I received, from a Mormon friend, a letter which included the following paragraph:
"The Book of Mormon is a second record which confirms and enriches the teaching of the Bible. Now, as Ezekiel (37:19) stated, the stick of Judah (Bible) has been joined with the stick of Joseph (Book of Mormon). Lehi, the prophet who was led by the Spirit to leave Jerusalem, was a direct descendent of Joseph."
How can I address this issue with this gentleman?
Im always surprised that they dont come up with something original. The Ezk. 37 quote is tired and untrue. What you need to do is simply go to that quote and read it in context.
" The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying,
16 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:
17 And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand.
18 And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying, Wilt thou not shew us what thou [meanest] by these?
19 Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which [is] in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, [even] with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand.
20 And the sticks whereon thou writest shall be in thine hand before their eyes.
21 And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land:
And 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:"
This scripture explains itself. It is not a prophecy about two books, but two kingdoms. The Divided Kingdom (Israel and Judah) are promised to one be gathered together by the Lord and become, once again, one nation. That began in 1948 with establishment of the modern state of Israel and continues to this day.
Most of the outrageous scripture twisting of Mormonism comes down to this kind of in-context explanation.
Hope this helps.