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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Word Change in the Introduction to the Book of Mormon

From an article in the Salt Lake Tribune

The book's current introduction, added by the late LDS apostle, Bruce R. McConkie in 1981, includes this statement: "After thousands of years, all were destroyed except the Lamanites, and they are the principal ancestors of the American Indians."
The new version, seen first in Doubleday's revised edition, reads, "After thousands of years, all were destroyed except the Lamanites, and they are among the ancestors of the American Indians."
LDS leaders instructed Doubleday to make the change, said senior editor Andrew Corbin, so it "would be in accordance with future editions the church is printing.


I don't mean to brag, but "I told you so". In a post dated 4/10/2007 on a discussion board on the website newordermormon.org , I said:

Do you think they will change the introduction to the Book of Mormon? The sentence that says "After thousands of years, all were destroyed except the Lamanites, and they are the principal ancestors of the American Indians." With all we know now about Linguistics, Archaeology, Anthropology and now DNA evidence.

Why the heck not? The BoM has gone through so many changes, it wouldn't be all that shocking, especially since it isn't the actual text itself, it is just the introduction page.

I predict that new editions of the BoM will have this sentence either omitted or altered in some way.

To which someone replied "
I imagine the "principal ancestors of the American Indians" will be replaced with something like "among the ancestors" in a future edition of the Book of Mormon."

That was 7 months ago and it is almost scary that it happend exactly word-for-word. The only discussion on the board was when this change would take place. Some believed that it wouldn't happen for years as the older generation are still around.

I think in many ways, it is a positive step in the right direction because here you have an organization that is finally starting to admit that it was incorrect about certain assumptions. It is the first step in admitting that it is not a literal history.

Some have suggested that both the Lamanites and the Nephites were destroyed a long time ago. The problem with that theory is that it contradicts scripture.

Enos 1:12-18
"12 And it came to pass that after I had prayed and labored with all diligence, the Lord said unto me: I will grant unto thee according to thy desires, because of thy faith.
13 And now behold, this was the desire which I desired of him?that if it should so be, that my people, the Nephites, should fall into transgression, and by any means be destroyed, and the Lamanites should not be destroyed, that the Lord God would preserve a record of my people, the Nephites; even if it so be by the power of his holy arm, that it might be brought forth at some future day unto the Lamanites, that, perhaps, they might be brought unto salvation?
14 For at the present our strugglings were vain in restoring them to the true faith. And they swore in their wrath that, if it were possible, they would destroy our records and us, and also all the traditions of our fathers.
15 Wherefore, I knowing that the Lord God was able to preserve our records, I cried unto him continually, for he had said unto me: Whatsoever thing ye shall ask in faith, believing that ye shall receive in the name of Christ, ye shall receive it.
16 And I had faith, and I did cry unto God that he would preserve the records; and he covenanted with me that he would bring them forth unto the Lamanites in his own due time.
17 And I, Enos, knew it would be according to the covenant which he had made; wherefore my soul did rest.
18 And the Lord said unto me: Thy fathers have also required of me this thing; and it shall be done unto them according to their faith; for their faith was like unto thine."

Not to mention that the Doctrine and Covenants specifically mentions the Lamanites by name repeatedly:

D&C 32: 2
"And that which I have appointed unto him is that he shall ago with my servants, Oliver Cowdery and Peter Whitmer, Jun., into the wilderness among the Lamanites."

D&C 54: 8
"And thus you shall take your journey into the regions westward, unto the land of Missouri, unto the borders of the Lamanites."

D&C 28: 8-9, 14
"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.
9 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."

There is no doubt that it was widely accepted, publicized and taught that the Native Americans were Lamanites. The idea that the Lamanites might not be all Native Americans is a dramatic change in Mormon theology.

Disillusioned Mormon

26 comments:

Bishop Rick said...

To continue Tatabug's last comment here:

Tatabug Wrote:

We just can't win for losing, can we? The Church is wrong because they ignorantly teach that the Lamanites are the principle ancestors of the Native Americans, and that can't possibly be true because of DNA, but then the change is made to add some clarification, the Church gets accused of being revisionists.

I rather liked Russell's comments on Mormanity (on just this topic about the change to the BOM) with relation to this comment:

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.

-God's direction to Joseph seemed to be clear on who the Lamanites were.

Russell said:

Again, glad to see that [you] understand the mind and will of the Lord better than any of us...indeed, even the Lord himself (since there have been repeated statements on how we have no doctrine on BOM and the corollary of the identity of the Lamanites).

