Just where exactly are the lost ten tribes?

Today’s gospel study is D&C 133:26-34 which has to do with the return of the lost Ten Tribes in the Last Days. I have always wondered from where they will return. Where exactly are the ‘North Countries’ on this earth? After much study I have come to the conclusion that the Ten Tribes are no longer on this planet and have not been for thousands of years. I don’t think I am the first to reach this conclusion. I have heard this many times over the years but never had a source until today. First the scripture:

“And they who are in the north countries shall come in remembrance before the Lord; and their prophets shall hear his voice, and shall no longer stay themselves; and they shall smite the rocks, and the ice shall flow down at their presence. And an highway shall be cast up in the midst of the great deep. Their enemies shall become a prey unto them, And in the barren deserts there shall come forth pools of living water; and the parched ground shall no longer be a thirsty land.

“And they shall bring forth their rich treasures unto the children of Ephraim, my servants. And the boundaries of the everlasting hills shall tremble at their presence. And there shall they fall down and be crowned with glory, even in Zion, by the hands of the servants of the Lord, even the children of Ephraim. And they shall be filled with songs of everlasting joy. Behold, this is the blessing of the everlasting God upon the tribes of Israel, and the richer blessing upon the head of Ephraim and his fellows.”

In connection with these wonderful prophetic verses, I today came across the following quote which is attributed to Joseph Smith. In it he clearly states that a planet will come alongside the earth, overtake it and then position itself in a stationary location over the north pole of the earth. At that point, there will be some sort of joining mechanism between the two planets, causing a highway to be established between them. Over this highway will come the Ten Tribes.

Can you imagine what will happen to the waters of the earth with the attraction of another planet over the North pole? I would hate to live North of any large body of water at that point. Think about it. There will be a worldwide catastrophic inundation as the water from the equatorial regions suddenly rushes to the Northern polar region. Imagine the water in the Gulf of Mexico. Where will it go? How about the water in the Mediterranean? Think of the great devastation that will cause as it travels Northward at a frightening speed.

Here is the quote:

“Now let me ask you what would cause the Everlasting Hills to tremble with more violence than the coming together of two planets? Scientists will tell you that it is not scientific: that two planets coming together would be disastrous to both; but, 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.

“And relative to the Great Highway which should be cast up when the planet returns to its place in the great Northern Waters, it will form a highway and waters will recede and roll back. 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. When this planet returns it will make the earth that much heavier, and it will then revolve slower.”

Source: The Last Days by Robert W. Smith, Pyramid Press, Salt Lake City Utah, 1947, p.130. The story took place at the home of Bishop Benjamin Brown in Nauvoo in 1843 or 1844. It was related to his son, Patriarch Homer M. Brown of the Granite Utah Stake. Although it is not a firsthand account, it is consistent with other statements like this recorded by Orson Pratt and Parley Pratt, quoted in a previous post. They all stated that this was taught by Joseph Smith.