More Nail-Pounding into the Mormon Church's "Lamanite DNA" Coffin . . .
steve benson May 2013
--The Scientific Evidence Against the Mormon Church’s Claim of a Genetic Link Between Book of Mormon “Lamanites,” Present-day Native Americans and Semitic DNA
From “Bedrock of a Faith Is Jolted,“ by William Lobell, as published in the “Los Angeles Times”:
“For Mormons, the lack of discernible Hebrew blood in Native Americans is no minor collision between faith and science. It burrows into the historical foundations of the Book of Mormon, a 175-year-old transcription that the Church regards as literal and without error.
“For those outside the faith, the depth of the Church's dilemma can be explained this way: Imagine if DNA evidence revealed that the Pilgrims didn't sail from Europe to escape religious persecution but rather were part of a migration from Iceland — and that U.S. history books were wrong.
“Critics want the Church to admit its mistake and apologize to millions of Native Americans it converted. Church leaders have shown no inclination to do so. Indeed, they have dismissed as heresy any suggestion that Native American genetics undermine the Mormon creed.
“Yet at the same time, the Church has subtly promoted a fresh interpretation of the Book of Mormon intended to reconcile the DNA findings with the scriptures. This analysis is radically at odds with long-standing Mormon teachings.
“Some long-time observers believe that ultimately, the vast majority of Mormons will disregard the genetic research as an unworthy distraction from their faith.
"’This may look like the crushing blow to Mormonism from the outside,’ said Jan Shipps, a professor emeritus of religious studies at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, who has studied the Church for 40 years. ‘But religion ultimately does not rest on scientific evidence, but on mystical experiences. There are different ways of looking at truth.’ . . .
“According to the Book of Mormon, by 385 AD the dark-skinned Lamanites had wiped out other Hebrews. The Mormon Church called the victors ‘the principal ancestors of the American Indians.’ If the Lamanites returned to the Xhurch, their skin could once again become white.
“Over the years, Church prophets--believed by Mormons to receive revelations from God--and missionaries have used the supposed ancestral link between the ancient Hebrews and Native Americans and later Polynesians as a prime conversion tool in Central and South America and the South Pacific. . . .
"In the 1990s, DNA studies gave Mormon detractors further ammunition and new allies such as Simon G. Southerton, a molecular biologist and former bishop in the Church.
“Southerton, a senior research scientist with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization in Australia, said genetic research allowed him to test his religious views against his scientific training.
“Genetic testing of Jews throughout the world had already shown that they shared common strains of DNA from the Middle East. Southerton examined studies of DNA lineages among Polynesians and indigenous peoples in North, Central and South America. One mapped maternal DNA lines from 7,300 Native Americans from 175 tribes.
“Southerton found no trace of Middle Eastern DNA in the genetic strands of today's American Indians and Pacific Islanders.
“In ‘Losing a Lost Tribe,’ published in 2004, he concluded that Mormonism — his faith for 30 years--needed to be reevaluated in the face of these facts, even though it would shake the foundations of the faith.
“The problem is that Mormon leaders cannot acknowledge any factual errors in the Book of Mormon because the prophet Joseph Smith proclaimed it the "most correct of any book on Earth,’ Southerton said in an interview.
"’They can't admit that it's not historical," Southerton said. "They would feel that there would be a loss of members and loss in confidence in Joseph Smith as a prophet."
“Officially, the Mormon Church says that nothing in the Mormon scriptures is incompatible with DNA evidence, and that the genetic studies are being twisted to attack the church.
"’We would hope that Church members would not simply buy into the latest DNA arguments being promulgated by those who oppose the church for some reason or other,’ said Michael Otterson, a Salt Lake City-based spokesman for the Mormon church.
"’The truth is, the Book of Mormon will never be proved or disproved by science,’ he said.
“Unofficially, Church leaders have tacitly approved an alternative interpretation of the Book of Mormon by church apologists--a term used for scholars who defend the faith.
“The apologists say Southerton and others are relying on a traditional reading of the Book of Mormon--that the Hebrews were the first and sole inhabitants of the New World and eventually populated the North and South American continents.
“The latest scholarship, they argue, shows that the text should be interpreted differently. They say the events described in the Book of Mormon were confined to a small section of Central America, and that the Hebrew tribe was small enough that its DNA was swallowed up by the existing Native Americans.
"’It would be a virtual certainly that their DNA would be swamped,’ said Daniel Peterson, a professor of Near Eastern studies at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, part of the worldwide Mormon educational system, and editor of a magazine devoted to Mormon apologetics. ‘And if that is the case, you couldn't tell who was a Lamanite descendant.’
“Southerton said the new interpretation was counter to both a plain reading of the text and the words of Mormon leaders.
"’The apologists feel that they are almost above the prophets,’ Southerton said. ‘They have completely reinvented the narrative in a way that would be completely alien to members of the church and most of the prophets.’
“The Church has not formally endorsed the apologists' views, but the official website of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — http://www.lds.org — cites their work and provides links to it.
"’They haven't made any explicit public declarations,’ said Armand L. Mauss, a Church member and retired Washington State University professor who recently published a book on Mormon race and lineage. ‘But operationally, that is the current Xhurch's position.’
“The DNA debate is largely limited to Church leaders, academics and a relatively small circle of Church critics. Most Mormons, taught that obedience is a key value, take the Book of Mormon as God's unerring word.
"’It's not that Mormons are not curious,’ Mauss said. ‘They just don't see the need to reconsider what has already been decided.’
“Critics contend that Mormon leaders are quick to stifle dissent. In 2002, Church officials began an excommunication proceeding against Thomas W. Murphy, an anthropology professor at Edmonds Community College in Washington state.
“He was deemed a heretic for saying the Mormon scriptures should be considered inspired fiction in light of the DNA evidence.
“After the controversy attracted national media coverage, with Murphy's supporters calling him the Galileo of Mormonism, Church leaders halted the trial.
“[Salt Lake City attorney and shaken-faith Mormon Jose A.] Loayza said the Church should embrace the controversy. ’They should openly address it,’ he said. ‘Often, the tack they adopt is to just ignore or refrain from any opinion. We should have the courage of our convictions. This [Lamanite issue] is potentially destructive to the faith.’
“Otterson, the Church spokesman, said Mormon leaders would remain neutral. ‘Whether Book of Mormon geography is extensive or limited or how much today's Native Americans reflect the genetic makeup of the Book of Mormon peoples has absolutely no bearing on its central message as a testament of Jesus Christ,’ he said. . . .
“Phil Ormsby, a Polynesian who lives in Brisbane, Australia, grew up believing he was a Hebrew.
"’I visualized myself among the fighting Lamanites and lived out the fantasies of the [Book of Mormon] as I read it,’ Ormsby said. "It gave me great mana [prestige] to know that these were my true ancestors."
"The DNA studies have altered his feelings completely.
"’Some days I am angry, and some days I feel pity,’ he said. ‘I feel pity for my people who have become obsessed with something that is nothing but a hoax.’”
