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How do Mormons reconcile American Indian origins?


AntiCitizen

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Before I delve into this next series of questions, I would first like to thank everyone who took part in my evolution post. I think we had some very interesting dialogue, and I learned a great deal from some of your comments about reconciliations between science and faith. So with this same spirit in mind, I would like to ask another series of questions:

1) How do Mormons reconcile the alledged Jewish origins of Native Americans with the recent developments in mtDNA studies? For example,this article here is a great summary of modern research on American Indian lineages, and unequivocally links them to Mongoloid migrations. How do you reconcile this with the traditional doctrine that Native Americans are primarily Lamanite/Jewish remnants?

2) This question is specifically for those of you who are about to give me the whole "limited geography" hypothesis. That is, if you believe that Lehi's family merely inter-mixed with the locals, how do you reconcile this with claims like the following made by Spencer W. Kimball:

"With pride I tell those who come to my office that a Lamanite is a descendant of one Lehi who left Jerusalem six hundred years before Christ and with his family crossed the mighty deep and landed in America. And Lehi and his family became the ancestors of all of the Indian and Mestizo tribes in North and South and Central America and in the islands of the sea, for in the middle of their history there were those who left America in ships of their making and went to the islands of the sea."

3) Or better yet, how do you reconcile "Limited Geography" with the Doctrine and Covenents, which very strongly suggests that Lamanites, Jews, and American Indians are all one and the same? See, for example,

D&C 10:48

D&C 28:8

D&C 54:8

D&C 19:27

I simply fail to see how you can accept the fruits of science with regards American Indian origins without openly contradicting the very plain language of the D&C. Or in the opposite sense, how do you accept the revelations of D&C without openly disregarding a huge body of conflicting genetic evidence?

I look forward to reading your responses!

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"With pride I tell those who come to my office that a Lamanite is a descendant of one Lehi who left Jerusalem six hundred years before Christ and with his family crossed the mighty deep and landed in America. And Lehi and his family became the ancestors of all of the Indian and Mestizo tribes in North and South and Central America and in the islands of the sea, for in the middle of their history there were those who left America in ships of their making and went to the islands of the sea."

There is no contradiction between President Kimball's statement and the LGT. Ships did leave the Nephite/Lamanite hive in Central America and subsequently intermingled with natives in North and South America and potentially Polynesia. Although Lehi may be only 1 of thousands of ancestors of modern Native Americans, he is nevertheless their ancestor.

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Long before any DNA studies came out, Hugh Nibley was suggesting that the Jaredites were from Asia and that their descendants survived and intermingled with Lamanites. His assertions were based on cultural and linguistic clues found within the Book of Mormon.

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Before I delve into this next series of questions, I would first like to thank everyone who took part in my evolution post. I think we had some very interesting dialogue, and I learned a great deal from some of your comments about reconciliations between science and faith. So with this same spirit in mind, I would like to ask another series of questions:

1) How do Mormons reconcile the alledged Jewish origins of Native Americans with the recent developments in mtDNA studies? For example,this article here is a great summary of modern research on American Indian lineages, and unequivocally links them to Mongoloid migrations. How do you reconcile this with the traditional doctrine that Native Americans are primarily Lamanite/Jewish remnants?

2) This question is specifically for those of you who are about to give me the whole "limited geography" hypothesis. That is, if you believe that Lehi's family merely inter-mixed with the locals, how do you reconcile this with claims like the following made by Spencer W. Kimball:

"With pride I tell those who come to my office that a Lamanite is a descendant of one Lehi who left Jerusalem six hundred years before Christ and with his family crossed the mighty deep and landed in America. And Lehi and his family became the ancestors of all of the Indian and Mestizo tribes in North and South and Central America and in the islands of the sea, for in the middle of their history there were those who left America in ships of their making and went to the islands of the sea."

