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.
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 13:6-102.Kill all the inhabitants of any city where you find people that worship
differently than you. Deuteronomy 13:12-163.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 …!
@ 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.
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.
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.
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.
@CaseyseeYou 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.
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.
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.
@ 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
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.
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.
Razzle2There is plenty to question withing the canonized scripture
and I think you already know that.
Razzle2No. 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 "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
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.
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.
"With pride I tell those who come to my office that a Lamanite is a
descendant of one Lehi who left Jerusalem six hundred years before Christ and
with his family crossed the mighty deep and landed in America. And Lehi and his
family became the ancestors of all of the Indian and Mestizo tribes in North and
South and Central America and in the islands of the sea."Spencer
W. Kimball, April 24, 1971Not speculation.
"Thus it is extremely unlikely that any LDS leader ever proclaimed that all
the inhabitants thereof were descendants of Lehi - Nephi."This
doesn't sound like the prophet was speculating to me. Plus, why would a
prophet have to speculate on this subject? Wouldn't they know something as
important as this without having to speculate? I mean it it was written on the
introduction page on the book of mormon, which is canonized scripture...
Doesn't add up.
Belief in the historical authenticity of the Book of Mormon is not a condition
for membership or fellowship in the Church. But members who suspect it is of
modern authorship generally find it prudent to keep a judicious silence on the
matter in Church.
Ghost Rider – it's clear you did not read the above post more
carefully. It's obvious that Weber's quote from Kimball
was a challenge to an earlier post that "it is extremely unlikely that any
LDS leader ever proclaimed that all the inhabitants thereof were descendants of
Lehi."The earlier poster was wrong and Weber called him on it.
Former leaders of the church have had just as much right to speculate about the
origins/peoples of the Book of Mormon as anyone else. I get so tired of all
those who insist that if any church leader ever made any mistake whatsoever the
"church must not be true." That's always been an unrealistic
expectation and a shallow criticism.
"Thus it is extremely unlikely that any LDS leader ever proclaimed that all
the inhabitants thereof were descendants of Lehi - Nephi."Perhaps you missed this..."With pride I tell those who come to
my office that a Lamanite is a descendant of one Lehi who left Jerusalem six
hundred years before Christ and with his family crossed the mighty deep and
landed in America. And Lehi and his family became the ancestors of all of the
Indian and Mestizo tribes in North and South and Central America and in the
islands of the sea."Spencer W. Kimball, April 24, 1971
OK.Scientist gets BOLD on comment boards and sits quietly in relief
society. Keep up the real intent there!
I also wince at the Book of Mormon "Living Scripture" cartoons and comic
like books that simplify the text into just two great nations; one dark and one
light that were founded by brothers and most often were at war.As
romantic as this simple story is; the real Book of Mormon is more complex. Even
the LDS Church posts topic page on DNA studies says that the DNA of Lehi,
Sariah, and Ishmael is not known. Yet, the larger genetic pool of the Nephites
is from the People of Zarahemla, not Lehi's family. (Mosiah 25:2) These were not Mulekites. The word Mulekite is not in the text of the Book of
Mormon, yet is introduced in the 20th century chapter headings to save space for
writing "People of Zarahemla". Zarahemla could trace his genealogy back
200 years by memory to Mulek, but the People he led had no written history.Who were these People of Zarahemla? How did they become so numerous in
just 200 years? Without a written history, could they have not joined more
people over the centuries?The same is true of the Lamanites. We do
not have their complete 1,000 year history.
I'm glad the church removed the word "principle" from the Book of
Mormon introduction. I always winced every time I read that. It was NEVER stated
in the BOM whether or not there were people already on the land. It does state
that there were jaredites at one point. But it never states implicitly
"principle ancestors of the american indians." I have no idea how
someone could come to that conclusion based on the book of mormon text! I could
go so far to postulate that God told his messengers not to include whether there
were or were not people already on the land. It really doesn't serve any
spiritual purpose. There is no exercise of faith with perfect knowledge, and
perfect knowledge implies you already know too much. Does behavior change with
perfect knowledge? For some, maybe, but for the vast majority of us sinners who
feel like we know the truth, faith has to be exercised because perfect knowledge
wouldn't encourage change in us anyway. Only faith and the promise of
exercising it, changes a person.
The theory that most Native Americans and Polynesians are descendents of the
Lamanites may even be true if you realize that all of the people (perhaps most
but the scripture says all) were in peace together and were one people after
Christ. Any breakups into groups after that was not likely based on DNA. So, my
Native American and Polynesian brothers and sisters, you may still have Lamanite
blood, just not as likely from Lehi.
MoreMan,My journal may have imperfect records of events/actions in
society. The dates may be off and things may be exaggerated or underestimated by
the limits of my knowledge. Yet, I may still record moral truths and their
relationship to my surroundings... and those reflections and declarations may be
the most accurate, useful, or valuable bits of information I have to offer.Spiritual truths are far more important than physical history.To testify of the physical visit of Jesus Christ only tells of a His
existence. But He taught our purpose, potential, and His plan for us to come
here, learn from our mistakes and return to His teachings and principles. When
we live correctly, we live happily. No other physical or mental satisfaction can
substitute for spiritual happiness. The Book of Mormon is a record which teaches
us of such things.If you'd rather worship a History Book, go
for it. But what is history "but a fable agreed upon?" If men write
history and God writes "The One True Path to Happiness", what would you
Elder Spencer W. Kimball said in october 1959, when speaking to the kinsmen of
the isles of the sea and the Americas said that "Millions of you have blood
relatively unmixed with Gentiles." Columbus called you "Indians,"
The Lord calls you "Lamanites", the name signifies the descendants of
Laman and Lemuel, sons of your first American parent, Lehi; you undoubtedly
possess also the blood of the other sons, Sam, Nephi, and Jacob. And you likely
have some jewish blood from Mulek, son of Zedekiah, King of Judah (Hel.
