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Book of Mormon DNA Apologetics


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My curiousity was piqued as I read some of the articles refuting those who are using some DNA studies on American Indians against the LDS Church and against the Book of Mormon. Several references in the apologetic's articles were made about mainstream Mormons having many "myths" about the Native Americans and their relationship to Book of Mormon peoples. I consider myself mainstream and recently read again in 2 NE where Lehi blesses Laman and Lemuel and prophesies that Laman and Lemuel's posterity would be taught the gospel in the last days. Now, that isn't a "myth", but clearly stated in the Book of Mormon. I also remember other references to the Lamanites blossoming as a rose. Are these the myths apologetics are thinking of? If so, I think there is a flaw in your argument, even though other parts of your article have much merit. But to say that it is a non-doctrinal point that the Lamanites are among us today in the peoples of the Americas is NOT a non-doctrine. Please explain some of what you think are myths we believe, or false traditions that we mainstream Mormons have been believing that aren't "doctrine". Thanks.

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Maintstream, we just don't know who the remnants of Lamanites are in terms of modern populations. That doesn't matter to God in terms of fulfillment of prophecy. And it shouldn't matter to any of us, either.

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All churches develop and change. The history of how the BOM has been used and viewed by the members since its inception is an interesting study in itself. Teryl Givens has done some excellent work on that. We are entering an era where the BOM is being looked at as more than just a spiritual guide. It is being analyzed by the tools of scholarship used on any ancient text. I have no doubt that many things are going to be brought to light. The fuss over DNA has created the need to look more closely at the claims regarding Lamanite/Nephite. There will always be traditional beliefs that are carry-overs from the 19th century...but the thrust of BOM study will increasingly be centered on what the text says.

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The lamanites will indeed blossom as a rose but that does not mean that they are the literal descendants of Laman and Lemuel. In 2 Nephi 26:15 we learn that the nephite (my seed and the seed of my bretheren) nation will be destroyed by Gentiles and later in the book, they are destroyed by a group of people called Lamanites. Also we know that according to the most common ancestor hypothesis, everyone who's ancestors come from Europe are direct descendants of Charlamaign. The issue is that the aboriginal of today are referred in the scriptures as lamanites but that does not make them dirrect and soley descendants of Laman. Literally they are gentiles brought here over the centuries, but figuratively they are lamanites and entitled to the blessings and promises of the Book of Mormon because God brought them here for this very purpose. 2 Nephi 1:6.. And in 2 Nephi 1:11 we learn that other nations will be brought here to scatter the Nephites. And we know, from reading the book, that this happened many times throughout their history.

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The Introduction to the Book of Mormon says "After thousands of years, all were destroyed except the Lamanites, and they are the principal ancestors of the American Indians."

The Title Page specifically addresses the Book of Mormon to the Lamanites.

We may presume that it is doctrine to say that the Lamanites are the principal ancestors of the American Indians -- not a minority ancestor and not ancestors of a minority of the Indians, but the principal ancestor.

I would not use the argument that the American Indians are not Lamanites in order to refute evidence of Asian ancestry of the Indians. It seems to me intellectually dishonest to do so. I would rather use other arguments or simply state that I do not claim the capacity to know the answer to every objection brought up by people who criticize the Book of Mormon.

As a long-time member of the church, I am certain that Joseph Smith saw an angel named Moroni and that he translated the Book of Mormon. I have had too many personal experiences that have reinforced that belief. I understand the position of the skeptics, and if it were not for these personal experiences I probably would be one of the skeptics. Nevertheless, my personal experiences are my own and could not be used as evidence as the church is true, so I keep them to myself. I have no doubt that there are many other members who feel as I do.

I believe that one day all these things will be straightened out. I am not in a position to judge God. If He feels that it is necessary to conceal the ancestry of the Lamanites from modern science, then so be it. Those who still feel entitled to an explanation at the judgment day will no doubt receive it.

