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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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JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

I would make a terrible Latter Day Saint.

When a church leader told me something that would greatly impact my life, my first question would be

"Is this your opinion, or are you speaking Gods words?"

Reasonable question. However, I doubt it would be received well.

BlueHusky
Mission Viejo, CA

Scientific falsification is an important concept. It is much easier to prove something false then true. A classic example of falsification is the Michelson-Morley experiment that disproved the theory that light is carried by a medium (the "ether"). Later Einstein established the modern theory of light traveling as photons, which has been supported by countless experiments since and is yet to be falsified.

There are many falsifiable tests that one can conduct on the BOM. The best of these are the wordprint studies where author's (Nephi, Jacob, et al) writings are statistically compared to Joseph Smith and all around him. Internal comparisons were also made. The null hypothesis was: the BOM was written by Joseph Smith. The multiple ANOVA test indicated that the probability that Smith or anyone in the 19th Century wrote the BOM was 1 in a billion. A more recent test at Berkeley arrived at the same conclusions. (See Authorship of the Book of Mormon, versions 1 and 2). So if J.S. did not write it, who did? Nobody we know. Further, it was easy to tell the BOM authors apart.

Razzle2
Bluffdale, UT

DocHolliday "Thus it is extremely unlikely that any LDS leader ever proclaimed that all the inhabitants thereof were descendants of Lehi - Nephi."

Kimball's quote does not support the text of the Book of Mormon. Mosiah 25:2 - Lehi was not the father of most Nephites.

DocHolliday "I mean it it was written on the introduction page on the book of mormon, which is canonized scripture... Doesn't add up."

Critics always go after the parts that are NOT canonized scripture...introduction, chapter headings, cross references, verse divisions, topical guide...these are study aids, not canonized scripture and will continue to be updated as we find better ways to summarize the scripture in the proper languages.

DocHolliday
reno, NV

Razzle2

No. Critics do mention those, along with general authority statements because they are relevant. Why have a prophet if they don't give prophecy? If everything they say is opinion then they can't be a prophet. So was Kimball incorrect then?

DocHolliday
reno, NV

Razzle2

There is plenty to question withing the canonized scripture and I think you already know that.

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

For a group of people who claim that science will never prove or disprove the BOM, and / or that the only way to know if the BOM is what it claims to be is to pray and ask for confirmation, there sure has been a lot of time, effort and money spent trying to scientifically or linguistically or archeologically or genetically prove its authenticity.

Casey See
FLOWER MOUND, TX

To Jazz Bass Man,

You ask a fair question, "Not trying to attack the LDS, but I am curious about what, if any, prophecies the LDS prophets have made ever came true?"

I can answer three prophecies that have come true by Joseph Smith off of the top of my head.

1. He accurately prophesized that the civil war would start in South Carolina.
2. He (actually Moroni) prophesized that Joseph Smith would be known for good and bad the world over. Just the comments on this one article can show that.
3. Wilford Woodruff was told by Joseph Smith that he would not be harmed in Carthage jail. He wasn't hit by any ball, but John Taylor was hit 5 times.

Heber J. Grant and every prophet since him encouraging members to have a year supply of food. these last few years have proven that supply has saved many families during the economic downturns.

President Hinckley's admonition 6 years ago to get out of debt. For those who did so, they suffered much less than others during this latest econominc recession caused by excessive debt.

Big 'D'
San Mateo, CA

@ The "Scientist"

You wrote:

'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. This alleged connection contributed to the plausibility of the book, increasing the likelihood that "investigators" would have a confirming spiritual experience. As such, because even Church leaders have admitted that Lamanites were NOT "the principal ancestors of the American Indians", their "testimonies" of the "truth" of the BOM and the LDS Church were fundamentally erroneous.'

Your conclusion is so ill-founded!

Admitting that the groups of Jared, Lehi, Ishmael, and Mulek were not the principal ancestors of the Amerindian population in no way eliminates the possibility that the literal descendants of these families are widespread throughout the Amerindian population. An infinitesimal contribution to the total gene pool, which could be lost through genetic drift or bottlenecks, still would allow admixture, reproduction, migration, admixture, reproduction, migration, ad nauseum... The Iceland example couldn't make it any more obvious that *genealogical identity* and *genetic identity* are two VERY different sets of knowledge.

Get it right, man.

- an actual Scientist

TheProudDuck
Newport Beach, CA

It depends how you understand the term "decisive." Yes, one can imagine a scenario under which the Old World genetic signature of Lehi's party (which, according to the text, included descendants of Joseph -- that is, of a person living in the second millennium B.C. from whom modern Jews also claim descent) might conceivably have been lost, among the existing indigenous American population the Book of Mormon never mentions but which might be assumed to have been present.

The question then becomes: what are the odds of that? The topic page doesn't go down that avenue.

