In a, devotional address to LDS college students in September 2017, President Nelson said in, reference to Ezekiel 37,“When the bible and the triple combination were first bound in one book, we felt that this amazing prophecy had been fulfilled. Now, most of you have all of those scriptures ‘bound as one’ in your telephone.”
He said, “My beloved brothers and sisters, we love the Holy Bible,” “It’s the word of God. And we love the Book of Mormon… Indeed, it is ‘another testament of Jesus Christ.’ These two books are companions. We hold them together – bound as one – as foretold long ago by prophets of God.”
President Nelson is referring specifically to Ezekiel 37:16-17, which says, “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.”
The LDS teach that these verses are speaking of two sticks which are the Bible or the stick of Judah, and the Book of Mormon or the stick of Joseph. They believe these two records have now been joined together, constituting a complete fulfillment of a great prophecy spoken of in 2 Nephi 3:12.
Because Scripture interprets Scripture, we can learn what the “sticks” are. The idea that the two sticks in Ezekiel 37:22 refer to the Bible and the Book of Mormon is made impossible by the verses that follow. Verse 22 states, “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.” Obviously the “sticks” are not the Bible and the Book of Mormon; they are two nations, or two kingdoms.
If the LDS prophets, are going to use specific verses as a proof text they had better know the background, setting and circumstances.
After Solomon died the nation of Israel split in two. The Southern Kingdom was known as Judah and the Northern Kingdom was called Israel, or sometimes Ephraim. In 722 B.C. Israel was taken into captivity by Assyria, and in 605 Judah was taken into exile by Babylon.
Ezekiel 37:18-28 clearly shows that the uniting of the “sticks” pictures God’s restoring and reuniting His people, once again, in the land as a single nation (Hosea 1:11).
Besides, wasn’t the Book of Mormon supposedly written on golden plates? You can’t bind metal plates around a stick!
The Lord told Ezekiel precisely what to write on the two sticks, and it was not “the Bible” on one and the “Book of Mormon” on the other. If that was the case, then Ezekiel would be the author of the Book of Mormon. Rather, he only wrote a few words. He was told in Verse 16, to write upon the stick, for Judah, then take another and write upon it, for Joseph, the stick of Ephraim.
Many times, in Old Testament history, sticks, rods, and staffs were used by the children of Israel to write their tribe names and genealogy upon. That is likely the case in Ezekiel 37.
Oh, and another problem: the Book of Mormon in Alma 10:3 claims to be the record of the descendants of Manasseh, NOT Ephraim.