Comments about ‘LDS Church posts topic page on Book of Mormon and DNA studies’

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Published: Friday, Jan. 31 2014 5:00 p.m. MST

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Henry Drummond
San Jose, CA

Trying to reconcile science and religion is seldom productive. You only shortchange both.

If you simply take the position that belief in the Book of Mormon is a matter of faith rather than of science then you can claim that DNA evidence is "irrelevant." Then you can move onto the message of the book which is far more interesting whether you believe in its historicity or not.

Far East USA, SC

"it says would make it unlikely scientists could detect the DNA of the people described in the Book of Mormon."

Wouldn't the scientists have to first find some of those people before DNA could be tested?

Phoenix, AZ

The church has bone fragments of Zelph designated by JS to be a Lamanite warrior why don't they reveal his DNA.

The Scientist
Provo, UT

This "defense" by the Church reminds me of my Scouting days. Scouts are known for sending the naive, innocent newbies on Snipe hunts. The assertions that there ever was Hebrew people's on the American continent is just a Snipe hunt writ large and baptized in snake oil.

After hundreds of years and absolutely no evidence of the peoples or civilizations mentioned in the Book of Mormon, and all the Church can muster is "you can't prove they weren't here! The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence!"

Right. Keep hunting those snipe, with faith and real intent...

San Diego, CA

I'm confused, maybe I've been reading it too literally I guess. To quote the church..."Although the primary purpose of the Book of Mormon is more spiritual than historical" Really I thought it was the most true historical account of an ancient race that dubiously existed apparently.

Ernest T. Bass
Bountiful, UT

Gosh I think it's so neat that DNA proves it's all true now.

Kirk R Graves
West Jordan, UT

@The Scientist
"After hundreds of years and absolutely no evidence of the peoples or civilizations mentioned in the Book of Mormon".

This statement confuses me. There are hundreds, even thousands, of historical and archeological evidences in support of the Book of Mormon. For someone to make that kind of statement they would have to intentionally hide their head in the sand.

I understand if someone chooses to not accept these evidences as "proof". It is basically impossible to prove something like the Book of Mormon to someone, but to claim there are no evidences at all is just plain false.

If what you meant to say is that there are no proofs of the Book of Mormon, I can accept that. Although, some of the evidences found are pretty close to proof, if someone has an open enough mind to accept the possibility.

Las vegas , NV

What about haplo group x found among certain groups of North American Indians?

Somewhere in Time, UT

DNA cannot prove anything based on migrations of people. DNA testing of living natives in the areas of the Fremont peoples of Utah show NO genetic link between the ancient Fremonts and the living so-called "descendants." In addition, there have been many lines that have disapeared over time. We'd need a genetic profile of Lehi and his family in order to know if their DNA has survived. In fact, there are different groups of Jewish people who cannot be connected through DNA to this day. So, those who claim that DNA can be used to disprove the Book of Mormon are completely wrong.

It is interesting to note, however, that there is a strain of DNA that matches up with middle eastern peoples found among the Maya of Mezoamerica.

What is the answer? I don't know, but I know their is one. Someday we will know it. Don't lose faith in the things you know because of the things you don't know. The Book of Mormon is true. I know this through personal revelation from God. I feel sorry for those who choose to discard their faith and use DNA to justify it.

American Fork, UT

The evidence isn't nearly as inconclusive as it is inconvenient. It doesn't matter, however, because when you're dealing in faith it's not like you're going to be subject to stringent examination. All it takes is a position paper or topic page to buy your way out of trouble.

Salt Lake City, UT

LDS church leaders have long said that ALL of the Native Americans were descendants of a group from Jerusalem who came over to what is now the Americas. To say now that other groups of people could be here, because DNA evidence proves that Native Americans are of northern Asian origin, is to impeach previous church leaders. So, the LDS church is impeaching the very leaders it claims are prophets. You can't be a prophet and be wrong about your religion - not even once - or you are not a real prophet.

Bob A. Bohey
Marlborough, MA

These types of pronouncements by the LDS church seriously undermine the credibility of the church. It is hard to take the church seriously on anything that it says is stands for when it makes these types of statements. It is hard to imagine that anyone, member or not can't realize this.

