LDS Church posts topic page on Book of Mormon and DNA studies

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  • Dave Wilson Phoenix, AZ
    Feb. 8, 2014 11:25 a.m.

    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.

  • MACDONALDBANK Los Angleles, CA
    Feb. 8, 2014 10:21 a.m.

    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 …!

  • greatbam22 andrews afb, MD
    Feb. 5, 2014 3:37 p.m.

    @ 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.

  • greatbam22 andrews afb, MD
    Feb. 5, 2014 11:51 a.m.

    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
    Feb. 5, 2014 9:34 a.m.


    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.

  • desert Potsdam, 00
    Feb. 4, 2014 5:29 p.m.

    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.

  • niners SAINT GEORGE, UT
    Feb. 4, 2014 4:16 p.m.


    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.

  • GTOBoomer USA, UT
    Feb. 4, 2014 4:10 p.m.

    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.

  • TheProudDuck Newport Beach, CA
    Feb. 4, 2014 4:06 p.m.

    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.

  • Big 'D' San Mateo, CA
    Feb. 4, 2014 3:25 p.m.

    @ 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

  • Casey See FLOWER MOUND, TX
    Feb. 4, 2014 3:02 p.m.

    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.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Feb. 4, 2014 2:44 p.m.

    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.

  • DocHolliday reno, NV
    Feb. 4, 2014 1:44 p.m.


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

  • DocHolliday reno, NV
    Feb. 4, 2014 1:41 p.m.


    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?

  • Razzle2 Bluffdale, UT
    Feb. 4, 2014 1:36 p.m.

    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.

  • BlueHusky Mission Viejo, CA
    Feb. 4, 2014 12:56 p.m.

    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.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Feb. 4, 2014 11:50 a.m.

    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.

  • DocHolliday reno, NV
    Feb. 4, 2014 11:11 a.m.

    "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

    Not speculation.

  • DocHolliday reno, NV
    Feb. 4, 2014 11:11 a.m.

    "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.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Feb. 4, 2014 11:02 a.m.

    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.

  • Cletus from Coalville Coalville, UT
    Feb. 4, 2014 10:52 a.m.

    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.

  • Ghost Writer GILBERT, AZ
    Feb. 4, 2014 10:30 a.m.

    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.

  • Weber State Graduate Clearfield, UT
    Feb. 4, 2014 10:22 a.m.

    "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

  • CBAX Provo, UT
    Feb. 4, 2014 10:21 a.m.


    Scientist gets BOLD on comment boards and sits quietly in relief society. Keep up the real intent there!

  • Razzle2 Bluffdale, UT
    Feb. 4, 2014 9:02 a.m.

    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.

  • Capsaicin Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 4, 2014 7:06 a.m.

    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.

  • Razzle2 Bluffdale, UT
    Feb. 3, 2014 10:43 p.m.

    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.

  • I know it. I Live it. I Love it. Provo, UT
    Feb. 3, 2014 9:37 p.m.


    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 rather have?

  • falasha Mount Laurel, NJ
    Feb. 3, 2014 9:12 p.m.

    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. 6:10)."

  • falasha Mount Laurel, NJ
    Feb. 3, 2014 8:26 p.m.

    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.

  • Cowboy Dude SAINT GEORGE, UT
    Feb. 3, 2014 5:03 p.m.

    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.

  • Canyontreker TAYLORSVILLE, UT
    Feb. 3, 2014 4:27 p.m.

    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?

  • Canyontreker TAYLORSVILLE, UT
    Feb. 3, 2014 4:10 p.m.

    "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.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Feb. 3, 2014 3:57 p.m.

    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 divination.

  • Cowboy Dude SAINT GEORGE, UT
    Feb. 3, 2014 3:44 p.m.

    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.

  • desert Potsdam, 00
    Feb. 3, 2014 2:54 p.m.

    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)

  • thriveplanet Lehi, UT
    Feb. 3, 2014 2:19 p.m.

    @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.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Feb. 3, 2014 2:13 p.m.

    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.

  • Jazz Bass Man Wellsville, Utah
    Feb. 3, 2014 2:07 p.m.

    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.

  • lehiaggie Lehi, UT
    Feb. 3, 2014 2:07 p.m.

    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.

  • greatbam22 andrews afb, MD
    Feb. 3, 2014 1:48 p.m.

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

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

  • Mike in Cedar City Cedar City, Utah
    Feb. 3, 2014 1:16 p.m.

    "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.

  • mhenshaw Leesburg, VA
    Feb. 3, 2014 12:56 p.m.

    >>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.

  • Well.ok Lehi, UT
    Feb. 3, 2014 12:21 p.m.

    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.

  • 1covey Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 3, 2014 12:05 p.m.

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

  • Allen Salt Lake valley, UT
    Feb. 3, 2014 11:45 a.m.

    @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 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.

    Feb. 3, 2014 11:35 a.m.

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

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

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

  • What in Tucket? Provo, UT
    Feb. 3, 2014 11:32 a.m.

    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.

  • Church member North Salt Lake, UT
    Feb. 3, 2014 11:21 a.m.

    To Thrive planet

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

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

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    Feb. 3, 2014 11:06 a.m.

    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.

  • oremdad Orem, UT
    Feb. 3, 2014 10:57 a.m.

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

  • mhenshaw Leesburg, VA
    Feb. 3, 2014 10:49 a.m.

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

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

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

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

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

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Feb. 3, 2014 10:47 a.m.


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

  • mhenshaw Leesburg, VA
    Feb. 3, 2014 10:28 a.m.

    >>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.

  • bradleyc Layton, UT
    Feb. 3, 2014 10:21 a.m.

    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.

  • thriveplanet Lehi, UT
    Feb. 3, 2014 10:12 a.m.

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

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Feb. 3, 2014 10:09 a.m.

    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.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 3, 2014 10:01 a.m.

    @San Diego
    That 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.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Feb. 3, 2014 9:20 a.m.

    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.

  • Dan Maloy Enid, OK
    Feb. 3, 2014 9:00 a.m.

    @ 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!

  • Grandma 20 Allen, TX
    Feb. 3, 2014 8:51 a.m.

    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.

  • Itsme2 SLC, UT
    Feb. 3, 2014 8:44 a.m.

    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.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Feb. 3, 2014 8:43 a.m.

    "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 the pivot.

  • Skyler Goode Kissimmee, FL
    Feb. 3, 2014 8:35 a.m.

    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!

  • Casey See FLOWER MOUND, TX
    Feb. 3, 2014 8:17 a.m.

    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.

  • donn layton, UT
    Feb. 3, 2014 8:11 a.m.

    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

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Feb. 3, 2014 7:29 a.m.

    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.

  • atrulson cohoes, NY
    Feb. 3, 2014 7:26 a.m.

    I'm glad the Church is finally addressing important issues like this on its official website.

  • Open and honest Manchester, 00
    Feb. 3, 2014 5:29 a.m.

    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.

  • morpunkt Glendora, CA
    Feb. 3, 2014 12:40 a.m.

    The Holy Ghost will always trump debate about scientific talking points.

  • Classic Mom Grants Pass, OR
    Feb. 3, 2014 12:30 a.m.

    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.

  • antodav TAMPA, FL
    Feb. 2, 2014 10:19 p.m.

    This is one of those things that will not really change anybody's opinion, but is useful for defusing arguments regardless.

  • play by the rules SOUTH JORDAN, UT
    Feb. 2, 2014 10:04 p.m.

    Far more interested in the symbolic and religiously significance of artifacts discovered in the Americas.

  • Bob Pomeroy Bisbee, AZ
    Feb. 2, 2014 7:54 p.m.

    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.

  • bj-hp Maryville, MO
    Feb. 2, 2014 7:17 p.m.

    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.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    Feb. 2, 2014 7:04 p.m.

    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.

  • Mint Julip KAYSVILLE, UT
    Feb. 2, 2014 7:01 p.m.

    @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 truth Holladay, UT
    Feb. 2, 2014 6:32 p.m.

    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.

  • Benjamin Heward Orem, UT
    Feb. 2, 2014 6:14 p.m.

    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.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Feb. 2, 2014 5:40 p.m.

    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 unknown information.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Feb. 2, 2014 5:35 p.m.

    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.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Feb. 2, 2014 5:29 p.m.

    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.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Feb. 2, 2014 5:17 p.m.

    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.

  • vayapues1 west valley city, UT
    Feb. 2, 2014 4:02 p.m.

    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.

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    Feb. 2, 2014 3:36 p.m.

    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.

  • idablu Idaho Falls, ID
    Feb. 2, 2014 3:04 p.m.

    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.

  • Elms OGDEN, UT
    Feb. 2, 2014 1:46 p.m.

    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. Simple enough.

  • Mr.Glass Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 2, 2014 12:24 p.m.

