Ephraim refers to the descendants of Ephraim who are part of the ten lost tribes of Israel. However, they aren’t completely lost. Joseph Smith taught the descendants of Ephraim are mostly living in “England and those old countries.” (Joseph Smith Foundation) Likewise, Brigham Young taught the sons of Ephraim are “the Anglo-Saxon race.”(Journal of Discourses) Most members of the Church have been declared part of the tribe of Ephraim through their patriarchal blessings, but many have not, especially people with Jewish, Polynesian or Native American ancestry. Some members, especially black members, were not given any tribe when they received their patriarchal blessing.
Everyone will have an equal opportunity to receive the full blessings of the gospel. It does not matter whether or not they are literal or adopted into the tribe of Ephraim. Early members believed Ephraim had special responsibilities and blessings, but recent revelation has revealed this is not the case. No race has priority over any other race nor does any race have additional responsibilities or blessings. While literal and adopted descendants of Ephraim will indeed be crowned with their blessings in Zion if they are faithful, so will every other person under the exact same conditions and with the same priority. God is no respecter of persons.
There is no reason to be singing that Ephraim will be crowned when we all have that capability. There are members of the Church that believes God favors Ephraim over other members of the Church. By singling out Ephraim, we reinforce their racist beliefs. People who are not part of the tribe of Ephraim could feel less valued and isolated from everyone else. People who are not members of the Church could think we value Ephraim more than other people. Especially as we seek to internationalize the Church, we should avoid singling out one group of people for praise.
Since it isn’t a central theme to song, it should be easy to modify. Perhaps we could change it to:
AndAlternative for “The Spirit of God”
Ephraimwe shall be crowned with hisour blessing in Zion
Here is a segment of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing “The Spirit of God” at General Conference:
Here is the link to the full lyrics:
Here is the link to leave feedback for the hymns: https://lds.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_2m20pSAlCEcevVb
What do you think? Should we edit the hymn? Should we get rid of it? Should we leave it as is? Let us know in the comments below: