It has come to my attention that members of the the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), or more commonly known as Mormons, receive what is called a patriarchal blessing.

This "Patriarchal Blessing" is unique in that it is only given once in a person's lifetime and it divulges information about their pre-existing life, their strong talents, the challenges that they will face throughout their lifetime on Earth, what their individual purposes/roles in life are, stating which tribe of Israel they belong to by lineage, and special blessings that are to come, which are contingent on their obedience and living life in accordance to their commandments. You can read more about Patriarch Blessings from their own website here: https://www.lds.org/topics/patriarchal-blessings?lang=eng.

But I'll cite directly from the website concerning what the Patriarchal Blessings says in regards to the lineage aspect of the blessing. :

Declaration of Lineage: A patriarchal blessing includes a declaration of lineage, stating that the person is of the house of Israel—a descendant of Abraham, belonging to a specific tribe of Jacob. Many Latter-day Saints are of the tribe of Ephraim, the tribe given the primary responsibility to lead the latter-day work of the Lord. Because each of us has many bloodlines running in us, two members of the same family may be declared as being of different tribes in Israel.It does not matter if a person's lineage in the house of Israel is through bloodlines or by adoption. Church members are counted as a descendant of Abraham and an heir to all the promises and blessings contained in the Abrahamic covenant (see Abrahamic Covenant).

Does it offend the Jewish community that Mormons claim that they are direct heirs of the House of Israel, and have full access to the Abrahamic covenant? Or do we, for the most part, shrug it off and say "to each their own. They can believe what they wanna believe"?

I'm not sure whether to feel like the are encroaching on my identity or to just smile and be flattered that they want to be from the House of Israel too?

Have any rabbis made any official statements regarding their reactions of the Mormon's claim to the House of Israel?

  • 2
    I doubt any official statement has been made about this. Jews generally aren't in the habit of officially denouncing every incorrect claim ever.
    – Double AA
    Commented Sep 21, 2016 at 0:38
  • 3
    While it might be offensive and insulting, it is not as bad as their pretending to "convert" deceased Jews. If they claim to be descended from Jews, then they are claiming to be mamzerim and subject to the death penalty as idol worshipers. Somehow, I do not think that this is what they have in mind when making this claim. Commented Sep 21, 2016 at 0:46
  • 2
    Why is this more offensive than any Christian or Muslim claiming that they are the real chosen nation and the Jews have been replaced?
    – user6591
    Commented Sep 21, 2016 at 0:58
  • 2
    @sabbahillel Even as non-Jews they are subject to the death penalty as idol worshipers. I don't know why people get worked up about this. They, like most people, do silly things. Moving on...
    – Double AA
    Commented Sep 21, 2016 at 3:07
  • 5
    This question seems to be (about Jews but) not about Judaism. I don't see how it's on-topic on this site.
    – msh210
    Commented Sep 21, 2016 at 5:31

1 Answer 1


Their claim to be Jews is more flattering, I should think.

So long as they don't deny the claims of (actual) Jews, then it would be "each to his own." The Catholic church and most normative Christians have a similar-enough claim (from a Jewish POV, they all claim to be the modern holders of the covenant), and no-one bothers to denounce their ideas these days.

On the other hand, I believe it's normative Mormon practice to refer to all non-Mormons, including Jews, as "Gentiles."

Note that while they say they descend from the "House of Israel" and Abraham, they don't specifically claim to be Jews themselves.

So, if their calling Jews "Gentiles" means they're claiming that only Mormons are the real Jews, it's offensive.

If, OTOH, "Gentile" is simply their nomenclature for "non-Mormon," then there's no more reason to be insulted by them than by most Christians.

Can someone get an authoritative Mormon source to clear this up?

P.S. Everyone I know finds their practice of post-mortem "conversion" offensive, but this Q isn't about that.

  • 1
    I don't find the conversion practice offensive
    – Dov F
    Commented Apr 22, 2018 at 19:12
  • Really? The only alternative I can think of is that it's too ridiculous to offend. Is that your view, or do you have another way of looking at it?
    – Jeffiekins
    Commented Aug 17, 2018 at 15:58
  • long time reader, first time poster, so the site won't let me reply to the other answer. Short story, that vernacular faded away in the early 70s, and has never been used in our scriptures (which refer to the Jews as Jews, members of the Church as the Tribe of Ephraim by adoption and or birth, and sometimes referring to the prophesied Jewish kingdom as Judah and the Church as Israel) As someone who was once seriously pursuing a path to conversion and who absolutely loves the Jewish people, I can tell you that the Latter Day Saint view of Judaism and Jews in general is one of immense respect, g
    – Michael
    Commented Feb 2, 2019 at 10:47
  • I believe you, so far as you speak about your own feelings. OTOH, in the late 80's, I attended corporate training and shared an apartment with a fellow from SLC in his 20's. He was unfailingly polite, and it was clear from his tone and manner that he meant nothing negative by it, but it was the only time anyone ever called me a "gentile."
    – Jeffiekins
    Commented Jun 24, 2019 at 22:50

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