--The Mormon Church--Repeatedly, Dogmatically and Officially--Has Genetically Linked Book of Mormon “Lamanites” to the Jews
From “Who are the Lamanites?" (original emphasis), by RfM poster “Deconstrutor”:
“Mormons have historically believed that Lamanites, term used in the Book of Mormon, are the Native Americans in both North and South America who are descendents of Jews who came to the Americas around 600 BC. Current Mormon apologetic statements claim that only a small fraction of Native Americans were descended from Jews and that their DNA has been lost. This is a radical departure from 170 years of Mormon scriptures and teachings.
“Modern Church apologists want to pretend that the church doesn't know who Lamanites are. They should be embarrassed to say such lies to the press, when the record is so glaringly clear on this matter.
“For the record, the Church has declared emphatically who their Lamanites are:
--“D&C 28: 8
‘And now, behold, I say unto you that you shall go unto the Lamanites and preach my gospel unto them; and inasmuch as they receive thy teachings thou shalt cause my church to be established among them; and thou shalt have revelations, but write them not by way of commandment.'
'And now, behold, I say unto you that it is not revealed, and no man knoweth where the city Zion shall be built, but it shall be given hereafter. Behold, I say unto you that it shall be on the borders by the Lamanites.'
‘And thou shalt assist to settle all these things, according to the covenants of the church, before thou shalt take thy journey among the Lamanites.'
‘And be you afflicted in all his afflictions, ever lifting up your heart unto me in prayer and faith, for his and your deliverance; for I have given unto him power to build up my church among the Lamanites.’
‘And that which I have appointed unto him is that he shall go with my servants, Oliver Cowdery and Peter Whitmer, Jun., into the wilderness among the Lamanites.’
'But before the great day of the Lord shall come, Jacob shall flourish in the wilderness, and the Lamanites shall blossom as the rose.'
‘And thus you shall take your journey into the regions westward, unto the land of Missouri, unto the borders of the Lamanites.'
“’Not until the revelations of Joseph Smith, bringing forth the Book of Mormon, did any one know of these migrants. It was not known before, but now the question is fully answered. Now the Lamanites number about sixty million; they are in all of the states of America from Tierra del Fuego all the way up to Point Barrows, and they are in nearly all the islands of the sea from Hawaii south to southern New Zealand. The Church is deeply interested in all Lamanites because of these revelations and because of this great Book of Mormon, their history that was written on plates of gold and deposited in the hill. The translation by the Prophet Joseph Smith revealed a running history for one thousand years-six hundred years before Christ until four hundred after Christ-a history of these great people who occupied this land for that thousand years. Then for the next fourteen hundred years, they lost much of their high culture. The descendants of this mighty people were called Indians by Columbus in 1492 when he found them here."’
(Spencer W. Kimball, ‘Of Royal Blood,’ ‘Ensign, ‘ July 1971, p. 7, in the ‘special Lamanite section)
“Before 1978 the BOM used the term ‘white and delightsome’ to show how great white people were. In 1978 when the church changed theier stance on blacks, they changed the word ‘white’ to ‘pure.’ It’s in 2 Nephi 30:6, but that was only a window dressing. The Church left these:
--“1 Nephi 12:23
‘And it came to pass that I beheld, after they had dwindled in unbelief they became a dark, and loathsome, and a filthy people, full of idleness and all manner of abominations.'
--"1 Nephi 13:15
‘And I beheld the Spirit of the Lord, that it was upon the Gentiles, and they did prosper and obtain the land for their inheritance; and I beheld that they were white, and exceedingly fair and beautiful, like unto my people before they were slain.'
--2 Nephi 5:21
‘And he had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him that they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them.'
‘O my brethren, I fear that unless ye shall repent of your sins that their skins will be whiter than yours, when ye shall be brought with them before the throne of God.'
‘And the skins of the Lamanites were dark, according to the mark which was set upon their fathers, which was a curse upon them because of their transgression and their rebellion against their brethren, who consisted of Nephi, Jacob, and Joseph, and Sam, who were just and holy men.'
--“3 Nephi 2:15
‘And their curse was taken from them, and their skin became white like unto the Nephites,’
'And also that the seed of this people may more fully believe his gospel, which shall go forth unto them from the Gentiles; for this people shall be scattered, and shall become a dark, a filthy, and a loathsome people, beyond the description of that which ever hath been amongst us, yea, even that which hath been among the Lamanites, and this because of their unbelief and idolatry.'
“What Is The OFFICIAL Church Doctrine re: Ancestral Origins Of North American Indians?? (GOD's POSITION (to Joseph Smith, via the DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS)
“Well, the Lord makes it clear to JS in D&C 3:18-20:
‘And this testimony [the BoM] shall come to the knowledge of the Lamanites, and the Lemuelites, and the Ishmaelites, who dwindled in unbelief because of the iniquity of their fathers, whom the Lord has suffered to destroy their brethren the Nephites, because of their iniquities and their abominations.
‘And for this very purpose are these plates preserved, which contain these records, that the promises of the Lord might be fulfilled, which he made to his people;
‘And that the Lamanites might come to the knowledge of their fathers, and that they might know the promises of the Lord, and that they may believe the gospel and rely upon the merits of Jesus Christ, and be glorified through faith in his name, and that through their repentance they might be saved. Amen.'
“So, dear TBMs, if the indigenous peoples of the New World were Lamanites in 1828, when Section 3 was ‘revealed,’ and if they were Lamanites when I was assigned to work among them on my mission in the early 1970s, then they're still Lamanites today and the folks at FARMS are making up bulls***t excuses.
‘And that which I have appointed unto him is that he shall go with my servants, Oliver Cowdery and Peter Whitmer, Jun., into the wilderness among the Lamanites.'
‘But before the great day of the Lord shall come, Jacob shall flourish in the wilderness, and the Lamanites shall blossom as the rose.'
‘And thus you shall take your journey into the regions westward, unto the land of Missouri, unto the borders of the Lamanites.'
“How could they go among the Lamanites if the Lamanites were gone? How could they establish a church of non-existent people? How could the Lamanites blossom as a rose if they had already died off?
(D&C 10:48; D&C 19:27; D&C 28:8-9,14; D&C 30:6, D&C 57:4;
see also the heading info, which provides contextual expansion; D&C 101:70-71; D&C 109:65-66)
"BOOK OF MORMON:
1) “The Introduction to the Book of Mormon [prior to 2007, when the wording was changed, said] that the Lamanites, the last surviving Book of Mormon people, are ‘the principal ancestors of the American Indians.’ The intro also sa[id]. ‘Written to the Lamanites, who are a remnant of the house of Israel.’
“Furthermore, Moroni mentions several times he's writing to the Lamanites.
"If the Lamanites wouldn't survive until the coming forth of the BoM--as Moroni should have known, since he was a righteous prophet--then why address his remarks to them? Maybe he didn't know, huh?
“The Jaredites came ‘into that quarter where there never had man been.’ (Ether 2:5)
"The Nephites likewise, came to a land ‘kept from all other nations.’ (2 Nephi 1:9-11)
“The footnotes of the editions of the Book of Mormon from 1876-1921 indicate Lehi & company landed in Chile; the description of Helaman 3:8 is explicated in the [officially sanctioned] footnotes in editions of the Book of Mormon from 1880-1920:
“'And it came to pass that they [the Nephites] did multiply and spread, and did go forth from the land [g] southward to the land [h] northward, and did spread insomuch that they began to cover the face of the whole earth, from the sea [i] south, to the sea [j] north, from the sea [k] west, to the sea [l] east.'
“The footnotes provide the following identifications of these lands and bodies of water: ‘g, South America. h, North America. i, Atlantic, south of Cape Horn. j, Arctic, north of North America. k, Pacific. l, Atlantic.’ These footnotes indicate the official Church interpretation of Helaman 3:8 was that the Lamanites/Nephites covered BOTH continents of the entire western hemisphere.
“’THE 'PROPHET’ JOSEPH SMITH
“1) Joseph Smith described the Book of Mormon as ‘the history of ancient America . . . from its first settlement by a colony that came from the tower of Babel [the Jaredites].' (see the early Mormon publication, ‘Times and Seasons, ‘1 March 1842) III:707)
“2) In 1833 Joseph Smith wrote to Rochester, New York, newspaper editor N. C. Saxton that ‘[t]he Book of Mormon is a record of the forefathers of our western Tribes of Indians. . . . By it we learn that our western tribes of Indians are descendants from that Joseph that was sold into Egypt.’
"3) Joseph Smith wrote in the 1 March 1842 ‘Times and Seasons‘ that ‘. . . the principal nation of the second race [i.e., the Nephites and Lamanites] fell in battle towards the close of the fourth century [A.D.]. The remnant are the Indians that now inhabit this country."'
“4) In June 1834, Joseph Smith recounted the discovery of the skeleton of the now-notorious 'Zelph, the white Lamanite' in a mound in Illinois, referring to ‘the mounds which had been thrown up by the ancient inhabitants of this country--Nephites, Lamanites, etc., subsequently the visions of the past being opened to my understanding by the Spirit of the Almighty, I discovered that the person whose skeleton was before us was a white Lamanite, a large thick-set man, and a man of God. His name was Zelph. He was a warrior and chieftain under the great prophet Onandagus, who was known from the Hill Cumorah, or eastern sea to the Rocky mountains. . . . He was killed in battle by the arrow found among his ribs, during the last struggle of the Lamanites and Nephites.’
(B.H. Roberts, 'Documentary History of the Church', Vol. 2, pp. 79-80; ‘Manuscript History of the Church, Book A-1:482-83,’ LDS Church Archives, Salt Lake City.)
“OTHER OFFICIAL SOURCES:
“1) In the book ‘Gospel Principles’--the Church's own official handbook of basic doctrine:
"‘The Lamanites Will Become a Great People - The Lord said that when his coming was near, the Lamanites would become a righteous and respected people. He said, 'Before the great day of the Lord shall come, . . . the Lamanites shall blossom as the rose' (D&C 49:24). Great numbers of Lamanites in North and South America and the South Pacific are now receiving the blessings of the gospel.’
“2) Prophet-to-be Joseph Fielding Smith, while an Apostle in the Quorum of the Twelve (and official Church historian), published:
"‘Within recent years there has arisen among certain students of the Book of Mormon a theory to the effect that within the period covered by the Book of Mormon, the Nephites and Lamanites were confined almost within the borders of the territory comprising Central America and the southern portion of Mexico; the Isthmus of Tehuantepec probably being the "narrow neck" of land spoken of in the Book of Mormon rather than the Isthmus of Panama. . . .
"'This modernistic theory of necessity, in order to be consistent, must place the waters of Ripliancum and the Hill Cumorah some place within the restricted territory of Central America, notwithstanding the teachings of the Church to the contrary for upwards of 100 years. . . . .
"'In the light of revelation it is absurd for anyone to maintain that the Nephites and Lamanites did not possess this northern land. . . .
"'In the face of this evidence coming from the Prophet Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery and David Whitmer, we cannot say that the Nephites and Lamanites did not possess the territory of the United States and that the Hill Cumorah is in Central America.’
(‘Deseret News',’ Church Section, Feb. 27, 1954, pp. 2-3)
“3) In General Conference, 1960 (and the ensuing published official ‘Conference Reports’), Spencer W. Kimball said:
"‘I saw a striking contrast in the progress of the Indian people today. . . .The day of the Lamanites is nigh. For years they have been growing delightsome, and they are now becoming white and delightsome, as they were promised. In this picture of the twenty Lamanite missionaries, fifteen of the twenty were as light as Anglos, five were darker but equally delightsome The children in the home placement program in Utah are often lighter than their brothers and sisters in the hogans on the reservation. At one meeting a father and mother and their sixteen-year-old daughter were present, the little member girl--sixteen--sitting between the dark father and mother, and it was evident she was several shades lighter than her parents--on the same reservation, in the same hogan, subject to the same sun and wind and weather. . . . These young members of the Church are changing to whiteness and to delightsomeness." [NOTE: the Navajo/Dine is among the most obviously Asian of all Native American tribes, in terms of their DNA, linguistics, orthodonty, cranial shape, etc.]
“’[We believe] . . . "[t]hat the existing Indian tribes are all direct descendants of Lehi and his company, and that therefore they have sprung from men all of whom were of the house of Israel."
(James E. Talmage, ;The Articles of Faith,’ p. 293)
“’When Columbus discovered America, the native inhabitants, the American Indians as they were soon to be designated, were a people of mixed blood and origin. Chiefly, they were Lamanites, but such remnants of the Nephite nation as had not been destroyed had, of course, mingled with the Lamanites. Thus the Indians were Jews by nationality.... [since then] there has been [a] . . .dilution of the pure Lamanitish blood. . . . But with it all, the great majority are the descendants of the original inhabitants of the Western Hemisphere, the dominant blood lineage is that of Israel. The Indians are repeatedly called Lamanites in the revelations to . . .become again a white and delightsome people as were their ancestors a great many generations ago."
(Bruce R. McConkie, ‘Mormon Doctrine,' 2nd ed., 1966, pp. 32-33)
“’ . . . [T]he Book of Mormon is about the only historical document we have at the present time of this great western world. . . . It tells, briefly, it is true, a story that at once could be accepted by scientists, philologists and all other men who would investigate it. Every year brings to our knowledge something that corroborates that book as a true historical document". (Andrew Jensen, ‘Conference Report, ‘ October 1907, p. 96)
"'Here [holding the Book of Mormon in his hand] we present a record of this American continent, a history of a branch of the tribe of Joseph, for nearly 600 years before Christ, and until 420 years after Christ, a history of the Lord's dealings with them from the time they left Jerusalem until one of their principal nations fell in battle, because of their apostacy; and the descendants of the remaining remnant are this degenerated people we call Indians, who still exist., . . . which afterwards became a "multitude of nations," according to the blessing pronounced by the ancient patriarch Jacob, when blessing his two grandsons, Ephraim and Manasseh."
(Orson Pratt, 'Journal of Discourses,' Vol. 19, p.173)
"'We can pray to the Father, in the name of Jesus, to convert these Indian tribes around us . . . that they shall be instructed not only in relation to their fathers and the Gospel contained in the record of their fathers . . . because they are of the blood of Israel.'
(Orson Pratt, ‘Journal of Discoursess ‘ Vol. 17, p.301, 1875)
"‘. . . [T]he blood of Manasseh is found in the tribes and nations of the Indians of North and South America.'
(Hyrum G. Smith, ‘Conferene Report,’ April 1929, p. 123)
"’And we have scarcely touched the Indian races. There is an immense field spreading out before the Elders of this Church in the redemption of these poor remnants of the house of Israel. . . . But here stretches out before us this immense continent on the south, peopled with descendants of the house of Israel.'
(George Q Cannon, ‘Collected Discourses,’ Vol. 5, p. 269)
"’These natives belong to the house of Israel. . . . The Lord has taken from this race any disposition for improvement even to this day; the best of them consider it a disgrace to work. Whatever drudgery is performed is done by their squaws or by slaves captured from neighboring, tribes or bands. Ask any of them to work; the reply is, "Me big Indian, me no work." . . .
"'It is prophesied by Nephi as follows: "For after the book [Book of Mormon] of which I have spoken shall come forth, and be written unto the Gentiles, and sealed up again unto the Lord, there shall be many which shall believe the words which are written; and they shall carry them forth unto the remnant of our seed [the present American Indians.] And then shall the remnant of our seed know concerning us, how that we came out from Jerusalem, and that they are descendants of the Jews. "'
(Brigham Young, ‘Journal of Discourses,‘ Vol. 10, p.359)
“’One expression of appreciation from an Indian boy included these moving words: “Before I took LDS seminary I didn't have very much to live for. . . . I had always felt that Indians could not do things as well as white people. Now I know that I am a child of God. I know that my people are of the house of Israel. . . .’
(Neal A. Maxwell ‘Conference Report, ‘October 1970, p. 93)
"’I have had the privilege of laboring among the true blood of Israel, through the loins of Joseph, through the two branches of the House of Israel--Ephraim and Manasseh--a people whom the Lord loves--a people whom the Lord chastens and forgives because of their great faith.’
(E. Wesley Smith, ‘Conference Report,’ October 1950, p. 47)
"’Here he [God] has the Indian or Lamanite, with a background of twenty-five centuries of superstition, degradation, idolatry, and indolence. . . . I present to you a people who, according to prophecies, have been scattered and driven, defrauded and deprived, who are a "branch of the tree of Israel -- lost from its body--wanderers in a strange land"--their own land. . . . I beg of you, do not disparage the Lamanite-Nephites. . . . Do not scoff and ignore these Nephite-Lamanites. . . . Do not prate your power of speech or your fearlessness unless you too could stand with the Prophet Samuel on the city wall, dodging stones and spears and arrows while trying to preach the gospel of salvation. The very descendants of this great prophet are with us. They may be Navajos or Cherokees. . . . Mayas or Pimas . . . Piutes or Mohichans. . . . And in these living descendants . . . will be redeemed, will rise and will become a blessed people. God has said it.'
(Spencer W. Kimball, ‘Conference Report,’ April 1954, pp. 106-08)
"’In a sense I do not feel sorry for the Indian people because they are children of promise, belonging as they do to the house of Israel and are the posterity of Abraham, the father of the faithful, through whose lineage the Lord promised that all nations of the earth are to be blessed; therefore, they are a chosen race and people unto God, possessing a divine and royal heritage.’
(Delbert L. Stapley , ‘Conference Report,’ April 1956, p. 56)
“’I presume that a majority of the brethren and sisters who are here this afternoon have read in the Book of Mormon the statement made by one of the writers, quoting the words of our Savior, in regard to the city of New Jerusalem, that the Gentiles should be called to assist the Lamanites, or the seed of the house of Israel, in the erection and building of that city. . . . I begin to see a little of the preparatory work that I think is going to fit and prepare the seed of Lehi, or the Lamanites, to perform this great and glorious work that has been predicted upon their heads. One of the ancient prophets predicted that kings and queens should be the nursing fathers and nursing mothers of the seed of Israel in the latter days; and I find that, in a sense, this is being fulfilled in the stake over which I preside. The government of the United States, which, I presume, may be classed with the kingdoms of the earth, is establishing schools, and there is one in our neighborhood that I desire to refer to briefly. It is upon the San Juan river, among the Navajo Indians, and is costing several hundreds of thousands of dollars.’
(Elder Walter C. Lyman, ‘Conference Report,’ October 1907, p. 86)
"'Guatemala is a country of about three million people. About half of them still dress in the Indian costume of a thousand or two thousand years back. They are wonderful people, very simple. . . . I went . . . to present them with a Book of Mormon. I started to say, "I come to give you a copy of the Book of Mormon, a history of your people," and two chiefs immediately arose on their feet, and I started to say, "You are of the house of Israel," but before I could get it out of my mouth they jumped to their feet and said, "We are of the House of Israel."’
(Elder Gordon M. Romney, ‘Conference Report, ‘April 1957, p.8)
"’That is the destiny of our Indian tribes . . . . [T]he Lord has rewarded unto them double for all the sins that were committed by their ancient fathers in their apostacy, and when he has visited them in judgment according to the prophecies that are contained in this Book of Mormon, and the times of the Gentiles who noir occupy this land are fulfilled, then the Lord will make have his arm, and he will redeem these remnants of Israel, that they may inherit the blessings promised to their ancient fathers.’
(Orson Pratt, ‘Journal of Discourses,’ Vol. 16, p. 353 , 1874)
"’Neither will He suffer that the Gentiles shall destroy the seed of thy brethren’--that is, the Lamanites proper. They were not to be permitted to destroy Nephi's seed that should be mingled among the Lamanites, nor should they be permitted to destroy the Lamanites--that is, the descendants of Laman and Lemuel. Nephi predicted this. Today it is said that the Indians will perish, and that it is impossible to save them. Here is the word of God recorded in this sacred book. . . . And strange to say--if anything can be said to be strange connected with the work of God--the descendants of those ancient covenant people of the Lord, have gladly received the testimony of the servants of God. Wherever we have gone and mingled with those people, with those Red Men, and been able to communicate to them the truths of which we are in possession, which God has revealed to us,. . . and everywhere where those men with red skins dwell, they have gladly received the testimony of God's servants concerning the Gospel, and they rejoice in its fullness and in the knowledge that their fathers once possessed, and of the redemption that Jesus Christ has wrought out for them.'
(George Q Cannon, ‘Journal of Discourses,’ Vol. 25, p. 124, 1884)
“’The work of the Lord among the Lamanites must not be postponed, if we desire to retain the approval of God. Thus far we have been content simply to baptize them and let them run wild again, but this must continue no longer; the same devoted effort, the same care in instructing, the same organization of priesthood must be introduced and maintained among the house of Lehi as amongst those of Israel gathered from gentile nations. As yet, God has been doing all, and we comparatively nothing. He has led many of them to us, and they have been baptized, and now we must instruct them further, and organize them into churches with proper presidencies, attach them to our stakes, organizations, etc. In one word, treat them exactly, in these respects, as we would and do treat our white brethren.’"
(‘Millennial Star,’ 44:33; a letter from SLC dated Oct 18, 1882)
“In July 1843 a band of Potttawattamies came to see JS, looking for sympathy on having their lands taken from the.
JS told them:
"’The Great Spirit has given me a book, and told me that you will soon be blessed again. The Great Spirit will soon talk with you and your children. This is the book which your fathers made. I wrote upon it (showing them the BoM). This tells what you have to do. Do not kill white men; it is not good; but ask the Great Spirit for what you want, and it will not be long before the Great Spirit will bless you, and you will cultivate the earth and build good houses like white men.’
(Vol. 5, p. 381)
“And, in May 1844 a band of Sac and Fox Indians came and camped out in Nauvoo to see JS, complaining ‘they had been robbed of their lands by whites and cruelly treated.’ JS's response was:
"‘I told them I knew they had been wronged, but that we had bought this land and paid our money for it. I advised them not to sell any more land, but to cultivate peace with the different tribes and with all men, as the Great Spirit wanted them to be united and to live in peace. 'The Great Spirit has enabled me to find a book [showing them the Book of Mormon], which told me about your fathers, and the Great Spirit told me, 'You must send to all the tribes you can, and tell them to live in peace;' and when any of our people come to see you, I want you to trear them as we treat you.'
(Vol. 6, p. 401-02).
“Identifying from Whom the Lamanites Originally Descended
“[T]he Prophet Joseph Smith:
"‘When I was about 17 years old I saw another vision of angels in the night season after I had retired to bed I had not been asleep . . .[A]ll at once the room was illuminated above the brightness of the sun an angel appeared before me . . .
"'[H]e said unto me, 'I am a messenger sent from God, be faithful and keep his commandments in all things.'
”[H]e told me of a sacred record which was written on plates of gold. I saw in the vision the place where they were deposited.
"'[H]e said the Indians were the literal descendants of Abraham.'
(‘The Papers of Joseph Smith,’ Vol. 2, Journal, 1832-1842, edited by Dean C. Jessee, Deseret Book Company, Salt Lake City, copyright 1992, Corporation of the President, pp. 69-70)
“From the Book of Mormon:
"‘And then shall the remnant of our seed know concerning us, how that we came out from Jerusalem, and that they are descendants of the Jews.' (2 Nephi 30:4)
"Identifying Who the Lamanites are Today
“[F]rom President Spencer W. Kimball:
‘The term 'Lamanite' includes all Indians and Indian mixtures, such as the Polynesians, the Guatemalans, the Peruvians, as well as the Sioux, the Apache, the Mohawk, the Navajo, and others. It is a large group of great people."
(‘Of Royal Blood,’ ‘Ensign,' July 1971, p. 7)
“Determining Where Scads of Lamanites Are Presently Living
“[F]rom Boyd K. Packer, senior Apostle over Lamanite affairs ‘There are more than 60 million people of Lamanite extraction. It is no accident that the Church now prospers among them in Mexico, Central and South America, in the islands of the sea, and among the Indian tribes of North America.’(‘President Spencer W. Kimball: No Ordinary Man,’ ‘Ensign,' March 1974, pp. 3ff)
“In contrast to the relatively few in North America who could claim Lamanite lineage (1.3 million), Packer pointed to the many millions in Mexico, Yucatan, Guatemala, and throughout South America:
"'In all . . . . , there are seventy-five million six hundred thousand who share in your [Native American Lamanite] birthright, of whom thity-one million nine hundred ninety thousand are pure Indians.'
(address given during proceedings of the annual Indian Week at BYU, cited by Armand L. Mauss, ‘All Abraham’s Children,’ p. 96),
“Determining the Present Location of Jewish DNA Among All These Readily-Available Lamanites from the Mormon Church
“Well, ummm . . .
"There has been no ‘official’ response from the Mormon Church regarding the DNA research, Native Americans and the implications for the Book of Mormon, other than the statement posted on the Mormon.org website under the heading, “Mistakes in the News,” which states [under 'DNA and the Book of Mormon
Various media outlets, 11 November 2003':
"'The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ is exactly what it claims to be--a record of God’s dealings with peoples of ancient America and a second witness of the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ.
"'The strongest witness of the Book of Mormon is to be obtained by living the Christ-centered principles contained in its pages and by praying about its truthfulness.
"'Recent attacks on the veracity of the Book of Mormon based on DNA evidence are ill-considered.
"'Nothing in the Book of Mormon precludes migration into the Americas by peoples of Asiatic origin. The scientific issues relating to DNA, however, are numerous and complex. . . . '
“For an examination of the corner into which the Mormon Church itself and modern genetic science have painted the absurd LDS position on the subject of Lamanite DNA, see ‘Lamanites No More: DNA and Lost Ties to Father Lehi,' . . ."
--The “Limited Geography” Theory on “Lamanite DNA” is Merely Another Example of Limited Mormon Honesty
More debunking of the Mormon Church's deceptive thumping comes from another one of “Deconstructor’s” posts, entitled, “American Indians are Lamanites and Semites” (original emphasis):
“The 'Limited Geography' theory, and the claim that Lehites and Mulekites were genetically assimilated into much larger populations of already-long-extant-Asian-immigrants, has NO basis in Mormon scriptures, revelations, or doctrines.
“I am so tired of this fraudulent claim by FARMS/FAIR-LDS/Lindsey/all other Mormon apologists who are trying to weasel out of the DNA fiasco by misrepresenting the official church doctrine on Lamanite origins.
“Mormon scriptures, 'revelations' and doctrines--as continually taught by Joseph Smith himself and by subsequent Mormon prophets/apostles--all clearly indicate that the Lehite party (and secondarily, the Mulekite party) populated the entire western hemisphere; and it is long-standing Mormon prophetic pronouncement that AmerInds from all over this hemisphere are 'Lamanites' and 'Jews'/Semites.
“While the Book of Mormon goes into considerable detail in making explicit mention of encountering the the sole survivor of the Jaredites (Coriantumr), and of the Lehite party's descendants encountering the descendants of the parallel-immigrating-Mulekite party, yet the Book of Mormon offers a deafening silence when it comes to these FARMS-purported ‘much larger populations of Asian-immigrants into which the Lamanites were entirely assimilated . . . .’
“Strange that the Nephites/Lamanites would take the effort to mention so many trivial things in their record (such as the mysteriously disappeared 'cureloms' and 'cumoms'), and yet NEVER make ANY mention of ever having encountered any other 'Outsider' populations throughout the 1,000 year (Lehite) period.
“No, not strange--because Joseph Smith and subsequent prophets all clearly believed, and taught, that all AmerInds were Lamanite descendants.
“FARMS[-FAIR’s] explicit rejection of the ‘classical view’ (namely, hemispheric Jaredite/Lamanite settlement of an empty continent) was necessary in order for Mormon scholars [sic]to have any plausible loophole at all given the current DNA, linguistic, anthropometric, and archeological evidence; now FARMS. would hope to have us believe that the classical view was merely 'tradition' or 'Mormon folklore' and never doctrinal, or at least never officially so.
“That's utter BULLS**T and there is proof galore that they are lying out their asses, and are guilty of revisionist deception. Or deceptive revisionism. Whatever.
“In their frantic, desperate retreat to this last remaining (weak) position on DNA evidence, Mopologists have unwittingly committed the heresy of explicitly repudiating Joseph Smith (and other Church presidents) as a Prophet.
“But they cannot escape the DNA (or linguistic, or anthropometric) problems with this attempted Houdini maneuver: the paper trail is just too long--and too damning. . . .
”Here's a listing of  articles published in the 'Ensign'-- many of which were written/spoken by General Authorities (some were First Presidency Messages)--all of which were approved by Apostles and Prophets--that clearly refer to modern Indians of various specific tribes of North/Central/South Aamerica, as being LAMANITES. . . .
"And don't forget BYU's long-running 'LAMANITE GENERATION' Program . . .
"SO, who are YOU going to trust with answers about the Church's official doctrine on Lamanites/AmerIndians: FARMS *or* Scriptures, General Authorities and the 'Ensign'???"
To drive home that question, here's an about-as-official-as-it-gets Mormon Church proclamation on "Lamanite" genetic origins, issued just a year after Joseph Smith's death, on the anniversary on the LDS Church's establishment:
"We . . . bear testimony that the 'Indians' (so-called) of North and South America are a remnant of the tribes of Israel; as is now made manifest by the discovery and revelation of their ancient oracles and records."
("Official Church Proclamation of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ pf Latter-day Saints," 6 April 1845, under "Who are the Lamanites?: What is the Consistent LDS Church Doctrine Regarding the Ancestral Origins of American Indians?," at: http://www.i4m.com/think/lists/lamanite.htm)
--Claims Made for an African Tribe Having Semtic Roots Compounds Problems Made in the Book of Mormon about Native American DNA Origins
From "Deconstructor's" article, "DNA proves native African tribe is really Jewish!":
“TBMs who refuse to believe that DNA can show Jewish ancestry should look at the case of the Lemba.
The Lemba are a native tribe in Africa that claimed they were descendants from Jews, because they have a tradition that they were led out of Judea by a man named Buba.
“The problem was, several groups around the world practice Judaic rites or claim to be descended from Biblical tribes without having any ancestral Jewish connection.
“And there is no Buba in the records of Jewish history.
"Did Buba (like Lehi) lead his family out of Judea, or was it just a made-up story? Were the Lemba people descendants from Jews or not?
"It turns out that DNA evidence proved that the Lemba were indeed Jews.
“Mormons should recognize the parallels.
"DNA can and has been used to prove claims of Jewish ancestry. If the Angel Moroni and Joseph Smith were right about Native-Americans being Jewish descendants, then DNA would confirm it. But instead, the numerous DNA studies have all showed no connection between Jews and Native Americans.
"Lehi is a fake version of Buba.”
--The Mormon Church’s Genetic Fictions vs. the Scientific Genetic Facts
From “Book of Mormon, DNA and FAIR,” by RfM poster Bob McCue:
“The way to approach this issue - what does DNA evidence tell us about whether the Book of Mormon is an historic record? - is the same one we use to analyze all similar questions. We use evidence coupled with probability theory. We do not think in terms of 100% proof.
"The most credible Mormon and non-Mormon geneticists all say much the same thing--that the DNA case does not show with 100% certainty that no groups came from Jerusalem to the Americas, but does show that this is improbable, and that it is extremely improbable that any such migration contributed to a large scale civilization in the Americas.
“Hence, the Mormon apologist shift in emphasis toward the limited geography theory, which is much more difficult to attack than the common accepted theory of the BofM that underlay generations of belief that the Amerindians were in general descendants of people who crossed the ocean from Jerusalem. Religious people prefer hypothese that science can't mess with. Within Christianity there has been a trend toward such theories that is well over 100 years old. Fundamentalist leaning religions like Mormonism are late-comers to this game as a result of the social/information bubble they created for themselves. . . .
"There is at the moment within the LDS community a debate respecting how much doubt the current evidence respecting DNA casts on the belief Joseph Smith ("JS") and most other Mormons have held that the American Indians descend from the House of Israel.
“While this story is far too long to tell here, I will provide its outline and then use it to illustrate what in my view is one of the primary ways in which Mormon and other religious thinking runs off the rails.
“The Principle of Parsimony
“Most of the best decisions humans make consciously or unconsciously use the "principle of parsimony" (sometimes called ‘Occam's Razor’ after the Bishop of Occam who in the 14th century was one of its early and best know practitioners) as a criterion for deciding among competing theories or explanations of what ‘is,’
“The principle states that we should always choose the simplest explanation of a phenomenon--the one that requires the fewest leaps of logic. This is one of science's basic decision making rules.
"Another way to think of parsimony when it comes to decision making is that it makes use of probabilities. That is, it requires us to ask something like, ‘Given all we know about question "x", what is most likely to be the correct answer?’
“It recognizes that certainty is not possible in answering most if not all questions. This is how scientists, lawyers, judges and others in the business of decision making try to think.
"The Book of Mormon DNA Controversy
"It is fair to say that there is much DNA based evidence to suggest that JS and all those who have followed him were incorrect respecting the ancestry of Native Americans. That is, it appears that they did not descend from the Israelites.
“The Church's response to recent summaries of the scientific evidence in this regard, most notably provided by Tom Murphy in various published papers, has been to indicate that ‘all is well’ on its official website, followed by a reference to articles from the ‘Journal of Book of Mormon Studies’ respecting DNA and the Book of Mormon that were prepared to rebut Murphy. . . .
“But one has to read those articles carefully to understand what they mean with respect to this complex issue. They do not conclude that all is well with the Church's theory. If fact, the most reasonable scientific conclusion that can be drawn from those articles is that while the best evidence today indicates that the Church's theory is incorrect, it is still possible that at some future time more evidence will be found to support the Church's theory. That is, we are not certain at this point that the Church is wrong. And the Church makes no apparent attempt to estimate how likely it is that science will vindicate it's position.
“Precisely the same thing can be said about the earth's shape as the Church says about the DNA issue respecting the Book of Mormon. That is, the best evidence indicates today that the earth is round, but it is still possible that more persuasive evidence that it is flat will someday be produced. This is what Harvard scientist Stephen Jay Gould said in his introduction to James Watson's ‘DNA: The Secret of Life’:
“‘Such statements are useless from a decision making point of view. To make a decision that depends upon a state of fact, I need to understand the relevant probabilities.