That said, I think this verse fits in nicely with Christ's identification of "this land" with the remnant of Jacob. Spiritual adoption was at play here, so in a sense, I believe that these "Lamanites" were called such because they were adopted under the family of Lehi. If you notice in the beginning chpts. of the BOM, the family of Lehi was receiving everything that Abraham did--they were essentially renewing the Abrahamic covenant. It would logically follow then that their seed would also be as the sands of the sea...ie, the populations of the Americas. Were these Lamanites of the literal house of Israel? Perhaps, but it's just as likely that they were not.

November 10, 2007 12:25 PM

Bishop Rick said...

Tata,

Russell's comment is a weak opinion that is backed by only weak speculation.

There is no way that all this time, we were all confused about the American Indians being adopted into the family of Lehi.

Let's just face it. The LDS church is finally starting to face the facts. The apologists have been arguing against the DNA evidence ever since it came to light.

Now finally the LDS church is accepting the DNA evidence and admitting that their prophets and apostles were wrong about their beliefs in the American Indians being Lamanites and being descendants of Lehi.

Everything is starting to fall apart. This is just the beginning.

Zelph said...

I think that people will keep believing because they want to believe, and people have every right to believe whatever they want, even a made up religion.

However, I don't think that the church will disappear off the face of the earth, although I do believe that it is passed its "prime" and will eventually get swallowed up as just another mainstream "Christian" church.

If anything would have ended the LDS church, it would have been the discovery of the "Book of Abraham" (Book of Breathings) papyri in 1967.

However, I think that there are many differences today from 1967, particularly the availability of information and the advances in science that have repeatedly disproved pretty much every claim made by the church.

There was not just one thing that led to my disillusionment, it was when I put everything together that the picture became clear.

Zelph said...

Tatabug,

You probably agree with me when I say that the church is stuck between a rock and a hard place, in that if they admit they were wrong in certain assumptions, it is easy for people to point the finger and say SEE, SEE. And yet, if they keep denying it, they are only seen as more foolish and are perhaps perceived as being deceptive.

What it comes down to, however, is that truth can withstand any degree of scrutiny. Basically, Native Americans are not Lamanites, because Lamanites and Nephites never actually existed. The Book of Mormon is not a literal history of people that actually physically lived in this earth. Every character of the Book of Mormon was invented in Joseph Smith's mind. He may have got inspiration from various sources, but I am convinced that he made the whole thing up.

In a way, I thank the LDS apologists, because I think it was them that finally pushed me over the top. They make things up as they go along, which most of the time contradict scripture.

For my next prediction... Women get the priesthood, and temple sealings become open for the public to view (at least a portion of the ceremony)

NM said...

Zelph,

Have you considered that you might be the next prophet of the LDS church? All your predictions are coming true!

*gets struck by lightning*

Elder Joseph said...

If the descendants of the Lamenites are AMONG the Indians .How does the church know which ones they are ?

Is it one in ten , or one in a thousand and why are they telling the Ancestors of Siberians that they are the BofM people ...

The whole thing is a disgrace .From secret polygamy to arranging marriages of young girls to Old men calling themselves righteous prophets to slagging black people when they should have been the light of the world in this matter and not the biggest hindrance until 1978..

From taking money from followers to taking their wives ..

From threatening the world to harken to them to threatening members today that they can't have a family together unless they obey these same prophets ..

What a tragedy , the whole thing ... and no remorse or apolgies for any of it.Quite the opposite .God made them do it excuse.

Zelph said...

EJ,

I think I can speak for many people like myself that went on a mission in Latin America that the LDS church has made me into a liar. I used the Book of Mormon as a conversion tool and falsely taught people that it was their ancestors. It turns out that the people in Mexico that I taught might not be the ones "among" the decedents of the Lamanites after all.

Bishop Rick said...

Don't forget the old missionary filmstrip, "Ancient America Speaks."

Not only did it teach the Latin Americans were Lamanites, but Quetzalcoatl was Jesus.

I am a liar too, and I didn't go to South America.

tatabug said...

There are hints throughout the Book of Mormon that Lehi's people weren't the only ones present when they arrived. You will find evidence that the Lamanites joined with these other people.

Also, the distinction between Lamanite and Nephite often meant more than ancestry. It meant the difference between the righteous and the unrighteous. It also implied a cultural identification.