This year we are studying the Old Testament and just had lessons on the
creation, the fall, and then the flood last week. When I was in seminary and
still in use today in 2014, the CES chronology chart all of our children and
young adults receive still date Adam to 4000BC and says he lived for 100's
of years. No humans have ever lived for 100's of years - these are facts.
Considering that the 3 migrations in the book of mormon are now considered small
and insignificant and that they integrated with the existing indigenous
population, we need to acknowledge that Adam also is not the father of the human
race, and that there was certainly physical death before the fall, and clearly
reproduction. Otherwise how could we have this article about ancient dna dating
to 20,000 years ago? This gospel study essay acknowledges that native americans
existed before the Judeo-Christian Adam came on the stage of human history.
Temples in Gobekli Tepe date back 11,000 years ago i.e. before the Adam of all
Abrahamic religions. Human reproduction dates back 100's of thousands of
years, and even human clothing dates back 170,000 years ago. These are
verifiable facts not theories.
When I was a kid, I saw a Brontosaurus skeleton at the Natural History Museum
with my own two eyes. Science said it was so. Seeing is believing right? The
Brontosaurus was on the Sinclair gas signs, even "Dino" on the
Flintstones was a puppy Brontosaurus. But, when my kindergarten boy
came home one day and said, "There is not such thing as a Brontosaurus"
I got my first real lesson that science and my own eyes can be wrong.I think we should embrace the DNA tests to learn more about our history. But,
be careful, don't use it to jump to conclusions, since our understanding of
science has been known to be wrong.
I am convinced that the only reason The People of Zarahemla (incorrectly called
the Mulekites by modern scholars) are included in the Book of Mormon is that
Mosiah converted them which more than doubled the size of the Nephites. If Mosiah had not converted them they would not have been in the
abridged book we have today. How many other people were there besides the
Nephites? We do not know?
"We believe all things, we hope all things."I refuse to say,
"Prove to me it's true than I will believe." rather I say, "I
believe in the possibilities until you can prove it is not true."I have often wondered why some people think the whole history of Ancient
America could be in a single book. All of the theories here can be true.
Lehi's journey does not prove there was no Asian migration over a Siberian
bridge. Far East DNA does not prove that Christ did not have His gospel in other
parts of the world.
RE: greatbam222, "We Thank Thee". Nephi 29:6 , "Thou fool, that
shall say:A Bible, we have got a Bible, and we need no more Bible."
Mormon’s have their prophets instead E.g...D&C
7:1–3, John the Beloved will live until the Lord comes.(The Apostle John
is alive)D&C 17:10-23 *edited. V23…to bless and sanctify
this wine to the souls of all those who drink of it…RE Desert,
Moroni 10: A testimony of the Book of Mormon comes by the power of the Holy
Ghost… Moroni’s words speak from the ‘dust’. KJV compared to(Latin vulgate, Is 29:4), and thy speech shall whisper out of
the ‘dust’. and thy voice shall be from the earth like that of the
“*pythonis=(familiar spirit)”, and out of the earth thy speech shall
mutter.Acts 16:16 And it came to pass , as we went to prayer a
certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination= (*python/Grk,=4436) met
us which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying.In Greek
mythology, Pythian a serpent dwelt in the region of Pytho… 2. a spirit of
Wolfgang57 said, "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."I can't find that. Be careful using
absolutes like "all".What they said is that they are the
primary descendents of the Lamanites. Big difference.However, at
400AD we don't know the DNA of the Lamanites since we don't have their
history except for their interactions with the Nephites. The Lamanites were
named after the splinter group of the Nephites, a group from Lehi's family
which joined much bigger groups through conversion for the Nephites and perhaps
by conquest by the Lamanites. But the 400AD Lamanites are those that
rejected the Christ movement (that involved all of the people of the whole area
for over 200 hundred years) and survived the horrible wars at the end of the
Book in 400AD. We don't have the history prior to the Nephites,
the Lamanites except with certain interactions with the book, missing 200 years
of the People of Zarahemla, and the 1,500 years after the book. Plus all the
Nephite history that Mormon did not abridge.
Since there is no such thing as a DNA department of the church, who is to wonder
what should be stated, and what should be truth ?The reason the church
puts this out is, to claim to have no DNA proof. Period.But what it
does, as you can see on this becoming popular page, it makes people think and
talk about it. Those who have their doubts should continue to
question everything, that's what truth is for.But here is an
interesting point of no return for some of them, as they always claim the lack
of evidence about Next Life, as "nobody has ever returned" argument.Here is a NEPHITE Prophet, who did return, and plenty of times.His
name is Moroni, and Joseph Smith did not take finger prints at that time, but he
sure was talking with him and saw him, as described.DNA and Moroni ? Why
would they believe it ? If they can't believe what Moroni did, how would
they believe anymore of any other prophets.So here we have the
evidence.Did the Lord not say...and I will show unto them that fight
against my word.(NEPHI 29)
@Church Member...Good point, I would say that there is truth in most
if not all religions, including Islam, FLDS, Jewish, Catholicism, and LDS, and
if members of those religions sincerely read their respective books of
scripture, the Lord will communicate to them the true parts. Even as an LDS
member, there are parts of my religion that I have to pray about to confirm
their truth or lack thereof. I know He communicates through prayer and the
Spirit, as a reward for our efforts to seek Him/truth and trials of faith, and
when that communication happens, there is no denying it.