    @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 Mormon.

  • LeDoc SLC, UT
    Feb. 2, 2014 12:17 p.m.

    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.

  • AllBlack San Diego, CA
    Feb. 2, 2014 11:24 a.m.

    Actually after googling those national geographic words listed in comment by San Diego
    Orem, 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.

  • AllBlack San Diego, CA
    Feb. 2, 2014 11:02 a.m.

    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.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Feb. 2, 2014 10:55 a.m.

    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 time.

  • Classic Mom Grants Pass, OR
    Feb. 2, 2014 9:57 a.m.

    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.

  • The Scientist Provo, UT
    Feb. 2, 2014 9:54 a.m.

    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?

  • JonathanPDX Portland, Oregon
    Feb. 2, 2014 9:47 a.m.

    @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.

    Feb. 2, 2014 8:15 a.m.

    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.

  • Max Charlotte, NC
    Feb. 2, 2014 6:12 a.m.

    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.

  • Thinkman Provo, UT
    Feb. 1, 2014 11:28 p.m.


    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 Americas.

  • AZKID Mapleton, UT
    Feb. 1, 2014 10:24 p.m.

    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.

  • AZKID Mapleton, UT
    Feb. 1, 2014 10:19 p.m.

    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.

  • slcman SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Feb. 1, 2014 10:07 p.m.

    @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.

  • RAB Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 1, 2014 9:39 p.m.

    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.

  • David R Dexter, MI
    Feb. 1, 2014 9:33 p.m.

    The 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."

  • David R Dexter, MI
    Feb. 1, 2014 9:20 p.m.

    The piece on 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.

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 1, 2014 9:07 p.m.

    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.

  • Hockey Fan Miles City, MT
    Feb. 1, 2014 7:43 p.m.

    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.

  • metamoracoug metamora, IL
    Feb. 1, 2014 7:17 p.m.

    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.

  • The Judge Kaysville, UT
    Feb. 1, 2014 6:53 p.m.

    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 years.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 1, 2014 6:24 p.m.

    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.

  • rightascension Provo, UT
    Feb. 1, 2014 6:03 p.m.

    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.

  • Thinkman Provo, UT
    Feb. 1, 2014 5:32 p.m.

    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.

  • Coolio SLC, UT
    Feb. 1, 2014 5:20 p.m.

    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 it.

  • desert Potsdam, 00
    Feb. 1, 2014 3:58 p.m.

    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.

  • desert Potsdam, 00
    Feb. 1, 2014 3:22 p.m.

    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.

  • Mayfair City, Ut
    Feb. 1, 2014 2:49 p.m.

    Dear The Scientist
    As 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.

  • NT SomewhereIn, UT
    Feb. 1, 2014 2:44 p.m.

    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 truth.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    Feb. 1, 2014 2:38 p.m.

    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.

  • jeanie orem, UT
    Feb. 1, 2014 2:38 p.m.

    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.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    Feb. 1, 2014 2:23 p.m.

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

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

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

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

    Add to that its endless spiritual value.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    Feb. 1, 2014 2:13 p.m.

    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.

  • truth in all its forms henderson, NV
    Feb. 1, 2014 1:57 p.m.

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

  • Casey See FLOWER MOUND, TX
    Feb. 1, 2014 1:31 p.m.

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • San Diego Orem, UT
    Feb. 1, 2014 12:25 p.m.

    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."

  • Owl Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 1, 2014 12:23 p.m.

    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.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Feb. 1, 2014 12:21 p.m.

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

  • Bob A. Bohey Marlborough, MA
    Feb. 1, 2014 11:18 a.m.

    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.

  • Wolfgang57 Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 1, 2014 10:53 a.m.

    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.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Feb. 1, 2014 10:34 a.m.

    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.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    Feb. 1, 2014 10:29 a.m.

    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.

  • Bucketmouths Las vegas , NV
    Feb. 1, 2014 10:30 a.m.

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

  • Kirk R Graves West Jordan, UT
    Feb. 1, 2014 10:03 a.m.

    @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.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 1, 2014 10:00 a.m.

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

  • MoreMan San Diego, CA
    Feb. 1, 2014 9:40 a.m.

    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.

  • The Scientist Provo, UT
    Feb. 1, 2014 8:28 a.m.

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

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

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

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Jan. 31, 2014 10:11 p.m.

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

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Jan. 31, 2014 10:04 p.m.

    "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?

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Jan. 31, 2014 6:19 p.m.

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

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