The re-imagined Battlestar series ended last year, and the DVD came out this past summer. But I was thinking of it the other day when someone mentioned the lost ten tribes of Israel.
How did I get from Battlestar Galatica (BSG) to the lost ten tribes?
Well, as many MSP probably already know, the original 1970s Battlestar series was created by Glen Larson who was also mormon. Or, at least Glen used some mormon doctrine in its creation.
The believing blog Millenial Star describes what the (older) series has in common with mormonism. Not the least of which was kobol, an anagram of kolob.
I confess I never saw the original series back in the day. But with the updated version – I was hooked. The tension between trying to figure out who the enemy was – and how to face that enemy while still staying true to your beliefs – all fascinating topics. The series had great characters as well, particularly female characters.
Nonetheless, I was surprised when someone mentioned that the lost ten tribes of Israel were not only the ancestors of the Native Americans, but also that Joseph Smith was rumored to have said some were living on a distant star.
In all my years as an active LDS, I never heard anything like this. I remember hearing that the ten tribes were “lost”, and would eventually be reunited – but nothing about where they specifically were located. I did know that people received patriarchal blessings, and their tribe would be revealed there (most people I knew were from Ephraim).
It turns out that Joseph Smith was rumored to have said this – but it sounds to me like hearsay.
I found a good description of the rumor here at a website called “holy fetch” (a site debunking mormon faith promoting rumors by an active LDS member).
In thinking about the updated BSG series, it makes complete sense that one could use the “ten tribes on another planet” rumor/belief as a springboard for the story. The story line (I don’t think I’m giving too much away) is that there are twelve colonies who have escaped the destruction of their planet(s) and are trying to find their way back to Earth (home).
I haven’t been an active mormon for quite some time, and I still find myself surprised by some things that are doctrine (or rumored to be doctrine).
It’s just another reason for some sort of official review of these types of things where it would be clear that something is doctrinal, and something was just Joseph Smith “speaking as a man”.
In this instance, I don’t think an apology is necessary – just some clarification.
If nothing else though, it definitely spawned a great television series…