Jacob 1:13-14 breaks the Nephites and Lamanites down into various groups, but then generalizes them once again as Lamanites being the ones who seek to destroy the Nephites, and the Nephites being the ones who are friendly to the Nephites.

Also don't forget the family of Ishamael and Zoram. They were not descendants of Lehi, but everyone was categorized as either Nephite or Lamanite nonetheless.

Mosiah 25:12 talks about the children of Amulon being displeased with the conduct of their fathers, and they no longer wanted to be called by the names of their fathers, so they called themselves the children of Nephi.

Also in verse 13, all the people of Zarahemla were numbered with the Nephites because only the descendants of Nephi had the power of the kingdom conferred upon them. We can take this to mean that they weren't Nephite to start with, otherwise it would be meanigless to even point it out.

Alma 53:16

3 Nephi 2:12-16 talks about some of the Lamanites who had become converted unto the Lord who united with the Nephites against the Gadianton robbers, and these Lamanites were numbered among the Nephites and were called Nephites.

And most importantly, 1 Nephi 14:1-2 says, And it shall come to pass, that if the Gentiles shall hearken unto the Lamb of God in that day that he shall manifest himself unto them in word, and also in power, in very deed, unto the taking away of their stumbling blocks--And harden not their hearts against the Lamb of God, they shall be numbered among the seed of thy father; yea, they shall be numbered among the house of Israel;...

The term "Lamanite" meant different things to Nephi, Alma, Mormon, and even Joseph Smith. It is clear from the Book of Mormon that someone could become a Lamanite. In 4 Nephi 1:17, it reads, There were no robbers, nor murderers, neither were there Lamanites, nor any manner of -ites; but they were in one, the children of Christ, and heirs to the kingdom of God. Then in verse 20, it says, And he kept it eighty and four years, and there was still peace in the land, save it were a small part of the people who had revolted from the church and taken upon them the name of the Lamanites; therefore there began to be Lamanites again in the land.

A person can be an "American," even though they or their ancestors may have come from Europe, or Africa, or Asia. Terms such as African, Asian, Jew, or Indian can then become social rather than genetic constructs.

Another thing to consider is how outsiders view others and how those others view themselves. Here is a quote from a FairLDS article:

Romans, for example, called one people “Greeks,” who called themselves “Hellenes.” Those called “Egyptians” by the Greeks were “Mizraim” to the Hebrews and neither term to the Egyptians themselves. To us, some Europeans are “German,” to the Italians “Tedesco,” to the French “Allemand,” but to themselves they are “Deutsch.” We call the early inhabitants of this continent “Native Americans” or “Indians,” but that is not how they referred to themselves. To the Nephites all non-Nephites were “Lamanites,” while to Latter-day Saints, all Native Americas are “Lamanites.”

It seems much easier to look at it from such a perspective because, otherwise, we have no way to identify them with the Book of Mormon, because we really don't know all of their genetic ancestry. This is where the term "Lamanite" becomes a cultural or social construct and not a genetic one, because we really don't know for sure from whom they are descended. We only know that the Nephites were wiped out, and that the Lamanites were left remaining, even if they weren't actual descendants of Laman or Lehi. They chose that identification regardless of their true ancestry.

Here is another quote from the same FairLDS article:

We do not pass all of our DNA to our offspring, and we do not have all of the DNA possessed by our ancestors. Thus, moders Native Americans who are actual descendants of Lehi may not have inherited Lehite DNA.
...
Everyone has two parents, and each parent has two parents. If you go back to two generations (to your grandparents) you have four ancestral slots filled by two grandfathers and two grandmothers. As we go further back in our genealogy the number of ancestral slots increases geometrically. These slots don’t represent the actual number of ancestors, however, because intermarriage among relatives will cause some ancestors to fill multiple ancestral slots.

If we were able to do the genealogy for a modern Native American to Lehi’s generation, we would have approximately 90 to 100 generations (we’ll choose 90 to keep it conservative). This Native American would have over 1.2 octillion ancestral slots (that’s more than 1.2 trillion x 1 quadrillion). Now obviously she would not have 1.2 octillion
ancestors (there haven’t been that many people in the entire history of the world) since the same ancestors would fill many of these slots. Nevertheless, on a giant genealogy chart, there would be 1.2 octillion ancestral slots. From how many slots would our Native American be descended? All of them. If Laman (or a descendant of Laman) was an ancestor in just one of these 1.2 octillion ancestral slots, then it can legitimately be claimed that our Native American is a descendant of Lamanite.

