A lady with an LDS background wrote:
Talking about tribes (the Danites in your series, Hell on Earth) what is the origin of the tribe issue, the missing tribes that went North.
LDS people in Missouri await their arrival. Why does the church, or some members, make an issue of tribes? My Patriarchal Blessing states I am of the tribe of Ephraim, as are most LDS members.
When Jacob wrestled with and overcame an Angel he was told his name would be changed to Israel which means “to prevail as God.”
He later had twelve sons who became known as the “Sons of Israel.”
The posterity of these sons then became very numerous and became known as the Tribes of Israel or the “Twelve Tribes.”
The twelve tribes eventually divided into two groups. One was formed of the tribe of Judah, who became the Jews, and Joseph. The remaining ten tribes formed the other group.
The ten tribes eventually mysteriously disappeared from history and no one knows where they went. There is all kinds of speculation. Some think they are on another planet that was separated from the earth. Some think they are under the earth and others think they are scattered among us.
Here is an apocryphal scripture telling about their journey to an unknown land:
“These are the ten tribes which were led away captive out of their own land in the days of Josiah [Hoshea] the king, which (tribes) Salmanassar the king of the Assyrians led away captive; he carried them across the River, and (thus) they were transported into another land. But they took this counsel among themselves, that they would leave the multitude of the heathen, and go forth into a land further distant, where the human race had never dwelt, there at least to keep their statutes which they had not kept in their own land. And they entered by the narrow passages of the river Euphrates. For the Most High then wrought wonders for them, and stayed the springs of the River until they were passed over. And through that country there was a great way to go, (a journey) of a year and a half; and that region was called Arzareth. There they have dwelt until the last times.” 2 Esdras 13:39-47
Here is awitness who said Joseph stated they were under the North Pole:
Other questions were asked when Brother Clayton was not present, one of which I will relate: I asked where the nine and a half tribes of Israel were. “Well,” said he (Joseph), “you remember the old caldron or potash kettle you used to boil maple sap in for sugar, don’t you?” I said yes. “Well,” said he, “they are in the north pole in a concave just the shape of that kettle. And John the Revelator is with them, preparing them for their return.” (Benjamin F. Johnson, My Life’s Review, pg 93)
Here is another story giving another slant:
Joseph Smith on the Ten Tribes
Will you give us some light and explanation of the 5th verse on page 386 of the Hymn Book, which spake of the Ten Tribes of Israel, or part of this earth which forms another planet according to the Hymn of Elisa R. Snow?
Yes, Sir, I think I can answer your question.
Sister Elisa R. Snow in visiting my grand parents was asked by my grandmother: “Elisa, where did you get your ideas about the lost tribes being taken away as you explained it in your wonderful Hymn on page 386 of the Hymn Book?” She answered as follows: “Why my husband, the Prophet Joseph Smith, told me about it.”
“Have you any other information that your grandfather ever gave you as contained in any conversation with the Prophet Joseph Smith?”
“I Have. One evening in Nauvoo, just after dark, somebody rapped at the door very vigorously. Grandfather said he was reading the Doctrine and Covenants. He rose hastily and answered the summons at the door, where he met the Prophet Joseph Smith. He said ‘Brother Brown, can you keep me overnight, the mobs are after me.’ Grandfather answered, ‘Yes Sir, it will not be the first time. Come in.’ ‘All right,’ the Prophet said, shutting the door quickly. He came in and sat down. Grandmother said, ‘Brother Smith, have you had your supper?’ ‘No,’ he answered, ‘I have not. ‘So she prepared him a meal and he ate it.
“Afterward they were in conversation, and the Ten Tribes were mentioned. Grandfather said, ‘Joseph, where are the Ten Tribes?’ He said ‘Come to the door and I will show you. Come Sister Brown, I want you both to see.’
“It being a starlight night the Prophet said, ‘Brother Brown, can you show me the Polar Star.’ ‘Yes Sir,” he said pointing to the North Star, ‘There it is.’ ‘Yes, I know,’ said the Prophet, ‘but which one? There are a lot of stars there.’ Grandfather said, ‘Can you see the points of the Dipper?’ The Prophet said, ‘Yes.’ ‘Well,’ he said ‘trace the pointers,’ pointing up to the largest star. ‘That is the North Star.’
“”The Prophet answered, ‘You are correct. Now,’ he said, pointing toward the star, ‘do you discover a little twinkler to the right and below the pole star, which we would judge to be about the distance of twenty feet from here?’ Grandfather answered, ‘Yes, Sir.’ The Prophet said, ‘Sister Brown, do you see the star also?’ Her answer was, ‘Yes, Sir.’ ‘Very well then,’ he said, ‘let’s go.’