GTOBoomer
USA, UT

RE the comment that Joseph (who was sold into Egypt) took an Egyptian wife...Jewish apocryphal writings say that Joseph's wife Asenath (a name that in current Hebrew is pronounced "O-snot" unfortunately) was the daughter of Dinah, Joseph's sister. The Priest of Nun is of unknown origin, but since Egypt was periodically led politically and religiously by Semites, he could have been Hebrew, too. It's complicated, obviously. And yes, there are Hebrew writings and engravings that have been found in the Americas and other symbolism that hints at Semitic early settlers. And Indian legends that confirm that idea. But the Book of Mormon's internal proofs are more compelling, including chiasmus, Egyptian names, etc.

niners
SAINT GEORGE, UT

@Caseysee

You realize all these prophecies (save the wilford woodruff prophecy, which isn't on any records, its just hearsay)are all prophecies I could tell you right?
1.I could tell you being in debt is not good. And most Americans could tell you the same thing. Not much of a "prophecy".
2.I could tell you to have food storage due to economic downturns, there have been economic downturns throughout the United States history. There will be another economic downturn in my lifetime, no doubt. Am I a prohet for saying that? No, its simply history repeating itself.
3. Joeseph Smith being known for good and bad? Every religious figure has opposition of other religions, therefore will be known for good by followers, and bad by opposing religions.
4. The civil war starting in South Carolina was pretty obvious to everyone at the time.
Fort Sumter was one of 2 US bases in the entire south. If the south was going to rebel it was going to start either on Fort Sumter SC or Fort Pickens in Florida.

The LDS prophets don't have any knowledge or prophecies that I, or millions of Americans couldn't have said ourselves.

desert
Potsdam, 00

Prophecies ?

Hahaha, this is very funny.
It shows only how much you been reading the BM or DC.

I have found so many in the BM alone, I could never ever tell or count them all once again.
This is a an ongoing time of history when prophecies are being fullfilled on a year to year basis. Catch up with the demands of time as it will never outrun the growth of this church.

We are living in the Restoration of All Times, there are going to be more discoveries of Holy Books and everything will be revealed. Do not wait, go get involved.

greatbam22
andrews afb, MD

sharrona,

I think you misunderstood what I was saying. I was stating that the naysayers and people that like to tare down the LDS faith can go ahead. I will be enjoying the blessings that comes from it. I am sorry you had a hard time understanding that.

greatbam22
andrews afb, MD

I think it is interesting that people are a lot of times skeptics or apologetic when it comes to this stuff. Everything is black and white. I don't think the scriptures are perfect in fact I know there not because it basically says that in the Book of Mormon.

I wonder if people would read the scriptures more or less if they had the full truth of EXACTLY down to the detail how things really happened. Let us just pretend that people read their scriptures exactly the same amount as they do now.

If that were the case then wouldn't God have to hold us even more accountable to the his word than he already does?

Isn't this why there was a veil so that we have to act by faith and not by knowledge? Couldn't you apply the same thing to scripture? It is obvious that we don't have all the answers but God / Jesus Christ / Holy Ghost do.

greatbam22
andrews afb, MD

@ Doc Holiday

I guess you have never heard of the phrase "this isn't doctrine but the gospel according to me(insert your name here)"? When general authorities do this everything that comes out of their mouth people automatically assume is doctrine. I wouldn't be surprised if some LDS people follow general authorities around like movie stars and buy what they buy and order what they order.

While yes Spencer W. Kimball or whoever you were quoting may have said that about The Book of Mormon and he might have believed that but didn't he say I had a vision that so and so or God told me the ancestors of the Book of Mormon are Native Americans. I didn't see that in the quote that was given.

Do you really think the a Prophet is going to bother God with a trivial thing such as who the Nephites / Lamanites are related to?

I am not saying it is not unheard of but I would think they would have deeper questions for God than that.

MACDONALDBANK
Los Angleles, CA

The Bible & Torah should be banned!

Here are several really loving excerpts from the Torah; the first five books of the Old Testament in the bible -- perhaps read to the congregation on Friday night at a synagogue or a Sunday morning church in the meadow.

1.Kill any friends or family that worship a god that is different than your own. Deuteronomy 13:6-10
2.Kill all the inhabitants of any city where you find people that worship differently than you. Deuteronomy 13:12-16
3.Kill everyone who has religious views that are different than your own. Deuteronomy 17:2-7.

Rabbinical / Priestly rules:
Leviticus 21:17-18 … “No one who is blind or lame or has a defect or any blemish may approach to offer the bread of his God.”
Leviticus 18:22 … “You are not to go to bed with a man as with a woman; it is an abomination ….”

Rabbis; the pope and churches fully aware that Leviticus 18:22 applies to rabbis and priests … refuse to remove this stigma maliciously persecuting gays. Kids are being bullied into suicide …!

Dave Wilson
Phoenix, AZ

Look to science for an example of why no Jewish genes found among the American Indians wouldn't mean no Semitic ancestry. For a scientifically documented example of a Semitic group getting completely genetically lost in less time than the Book of Mormon records, look at the Lemba people in southern Africa. Culturally they are clearly are descended from a Jewish group from around AD 700 as they claim to be. Genetically, they are black Africans that are not distinguishable from their non-Jewish neighbors. How did that happen? Intermarriage and the simple fact that you don't have to fail to go extinct. You just have to succeed a little less often. The local genes were better tuned to the local environment by millennia of evolution. The Jewish genes in Zimbabwe just weren't quite as successful. If the Lemba ancestral Jews who took converts from the local tribes for wives had five children and the ones who didn't had four and there were (1,400 years/25 years per generation) or 56 generations then the original Jewish genes would have long gone completely extinct.

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