Recent studies suggest that we are related in several ways, and that many large groups of humans are often related in distinct ways as well. Such studies indicate that a large percentage of all people may have traces of Israelite ancestry, and that most people may be descendants of Abraham (see Genesis 22:17). In regards to the Book of Mormon, one scholar who has studied this concept notes: “The numerical dynamics of population mixing make it easily feasible…that most Amerindians are descended from Book of Mormon peoples, even if Book of Mormon peoples were originally a minority of ancient American populations and are thus only a part of the ancestry of most individuals.”


Bottom line is, to us, the Native Americans are Lamanites even if they only contain a speck or even no Lehite DNA. Lamanite means more than ancestry.

The change in the wording in the introduction to the Book of Mormon seems to be an admission to the fact that we don't know the genetic history of the Native Americans. But we don't eliminate the possibility that the Lamanites have some claim on their ancestry.

tatabug said...

BR,

Russell's comment isn't speculation. If you will refer to my previous comment, you will see that 1 Nephi 14:1-2 is very clear that there is an aspect of spiritual adoption at play throughout the Book of Mormon. The fact that portions of the Nephites and Lamanites would switch identities from time to time is somewhat of a testament to that fact. I also point out that the Lamanites can contribute a minute portion of Native American ancestry and still be legitimate ancestors to the Native Americans. Before, I think we were under the impression that the Lamanites were a majority contributor, but new scholarship suggests that there may be a much broader base of ancestry to draw from. It doesn't change their identification with regard to the Book of Mormon. It just changes our genetic outlook on the issue.

I'm sure that with the end of polygamy, many people were also sure, just as you are now, that it was only the beginning.

Zelph,

I've missed you. I guess you've been busy. Anyway, it's good to hear from you again, even though we continue to disagree. I hope you enjoy my comments on this issue :)

Elder Joseph said...

Tata

If thats the case then how come Bruce McConkie didn't know all this himself .He was supposed to be an Apostle afterall.
Hadn't he ever read The book Of Mormon himself or with any intent or was he just towing the family line ?

Why is he such a Big Blunderer then?

It amazes me how Church Prophets and Apostles can be dismissed so easily ....What is the point of them if BYU apologists actually know better ? and yet at the same time they don't speak for the church .Then don't put anything in the introduction at all ,as its all subject to scientific knowledge of the day..

Can you tell us what else is going to change then that is so obvious or is it only obvious when science and facts force the issue ?

I'll make a prediction ... In the future there won't even be a Book of Mormon as a church prophet will have dismissed it by then and tell us it was only opinion ( Joseph Smiths opinion ) like they do for Brigham Youngs writings and the others also. :)

tatabug said...

EJ,

Prophets and Apostles have opinions and draw conclusions based on their understandings, just like the rest of us. They have a direct line of revelation for the Church, but that doesn't mean that every word uttered by them, or printed with their name attached to it is doctrine.

I know you may not want to hear from Russell again, but I think he puts it so well in describing the process of revelation when he said:

In the faith as we have it, we do not individually sustain each single apostle as a prophet...but sustain the quorum of the twelve as an entity. Truth comes to us not from a monolithic entity but from a cacophony of voices...when they unite, it's a miracle on the order of the Constitutional Convention. When such events occur, THAT, my friend, is doctrine and binding on the church.

Otherwise, each talk must be individually absorbed, checked against the scriptures. Of course, the apostles will never say something wrong enough to "lead us astray." Everything they say is essentially correct, but as Elder Nelson has remarked, general authorities teach general principles. Therefore, a person might conceivably hear a talk condemning work on the Sabbath but continue to work on the Sabbath in good conscience (if he were a medical health professional, police officer, etc.). It is in finding the exceptions where this process of checking and balance is so very important.


If you take such an issue as whether or not the Lamanites are the principle ancestors of the Native Americans, or just "among" the ancestors of the Native Americans, you have to realize that this is a very trivial matter in the whole scheme of things. In fact, most of the issues in which skeptics and critics of the Church find which seem to be in conflict with something else, are generally very trivial things. At least while I sit here and try to think about it, I can't think of anything that would pose even a remote threat to leading the members astray. Big hairy deal whether we believe that there is one Cumorah or two. That affects my salvation how? Seeing that this is likely the case with many issues, it isn't suprising that there isn't revelation giving us certain details. Not all details are created equal. All of what we need for our salvation is revealed. All other things are just appendages to that knowledge.