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.
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.
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.
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
perfectionThe honest and faithful will go,While they who reject this
glad messageShall never such happiness know.
"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.
>>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.
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.
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,
@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.
@ 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
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.
To Thrive planetThe 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
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.
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
>>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
mhenshawYou 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.
>>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.
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.
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
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.
@San DiegoThat article about Native Americans having Eurasian origins is
based on the bones of a 24,000 year old Siberian boy. So the source of those
genes in the Americas would be from the land crossing estimated around 16,500
years ago from people around Siberia.
All of this talk would be a moot point if we only had the golden plates
themselves to examine... But they are conveniently missing. How long before the
sealed portion of the Book of Mormon will be translated? Will Moroni deliver the
plates again for translation at that time? My guess is that it will never happen
- but people will continue to say just be patient, just be patient, all the way
until the end of time.
@ Cats - Somewhere in Time, UT ".....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."Amen,
to that, sister!
The greatest and most important message of the Book of Mormon is NOT where Lehi
and his people landed or where the many cities mentioned in the Book of Mormon
were located. BUT -- the Book of Mormon is Another Testament and witness of the
Divinity of Jesus Christ and His mission as proclaimed by the Prophets on the
American continent (which includes both North and South America). The Book or
Mormon supports the prophesies and teachings of the Prophets of the Old
Testament about Jesus Christ and His mission.
I'm glad I don't have to have everything proven to me in a scientific
way. Those who live by "science" alone are missing the entire picture.
Where did science come from? Where did WE come from? A big bang? That is
laughable. There is no purely scientific way to describe how we all got here,
how the earth and other planets came to be. You can't say that organization
came from utter chaos. It just isn't true.
"I would like to add one more comment regarding the North American theory or
Great Lakes Theory. First, I respect those that have presented it, but it has
two, in my opinion, very large flaws."Why is this being debated
at all. Early prophets, including Joseph Smith already settled the
discussion.They clearly told everyone that the Hill Cumorah in New
York was where the battles and civilizations occurred. This is only
being debated based on the lack of any supporting evidence in New York. Quite
I think the Book of Mormon provides its own best evidence for the DNA issue. God
has from time to time made changes, as he did with the children of Cain in
Genesis, which could have resulted from an altering of their DNA. Likewise, in
the Book of Mormon, the Lord altered the appearance of the Lamanites, that they
"might not be enticing" unto the Nephites.(see 2 Nephi 5:21). If the
Lord did indeed cause these differences through the alteration of their DNA, and
the Lamanites remained in the land after the destruction of the Nephites, it
would seem only logical their DNA would contain differences which could make
them difficult to link conclusively with other peoples. A study on the
differences between Native American DNA and Asian DNA might prove most
interesting.Nothing at all was known of DNA in Joseph Smith's day,yet the
DNA differences might well be accounted for in The Book of Mormon itself!
I would like to add one more comment regarding the North American theory or
Great Lakes Theory. First, I respect those that have presented it, but it has
two, in my opinion, very large flaws.1. For it to work, Lehi's
family would have had to sailed around Africa, up the Mississippi, up the Ohio,
and up the Alegheny without choosing to settle anywhere along that route. Also,
they would have had to portage over the Great Falls of the Ohio. Mulek's
people would have had to sailed up the St. Lawarence nearly 300 hundred of miles
before disembarking.2. The Narrow neck of land would only allow for
a North Countries of less than 20 miles before running into Lake Erie or going
east instead of North.As someone else mentioned the lack of snow,
The only reference to snow, is Nephi's comments regarding driven snow. Did
Nephi even see "true driven snow" in the Middle East? (See 1 Nephi
11:8)There are other issues I have with this theory, but these are
my two biggest concerns.
RE: Open Minded Mormon, "If you use this a way to discredit one
religion".1 Nephi 13:28,…” there are many plain and
precious things taken away from the book(Bible)Yet,Non-Catholic
historians admit, 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." Nowhere in their writings can one find references to Christians
embracing any of the peculiarly Mormon doctrines, such as polytheism, polygamy,
celestial marriage, and temple ceremonies. If the Church of the apostolic age
was the prototype of today’s Mormon church, it must have had all these
beliefs and practices. But why is there no evidence of them in the early
centuries, before the alleged apostasy began? Catholic Answers
there's no DNA evidence to prove the Bible, there's no DNA
evidence to prove the Quran, there's no DNA evidence to prove the
Hindu Veda, The point is, If you use this a way to discredit
one religion, then you must apply it the same way to discredit all others.
I'm glad the Church is finally addressing important issues like this on its
2 Nephi 1:9 Wherefore, I, Lehi, have obtained a promise, that inasmuch as those
whom the Lord God shall bring out of the land of Jerusalem shall keep his
commandments, they shall prosper upon the face of this land; and they shall be
kept from all other nations, that they may possess this land unto themselves.