"'For example, many of my clients are in the oil business. Before they drill a well, they spend a lot of money collecting information that allows them to estimate the probability that oil or gas will be found at a particular location, and at a particular depth underground. They then determine how much it will cost to drill the well, and decide based on their best estimate of the probability that oil or gas will be found whether it makes sense to spend that amount of money to drill that particular well. If they asked their geologist whether to drill a well and he all he was prepared to answer was, "Well, no one can prove that there isn't oil or gas there, so let's drill!," he would lose his job.’
“This is tantamount to what the Church says across a wide range of issues. You can't prove God does not exist, so we will assume He does. You can't prove JS lied about a lot of things, so we will assume he is believable. You can't prove that JS did not speak with angels and translate the Book of Mormon from golden plates, so we will assume that he did, while respecting each of these and many other similar issues there is plenty of evidence from which to make a probability based decision.
“But I digress.
"So, particularly with respect to scientific questions such as what kind of light DNA evidence shed's on the Book of Mormon's authenticity, I think it is fair to expect any scientist addressing the issue to do so in a probabilistic way. I suggest that we should be suspicious of any who do not do so. It is my experience that because of what the probabilities in this regard indicate, the Church and those who are faithful to it both consciously and unconsciously resist this kind of analysis when it comes to things like the Book of Mormon.
“The manner in which the Church's apologetic scientists framed their analysis respecting the DNA question is a textbook example of this.
"And as noted above, the kind of probabilistic analysis I have described can be applied to most of the issues that underpin the Church's faith claims.
“Historical analysis works on the same kind of probabilistic principles as does scientific analysis. And yet we find more or less continual resistance from the Church and those who defend it with respect to this kind of approach.
“What Do the Church's Scientists Say About DNA and the Book of Mormon?
“Since the question of the application of DNA theory to the native American population base is scientific in nature, one would expect the principle of parsimony to be on prominent display, and indeed one (but only one) of the articles linked to the Church's announcement that ‘all is well’ refers to it. In that regard, D. Jeffrey Meldrum and Trent D. Stephens ("Who Are the Children of Lehi?") note that there is no scientific evidence to support the traditional LDS theory that the Native Americans descended from the Israelites and there is much evidence that must be counted against it.
“They then indicate that the principle of parsimony indicates that the simplest theory should accepted until refuted (see pp. 43-44). Any scientist reading this would understand them to say that based on the evidence extant, the Church's theory should be rejected until compelling evidence can be found to support it.
“This means that if a decision had to be made today that depended on whether the Native Americans descended from the Israelites, science would advise us to assume that they did not.
“However, Meldrum and Stephens did not say this in the kind of clear fashion that would be required for a layperson to understand it. And then they go on set out a number of other theories, none of which are supported by any evidence, which could lead to the conclusion that the Native Americas did descend from the Israelites.
“So, given how oblique Meldrum and Stephens' statement against the Church's theory was, and how they indicated ways in which the Church's theory still could be true if evidence to support it was found, and how the Church's website referred to them as supporting the Church's position, most members who take the time to read what they have written will not understand it, and will likely conclude that these scientists are saying that science supports the Church's theory.
"Each of the other articles referred to on the Church's website as supporting its position respecting the origin of the Native Americans takes a similar approach, but does not refer to the principle of parsimony.
“All they show is that science has not proven with 100% certainty that JS's theory of American Native origins is incorrect, and hence they invite Mormons to continue to believe that JS was correct.
“For example, Michael F. Whiting (see ‘DNA and the Book of Mormon: A Phylogenetic Perspective’) sets up a straw man by saying that LDS critics claim certain proof of BofM falsity based on DNA alone. He then sets out to prove that of course does so.
“The difficulty of proving a negative is well known. In addition, contrary to the belief of most non-scientists, science does not purport to prove anything with 100% certainty. Even the basic principles of mathematics were shown by Kurt Godel to be uncertain. So of course it has not been proven that JS was wrong. Without an assessment of the probability based on the best evidence available to date as to who is right and who is wrong, this type of analysis tells us nothing.
“It should be embarrassing to a scientist such as Whiting (who I understand is reputable) to provide such analysis.
"Whiting's paper, which provides all kinds of interesting and useful analysis respecting relatively unimportant issues, reminds me of a tax opinion produced by the local office of one of the world's largest accounting firms. I had to review it in the context of the significant commercial transaction. It was 65 pages long and provided an admirable summary of the taxation principles (I am a tax attorney) in question, great analysis respecting many relevant points, and then in one sentence buried deep inside that dense document rendered itself useless by assuming away the essential point respecting which the opinion had been requested. That accounting firm lost a client.
“Whiting similarly did not address the most important issue respecting the DNA and the Book of Mormon.
"John M. Butler's article (‘A Few Thoughts from a Believing DNA Scientist’) also appears impressive. But again, he gives us no probabilistic analysis. All he has succeeded in doing is to show that the case against the Book of Mormon is not airtight. I note that Butler's specialty is DNA forensics and so it is not surprising that his analysis above is suited to the criminal justice process respecting which ‘proof beyond a reasonable doubt’ is the test most often in issue.
“To thwart proof beyond a reasonable doubt, as is required to prevent a criminal conviction, all that is required is a small probability that the case against you is flawed. Who can forget O.J. Simpson in that regard? . . . In ‘A History of Knowledge,’ Charles Van Doren summarizes the manner in which Newton created the scientific method, and indicates that the formulation Newton laid down still accounts for most of what scientists do. Newton had four rules, which when taken together constitute the scientific method.
“As Van Doren indicates at p. 210:
“’The fourth rule of reasoning is, in Newton's view, perhaps the most important of all. The entire rule should be quoted:
“'"In [science] we are to look upon propositions inferred by general induction from phenomena as ‘very nearly true, notwithstanding any contrary hypotheses that may be imagined, till such time as other phenomena occur, by which [the existing propositions] may either be made more accurate, or liable to exceptions.’ [and] the argument of induction [that is, the principle he just stated] must not be evaded by hypotheses."
"'Newton loathed hypotheses. He saw in them all of the egregious and harmful errors of the past. By ‘hypotheses’ he meant the kind of explanations that the Scholastics had dreamed up to explain natural phenomena, the theory of the Elements, the assumption of Quintessence, and the tortured explanations of so-called violent motion, which even the Parisian theologians had not been able to accept. And he was more than willing to admit that he did not know.'
"As noted earlier, even some of the Church's apologetic scholars are prepared to admit that on the basis of the extant evidence, the principle of parsimony would cause science to side with those who induce from DNA evidence that at least the part of LDS doctrine and culture that indicates an Israelite origin for a large civilization in the Americas is not accurate.
“There is no doubt in my mind that the same thing can be said respecting a host of other elements of the Book of Mormon. That is, if we follow Newton's "argument of induction" or the scientific method, the Book of Mormon should be accepted as ahistorical.
