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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Esquire
Springville, UT

I have to think that the posting on this issue was a mistake. In the end, it is a matter of faith. Science cannot prove of the Book of Mormon, and reliance on science or trying to rationalize it will always come up short. The Church should remove the posting and keep to the message that people should read the book and submit to a process of faith to determine how people should proceed with their lives. It is always a personal thing, and science will never have all the answers in part because all the information will never be known. Sometimes science has it wrong, and sometimes religions have it wrong. We all have to live with apparent inherent conflicts between science and matters of faith. Maybe that's the way it's supposed to be.

thriveplanet
Lehi, UT

In the spirit of respect for all opinions on this thread, trying to reconcile science and religion is an exercise in frustration, as was stated in one of the comments above. Look at the age old debate on where the earth came from (God-made or random) and evolution, etc, the debate rages on both sides and will continue to do so, because the "hard" evidence remains inconclusive on both sides. For every point, there is an endless counterpoint. Faith is a spiritual exercise, not an intellectual exercise, it's a matter of the heart, and if science backs it up, that's a nice-to-have, but not critical. Countless hours can be spent on both sides trying to find evidences but it will be largely a waste of time. Luckily, the Lord provides a way for us all to know for ourselves, its the great trump card in the debate - and that is to thoroughly examine the scriptures and then ask Him if they are true. We don't have to rely on anything else except our 1:1 communication with the Lord.

bradleyc
Layton, UT

We had better gain a testimony of truth through reading, prayer and having faith because the day will soon come when faith will no longer be needed to know about the Book of Mormon People. I have seen things that will blow the normal man out of the water. The book is true.

mhenshaw
Leesburg, VA

>>Why is this being debated at all. Early prophets, including Joseph Smith already settled the discussion.

When prophets talk about things that aren't directly related to eternal salvation, they usually aren't speaking as prophets. The locations of Book of Mormon events have no bearing on anyone's salvation. It's an intellectually interesting question, but whether we identify the right spot or not won't affect whether you're living a Christlike life.

God reveals answers to the important questions through prophets. The rest doesn't really matter in the eternal scheme of things.

Brahmabull
sandy, ut

mhenshaw

You are incorrect. Many doctrinal matters have been said to be incorrect later on by a prophet or apostle. Example is blacks and the priesthood. Bruce R. Mcconkie said that they can NEVER hold the priesthood in this life. Lo and behold, they can now have the priesthood. Now this is not just a policy, but a doctrine. So Bruce R. McConkie was wrong when he proclaimed that they could never hold the priesthood. And this very much so affects their salvation. So your example is incorrect. There are many other examples.

mhenshaw
Leesburg, VA

>>Yet...it can be demonstrated easily that early Church writers, such as Ignatius of Antioch, Eusebius, Clement of Rome, and Polycarp, had no conception of Mormon doctrine, and they knew nothing of a "great apostasy."

The New Testament writers prophesied of the Apostasy. Many of their epistles were intended to regulate the affairs of church branches that were already straying. References available upon request.

As for those other writers, there are only seven letters by Ignatius confirmed as authentic; four by Clement; one by Polycarp (a letter to the Philippians). That's not a large corpus against which to measure Mormon doctrine; and many of those letters, written to Gentiles, touch only on the most basic Christian doctrines. And Eusebius lived in the 3rd Century, as far removed from Christ as we are from the Founding Fathers and in a time after the Great Apostasy had begun (as asserted by the LDS Church).

>>Nowhere in their writings can one find references to Christians embracing any of the peculiarly Mormon doctrines...

According to Harper's Bible Dictionary, you can't find the Nicean formulation of the Trinity in the New Testament either.

oremdad
Orem, UT

I would suggest that anyone interested go and read the actual topic article that was published by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It can be found at their website LDS dot Org, searching for Book of Mormon DNA. I read the article after reading many of the comments found here (and this article). I found the church's information to be very easy to understand, well formatted, and straight forward. I am not a geneticist (I do have a sister who is a published geneticist though!) but what they have written makes sense. I have been to Central America (I lived there for almost a year while adopting two children), and I have seen physical evidence to support my belief in the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. BUT, the true experiment of my faith has been in observing the good that has come to my life, and the life of my family, through following its teachings.
If we are truly being scientific here then set up an experiment... Study the teachings of this book, follow them to the best of your ability, observe the results, and then publish them to the world.

FT
salt lake city, UT

If the Book of Mormon helps one find peace in their life it's a great thing. The people who read it and believe in it are comforted by it's lessons. I'm sure the scientific, DNA proof is not necessary for their faith to grow. I guess for us non-believers DNA evidence may inspire us to take another look but I doubt it because I believe the only ones that know for sure are the dead, and they're not talking.

Church member
North Salt Lake, UT

To Thrive planet

The only problem with asking God directly is that everyone gets a different answer. Muslims get the answer that their church is true. The FLDS God tells them that their church is true. Catholics are the same. Everyone "knows" they are right and no one can convince them otherwise.

Maybe using feelings and emotions (praying and using the spirit) isn't the best way to find truth. Maybe looking at facts and evidence is more reliable.

What in Tucket?
Provo, UT

Scholars of the time of Jesus reported about him such as Josephus. He was born 37 AD and considered the most important scholar of the first century. He was a Jew, but not a Christian. There is no doubt of His existence.