And if it so be that they shall keep his commandments they shall be blessed upon
the face of this land, and there shall be none to molest them, nor to take away
the land of their inheritance; and they shall dwell safely forever.
The Holy Ghost will always trump debate about scientific talking points.
My testimony of the Book of Mormon is based on reading the book and who is
ancestor to the modern Native American has nothing to do with it. Never has
been a concern or a thought and my conversion is wholly unrelated to that topic.
Given that modern science just blew the doors off its own theories of where
Native Americans came from, what is the point of a debate with no stable
benchmark to refer to?This debate is remarkably similar to "No
steel" in Israel proudly trumpeted as proof the BOM was false. Until steel
was discovered repeatedly In the 1980's. And those who claimed the BOM was
false because there was no steel in that era didn't change their minds and
say oh, the book is true. Neither will you when DNA studies discover
plausibility of some Native Americans having Middle Eastern roots... Oh wait
they just did that. If the test is not valid both ways, it is a false test.
Something not discovered " yet" is not proof of anything.
This is one of those things that will not really change anybody's opinion,
but is useful for defusing arguments regardless.
Far more interested in the symbolic and religiously significance of artifacts
discovered in the Americas.
The Book of Mormon itself refers to several populations arriving in the western
hemisphere both before and after the history it traces. Thus it is extremely
unlikely that any LDS leader ever proclaimed that all the inhabitants thereof
were descendants of Lehi - Nephi.
Thinkman: I think you are sadly mistaken as the Title Page of the Book of
Mormon has never been changed since it was first translated by Joseph Smith.
However, the Introduction to The Book of Morman has gone through quite a bit of
changes. In fact the Introduction was not part of the original Book of Mormon
at all and was later added to the Book of Mormon just as Joseph Smith First
Vision. Bruce R McConkie coined the Introduction that stated the Lamanites were
the Principle ancestors of the American Indians. This was recently, as you have
stated, changed. This to me is nothing but sematics and carries very little
weight. If this is what caused one to question the Book of Mormon for any
reason then they never had a testimony of the Book of Mormon in the first place.
The other is one can have a testimony but not be converted to the Gospel of
Jesus Christ. The Book of Mormon speaks for itself and will carry lots of
weight in the judgement of one as it testifies of the Divinity of Jesus Christ.
No one truly knows where the BOM lands are. BOM pictures are
influence by ruins found ancient culturss of mexico and central America, and they may be quite wrong. It may have taken place in
north America, in the north east, or in the south east around florida, or out
west around san Francisco, or could have been in meso-America, or could in smaller geographic region like around a peninsula in
chile.There no evidence in the BOM they built with stone, but they
were very skilled with wood. and built defensive walls out of earth.No one knows the extent of the geographic destruction talked of in 3rd nephi.
though parts seemed quite great perhaps enough to change rivers. destroy narrow
necks of land.There is indication they again the built with wood as
cities were destroyed by fire and by wind.So look for place with
lots of wood, a place where large animals currently or once existed, mountainous
and warm, a very deep body of water to the west, a man-made desolate area to the
north, and a geography that hid a nearby population, the mulekites, for years.
@AllBlack, Don't feel too reassured by the Eurasia DNA finding and National
Geographic article. The timeline is very problematic and can't support the
BOM narrative since it is about 18,000 years older than the Mormon's
teaching of the age of the earth.
The sentence "the Lamanites... are the principal ancestors of the American
Indians.” was added by a 19th century person thawho believed it
according their current understanding at the time.And perhaps very
distantly they are related. Over 14 centuries had passed since the nephites (and
the most of the lamanites) were wiped off the face of the earth. Who knows who
the remnants mixed with in all those centuries)DNA science has no
evidence one way or the other. It is inconclusive. It is incomplete.God only reveals line upon line, precept upon precept, as we are ready to ask
and prepared to receive it.Other than that that we are left to our
own agency and understanding.Which I believe explains much what
church leader have said in the past."Science" a creation of
modern man, and it's not, can not be only the source of light and truth.The BOM an 18th century English translation of text from 1500 years ago
or more from egyptian like writing, you are not going find "zarahemla"
in archeological evidence. Probably just some hieroglyphics or symbols one would
have to know how to translate correctly into modern english.
Many Anti-Mormon people have tried to disprove the Book of Mormon because the
population grew "too fast". Just as IS cited at different points in the
scripture, they did join with other peoples (For example the people of
Zarahemla) when they came in contact with them. Mormon and Moroni abridged the
record for what they thought was the most important and relevant data to include
in the scriptural text. The people of Zarahemla were mentioned due to their
similar ancestry, and leaving Jerusalem about the same time as Lehi and his
family did. Joining with natives that came from chine, the south pacific,
etc... likely did not make the cut for the Abridged Book of Mormon record, as
there was no real significance to the joining of those peoples with the
Nephites/Lamanites. This would not only give rise to the idea that the
population explosion was relevant and accurate, but also why an intermingling of
the DNA would have occurred, and quite soon into the arrival of the People of
Zarahemla and the People of Lehi.
Thiose who speak of the Book of Mormon as mentioning "old world animals in
the New World" have not thought deeply enough on the issue. As John Sorenson
has pointed out, there is a long history of people using one word to refer to
multiple animals. Thus, what is meant by the mention to "horses" in the
Book of Mormon is hard to say.The cultural practices issues is even
harder to prove. The biggest thing to understand is that even post
1500 history involves lots of unknown issues. Before 1500 there is even more
People did not join the Church because of assertions in the introduction to the
Book of Mormon.However, I think that DNA does not disprove "the
Lamianites were the principal ancestors of the Native Americans". John L.