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Also we know that according to the most common ancestor hypothesis, everyone who's ancestors come from Europe are direct descendants of Charlamaign.

Golly Gosh, Freedom, I have never heard of that one. We have a fair few French ancestors over here, (the UK) William the Conquerer and all that, but before that we had plenty of other inroads made by other groups of wanderers and conquerers.

Not sure I agree with that hypothesis at all, not for the UK anyways!!!!

I typed up a google for 'common ancestor hypothesis' and got a lot, but this one seemed particularly interesting.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Single-origin_hypothesis

charlemagne.gif

Charlemagne

King of the Franks and Emperor

of the Holy Roman Empire

742 - 814

He was six feet four inches tall, and built to scale.

He had beautiful white hair, animated eyes, a powerful nose...

a presence "always stately and dignified." He was temperate

in eating and drinking, abominated drunkenness, and kept

in good health despite every exposure and hardship.

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The lamanites will indeed blossom as a rose but that does not mean that they are the literal descendants of Laman and Lemuel.

Eh, why not? Jesus said that God could create descendents of Abraham out of rocks. If God says those rocks are the literal descendents of Abraham, who am I to argue? :P

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I have been doing genealogy for years. Yeah, the connection is there. And it only makes sense that it is. After 20 generations you have over 1.5 million direct ancestors. I don't know anyone who has gone back that far that hasn't hooked into royalty. And since the royalty all married each other, we all have common royal ancestors.

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I have been doing genealogy for years. Yeah, the connection is there. And it only makes sense that it is. After 20 generations you have over 1.5 million direct ancestors. I don't know anyone who has gone back that far that hasn't hooked into royalty. And since the royalty all married each other, we all have common royal ancestors.

Yes. Point taken, but using that hypothesis, we are all direct ancestors of absolutely anyone and everyone!!! Why pick out Charlemagne???

If we do tap into wealthy ancestors, which does happen, then even their family trees were often made up to make them look more aristocratic!!!! (People don't change do they!!!)

I'm cynical.. sorry....

Abulafia

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There is a reason why we all get into royalty. If you have 1.5 million ancestors at generation 20, you are back into such early times that the only people who kept records and genealogies were royalty. They had to prove their lineage. But if you had 30 or so royals, you had 1,499,970 commoners. They just didn't know how to write and had no reason to keep genealogies! :P

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There is a reason why we all get into royalty.  If you have 1.5 million ancestors at generation 20, you are back into such early times that the only people who kept records and genealogies were royalty.  They had to prove their lineage. But if you had 30 or so royals, you had 1,499,970 commoners. They just didn't know how to write and had no reason to keep genealogies!  :P

Yes. I know all that Charity... I don't know about all this 'prove lineage' stuff. As I say, half of them (my own estimate based on nothing more than inkling I'll admit and a few articles indicating that it no doubt went on for reasons of prestige and legitimacy) made it all up anyways just to make 'emselves look good. How one defines 'royalty' is another issue... I suspect that many of us may be related to 'royal blood lines' whatever that means, but it probably comes through illegitimacy and the fact that the royals thought they could do what they wanted with mistresses whathaveyou, and of course get away with it.

Just my 2pennyworth...

Abulafia <_<

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The Introduction to the Book of Mormon says "After thousands of years, all were destroyed except the Lamanites, and they are the principal ancestors of the American Indians."

The introduction to the Book of Mormon is not canonical. Many use this word "prinicpal" to support their claims, but that word is not really part of the Book of Mormon, but rather a summary of it written by a man after the translation. Personally, I think it is trying to more than what is supported by text of the Book of Mormon, similar to how some earlier Book Of Mormon editions about a hundred years ago contained geographical statements explaining what part of the North and South American continents the events took place in.

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The Introduction to the Book of Mormon says "After thousands of years, all were destroyed except the Lamanites, and they are the principal ancestors of the American Indians."