“We then note that after paying lip service to the ‘principle of parsimony,’ which is encapsulated by the first of the four rules in Newton's scientific method, the Church's apologetic scientists (an oxymoron if there ever was one) proceed for formulate one highly improbable hypothesis after another, each designed to cause those who read them to doubt the propositions that emerge from an inductive analysis of the evidence at hand.
“In short, the Church's scientific scholars defend the Church's position in the DNA debate by setting up precisely the kind of hypotheses Newton ‘loathed,’ and using them in precisely the fashion he said that they should not used.
“The Use of Probabilities in Decision-Making
“The interplay between the Church and science's position respecting DNA illustrates something that is endlessly displayed as Mormons attempt to understand the "reality" of their faith.. . .
“While discussing religious issues such as the one related to DNA, I often hear the faithful discount the most probable theory by referring to the fact that there are many possible ways of explaining what happened, and so allow their faith to determine what is or is not. We do not ignore probabilities in our scientific work or in any other significant aspect of our lives. We should not do so respecting our religious beliefs either, despite the powerful psychological incentives that been built into us to do that.
"It is natural for people to assess probabilities about the things that are important to them, and so that almost everyone other than faithful Mormons wish to do this respecting the Book of Mormon is not surprising.
“When I see the kind of bafflegab I just have coming from the Church's apologists, I can think of only two possible alternatives: Either they are dancing away from the probabilities because they don't want to say them; or as a scientific matter it would require so many assumptions to get to the point where probabilities could be assessed that it would not be responsible to make such an assessment. Were that the case, I would expect them to have said this.”
--On God and Genetics, the Mormon Church Dodges Giving Direct Answers on Direct “Lamanite DNA” Questions
The Mormon Church asserts:
“Nothing in the Book of Mormon precludes migration into the Americas by peoples of Asiatic origin, The scientific issues relating to DNA, however, are numerous and complex.
"Those interested in a more detailed analysis of those issues are referred to the resources below."
It then quickly goes from asserting to skirting by citing non-official sources
"The following are not official Church positions or statements. They are simply information resources from authors with expertise in this area that readers may find helpful:
"'DNA and the Book of Mormon,' by David M. Stewart, MD; 'Detecting Lehi's Genetic Signature: Possible, Probable, or Not?,' by David A. McClellan; 'Nephi's Neighbors: Book of Mormon Peoples and Pre-Columbian Populations,' by Matthew Roper; 'Swimming in the Gene Pool: Israelite Kinship Relations, Genes, and Genealogy,' by Matthew Roper; 'Elusive Israel and the Numerical Dynamics of Population Mixing,' by Brian D. Stubbs; 'Before DNA,' by John L. Sorenson and Matthew Roper, 'Journal of Book of Mormon Studies,' Vol. 12, No. 1, 2003); download PDF document (715 KB) 'DNA and the Book of Mormon: A Phylogenetic Perspective' (Michael F. Whiting, 'Journal of Book of Mormon Studies,' Vol. 12, No. 1, 2003); download PDF document (431 KB)
'A Few Thoughts from a Believing Scientist,' by John M. Butler, 'Journal of Book of Mormon Studies,' Vol. 12, No. 1, 2003); download PDF document (169 KB) 'Who Are the Children of Lehi?,' by D. Jeffrey Meldrum and Trent D. Stephens, 'Journal of Book of Mormon Studies,' Vol. 12, No. 1, 2003); download PDF document (427 KB) 'Does DNA Evidence Refute the Book of Mormon?,' by Jeffrey D. Lindsay, Ph.D., 16 November 2003; download PDF document (478 KB)"
In short, when it comes to current questions surrounding Lamanite DNA, the Mormon Church is officially speechless, hapless, helpless, clueless, toothless, pointless, directionless, gutless, rudderless and, well, completely isolated from the scientific mainstream.
Perhaps more to the point:
When it comes to "Lamanite DNA," the Mormon Church finds itself absolutely abandoned and on its own, with no place to turn (except inward) for support of its long-held, heretofore official, scripturally canonized and, now, totally repudiated position that Native Americans descended from Hebrews.
Where are the voices of the modern-day Mormon prophets on this one?
Poet T.S. Eliot speaks for them:
"We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Headpiece filled with straw.
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
"Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
"Or rats' feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar."
Edited 18 time(s). Last edit at 05/25/2013 03:23AM by steve benson.
Re: More Nail-Pounding into the Mormon Church's "Lamanite DNA" Coffin .., , ,
The silence is deafening.
The members can't seem to hear it though. Are they hearing impaired?
Re: More Nail-Pounding into the Mormon Church's "Lamanite DNA" Coffin . . .
Thanks for the great synthesis.
The issue of Occam's Razor and *probability* is of supreme importance when discussing the church/religion dichotomy (actually, when discussing *anything* LDS-related) - it doesn't get nearly the play time it should (IMO).
From the section "THE 'PROPHET' JOSEPH SMITH" (from BH Roberts' Documentary History of the Church) items 1 & 3 are from the "Wentworth Letter" which were printed in the Times and Seasons. I thought I would include fuller quotes, which help hammer home Joseph Smith's statements a little more forcefully:
I was also informed concerning the aboriginal inhabitants of this country [United States of America] and shown who they were, and from whence they came; a brief sketch of their origin, progress, civilization, laws, governments, of their righteousness and iniquity, and the blessings of God being finally withdrawn from them as a people, was made known unto me...
In this important and interesting book the history of ancient America is unfolded, from its first settlement by a colony that came from the Tower of Babel at the confusion of languages to the beginning of the fifth century of the Christian era. We are informed by these records that America in ancient times has been inhabited by two distinct races of people. The first were called Jaredites and came directly from the Tower of Babel. The second race came directly from the city of Jerusalem about six hundred years before Christ. They were principally Israelites of the descendants of Joseph. The Jaredites were destroyed about the time that the Israelites came from Jerusalem, who succeeded them in the inheritance of the country. The principal nation of the second race fell in battle towards the close of the fourth century. The remnant are the Indians that now inhabit this country.
"This country" in which Joseph Smith was living is clearly the United States, not Central America.
The Book of Mormon is not the history of a small genetically-obscure tribe, but rather "the history of ancient America is unfolded. "
How much of ancient American history? "[F]rom its first settlement by a colony that came from the Tower of Babel." The very *first* settlement in the Americas. I haven't heard any discussion of this that I can remember, but maybe the apologists have moved the Tower of Babel to China to match the DNA?
We are told there were "two distinct races" - this would be genetically distinct races - people with distinct DNA. The second race were "principally Isrealites" - Semitic DNA. "Principal" means "main," "prominent."
The Israelite race succeeded in the "inheritance of the country" - their DNA became predominant - about 600 BC.
The "principal nation" (not race, not DNA, just "nation" - the "Nephites") fell in battle thereby leaving just the "Lamanites" who "are the Indians that now inhabit this country" ("this country" = United States).
"Recovery from Mormonism - www.exmormon.org"