Sorenson has argued that the only way to explain the larger Lamanite population
is that Laman and Lemuel or their early descendants had managed to subjugate a
large additional population.The Book of Mormon is a lineage history.
We only rarely get glimpses beyond the lineage but the ones we get tell us there
are lots of other people involved. The Lamanites at the end of the
Book of Mormon seem not to be primarily biological descendants of Laman.Additionally, statements in the introduction are not to be taken as
scripture. What people believe in his the correctness of the doctrines taught in
the book, not its accuracy as an account of a connection from AD 400 to AD 1400,
a matter the Book speaks nothing about.
The Book of Mormon should not be read to imply a literal change in skin color.
No more than it should be read to say God gave people eyes that were literally
scaly. That is a figurative, not a real change.Anyway, during the
time after Jesus visited all groups in the society mixed freely. The
real answer is in population studies and geographical modeling. The text of the
Book of Mormon if read closely clearly is speaking of events in a fairly limited
area. This is not a continent wide set of circumstances. Even the passage in
Heleman about extending to the four seas is best read as a standard phrase more
than a literal event.Most importantly is the Jacob and Sharon
interchange. Where does Sharon come from? More importantly, the only way to make
any sense of Sharon having to seek for Jacob is a population that is much larger
than could possible have come about just from natural population increase.Kent Brown argues that a passage in the Doctrine and Covenants implies
Nephi getting converts in Arabia. Although this does not solve many DNA
problems, it does point out there are more people involved.
Some have also argued that it should be born in mind that where populations that
currently have a given DNA live today does not have to correspond to where they
were in the past.We do not know what the DNA would have been of
Jared and Moriancumr. Hugh Nibley long before DNA studies, just from a close
reading of the Book of Mormon text, argued that some of the Jared/Moriancumr
descendants must have survived. He actually wanted to read them as Asians, and
there apparent time in East Asia might be more complex as relates to the
population there than some think.Additionally, what Lehi's DNA
would have been is hard to say. The link between ancient Israel and any modern
population is not without complexities. To at least some extent most Jewish
populations shows some biological mixing in the areas they have lived over the
last 2000 years. The back history of the peoples of Siberia and
Manchuria may also be more complex than some want to admit.
I believe that there is merit in these DNA studies.But that cannot
be taken as "proof" that the Book of Mormon account is somehow
inaccurate. It is just as plausible that it proves the reverse. Who is to say that the Asian's don't descend from the Lamanites, or
that they both descend from a common ancestor? ie, the Joseph.The
only conclusion that we can say is accurate is that the two people's are
related. The Book of Mormon contains an account of people leaving to go settle
other lands, at the height of their civilization. Most assume this
refers to the Pacific Islanders, and perhaps it does. But that cannot rule out
other migrations, including to Asia.
Pretty much since the day after the Book of Mormon was first published in 1830
there has been some effort to disqualify it. The arguments have ranged from
writing style to archaeological evidence, or the lack thereof. In spite of all
of it, the book continues to be published with few major alterations (aside from
formatting into verses, spelling corrections and similar).I choose
to accept the book at face value. As suggested by Eastcoastcoug, the spiritual
value if the greatest single factor.On a trip to Cozumel years ago,
we got to see some interesting, though not uber-famous ruins. Most of these
dated back to about 500 A.D., the time after Moroni's concluding entries.
A lot of time has passed since Cumorah. Civilations have come and gone during
the years since. Let's not get to comfortable with current evidence for or
against, I'm sure there is much more research to be done and I am confident
that this book will continue to stand the test of time.
To AZKID,The biggest flaw in the North American model, in my
opinion, is the lack of evidence for large civilizations with large buildings as
described in the BOM, and what we see in Mezoamerica. Also there is no
reference in the BOM of a cold or harsh climate. On the contrary, the attire
worn by the Lamanites would suggest a warm or tropical climate. Also the
Mississippi, which the North American model attributes as the River Sidon, is
flowing in the wrong direction.No doubt there are some interesting
facets to the North American model, but I think FARMS and most LDS scholars
still adhere to the Mezoamerican model.
DNA is only a small part of the story. We can look for evidences of historicity
in the Book of Mormon itself. There are mentions of old world animals, grains,
technologies, languages, and cultural practices that were brought over and were
in widespread use by the large civilizations mentioned in the book. Overwhelming
evidence of these things in pre-Colombian times would prove its historicity.
@Kirk R Graves: Not true. There is absolutely no credible evidence that backs
the Book of Mormon stories as a historical account. Given that the Book of
Mormon clearly says there were supposed to be lots of inhabitants in America who
came from the Middle East, it's very implausible to suggest that no
evidence would be discovered at this point that support claims of the Book of
The problem seems to be that the church has spent years defining things in
absolute black and white terms. The copy of the BoM in my hand this minute says,
"these people were the principal ancestors of the American Indians".
There isn't a lot of wiggle room in that statement. A similar cases exists
concerning blacks and the priesthood. For years it's been said that it was
God's will; it was all His plan. Now comes a modern interpretation and says
the "prophet" was just a product of his times. This isn't the
middle ages where you could just go round up all the books that say things you
don't want heard and burn them.It's easy to see where some would say
the church is having credibility issues and that those issues might have
something to do with stories of people leaving the church.
