"The Mormon's Stick"

Johnie Edwards
Bloomington, Indiana

To try to prove that the Book of Mormon is part of God's plan, Mormons misapply Ezekiel 37:15-22. Mormons say the stick of Judah as mentioned in this reference refers to the Bible and the stick for Ephraim refers to the Book of Mormon. Neither application is correct.


I. A False Assumption. It is assumed that the word stick as used in this passage means book. In fact book or books are not even mentioned in this passage. The word stick is from the Hebrew word ets and means, "Wood especially of a wooden post, stake, gibbett." This Hebrew word is used many times in the Scriptures. It is translated a number of times "tree" and several times it is translated "wood" - but is never translated book!

II. No Command to Write a Book. For the life of me, I cannot understand how the Mormons get the writing of a book out of this passage. There is no command to write a book or even a volume of words He was to write on one stick for Judah and on the other for Joseph.

III. A Historical Background. When God led the twelve tribes out of Egypt into Canaan, He made them one nation. Israel became dissatisfied with God's way or ruling the land by judges and desired a King to be like the nations about them. God gave them a King in the person of Saul. Saul disobeyed God and was rejected from being king. After Saul came David and then Solomon. Because of the sins of Solomon, God decided to remove the people from Him, yet not all, for the sake of David. Therefore, when his son, Rehoboam, came to the throne the people rebelled, all except Benjamin and Judah. These that continued allegiance to Rehoboam were called after "Judah." The remaining tribes who turned to Jereboram were called"'Ephraim" (Isa. 7:8--9; Isa. 9:84; Hos. 4:16-17; Hos. 5:3; Hos. 9:3).

IV. Meaning of the Sticks. The two sticks of Ezekiel 37 represent the two nations of Judah and Ephraim. Ezekiel was to join them together, thus signifying that in the return from captivity they should no longer remain two nations but should become one again. This is exactly what Ezekiel said. "Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, for Judah and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions. And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand. And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying, Wilt thou not skew us what thou meanest by these? Say unto them, Thus said the Lord; Behold I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand. And the sticks whereon thou writest shall be in thine hand before their eyes. And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God: Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all" (Ezek. 37:16-22).

V. The Book of Mormon Refutes the Mormon Theory. The Mormons have a lot to say about the North American Indians. According to the Book of Mormon, the North American Indians are not descendants of Ephraim, but of Manasseh. "I am Amulek: I am the son of Giddonah, who was the son of Ishmael, who was a descendant of Aminadi; and it was the same Aminadi who interpreted the writing which was upon the wall of the temple, which was written by the finger of God. And Aminadi was a descendant of Nephi, who was the son of Lehi, who came out of the land of Jerusalem, who was a descendant of Manasseh, who was the son of Joseph, who was sold into Egypt by the hands of his brethren." (Alma 10: 2-3). The claim that the book of Mormon is the "Stick of Ephraim" is false according to their own witness!

VI. The Book of Mormon Is not Inspired. Latter Day-Saints say that the Book of Mormon is inspired, but according to the book itself, the Book of Mormon is not inspired. "Yea, I make a record in the language of my father, which consists of the learning of the Jews and the language of the Egyptians. And I know that the record I make is true; and I make it with mine own hand; and I make it according to my knowledge (emp. mine, JE)" (1 Nephi 1:2-3). When one writes according to his own knowledge, this is not inspiration!

May 1969