A collaborative effort to join the worlds of JRR Tolkien & Joseph Smith

Who Are The Gentiles?

I’m convinced the dwarves are the Gentiles. Surprised? I was.

First, a little background: I’ve been trying to solve the mystery of 2 Ne 27 for several years now. I had a dream several years ago where someone handed me a book of sorts. It was more like a case that had a thick stack of unbound papers inside, but in the dream I perceived it as a book.

After opening the case I knew I was supposed to make sense of the pages inside but I had trouble reading the words. At the very bottom of the stack was a page that was clearly out of place. It had a folded corner and I knew that if I put that page in the correct order, the rest of the book would be made clear. Staring intently at the page I could perceive a faint silvery writing that would ebb and flow. All I could make out was “2 Nephi 27” before the writing disappeared.

At that point I realized it was best to put the out-of-place page back where it was and close the book. I figured it was best to wait until I could make sense of it before trying to put everything in order or else I’d risk getting something else out of place.

There was more to the dream but I think that’s the most relevant portion for this post.

So how does that relate to dwarves?

Gentiles feature heavily in the vision that 2 Ne 27 is part of. It’s difficult to make sense of anything there unless you also read 1 Ne 13-15; 2 Ne 26-33; 3 Ne 16; 3 Ne 20-21; and some portions of Mormon, Ether, and Moroni. Basically you have to read every part of the BoM that mentions the word “gentiles” to piece any of it together.

Gentiles Are Not A Catch-All

I’ve never had much luck with the effort until recently. The question came to me “who, exactly, are the Gentiles?” I had always thought that gentiles were a catch-all for anyone NOT of the house of Israel. That’s what I was taught growing up and I believe that idea is rooted in Christianity in general.

But there was a persistent idea that came with this question: gentiles are NOT a catch-all bucket. They are a specific group, or “house” if you prefer, much like the house of Israel is a specific group. That’s as far as I got with the idea for a good long while and I really couldn’t make sense of what group was out there that could fit.

As a tangent, I think the word “heathen” probably is the word in scripture that applies to the hordes of humanity that walk the earth. The hordes of humanity are, I think, pretty much all houseless, but Jesus promises to remember even them, to make it “tolerable” for them, whatever that means, but at the very least give them a place in the first resurrection if they also repent. But I am convinced the word gentiles does not apply to the hordes of humanity.

And then recently, much like the question and idea above about the gentiles, the answer came pretty much out of nowhere, meaning, I didn’t discover it I’m pretty sure. Someone put the answer in my mind: the gentiles are the dwarves.

The Case for the Dwarves As Gentiles

When Aule first crafted the dwarves, as told in the Silmarillion, Eru seemed to take exception to the effort. But quickly he came around and blessed Aule’s efforts. However, he did not claim the dwarves as his own. He instead said this:

I will not suffer this: that these should come before the Firstborn… They shall…not come forth until the Firstborn have awakened upon Earth… But when the time comes I will awaken them, and they shall be to thee as children; and often strife shall arise between thine and mine, the children of my adoption and the children of my choice.’

This wording has some pretty intriguing connections to the BoM.

1. Abraham’s Seed

The first is a promise to Abraham that “in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.” Abraham, in my view, is the very Aule mentioned in the Silmarillion. This promise to him is rather significant and also seems to be a reassurance to him that his children, while not Eru’s choice, do have promises and will bless all kindreds of the earth. That promise is important because no one wants to be a pity invite to a party, especially a party in heaven.

Something tells me the dwarves would need a way to come into heaven through the front door so that no one could be tempted to say they don’t belong or so the dwarves would not feel ashamed to be there as second-class citizens. And as the BoM shows us, they really do earn their place there because without the gentiles, the house of Israel cannot be redeemed. Their salvation depends on the gentile-dwarves.

2. Abraham’s Stone Children

There’s a verse in the New Testament that says:

God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

Luke 3:8

This statement was something of a rebuke to the house of Israel. I know we generally mistrust the Bible but there are two things about this statement that I think make it important to this discussion. First, the Silmarillion states that the dwarves are made of stone:

Aforetime it was held among the Elves in Middle-earth that dying the Dwarves returned to the earth and the stone of which they were made.

That information makes a lot more sense of Jesus’ claim that Abraham-Aule could make children out of stones if needed. But the real kicker comes from the book Words of Joseph Smith. In this book there is a report of Joseph saying the stones referred to in that statement by Jesus are none other than the Gentiles:

How do you know all this gr[eat] knowledge? by the gift of the H.G. arrested the kingdom from the Jews of these stony Gentils, these dogs to raise up children unto Abraham.