Actually after googling those national geographic words listed in comment by San
DiegoOrem, UT, I'm both surprised and reassured. The
actual title is: ""Great Surprise"—Native Americans Have West
Eurasian Origins" and the subtitle is: "Oldest human genome reveals less
of an East Asian ancestry than thought".My thoughts are now, as
someone with a scientific -or rather a practical engineering background- that
scripture which states that foolish are those who trust in the wisdom of men ie
2 Nephi 9:28-29. Now that some evidence is showing up that tends to
concur with the BoM narrative I wonder if those comedians (especially ones on
HBO) will now say: Oh, now I think the BoM could be right? could be true? I wont be holding my breath.
I can't shake the feeling that this is too little too late. We
have being on the receiving end of this DNA disproves the BoM since around 2003
odd. And since until today there was mostly silence. It's good that they
are now reacting but they also need to react online because if one searches for
DNA and BoM most if not all links are to critical sites all which claim that
scientific evidence disprove the book with DNA. And some comedians have been on
this bandwagon for years, mostly since Romney started running for potus.Anyways, glad they are finally responding. However the comment above
saying that "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" is probably much more valuable today
than any formal response on a website. Just my opinion off course.
The Mormon church should be helping people to discover and learn the truth, and
not be a party to those who wish to cover it up or rationalize it away. As time
goes on, and with new technology and sources of information people are learning
more and more of the truth for themselves and might feel that they have been
duped by those they trusted. It is wrong that people be send to their graves
with false information when thy could have lived the truth during their life
Ah yes. The test of infallibility. Basically the claim is if a prophet or
other religious leader makes a mistake, he is not a prophet or didn't
receive revelation. "Therefore" if we can find a mistake or a learning
curve for someone - that person couldn't have been a prophet or ever been
in contact with God. If that were true, we've never had a prophet on the
earth. The Bible records the learning curves and chastisements of prophets
since the beginning. Moses, Peter, Job to name a few. They all messed up.
There is not an institution secular, educational, gov't, religious or
otherwise that can claim the benchmark of infallibility. It is a false,
contrived benchmark which has no precedent and a standard no one can claim.
It's like saying none of Einstein's discoveries can be given any
credibility because he made mistakes in some of his personal theories... There
is a difference between revelation, doctrine, canon and their best guesses.
Think man,Indeed, the actual wording was "the Lamanites... are
the principal ancestors of the American Indians.”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.After all,
according to Mormon doctrine, can you get a spiritual confirmation of the truth
of something that is not true?
@The Scientist = Nice try, but all the Church is admitting to is that it
doesn't know. Naturally, everyone knows science has ALL the
answers to everything, right? ;-)There is still a lot to learn
about so many things, not only regarding DNA, but many other aspects of not only
the human genome, but every other scientific discipline. Man's
science is primitive, and trying to find answers to complex DNA patterns from
thousands of years ago without a full comprehension of all the facts is like
trying to cut a diamond with a rock hammer.Eventually, man will
understand that the purest religion IS the purest science. God works using laws
as HE understands them, not as man understands them. As Albert Einstein
observed, "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is
blind." Perhaps by combining both research AND faith, we will eventually
come to a better understanding of our past, present and future.
The definition of faith is to believe in something which is not seen, which is
true. We cannot grow spiritually if we can rely on reason alone. Faith is a
choice, a step towards spiritual growth, and becomes a power in our lives.
Spiritual knowledge and physical knowledge are complementary, but are not
acquired by the same means. Physical knowledge is obtained by reason and logic,
the scientific method, etc. Spiritual knowledge begins with a leap of faith,
"like a seed, if planted it will grow", "seek and ye shall
find." People who choose not to take a leap of faith themselves should not
ridicule those that do as somehow inferior, when in reality they are limiting
their own knowledge by limiting their means of acquisition.
This is a great idea and I am glad they have done this. I have actually seen
claims that DNA has proven the Book of Mormon to be false. These claims are
obviously directed at those who don't understand DNA and are not familiar
with the Book of Mormon. Anyone who knows much about DNA understands that it
does not have that kind of power. Yes, it can be very useful in analyzing crime
scenes but, as others have pointed out here, it does not have a very impressive
record of linking even KNOWN relatives.
RAB,I would agree with your statement about the prophets and other
LDS church authorities speaking by interpretation and assumptions if it
weren't for the FACT that the Book of Mormon itself up until the last few
years stated on its title page that it was the history of THE people of the
A few more thoughts: The Mezzo-American ruins are fabulous, (I have
read all the FARMS stuff, Sorrensen, etc.) but they do not match the Book of
Mormon cultures for me. The "Hopewell" cultures of North America were
the Nephites and Lamanites. (I'll credit my acquaintance Rod Meldrum with
much of my perspective on this, although I have views that differ from his in
some particulars.) Rod's views are controversial, but I believe they are
far closer to the truth than many realize. So for the doubters
and naysayers out there, I would encourage you to look at the North American
model before you make your draconian pronouncements on the veracity of the Book
of Mormon. I know/believe it to be true from both an intellectual and spiritual
point of view.