DNA wasn't around when Bruce R. McConkie was around, so there probably wasn't much thought outside of the idea that the Lamanites and Nephites were the principle inhabitants in the Americas. Such current research has led to a reexamination into the issue which has led us to question the scope of Lehite DNA influence on the Native American population. It becomes clear when the text is examined more closely that there are vague references to other peoples which already existed, besides the Mulekites. There were either Jaredites which split off from the main body, or there were others besides them, which inhabited areas near where the Lehites were. This also explains some of the references to small numbers of Lamanites becoming exceedingly great in numbers within relatively short time periods.

Apologists don't speak for the Church, but they do a great deal of work in studying the issues, developing theories, and debunking falsehoods. The Church is not guided by them, but the Church is not afraid of scholarship, and is willing to acknowledge it when it is good. I would think that those who put their faith in science and scholarship would be happy to see a church which has the ability to be flexible and admit when they are wrong, as opposed to other religions which aren't so flexible and friendly toward science and scholarship.

Bishop Rick said...

Tata,

If the apologists don't speak for the church, why is that you only quote them and not the prophets/apostles?

I joined the church in 1978. At that time it was taught extensively throughout the church that American Indians were Lamanites. Not "Among" Lamanites, they were the Lamanites.

This was taught by Spencer W Kimbal, the prophet. This was taught by every prophet before him as well, including Joseph Smith. As Zelph pointed out, the D&C is riddled with this mindset. It really doesn't matter whether you are a Nephite or Lamanite. DNA is the same. The example given on ancestral slots is simplistic nonsense. It has nothing to do with genetic markers that do not change for 1000 generations.

It seems to me that the prophets/apostles don't ever get anything right. The apologists (that don't speak for the church) are always having to cleanup the prophets/apostles messes.

EJ has said it many times. No one dismisses an LDS Prophet or Apostle faster than an LDS Apologist.

It seems these men offer nothing to the church. There is no new revelation, only regurgitated topics and common sense. Everything else is just opinion that is dismissed.

Where is the direct line of communication with Jesus? Does Jesus have nothing to say to his church? Has he had nothing to say since Joseph Smith died? Why didn't he explain to Joseph who the Lamanites really were? He took the time to send angels to tell Joseph that water was as good as wine for the sacrament, not on something as hot as who the Lamanites were. Something that affects the membership of the church.

It is amazing the mundane things that Jesus found important to teach Joseph, and the grand things that were left out. It is also amazing that he hasn't taught any of the prophets since Joseph anything.

Jeremy said...

"Prophets and Apostles have opinions and draw conclusions based on their understandings,"

What happens when they publish their "opinions" in a book, call it scripture then change it once it doesn't agree with the current day?

I guess it could be worse... you could be a Jehovah's Witness and follow a leader who has thrown out everything the previous two leaders have ever taught to be true.

Which goes to show you, no matter how obviously wrong a religious group is there will always be followers.

tatabug said...

BR,

I have used plenty of quotes by Apostles and Prophets. None related to this particular topic, but then I haven't done a great deal of research. My guess is that Apostles and Prophets haven't spent a great deal of time trying to figure out just how much Lamanite blood is running through modern Native American veins.

Of course, they didn't teach that the Lamanites were "among" the ancestors of the Native Americans when you became a member. The information on that subject is new information. I personally believe that it isn't completely incorrect to say that the Native Americans are Lamanites, but that is my opinion.

The example about ancestral slots was unrelated to DNA. Notice the elipses in the quotes. I put the two quotes together, but they were not related to one another. The point about the ancestral slots was to show that a Native American could only have one Lamanite ancestor and thousands of other unrelated ancestors, but still be descended from Lamanites. Also, if a person has a mixed heritage, there is no guarantee that all the genetic markers from all of those races will be identifiable. Plus, you have to know what the source DNA that you are comparing to was 2000 or so years ago. Lehi's family were Jewish, but how do we know for sure that the Jewish DNA of today is the same as it was then. You have to consider the fact of inter-racial marriage. We don't have the original DNA as a basis for such a test. We can only go by modern Jewish DNA.

I disagree that the Apostles and Prophets have nothing to offer currently. Just because they haven't received any earth-shattering revelations, doesn't mean that they don't serve a purpose. They have the authority and the necessary priesthood keys for the administration of the Church and its ordinances, and they keep the Church on course and are able to receive the revelation when it is needed.

Jeremy,

It's good to hear from you too. Haven't heard from you in a while.