Hayden, ID

Once there were two men journeying down a path when they came upon a treasure chest. One man opened the chest and discovered priceless spiritual treasures inside and was thrilled with the insight, knowledge and spiritual truths he gained from the treasure. The other man refused to examine the treasure and only wanted to debate possible origins of the treasure chest and as a result he missed out on the meaning and purpose of the treasure. Which man was more "logical"?

Salt Lake City, UT

The BoM, like the Bible, is a religious document and not an ethnographic or population genetics study. Even a cursory knowledge of genetics will confirm that the issue is far more complex than testing a few samples. Those who look for external evidence are similar to those who look to the Pentateuch as a geology text and visa versa. Looking into a test tube for signs of Deity will assure missing the point as illustrated by some of the comments.

San Diego
Orem, UT

There is a lot of evidence that supports "Hebrew people's" on the American continent including artifacts with Hebrew writings and DNA evidence. A November article in the National Geographic Daily News states "Nearly one-third of Native American genes come from west Eurasian people linked to the Middle East and Europe, rather than entirely from East Asians as previously thought, according to a newly sequenced genome."

Casey See

Most DNA studies to determine origin and ancestry use the Mitochondrial (sp??) DNA which is the DNA that comes from the mother's DNA. There is no record of what trip if any that Sariah, and Ishmael's wife came from. Going back even further, Joseph one of Israel's 12 sons, married an Egyptian wife, so her DNA would be include in the DNA of descendants of Ephraim and Manasseh.

Mormon notes that there were very few pure descendants of Nephi when he was alive. Also, Nephi (brother to Laman) took with him, his sisters when he went into the wilderness. Very good possibility that these were the wives of Ishmael's sons, so they at least probably remarried native women.

Ishmael's descendants also became the kings of the Lamanites (see Alma 17).

Even during Jacob's time the Nephites were marrying more than one wife. Most likely these wives were from indigenous tribes not their daughters.

Don't forget that Mulek was just a young boy when he escaped Jerusalem. Many that came with him, most likely were not Jews, but Phoenicians.

How are you going to find Nephite DNA is this DNA soup.

truth in all its forms
henderson, NV

I really like the new direction the church is taking in answering the difficult questions of its history. The church no longer comes up with poor responses like black people cant hold the priesthood because of Cains mistakes, but instead it addresses controversial topics honestly by saying we were wrong some of the early leaders had racist ideas. I think its refreshing and a step in the right direction.

Danbury, CT

Two main ingredients for doing an accurate DNA test are missing here:

1- We don't have a base sample that is accurate - people that lived in 600 B.C. and who were taken out of their land to Babylon, with only a fragment returning (possibly with new DNA markers?).

2- The people of the Book of Mormon were only a small fraction of the total native population (starting with a small ship of 2 families) who mixed in with people of many other origins, maintaining their culture to some degree (since they were literate), but otherwise becoming completely absorbed and a significant portion gone by 420 AD.

I've been on my own to Central and South America and have taken non LDS tours of ancient sites. There's enough circumstantial evidence in my view to establish at least some of the claims of the Book of Mormon. It can't be proven there is NO evidence in my view. The attempt to prove DNA links are complicated and inconclusive at best given the 2 problems cited above.

Danbury, CT

So my experience directly contradicts that of "Scientist". There is some evidence of the civilizations mentioned and is actually quite easy to find on almost any visit to a Meso American or South American archeological site.

I cite one example: I had a guide at Teotihuacan quote an Ohio State professor stating that the language in use there had a semitic origin, that the people came from the sea and most likely another place. The signs at the site talk of the migration to Teotihuacan of a literate people joining an illiterate people approximately the same period of the Nephite migration mentioned in Mosiah 25 (120 B.C.); their government consisted of judges with a spiritual head and a political (judge) leader, same as in the book of Mosiah and Alma. Perhaps it isn't the same people, but the elements are there and in the same time frame.

You can't say therefore, there is no evidence of the people or civilizations described in the Book of Mormon.

Moreover, the book is enormously complex in its language and stories. Far too much to have been written by 1 man in the 19th century.

Add to that its endless spiritual value.

orem, UT

The Book of Mormon was never intended to be proven correct by scientific evidence any more than the Bible is. It would not seem rational to base any proof of truthfulness of either book on scientific evidence given that scientific evidence is only our best guesses based on what our current knowledge is. Scientific evidence changes when new knowledge is discovered.

It seems quite intellectually limited to jump to any conclusions ("snipe hunts" or otherwise) - for or against based on science.

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