While many may disagree with me, I am personally of the opinion that the Book of
Mormon narrative occurred in the Ohio and Mississippi river valleys, with the
"land northward" being upstate new York where the plates were eventually
found. There are certain textual difficulties in locating the various
"seas" described in the text under this model, but I have successfully
reconciled those with a mixture of Great Lakes references (narrow neck,
day's journey) combined with Gulf of Mexico (west sea south) along with the
Chesapeake bay area (sea east). Then by simply identifying the "head" of
the River Sidon as the Mississippi delta, rather that the tiny origin of the
river in the Northern Plains, makes it all fit. This, combined with the
National Geographic study cited above regarding Western Eurasian DNA in Native
Americans, kind of seals the deal for me.
@eastcoastcoug - The Ohio State Professor you are referring to is an economics
professor, hardly an authority on ancient civilizations or linguistics. I
believe his name is J. Huston McCulloch.
LDS leaders are not infallible beings whose every word is irrefutable truth from
the mouth of God. When they speak about living righteously, their words are of
God. But when they merely speculate or speak of how things appear to be, you can
rest assured that they are merely sharing ideas that appear to them to be right.
Frankly, God isn't interested in appeasing our every curiosity. He is
interested in our souls. That is what His prophets were called to save.It has always been on our individual heads to follow whisperings of the spirit
to discover the truth for ourselves. Yes, many church leaders taught
that all Native Americans descended from the Lamanites. They made assumptions
and speculations based on what seemed true to them regardless of what was
actually claimed in scripture or revealed to them by the Lord. Had they made a
concerted effort to ask the Lord about it, perhaps He would have explained it
better. But it is far more likely that God has better things to do than satisfy
our childish curiosities as to which Native Americans descended from Lamanites.
The lds.org piece is good, but a second error is where it states:
"scientific consensus holds that the vast majority of Native Americans
belong to ... mitochondrial DNA haplogroups A, B, C, D, and X, all of which are
predominantly East Asian." Contrary to this statement, there is not a
scientific consensus that mitochondrial DNA haplogroup X is East Asian. For
example, in "The Druze: A Population Genetic Refugium of the Near East,"
by Liran I. Shlush, et. al (2008), the (non-mormon) researchers state: "No
population or geographic region has [previously] been identified to date, in
which haplogroup X and its major subhaplogroups are found at both high frequency
and high diversity, which could provide a potential clue as to their geographic
origin. Here we suggest that the Druze population of northern Israel may
represent just such a population." The researchers went on to discuss how
the "surprisingly high frequency and high diversity of X haplogroup
lineages" among the Druze population in Israel indicates that the X
haplogroup was prevalent anciently in the Near East. They reason that "these
Galilee Druze individuals represent the refugium of an ancestral group ... from
which the global diversity of X mtDNA haplogroup emerged."
The piece on lds.org is good but has a couple of mistakes. For one, it states:
"scientific consensus holds that the vast majority of Native Americans
belong to sub-branches of the Y-chromosome haplogroups C and Q14 ... which are
predominantly East Asian." This is incorrect. To the contrary, a
very significant portion of Native Americans belong to Y-chromosome haplogroup
R-M173, not to C or Q14, and there is not a scientific consensus that Y
chromosome haplogroup R-M173 is East Asian. Y chromosome haplogroup
R-M173 is the second most common haplogroup among indigenous americans, and the
most common haplogroup among Native Americans in the Eastern US. See, e.g.,
Deborah A. Bolnick, et. al., "Asymmetric Male and Female Genetic Histories
among Native Americans from Eastern North America," 23 Molecular Biology and
Evolution, at 2163 (2006). It is also considered to be of European origin, not
Asian. Many scientists currently assume this European DNA "must" have
come from recent European contact, but this is questionable due to the
DNA's extraordinarily high prevalence (approaching 80% in some tribes) even
among native americans who claim pure native american ancestry.
There is a precedent for a people who claim Jewish heritage in an usual
location, and scientists were able to validate the claim via DNA.The
Lembda tribe in Zimbabwe and South Africa long claimed to be Jewish, even though
their appearance is much like the Bantu groups around them. Not knowing what
exactly they were looking for, scientists found the so-called "Cohen
haplotype" among a high percentage of the Lembda males.There are
differences in population size, and unknowns regarding the number of Jews who
moved to southern Africa, but the migration out of Israel occurred roughly
around the time period the BOM family would have left, about 2500 years ago.Even with "genetic drift", the genetic evidence of BOM origins
should exist in American Indian populations, almost certainly not at the
frequency among the Lembda, but it should appear, perhaps sporatically, but as
genetic research becomes cheaper and more widespread, and more information is
learned from population genetics, the evidence of Israeli origins should start
to appear in Native Americans, in a convincing manner.
Scientists perform a valuable service in the quest for knowledge. The
scientific method is a valuable approach to acquiring knowledge. Scientists
have been around for thousands of years, yet they are still necessary in 2014.
Why? Because there are still many things we do not know, so the quest for
knowledge must continue and the scientists' skills are needed in that
endeavor. In addition, some of the "facts" that scientists declared
only 100 years ago have been replaced by new "facts" because of their
ongoing research. I am certainly glad to see the research that scientists are
conducting with DNA; however, the body of knowledge they are acquiring is
ongoing and dynamic and will continue to result in ever-changing conclusions. I
think "A Scientist's" decision to resort to his snipe hunting
comment is a betrayal of his profession as a scientist. If you are a scientist,
then please think and write like one. I would value your insights if you did so.
