Two “Sticks”

Two “Sticks” February 11, 2018

 

Beddes, seminary illustration
The prophet Ezekiel, holding the record of Judah and the record of Joseph
(LDS Seminary image by Lyle Beddes)

 

A few more notes from John W . Welch, et al., eds., Knowing Why: 137 Evidences That the Book of Mormon Is True (American Fork: Covenant Communications, 2017):

 

“Why Is There a Need for the Testimony of Two Nations?” (134-135)

 

At 2 Nephi 29:8, Nephi speaks of the Book of Mormon and the Bible as representing the testimonies of two nations:

Wherefore murmur ye, because that ye shall receive more of my word? Know ye not that the testimony of twonations is a witness unto you that I am God, that I remember one nation like unto another? Wherefore, I speak the same words unto one nation like unto another. And when the two nations shall run together the testimony of the two nations shall run together also.

This is very reminiscent of the familiar passage of Ezekiel 37:15-17:

15 ¶ The word of the Lord came again unto me, saying,

16 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:

17 And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand.

Latter-day Saints have traditionally taken these two “sticks” to be writing tablets, representing the Bible and the Book of Mormon.  The former is predominantly a record of the southern kingdom of Judah (after the collapse of the united monarchy of David and Solomon) and the latter can be seen, since Lehi was from the tribe of Manasseh, as a record of the northern kingdom.

Most traditional commentators have seen the “sticks” simply as representing the southern kingdom of Judah and the northern kingdom of Israel, ultimately to be reunited.

But this isn’t an either/or.

The idea that the Bible and the Book of Mormon would come together in the Lord’s hand is in no way incompatible with the actual reunification of Judah and Israel.  On the contrary, it would seem to be part of that process, which is the gathering of Israel:

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.  (Ezekiel 37:22)

 

 

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