Anyway, the Book of Mormon introduction wasn't meant to be doctrinal/scriiptural, but instructive, kind of like the chapter headings and footnotes.

Sorry, I must be too blind to see the obvious falsity of the Church, but that's interesting about the Jehovah's Witnesses. Hadn't heard that one.

Bishop Rick said...

Tata,

Ok, now I understand what you were saying about the ancestral slots. I agree with what you are saying there.

I do have problems in other areas however.

First, the Lamanites skin was cursed as a result of their wickedness. If today's American Indians comprise only 1/1000 of Lamanites blood, why is their skin dark too. Were the Mongolians that arrived to the Americans 10,000 years ago cursed as well?

It is obvious to me that the curse was to explain why the American Indians are dark as opposed to their Jewish Ancestors. This could only have been born out of JS's imagination. God didn't just go around cursing Asians and South Americans as races for something Laman and Lemuel did. This makes no sense.

Also, why haven't all the wicked white men been cursed as well. Why weren't the Romans and Jews cursed for killing the Savior? or for torturing the Christians?

The answer is simple...there never has been a curse for anyone for any reason.

Also, we do know of specific Jewish markers from 2000 years ago...even well before that. There is a tribe in Africa that has been identified as being descendants of Jews whose Jewish ancestors broke off from Israel thousands of years ago and migrated to Africa. Their skin is black. I wonder if there was a curse involved there as well.

Bishop Rick said...

Tata,

After giving the Ancestral slot statement more thought, I'm not sure I agree. If I had 1/1000 Negro blood, no one would call me a Negro.

tatabug said...

BR,

As far as the curse goes, I think anyone, whether they were a literal descendant of Laman and Lemuel or not, were identified as Lamanites if they chose to align themselves with the Lamanites. They would therefore have been smitten with the curse as well, whether miraculously or through intermarriage. We don't know all the sources of genetic background which have been present on this continent and what influence it has had. Yes, it seems there is a prominent Asian background, but that could be said of many peoples throughout the world from what I understand.

My only guess as to why the Romans and other such wicked white people haven't been cursed like the Lamanites is probably because they are Gentiles. They were not born and raised with the Law. They were not the Lord's covenant people. Also remember all the miracles witnessed by Laman and Lemuel, and yet they still chose to rebel. I think the more light and knowledge we have, the more responsibility we have to be faithful, and the more serious the consequences when we do choose to rebel.

Remember, the term Lamanite could have been a strictly cultural identification, as opposed to an ancestral one. A person could convert and become a Jew and yet still not have a drop of Jewish blood in their veins. When that happens, it isn't a matter of heritage, but rather a religious adoption or conversion to a religion. That person could refer to theirself as a Jew even though that isn't technically their identity. There is evidence in the Book of Mormon that Lamanite was used not only to delineate ancestry, but also to delineate cultural, social, and political identity.

You said that we do have Jewish genetic markers from 2000 years ago, but have they been used to compare to Native American DNA in order to establish a connection?

Since I was accused of not using quotes by Apostles and Prophets, I thought I should include those as well to be thorough, and not appear partial to apologetics. Apostle Orson Pratt, one of the most vocal 19thcentury interpreters of the Book of Mormon, believed that since Book of Mormon times “there [have been many nations who have come here[before Columbus]. And lastly Europeans have come from what is termed the old world across the Atlantic.” In 1909 Elder B. H. Roberts observed, “It is possible that Phoenician vessels might have visited some parts of” America, as well as, perhaps, other settlers “by way of the Pacific Islands” or via the “Behring straits.” In the 5 April 1929 general conference of the church, Anthony W. Ivins, first counselor in the First Presidency, urged: “We must be careful in the conclusions that we reach. The Book of Mormon teaches the history of three distinct peoples . . . who came from the old world to this continent. It does not tell us that there was no one here before them. It does not tell us that people did not come after. . . .We do believe that other people came to this continent.” Elder Widtsoe added in 1937, “There may also have been others [in ancient America] not recorded in the Book or not known to the ancient authors.” Elder Richard L. Evans characterized the Book of Mormon as “part of a record . . . of prophets and peoples who (with supplementary groups) were among the ancestors of the American Indians."

If you've ever seen the Discover Channel documentary (or read the transcript, which you can find on-line) about the cocaine mummies, you know that it is possible that there was contact between Egypt and South America, because large amounts of cocaine and nicotine were found in the tissue of many Egyptian mummies. Cocaine and Tobacco (so far as we know) is only found in the Americas. It seems plausible to me that if there was trade of this sort going on between Egypt and America, that it is possible that other people may also have engaged in trading as well with the Americas and that would open the door to other migrations, or at least intermarriage with an even larger scope of peoples.