Dear Scientist: "No evidence?" If one has an intimate knowledge of both
BofM and archaeological evidence, one could not possibly be so bold in this
statement. I will acknowledge that there is no direct evidence -- no city signs
discovered declaring a place to be Zarahemla or Bountiful. But there is plenty
of parallel evidence -- things Joseph Smith could not have known or guessed at
in his day -- the most glaring of which is that there even was a Native American
civilization that had a written language. Another one that is interesting is
that one of the first Mayan words deciphered was translated as "it
happened" or "it came to pass," both used by non-LDS scholars. This
word appears in Mayan texts about as frequently as it occurs in the BofM.
Coincidence? I think not. But you are welcome to blissfully exist in your
on-going ignorance if it pleases you.
For a great book on this topic, read Jon Entine's "Abraham’s
Children: Race, Identity and the DNA of the Chosen People." Or, if you
don't wanna take time to read the book, read his article in the June 4,
2012 issue of Forbes. Boom. There's your evidence, sourced by some of the
leading scientists in the field.I don't really need scientific
evidence. Over the last 40 years I've been told by scientists to expect a
second ice age, that smoking isn't bad for me, that a fetus isn't
really alive...and now science is telling me the opposite. The spiritual truths
I've been taught are--Surprise--the same ones I've been taught for 40
The fact that American Indian DNA doesnt match that of the middle east not
surprising. The Book of Mormon says God changed the skin color of the
Lamanites. Doing this would have required a change in their DNA. Given the
change, it isnt surprising there is no match.Assuming the Bible is
to be taken literally, This isn't first time God has changed the DNA of
people. All races of people come from one set of parents. Again this
couldn't be unless there was a change in peoples DNA.
One of the red-est of red herrings. We don't know where they were. The
Book claims they were all gone at the end, anyway. The Book itself makes it
clear that it does not state where this group landed and colonized. They could
have landed in Malaysia.
The article states that some people in the 1800s believed that the peoples of
the Book of Mormon came from the Middle East.Actually, if you were
to poll 1,000 active Mormons today, I bet 90% or more would say that they
believe and KNOW that the Lehites, Mulekites and Jaredites came from the Middle
East.I taught this in my Gospel Doctrine classes, on my mission and
I was taught this from my days in primary decades ago and it was taught to us
over and over again by apostles and other LDS Church General Authorities.
The church shouldn't have done this. Because it doesn't really matter.
You could go through a laundry list of things that don't make sense in
Mormonism and try to explain them one by one. The whole idea of spirituality is
to find peace through things that cannot be explained in an earthly manner.
Whether you find it through Mormonism, Catholicism, Islam, or Nature it does not
matter. People are still trying to figure out Nature, and can't quite do
Bob and Wolfgang, the Book of Mormon reader does not need evidence from
outside source, nor the opinion of any General Authorities about it. The book
contains all answers exclusively for you as the Spirit was with the Nephite and
Lamanite Prophets at that time and it will carry it to you again. Joseph Smith
was taught by Moroni himself many times, more than we know, you as well can be
taught and touched by that same spirit if you search for it in the Book.The people of the Book of Mormon times are present within the book, and
it becomes clear that they had influence from other sources and other people.
Just looking at some pages will not do it, you need to get involved.
It doesn't matter ? Oh, yes it matters; everything matters. If we could
prove it with DNA we would, if we had the Golden Plates we would.Let
us go on a warm summer walk into an open field where we would find a beautiful
flower.First we could dissect it for biological studies, Second we should
ask what does the sun ray do to my perception and what is reality?But most importantly we can assume multitasking the flower is capable of.It can bring more flowers, it can reflect beauty, but it could also make us
think !There is a purpose in everything, if you just trust that there is a
Creator.That is the intention of the Writers of the Book of Mormon. To
make us think and wanting to change. To discover Who we are. That is the most
important study and the most difficult.That is why people want to
avoid the Book of Mormon, it is a treasure to your soul but also a difficult
road for asking questions about us.Those who find the BM to be a
true book, know there is more evidence to come.Just a question of time.
Dear The ScientistAs is your wife, I too am married to an Atheist. It
would crush me to hear mine make the same very frequent, degrading and insulting
remarks about my religion as you do about hers.
When we begin think that we can outsmart an omnipotent being (our maker, our
Heavenly Father) and set aside His requirement for faith, which central to His
plan, then we deceive ourselves and we find ourselves off the path to eternal
One more...I've visited sites in Sicily and southern Spain
which were settled by the Phoenicians (of Semitic origin) in 800 B.C. Some have
speculated they had the technology to go outside the Mediterranean and settle
other lands. A few years ago, archeologists uncovered ships in use in the
Arabian Peninsula around the time of Lehi and stated that their technology was
far more advanced than originally believed and could have sailed long
distances.So if these people in Lehi's time and location had
the ability to sail beyond the Mediterranean, would that also not mean it was
possible that Lehi himself could have done it? We know so little
about the ancient world - we have barely begun to scratch the surface. No one
with a truly scientific mind can say categorically these people never existed.
The best we can say is there is some evidence supporting the claims of the Book
of Mormon, some of it circumstantial, some with amazing coincidence and that in
the end we really know very little about the ancient inhabitants of the
Americas. Most of it is buried, or otherwise lost. Many people also
doubted the existence of the city of Troy.
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.
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
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.
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
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
@Scientist 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."
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
What about haplo group x found among certain groups of North American Indians?
@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.
Gosh I think it's so neat that DNA proves it's all true now.
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.
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
The church has bone fragments of Zelph designated by JS to be a Lamanite warrior
why don't they reveal his DNA.
"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?
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