WJS p. 257

Joseph also seems to call them “dogs” which appears to be a reference to Jesus’ words to the woman whose daughter was possessed with a devil:

27 But Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it unto the dogs.

28 And she answered and said unto him, Yes, Lord: yet the dogs under the table eat of the children’s crumbs.

MArk 7:27-28

That’s probably enough Bible talk, but with Joseph Smith making such a clear tie between Gentiles and people made of stones (dwarves), I couldn’t resist adding it in.

3. Adoption

The second connection between Eru’s words to Aule and the BoM is Eru’s word-choice of “adoption”. This is a common word to use within Mormonism regarding how Gentiles are saved, by being “adopted in to the house of Israel”. While that word does not appear in the BoM, the concept does, since it is made clear that the Gentiles’ only hope of salvation is to be “numbered” among the house of Israel.

Turn, all ye Gentiles, from your wicked ways!

That ye may receive a remission of your sins, and be filled
With the Holy Ghost, that ye may be numbered with my people
Who are of the House of Israel

3 Nephi

There are other references too from Jesus’ address at Bountiful such as:

But if the Gentiles will repent and
Return unto me, saith the Father,
Behold they shall be numbered among my people, O House of Israel.

3 Nephi the-lesser-words-of-jesus

So there you have Eru’s “children of my adoption” getting adopted just like Eru said.

The dwarves own lore seems to validate this idea as well:

[Aule] declared to their Fathers of old that Ilúvatar will hallow them and give them a place among the Children in the End

Notice the wording “among”. You could interpret that as they get their own dwarvish identity and there are now 3 houses of Eru’s children. But based on everything above I think it’s clear that “among” here means within the existing houses of Eru’s children (i.e. among the Firstborn elves).

Coincidentally, I think Thingol probably understood this concept and his bringing some dwarves to live in his house to work on the silmaril was maybe a crude attempt at forcing the adoption issue before its time. It obviously did not end well for Thingol.

On the other hand, Gimli appears to be the first case of a successful dwarf adoption. Being granted passage to Eressea after the events in The Lord of the Rings is no small thing and I think is essentially the first case of a gentile-dwarf being adopted into the house of Israel. This event is considered extremely odd and shrouded a bit in mystery:

We have heard tell that Legolas took Gimli Glóin’s son with him because of their great friendship, greater than any that has been between Elf and Dwarf. If this is true, then it is strange indeed: that a Dwarf should be willing to leave Middle-earth for any love, or that the Eldar should receive him, or that the Lords of the West should permit it. But it is said that Gimli went also out of desire to see again the beauty of Galadriel; and it may be that she, being mighty among the Eldar, obtained this grace for him. More cannot be said of this matter.

The reason I highlight the word strange is because that is a word used to describe the work at the end of days such as “my act, strange act, and perform my work, my strange work”. I also think it’s curious to say that “more cannot be said” about Gimli going back. It could be that whoever reported this strange thing simply didn’t know more about it. Or it could be that it was something they were told not to write more about.

4. First & Last

Another clean tie-in is the concept of first being last and last being first. You see that concept in Eru’s words to Aule. He is clear that his Firstborn are not to be removed from their place and Aule’s children can’t just tag along or supplant them. They have to wait their turn. The same language is used regarding the Gentiles in the BoM:

[Jesus] shall manifest himself unto all nations, both unto the Jews
And also unto the gentiles; and after he has manifested himself unto
The Jews and also unto the gentiles, then he shall manifest himself unto
The gentiles and also unto the Jews, And the last shall be first,
And the first shall be last.

2 Nephi

Jesus makes clear, however, that he only manifests himself to the Gentiles through the Holy Ghost, and not in person like he did with the children of his choice. But here we see the reversal of Eru’s initial demand that Aule’s children wait their turn, and in the end, the dwarves get a chance to go first in receiving the fullness of the gospel.

5. New Jerusalem

There is also a prophecy that at the end of days, the dwarves will assist in rebuilding the world.

“Then [the dwarves] part shall be to serve Aulë and to aid him in the remaking of Arda after the Last Battle.”

We see something very similar in the BoM with the gentiles assisting in the building of the New Jerusalem:

And they shall assist my people, the remnant of Jacob,
And also as many of the House of Israel as shall come, that they may
Build a city which shall be called the new Jerusalem.

