Comments about ‘DNA solves a Joseph Smith mystery’

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Published: Saturday, July 9 2011 11:00 p.m. MDT

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Salt Lake City, UT

It is good to see LDS readers warming up to DNA evidence. Does this mean you will now become interested in what DNA tells us about the origins of Native Americans?

Polk City, Iowa

I only trust science and dna studies when it feels good. If they tell me something that doesn't sound right, I just feel "icky" and then i know they have a hidden agenda. My seminary teacher said Brodies book was basically pulled out of a hat.

When peoople compare Joseph Smith to Warren Jeffs, they are way out of line. They aren't alike at all!

Salt Lake, UT

@Michael De Groote
Thanks for the clarification. I'm glad to hear they used multiple sources descending from multiple sons to assure that the sample for Joseph Smith's profile was sound.

Hopefully they will gain the ability to do analysis not involving the Y chromosome in order to evaluate the possibility that Joseph Smith had daugthers from his polygamous marriages.

Salt Lake City, UT

Michael De Groote...(d-news) seems to 'protest too much' in his effort to discredit Fawn Brodie... seems desperate. The 'disinterested' and proper method by a credible journalist...would be to seek out an outside opinion on Sorensons biased mormon research... do it right... other wise it is an embarrassment...

Sarah Nichole
West Jordan, UT


"It's so much easier to belong to religeous groups who don't have controversy surrounding the progeny, wives, doctrines and revelations of their founders: Who aren't hounded out of communities, states and territories for breaking civil and Biblical laws. Whose artifacts don't disappear, whose heavenly visitors hang around for an interview, whose motives aren't impugned..."

That's kind of the entire point. It's not always easy to have faith. The Lord has said repeatedly throughout history that He will test His people. He will give them obstacles to their faith and He will put them through the refining fire. But, if you have a firm testimony of the restored gospel, which many of us on this board do, then those tests just don't matter.

Murrieta, CA

Mr. De Groote---While I am decidedly not a believer in JS, I appreciate you taking part in the followup discussion. I have always thought writers would have no interest in the comments because they devolve into prejudice-sharing rants (both ways) most of the time when it comes to the LDS church. Thanks again.

Provo, UT


"...a strong closet anti-Mormon..."?

What exactly is a "closet anti-Mormon"? Couldn't that describe just about every member of the LDS Church today?

Lambare, Paraguay

I just Know, Joseph Smith saw the Father and the Son, so he is actually a Prophet of God.
Thank you.

A voice of Reason
Salt Lake City, UT

"What exactly is a "closet anti-Mormon"? Couldn't that describe just about every member of the LDS Church today?"

No, just the ones who call themselves LDS, but yet find every possible reason to disagree with the LDS church on about every issue they can. Sound familiar? The idea that one has a testimony would include that they 'know' that it is true, and that revelation is true. Knowing that God has far greater 'skills' to reason, use logic, and have a perfect understanding of right and wrong.... makes it this simple-

There are those who have their testimony and decide to trust in God when even they don't always understand his reasons... and there are those who have their testimony, then dwindle away arguing against God's reasons. The reason people fight God is because it is easier to disagree and voice that die-hard opinion, than it is to consider... 'am I wrong?' or 'perhaps God knows more than I do about morality, etc'

Faith, as I see it, is about trusting God. Something many don't realize is that some people who voice loudly against things like gay marriage may have questioned it themselves, but used faith.

Cottonwood Heights, UT

This research says more about Fawn Brodie than about Joseph Smith.

The evidence continues to mount that Ms. Brodie is the charlatan, or at least an undisciplined researcher. So much for her emotional history and "read between the lines" research techniques she relied upon so heavily.

Michael De Groote

According to Ugo Perego, this DNA research was his own personal research and not by his employer Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation.

He said the John Reed Hancock case followed the same methodology he has used for other cases. For example, look at the Fall 2005 issue of the Journal of Mormon History for Moroni Pratt, Zebulon Jacobs and Orrison Smith and in the 2008 issue of the John Whitmer Historical Association Journal for Oliver Buell and Mosiah Hancock. Anybody can look at these articles and the tables with actual genetic profiles. You can see how the profiles were obtained, check the pedigrees, and judge how the analysis was performed. "In science," Perego said, "you are required to make these details known so that others can 'confirm biased findings...'" This is the type of information he said he will include in the article he is working on for the Mormon Historical Studies journal. So everything will be out there for people to look at.

