.
Early church fathers, and historians like Josephus, all referred to them in the same manner the apostles did in the first century AD.
Another clue there’s something wrong is that it’s a standalone verse.
While there are several other verses that either mention the tribes directly, or indirectly, they too appear by themselves, and out of context of the surrounding narrative. See our short list of similar BoM references at end of article.
*Why didn’t Jesus mention any of the prophecies LDS leaders preached referring to the whereabouts of the tribes?
The list of where they could supposedly be found is long, and varied. Mormon leaders have surmised they were in the Gulf of Mexico, or on a highway through the Arctic Ocean. One theory had them flung off the earth’s surface altogether, and there they would stay there until Jesus fixed it. The latter was courtesy of Joe Smith. For a list of the wild theories and their references, see Galaxy Teachings of the LDS Church, and Ten Tribes Quotes.