“After re-entering the house, the Prophet said, ‘Brother Brown, I noticed when I came in that you were reading the Doctrine and Covenants. Will you kindly get it?’ He did so. The Prophet turned to the 133rd section and read commencing at the 26th verse and through the 34th verse. He said, after reading the 31st verse, ‘Now let me ask you what would cause the everlasting hills to tremble with more violence than the coming together of two planets – and that planet whereon they reside to this earth?’
“‘Now’ he said, ‘scientists will tell you that it is known science that two planets coming together would be disastrous to both; which would be perfectly correct if they met head-on from opposite directions. So when two planets or other objects are traveling in the same direction and one of them with a little greater velocity than the other, it would not be disastrous because the one traveling faster would overtake the other. Now what would cause the mountains of ice to melt quicker than the heat caused by the friction of the two planets coming together?’ And then he asked the question. ‘Did you ever see a meteor that was not red hot? That would cause the mountains of ice to melt.’
“‘And relative to the great highway, when that planet returns to its place in the great northern waters, it will form a highway and the waters will recede and roll back.’ He continued, ‘Now as to their coming back from the Northern waters; they will, return from the North because their planet will return to the place from whence it was taken.’
“‘Relative to the water rolling back to the North: if you take a vessel of water and swing it rapidly around your head you won’t spill any, but if you stop the motion gradually, it will begin to pour out.’
“Now he said, ‘Brother Brown, at the present time this earth is rotating very rapidly. When this planet returns it will make this earth that much heavier and it will revolve slower and that will account for the water receding from the earth for a great while, but it has now turned and is proceeding eastward rapidly.’
“Did the prophet ever tell your grandfather about the city of Enoch being taken from the earth?”
“Yes, he did. He said that Enoch and his people kept so faithfully the laws of the Lord that they were translated – Not only Enoch and his people, but the great city also wherein they dwelt. And grandfather asked the question, ‘Brother Joseph, where was that city located? And the Prophet answered, ‘Where the Gulf of Mexico now exists, and the time will come when the mariner will say, there is no bottom to the Gulf of Mexico.’ And he said, ‘When that great piece of land was taken from the earth it created a vacuum and to the extent that it started water coming in to fill up that great space that is now known as the Gulf of Streams.’ The Prophet added, ‘In consequence of this great portion being taken away it naturally threw the earth out of balance. Now,’ he said, ‘when that comes back, that and the planet on which the lost tribes are, the earth will receive its equilibrium and will revolve as it naturally was.’
“‘Then, Brother Brown, this will fulfill the saying of the Prophet Jeremiah, Chapter 16, verses 14-15; also the sayings of the Prophet Nephi.'”
Brother Call, you have read the statement of Brother Brown concerning the Ten Tribes of Israel being upon another planet besides this?
Yes, I have heard my father relate the same regarding the Ten Tribes of Israel, and my father heard the Prophet make the statement that the Ten Tribes are on another planet, as related by Brother Brown.
Next the reader asked:
Why are the Danites picked to be the bad guys? I’m sure most of the Mormons that make up “the hit gang”, even to this day, are not Danites. So where did this designation come from?
The Danites were named after the tribe of Dan. Jacob gave him this mysterious blessing:
Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel. Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward. Genesis 49:16-17
Because it sounds like the descendants of Dan will be destroyers Dan is often viewed in a negative light. He is left out of the Twelve Tribes in the Book of Revelation and replaced by Joseph’s son Manasseh. Legend has it that this was done because the antichrist would descend from Dan.
The Danites were formed in the midst of great persecution as a means of self preservation. Because they were to fight the enemies of the church they were called Danites.
How involved Joseph was with is group is a mystery. It appears that he was aware of it and possibly approved it in the beginning, but then later publically condemned them.
Whatever the case a skeleton form of the Danites appears to have continued until the Mormons settled in Utah. It seems that the destroying angel idea died with the famous Danites, Porter Rockwell, John D Lee and Bill Hickman.
A little known piece of trivia is that the creation of the sinister villain from Sherlock Holmes, Professor Moriarty, was inspired by stories of the Mormon Danites.
There is lots of information about the Danites on the Web. Much of it is distorted but Wikipeadia gives as good a presentation as any at:
The readers then says:
The mean part of LDS history has always discouraged me…
Most every movement has its dark spots, including our own country. How much of Jarman’s book is true is difficult to say but the evidence indicates that some severe abuse did occur. It is interesting today that the Mormons are a fairly mellow bunch who are fairly harmless and mostly unaware of anything negative in their history.