RedWings
CLEARFIELD, UT

@ A Scientist: "For literally millions of Mormons, who joined the Church or gained their "testimonies" by reading and praying about the book, their understanding was fundamentally based upon this conception of the ancestral relationship between Lamanites and Native Americans."

Could you please provide your survey data, or other scientific evidence to support such a claim? Did you truly survey "millions of Mormons", or is this just another unsupported comment to attack others' religion?

Stating something does not make it treu, even on the internet. It is your right to oppose religion and state your opinion, but have the integrity to call it your opinion....

Allen
Salt Lake valley, UT

@Thinkman you are correct in saying that up until the last few years, the Introduction did say the Nephites were the ancestors of the American Indians. That wording, which is not part of the actual Book of Mormon, was changed a few years ago to say the Nephites are "among the ancestors of the American Indians". I've discussed this in a lot of detail in my blog on speculations in Mormonism at speculationsmormonism.blogspot.com Let me repeat for emphasis that the Introduction is not part of the Book of Mormon. It is text written by church leaders to introduce or give an overview of the book.

Church leaders are not infallible and may speak their own views as well as the voice of prophets. I grew up in the church thinking the Nephites and Lamonites were the only ancestors of the American Indians. I realized after reading Sorensen back in the 1980s that the BoM people were actually a small part of the people living in the Americas. Scientific evidence shows there were people living here over 10,000 years ago, way before the BoM peoples.

1covey
Salt Lake City, UT

I find DNA links, however tenuous, between Asians and early Americans very interesting. I have been told that Patriarchal blessings in Mongolia tend to give House of Israel blessings connected with other than Ephraim or Judah. More remains to be learned; and it probably will some time, but, interesting, nonetheless.

Well.ok
Lehi, UT

For those who keep trumpeting the National Geographic article, did you even read past the headline? In the first paragraph it mentions the DNA results came from an individual who lived 24,000 years ago. This is thousands of years before BoM times and has absolutely no relevence to the book.

mhenshaw
Leesburg, VA

>>Many doctrinal matters have been said to be incorrect later on by a prophet or apostle.

First, that example and others are usually found in books written by those church leaders. Check the copyright pages--they all have disclaimers saying the content is the author's own views and not church doctrine. That's true for McConkie's Mormon Doctrine. Church doctrine is found only in the scriptures, the Ensign, or other publications that have the Church's official stamp of approval. "Published by Deseret Book" isn't an official stamp of approval.

Second, yes, there have been cases when the Church wrongly conflated opinion with doctrine. Elder Uchtdorff said as much in the recent conference. Where the errors are relavent to salvation--e.g. blacks and the priesthood--the Lord corrects them by prophecy. The location of Book of Mormon events is irrelevant to your salvation, therefore comments by Joseph Smith (or any Church leader) about Book of Mormon locations is irrelevant to your salvation. The Lord doesn't seem to bother correcting irrelevancies, so Joseph's statements on the subject, right or wrong, don't affect his standing as a prophet.

Mike in Cedar City
Cedar City, Utah

"DNA studies cannot be used decisively to either affirm or reject the historical authenticity of the Book of Mormon."

Of course DNA evidence cannot be used to "affirm or reject" the historicity of the Book of Mormon any more than does the lack of any significant archeological evidence in support of a pre-columbian basis to "affirm or reject" the work. But Native American DNA studies to date do not support the claimed historicity of the work when they probably should. The carefully worded apologist propaganda in their announcement is just playing semantic word games. To date, there is no credible scientific basis for the the claims of the Church with respect to the historicity of Book of Mormon. For the present,its historicity remains an issue of faith. Hopefully for many, that faith is not misplaced.

The Church is hardly an objective source of information on this issue.

greatbam22
andrews afb, MD

It is interesting to always hear the naysayers come in and mock believers. To them I will just refer them to the 3rd verse of "We Thank Thee, O God, for a prophet."

We'll sing of his goodness and mercy.
We'll praise him by day and by night,
Rejoice in his glorious gospel,
And bask in its life-giving light.
Thus on to eternal perfection
The honest and faithful will go,
While they who reject this glad message
Shall never such happiness know.

lehiaggie
Lehi, UT

Until you read the Book of Mormon with honest questions and act on its promise to ask in prayer with a sincere heart and real intent (meaning you will act according to the knowledge you gain), you cannot accept or dismiss the book . All you can do until you take those steps is to accept or dismiss what others have said about the book.

Jazz Bass Man
Wellsville, Utah

So if the church prophets don't really know who the "native" Americans are and what their DNA should be, are they truly prophets of God? The Bible says that the test of a true prophet lies with their prophecies given, and whether time proves them out. Over history, there have been many prophets that have been proven false, and it is important to test those who come along claiming to have the "truth". Not trying to attack the LDS, but I am curious about what, if any, prophecies the LDS prophets have made ever came true? If the current president of the church truly does have a line to God, can't he come up with a better explanation of these DNA discrepancies, blacks not being able to hold priesthood, Book of Abraham translations, polygamy, etc.?
The truthfulness of the LDS Church rests on one man, Joseph Smith and his book, which he claimed to be the "most accurate book ever written". If that book can be proven as true - or otherwise - by science, then it seems to me that the truthfulness or fraudulence of the entire religion rests or falls on what that book has to say.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

I don't need scriptures to verify that the earth revolves around the Sun,
anymore than I need text books to verify that there is a God.

You won't find or use a Self-Help book in the Murder Mystery section of the Book Store.

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