The introduction to the Book of Mormon is not canonical. Many use this word "prinicpal" to support their claims, but that word is not really part of the Book of Mormon, but rather a summary of it written by a man after the translation. Personally, I think it is trying to more than what is supported by text of the Book of Mormon, similar to how some earlier Book Of Mormon editions about a hundred years ago contained geographical statements explaining what part of the North and South American continents the events took place in.

So in other words: sometimes inspiration and "the Spirit" are key, and at other times, worthless and to be ignored (even opposed). How could over 150 years worth of the Lord's ordained servants have been so misguided? Perhaps they just weren't as 'in tune' with the promptings of the spirit as previously thought?

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The Introduction to the Book of Mormon says "After thousands of years, all were destroyed except the Lamanites, and they are the principal ancestors of the American Indians."

Yes, and according to Alma, starting somewhere around 400 a.d., just about everyone, regardless of where you came from and who you're related to, is now called a Lamanite.

"But whosoever remaineth, and is not destroyed in that great and dreadful day, shall be numbered among the Lamanites, and shall become like unto them, all, save it be a few who shall be called the disciples of the Lord;"

So, the morning after that great and dreadful day, if you wake up and find yourself still breathing, you now live in a part of the world where genetics, DNA, lineage, ancestry, none of that matters anymore. Except for a couple of people, all the descendants of the people that crossed the frozen land bridge are called lamanites. All the remnant of Lehi's group are now lamanites. The european neanderthals that the aliens thawed out and planted near Chile are now called lamanites.

So, everyone alive in the Americas starting around 400 a.d. became the principal ancestors of the American Indians. Anyone care to argue with that?

HSR

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Homestar, That is brilliant. You have left them with no excuse. End of discussion. I am still chortling. Good job.

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The Introduction to the Book of Mormon says "After thousands of years, all were destroyed except the Lamanites, and they are the principal ancestors of the American Indians."

Yes, and according to Alma, starting somewhere around 400 a.d., just about everyone, regardless of where you came from and who you're related to, is now called a Lamanite.

"But whosoever remaineth, and is not destroyed in that great and dreadful day, shall be numbered among the Lamanites, and shall become like unto them, all, save it be a few who shall be called the disciples of the Lord;"

So, the morning after that great and dreadful day, if you wake up and find yourself still breathing, you now live in a part of the world where genetics, DNA, lineage, ancestry, none of that matters anymore. Except for a couple of people, all the descendants of the people that crossed the frozen land bridge are called lamanites. All the remnant of Lehi's group are now lamanites. The european neanderthals that the aliens thawed out and planted near Chile are now called lamanites.

So, everyone alive in the Americas starting around 400 a.d. became the principal ancestors of the American Indians. Anyone care to argue with that?

HSR

Wow...that was terrific. I never thought of that. I have to take my hat off to you. Where is that located in the book of mormon? I need that quotation. Thanks again..it was great!!! :P

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The Introduction to the Book of Mormon says "After thousands of years, all were destroyed except the Lamanites, and they are the principal ancestors of the American Indians."

The Title Page specifically addresses the Book of Mormon to the Lamanites.

We may presume that it is doctrine to say that the Lamanites are the principal ancestors of the American Indians -- not a minority ancestor and not ancestors of a minority of the Indians, but the principal ancestor.

"Principal Ancestor" does not need to mean "the main ancestral source of current DNA in most native Americans."

I believe it can mean "the ancestry through which promised blessings are to be received."

As a priesthood holder I can consider that Abraham is my "principal ancestor" regarding blessings promised to his lineage, whether or not any of Abraham's DNA has survived to be included in my cells (I would bet it hasn't).

This is not the traditionally interpretation, but as noted above, as we learn more, our understandings may change.

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Where is that located in the book of mormon? I need that quotation.

Alma 45:14 "But whosoever remaineth, and is not destroyed in that great and dreadful day, shall be numbered among the Lamanites, and shall become like unto them, all, save it be a few who shall be called the disciples of the Lord; and them shall the Lamanites pursue even until they shall become extinct. And now, because of iniquity, this prophecy shall be fulfilled."

