Quotes on House of Israel

Anciently the Lord blessed Joseph, the son of Jacob, with the blessings of Abraham, which included a land of promise for his posterity.  His descendants were to receive an inheritance in the land of America.  (See Genesis 49:1–2, 22–26; Deuteronomy 33:13–17; 3 Nephi 15:12–13; 20:10, 14; Richards, Marvelous Work and a Wonder, pp. 63–66.)

Commenting on the rights of heirs, President Joseph Fielding Smith taught:  “Every person who embraces the gospel becomes of the house of Israel.  In other words, they become members of the chosen lineage, or Abraham’s children through Isaac and Jacob unto whom the promises were made.  The great majority of those who become members of the Church are literal descendants of Abraham through Ephraim, son of Joseph.  Those who are not literal descendants of Abraham and Israel must become such, and when they are baptized and confirmed they are grafted into the tree and are entitled to all the rights and privileges as heirs.” (Doctrines of Salvation, 3:246) Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual, p. 238

The House of Israel did not begin on this earth.  “Israel is an eternal people.  She came into being as a chosen and separate congregation before the foundations of the earth were laid.  She was a distinct and a peculiar people in the pre-existence, even as she is in this sphere.  Her numbers were known before their mortal birth, and the very land surface of the earth was ‘divided to the nations [for] their inheritance . . . according to the number of the children of Israel.’  (Deut. 32:8)  (Bruce R. McConkie, A New Witness for the Articles of Faith, pp. 510-11)

A major component of the Abrahamic covenant is that this premortal group of valiant spirits would be channeled through Abraham’s lineage.  Israel is a “group of souls tested, tried, and proven before they were born into the world. . . . Through this lineage were to come the true and tried souls that had demonstrated their righteousness in the spirit world before they came here.”  (Melvin J. Ballard, Crusader for Righteousness, pp. 218-19.) — The Church News, June 25, 1994, p. 11