The possibilities are endless.

Elder Joseph said...

tata

You said

"My only guess as to why the Romans and other such wicked white people haven't been cursed like the Lamanites is probably because they are Gentiles.They were not born and raised with the Law. They were not the Lord's covenant people. "

So why weren't the biblical Israelites cursed with a dark skin for their disobedience ? They were born in the covenant.

And why don't Mormon apostates turn dark when they leave the church and become filthy and loathsome by some church member definitions ?

The greatest caution the next conference should bring is the possibility that there were never any jewish migrations to the Americas in the first place whatsoever and that as B H Roberts said of Sherem and Korihor quote

" the evidence I sorrowfully submit points to Joseph Smith as their creator "

tatabug said...

EJ,

I don't really know how or why the Lord chooses to do what He does to who. I can only give my ideas. Only God can give us all the answers to such burning questions. But I'm sure you have the answers, and they all relate to the Church being a made up fraud by Joseph Smith. Am I close?

Also, you need to be careful about throwing around B. H. Roberts quotes. You should really get to know what he is all about first. Here is one from him regarding the purpose of his research:

My answer was, however, that it was my intention to go on with the consideration to the last analysis. Accordingly, since the matter was already so far under my hands, I continued my studies, and submit herewith the record of them. I do not say my conclusions, for they are undrawn. In writing out this my report to you of those studies, I have written it from the viewpoint of an open mind, investigating the facts of the Book of Mormon origin and authorship. Let me say once and for all, so as to avoid what might otherwise call for repeated explanation, that what is herein set forth does not represent any conclusions of mine. This report herewith submitted is what it purports to be, namely a 'study of Book of Mormon origins' for the information of those who ought to know everything about it pro et con, as well as that which has been produced against it, and that which may be produced against it. I am taking the position that our faith is not only unshaken but unshakable in the Book of Mormon, and therefore we can look without fear upon all that can be said against it. While searching for the answers to the questions of Mr. Couch submitted through Mr. William E. Riter, I came in contact with the material here used, and concluded that while the subject was fresh in my mind to make it of record for those who should be its students and know on what ground the Book of Mormon may be questioned, as well as that which supports its authenticity and its truth... I am very sure that you will find the material herewith submitted of intense interest, and it may be of very great importance since it represents what may be used by some opponent in criticism of the Book of Mormon.

Elder Joseph said...

Tata

he said of Sherem and Korihor quote

" the evidence I sorrowfully submit points to Joseph Smith as their creator "

"The Evidence"

Had he lived longer he may have quit ..he was looking for the answers too.

You should check his book out really for yourself and not Farms or FAIRS answers .He is very humerous in places where he sees suspicious parallels of the Book Of Mormon with other things of that time .

He also predicted that these things ( archeology , linguistics , plageurisms etc )if not resolved would come to haunt the future youth of the church .

I can testify that he was right , I use his book on my missionaries and they are clueless.... they just bury their heads in the sand until they get off the mission that is and then they are free to lean finally exactly what they were representing for two years ..

PS I'm glad I'm not an American Indian who converted to LDS on the strength of believing he was a special decendant of Lehi of Joseph etc .I can only imagine the anger !

This Church is offensive to

Women (polygamy) and still believes its the order to come (no monogomy at all ) .They just don’t tell those who are not worthy to know yet ..

Black people ( curse of cain interpretation and skin curse in the Book Of Mormon )

American Indians and Latin American Natives ( telling them they are decended from Lehi )

Who else are they going to anger and disrupt the lives of next ?

Bishop Rick said...

I have never understood the curse thing. Laman and Lemuel are bad people that were born in the covenant and rejected the law, so it is only fair to curse the millions descendants that followed them, even those that were born to them after they left the covenant.

I'm sorry, but this curse myth is just too much to believe. There is absolutely nothing outside the BoM that back this up or that makes sense. Inside either for that matter.

Bishop Rick said...

I have never understood the curse thing. Laman and Lemuel are bad people that were born in the covenant and rejected the law, so it is only fair to curse the millions descendants that followed them, even those that were born to them after they left the covenant.

I'm sorry, but this curse myth is just too much to believe. There is absolutely nothing outside the BoM that back this up or that makes sense. Inside either for that matter.

tatabug said...