3 nephi the-lesser-words-of-jesus

As a final note, I think this reference in D&C 45 might refer to the silmarils that Gimli and Galadriel teamed up to make:

And when the times of the Gentiles is come in, a light shall break forth among them that sit in darkness, and it shall be the fulness of my gospel;

D&C 45:28

What Are The Implications of Dwarves Being Gentiles?

There are a lot of them. Too many for this post but I hope to explore them more in some follow up posts. For now, I’ll just say that all of the BoM prophecies about the gentiles would need a fresh reading to see how this fits. I’ve done it, and after doing so it’s hard for me to see it the old way. There is one verse in section 109 that is a little hard to reconcile with this idea, but I don’t know how much stock I put in that section anyway since that verse seems to contradict others in the D&C (speaking contextually). Or possibly I am just misreading it.

But here are some highlights of the implications, in no particular order:

  • the early Mormons were supposed to seek out and preach to the gentile-dwarves, not the remnant, and the dwarves are the ones who will go to the promised land, scatter the remnant, and THEN receive the fullness which will inspire some of them to repent.
  • in the days of Joseph Smith, the dwarves were still here on our globe somewhere, deep in mines, no doubt.
  • the dwarves, I believe, already have the BoM and have already scattered the remnant. Now they need the fullness of the gospel to be given to them so they can repent. If I’m right, that means the early Mormons who were called to preach to the gentiles (dwarves) succeeded in their mission and that means part of the prophecies regarding the gentiles/remnant is complete. If not, then that obviously still needs to happen first. Some group of people will need to find the dwarves and give them the BoM after which the dwarves will scatter the remnant. But I will show in another post that I believe that has already been done.
  • the promised land of the remnant is not the US or North America, it’s a celestial body outside of our globe (borrowing from someone else’s work on this idea, which I’ll add more detail on in another post, but having the gentiles as dwarves helps to back this idea up)
  • the remnant scattered by the gentile-dwarves is not the Native Americans or the people from Bountiful who saw Jesus in the flesh. The remnant consists of the descendants of those at Bountiful who have dwindled in unbelief and are currently mired in a state of blindness and war amongst themselves, unless they have already been scattered as mentioned above. If so, they are in a scattered state and need to receive the fulness of the gospel from the gentile-dwarves, some of whom repent after receiving the fulness themselves.

I think that’s a pretty good list to get us started.


Galadriel: Foil to Feanor, and Source of Silmarils 4, 5, and 6


The Curious Case of Thomas B Marsh


  1. Didn’t Tolkien explicitly say that the Dwarves were based on the Jews?

    • Leo E

      Good point William. Here are the two quotes I could find on the subject:

      From a letter: “I do think of the ‘Dwarves’ like Jews: at once native and alien in their habitations, speaking the languages of the country, but with an accent due to their own private tongue…”

      From an interview: “The dwarves of course are quite obviously, wouldn’t you say, that in many ways they remind you of the Jews? Their words are Semitic, obviously, constructed to be Semitic.”

      I assume he is comparing the dwarves to the ethnic group known today as “Jews”. However keep in mind that in the exploration here, that ethnic group is not the same “Jews” spoken of in the BoM. Those Jews instead are a house of Noldor elves sometimes born as man as Lehites. IOW, one could say the word “Jews” was appropriated by or assigned to the modern-day ethnic group long ago even though they aren’t really the original ancient Jews.

      Think of the word “indians” and how it can be used to speak of people from India or native Americans and yet they are not remotely the same group. Or people from Indiana could be known as Indianans, which over the long years may eventually become “Indians” such that thousands of years in the future one might hear the word “indians” and think of what today we would call Indianans or Hoosiers.

      Or imagine if Paris France were wiped from the map and over the course of the next 3,000 years, Paris Tennessee became a worldwide famous metro. People in the distant future would never think of Paris France if you said the word “Paris”. They would only think of Paris Tennessee.

      In other words, place-names and people-names can be adopted, appropriated, assigned, changed, etc. So I think Tolkien was comparing the dwarves to what is known today as “Jews” and not necessarily using that to signal they are the Jews of scripture.

      He could also be suggesting the modern day Jews’ ancient history perhaps has them connected to or influenced by dwarves in the long ago past, which is what influenced their modern language, etc to be dwarvish. So in that case you’d dwarvish knowledge going to a group called “Jews”, which actually is exactly what I am proposing in this narrative with dwarves being the gentiles as they are the ones who will deliver the fullness of the gospel to the ancient Jews.

      Not that those are the same event, but just that the flow of knowledge and information is the same.

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