Here is a link to a pdf of one article by Perego: http://bit.ly/qOtZZU

Mike W
Syracuse, UT

"It's so interesting that so much science is now adding more and more evidence to the truthfulness of the Gospel and the Book of Mormon and how much so-called science that disputed the Book of Mormon has now been shown to be wrong."

Funny, I was thinking just the opposite...

Polk City, Iowa

Andy said:

"This research says more about Fawn Brodie than about Joseph Smith."

Really? So your position is that he didn't have more than one wife? Are you a Reorg? Even most of them have given that up. If not lets have your list of possible kids.

"The evidence continues to mount that Ms. Brodie is the charlatan, or at least an undisciplined researcher. So much for her emotional history and "read between the lines" research techniques she relied upon so heavily. "

Are you aware that Fawn is Pres Mckay's granddaughter and had access to the church archives? Do you further know that Bushman had access to the archives and that although different in tone, both books are very similar in content?

Kudos on the "mounting evidence of a charlatan" though.

John Corrill
Independence, Mo

Hi Michael,

Based on some of the recent comments, many readers are still being misinformed by your article that "Brodie got it wrong" regarding the paternity of John Hancock.

Per our previous discussion where it was demonstrated that Brodie expressed "CONSIDERABLE RESERVE" about the idea of Joseph Smith being John Hancock's father, would you be willing to correct your article or post an addenda at the bottom of it to correct this?

John Corrill

Cottonwood Heights, UT

DNA can solve many things but what has it solved about Israelites in the Americas.

Normal Guy
Salt Lake City, UT

@ John Corrill

Very uncool to quote Brodie's book to discredit the author of the article but conveniently leave out key statements made by Brodie that were on the very page you quoted. Similarly, the article does not state that Brodie claimed Moroni Pratt was a descendant of Joseph as you mistakenly challenged. Rather, the article clearly indicates a descendant of Moroni's read the book an wanted to then find out about his lineage.

Abraham, Isaac and Jacob all had offspring from God-ordained polygamous relationships. My respect for Joseph Smith won't be changed if he is found to be in the same category.


Listen Up Brothers and Sisters: the DNA argument used in this preemptive defense of Joseph Smith and denial of Brodie's work is the sharpest of all swords against the LDS foundation: I quote "Thomas Murphy, (anthropologist, Mormon scholar, and DNA researcher), acknowledges the problem that the DNA evidence presents for the historical accuracy of the Book of Mormon. We [i.e., Mormons] are in a dilemma now, the genetic evidence shows clearly that American Indians are not Hebrews, they are not Israelites. The Book of Mormon is not true.


The DNA evidence cont'd: In excess of a hundred and fifty tribes have been tested now, these are scattered all over north and central and South America, even to Greenland. And from that survey, in excess of five and a half thousand individuals have been involved and have been tested, from those five and a half thousand, 99.4% of Native Americans have a mitochondrial DNA lineage that originated in Asia. There can be no question: 99.4%. The other 0.6% have either a European or an African mitochondrial lineage. The very tiny minority of European and African lineages that they do find came after Columbus. Currently on the available evidence theres nothing to suggest a [Native American Indian] relationship whatsoever with Israelites.
(Dr. Simon Southerton, Molecular Biologist)

Mike W
Syracuse, UT

"Abraham, Isaac and Jacob all had offspring from God-ordained polygamous relationships. My respect for Joseph Smith won't be changed if he is found to be in the same category."

So I can assume you have the same "respect" for Warren Jeffs and Phillip Garrido?

Clearfield, UT

Tragically, many Mormons are not even fully aware of the doctrines and history of their own church so when an article like this appears they grab onto it to support that their faith is justified while ignoring information that could make them question it. Does this specific DNA determination really matter when there is so much information out there that would make most people question the varacity of the LDS Church as a whole?

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