EJ,

So we should just ignore B. H. Roberts's own words when he said, AFTER the conclusion of his Book of Mormon studies, "I am taking the position that our faith is not only unshaken but unshakable in the Book of Mormon, and therefore we can look without fear upon all that can be said against it."

I don't have access to his Book of Mormon study, but then I don't really need to in order to understand that it didn't represent his views with regard to the authenticity of the Book of Mormon. His attempt was to play 'devil's advocate' if you will. He was trying to use tactics that would be employed by the enemies of the Church to try to discredit the Book of Mormon. He attempted to try gather as much evidence as possible to lend support to the Book of Mormon, but readily admitted that it was not through evidence, but through the Holy Ghost that we may know that it is true. He also put great confidence in the testimonies of the three and eight witnesses.

The last 6 years of his life was spent writing The Truth, The Way, The Life.

From Truman G. Madsen:

Every book of the Book of Mormon (with the exception of Jarom, Enos, and Omni) is utilized in depth in the chapters on the Atonement in TWL (The Truth, The Way, The Life). The focus is especially on doctrinal sections and sermons and explications - 1 and 2 Nephi, Jacob, Mosiah, Alma, Helaman, 3 and 4 Nephi, Ether, Mormon, and Moroni. In four different chapter introductions, he recommends as background, "Read the Book of Mormon entire." His elaborate scriptural foundation for the Atonement is the heart of hearts of TWL. At the outset of these six chapters on the Atonement, Roberts writes, "I must…ask that there be a suspension of judgment on the respective parts of the theme until all shall have been read; as knowledge of the whole, I am sure, will be necessary to complete understanding of the parts" (TWL, 40). Two sections deal with "Book of Mormon Prophecies of the Atonement" (2 Nephi 2:26, 27; Mosiah 3:16-18) and "Book of Mormon Historical Utterances on the Atonement" (3 Nephi 9:15-18, 21; 3 Nephi 11:9-11; Moroni 7:41; Id. See TWL, 40). In his introduction to 3 Nephi he writes, "The most important utterances that can come to man on any subject would be what the Lord Jesus Christ himself would say upon those subjects. For that reason, I am limiting the historical statements of the Book of Mormon on the Atonement to such words as were alleged to have been spoken by the risen Lord Jesus." (TWL, 40.) Then he cites 3 Nephi 9 and later chapters.

You can suggest that he may have continued his study and that he may have 'quit,' as you phrased it, but nothing he did within those last 6 years of his life suggest that he had lost his testimony of the Church or of the Book of Mormon. If he had, why would he use the Book of Mormon so extensively in TWL? If he considered the Book of Mormon to be false, why would he use it to make his case? That would be utterly ridiculous to anyone with half a brain.

From Matthew Roper:

In November 1930 he asserted that "surer recognition of Jesus being God may not be found in sacred writ [than in the Book of Mormon]" (Deseret News, 22 November 1930). Roberts continued to be impressed by the depth and scope of Book of Mormon doctrinal teachings and thought. Concerning the sacramental prayers in the Book of Mormon, he told the San Francisco Stake in April 1932 that "this was not the work of an unlettered youth . . . but evidence of divine inspiration. When this prayer is thoughtfully considered, it gives great weight to [the] claims of the modern prophet"(Minutes of the San Francisco Stake Conference, 23-24 April 1932, in Madsen and Welch, "Did B. H. Roberts Lose Faith in the Book of Mormon?" pp. 25-26). In April 1933, he described the Book of Mormon as "one of the most valuable books that has ever been preserved" (Conference Report, April 1933, 117). Just weeks before he died, he advised Jack Christensen, "Ethan Smith played no part in the formation of the Book of Mormon. You accept Joseph Smith and all the scriptures" (Madsen and Welch, "Did B. H. Roberts Lose Faith in the Book of Mormon?" p. 27). In light of Roberts's boldness in maintaining the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, especially over the last eleven years of his life, to argue,...that he somehow rejected the Book of Mormon is intellectually indefensible, if not somewhat disingenuous.

tatabug said...

BR,

I don't understand it either, but a lack of understanding doesn't mean it wasn't a reality. There is much in this life that isn't understood, but we don't have to understand all the why's and how's to know that they 'are.'

Bishop Rick said...

Tata,

To me, if something makes absolutely no sense, and there is nothing to back it up, the only conclusion I can come to is that it is not true. How can I come to any other conclusion?