It's around 73 B.C. when Alma is talking, but he's prophecying about the destruction of the Nephites. Verse 10 tells us he's talking about 400 years after Christ comes to visit the Nephites.

HSR

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The Introduction to the Book of Mormon says "After thousands of years, all were destroyed except the Lamanites, and they are the principal ancestors of the American Indians."

Yes, and according to Alma, starting somewhere around 400 a.d., just about everyone, regardless of where you came from and who you're related to, is now called a Lamanite.

"But whosoever remaineth, and is not destroyed in that great and dreadful day, shall be numbered among the Lamanites, and shall become like unto them, all, save it be a few who shall be called the disciples of the Lord;"

So, the morning after that great and dreadful day, if you wake up and find yourself still breathing, you now live in a part of the world where genetics, DNA, lineage, ancestry, none of that matters anymore. Except for a couple of people, all the descendants of the people that crossed the frozen land bridge are called lamanites. All the remnant of Lehi's group are now lamanites. The european neanderthals that the aliens thawed out and planted near Chile are now called lamanites.

So, everyone alive in the Americas starting around 400 a.d. became the principal ancestors of the American Indians. Anyone care to argue with that?

HSR

Brilliant!!!

You should definitely be on the Agenda at next year's FAIR Conference. Don't forget to submit this as a proposal. Color a border with blue crayon for extra points. Move over Dr. Peterson, Homestar Runner is at the plate.

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So, everyone alive in the Americas starting around 400 a.d. became the principal ancestors of the American Indians.  Anyone care to argue with that?

Brilliant!!!

You should definitely be on the Agenda at next year's FAIR Conference. Don't forget to submit this as a proposal. Color a border with blue crayon for extra points. Move over Dr. Peterson, Homestar Runner is at the plate.

Dandy rhetoric, sir, but if you'd do me the honor of pointing out any flaws in my reasoning, I'd be much obliged.

HSR

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Mainstream,

> My curiousity was piqued as I read some of the articles refuting those who are using some DNA studies on American Indians against the LDS Church and against the Book of Mormon.

==To what articles are you referring? References, please.

> Several references in the apologetic's articles were made about mainstream Mormons having many "myths" about the Native Americans and their relationship to Book of Mormon peoples.

==What references? What are these "myths?"

> I consider myself mainstream and recently read again in 2 NE where Lehi blesses Laman and Lemuel and prophesies that Laman and Lemuel's posterity would be taught the gospel in the last days.

==Can you be more specific? Chapter and verse would be nice.

> Now, that isn't a "myth", but clearly stated in the Book of Mormon.

==Whom are you contradicting here?

> I also remember other references to the Lamanites blossoming as a rose.

==I am aware of D&C 49:24 ("and the Lamanites shall blossom as the rose"). What other scriptural references to this simile did you have in mind?

> Are these the myths apologetics are thinking of?

==Why don't you provide the references to the articles you are referencing?

> If so, I think there is a flaw in your argument, even though other parts of your article have much merit. But to say that it is a non-doctrinal point that the Lamanites are among us today in the peoples of the Americas is NOT a non-doctrine.

==A "non-doctrinal point" that is "NOT" a "non-doctrine?" Can you explain this again? I don't understand what you are saying here.

-Smac

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I have a question on the DNA. How could they possibly check against Lehi's DNA? Were they somehow comparing our American Indian DNA to modern Jewish DNA? The reason I ask is that the Jews have been dispersed throughout the world and their DNA will not be the same as that of the ancient house of Judah. Also Lehi was a descendent from Joseph, who married a woman of Egypt (I don't know that her lineage was ever discussed) so they would not necessarily share DNA with remnants of Judah. So how are they comparing modern DNA to what happened thousands of years ago? Just curious what they are using.

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