3) Or better yet, how do you reconcile "Limited Geography" with the Doctrine and Covenents, which very strongly suggests that Lamanites, Jews, and American Indians are all one and the same? See, for example,

D&C 10:48

D&C 28:8

D&C 54:8

D&C 19:27

I simply fail to see how you can accept the fruits of science with regards American Indian origins without openly contradicting the very plain language of the D&C. Or in the opposite sense, how do you accept the revelations of D&C without openly disregarding a huge body of conflicting genetic evidence?

I look forward to reading your responses!

How do Mormons reconcile Amerindian origins? We don't have to and most of us don't worry about it. That is like asking how we reconcile modern Americans to the statement that modern Americans are English. There is ample evidence that there have been numerous migrations from various places to the ancient Americas. A small Isrealite migration to a small area somewhere in the Americas may or may not leave a DNA blip. Second question what does the DNA we are looking for look like?

There are several threads that have already discussed this very thoroughly. Do a search and come back in a day or two after you have read whats there.

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1) How do Mormons reconcile the alledged Jewish origins of Native Americans with the recent developments in mtDNA studies? For example,this article here is a great summary of modern research on American Indian lineages, and unequivocally links them to Mongoloid migrations. How do you reconcile this with the traditional doctrine that Native Americans are primarily Lamanite/Jewish remnants?

Lehi and his family are not Jews, and they married into Ishmael's family who were also not Jews. Their tribes were carried away captive by the Assyrians, and did not contribute greatly to the current genetic mix of the modern Middle East.

The Middle East is a crossroad of three continents, and has a history of a great deal of immigration, mixing, and intermarriage. To use modern Middle Eastern DNA as the "standard" against which to measure what the Lehite's DNA must have been like 2600 years ago is extraordinarily sloppy science. Thus there have been no DNA studies focused on the Book of Mormon.

However, if you're seeking evidences of the Hebrewic origins, there are several instances where there are Judaistic practices across cultures, including the report of New World explorers that some Mesoamerican tribes engaged in Jewish worship. NOVA gives a general outline over the course of three pages of this stuff.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/israel/losttribes.html

Tracing all the human migration is not merely done through DNA evidence, tracing DNA might lead you through the genetic bottleneck of Siberia-to-Alaska, but it wouldn't trace the Pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contact else where in America, and such is the situation presented by the band of pre-exile Josephites who went to the Americas. Why won't it? DNA testing of modern individuals often fails to detect all previous genetic lineages.

For example, the Iceland bottleneck, a majority of people living today in Iceland had ancestors living only 150 years ago, but that could not be detected based on their Y chromosome or mitochondrial DNA tests being performed. Yet, of course, they had the geneological records showing that these people existed, and were their ancestors. So if you take this to the point at hand, if documented ancestors of 150 years ago can't be seen with Y chromosome and mitochrondrial tests from modern Iceland, then why would we expect to see large amounts of alternative DNA from a people who were reported in the Book of Mormon to have migrated to the Americas 2,600 years ago? Any Israelite DNA would have been swamped out in the New World due to the bottleneck effect, genetic drift, and other technical problems which would prevent us from detecting the Israelite genes.

2) This question is specifically for those of you who are about to give me the whole "limited geography" hypothesis. That is, if you believe that Lehi's family merely inter-mixed with the locals, how do you reconcile this with claims like the following made by Spencer W. Kimball:

"With pride I tell those who come to my office that a Lamanite is a descendant of one Lehi who left Jerusalem six hundred years before Christ and with his family crossed the mighty deep and landed in America. And Lehi and his family became the ancestors of all of the Indian and Mestizo tribes in North and South and Central America and in the islands of the sea, for in the middle of their history there were those who left America in ships of their making and went to the islands of the sea."

Before I defend the comment, I

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Lehi and his family are not Jews, and they married into Ishmael's family who were also not Jews. Their tribes were carried away captive by the Assyrians, and did not contribute greatly to the current genetic mix of the modern Middle East.

Ditto ditto and ditto!

The Mayans did not learn the creation story from Catholic conquistadors.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9O7gnMLsyk&feature=related

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The group of people who went to America in Lehi's party consisted of the following:

Lehi (descendant of Manassah) and Sariah (lineage unknown) and their children, Ishmael (lineage possibly from Ephraim) and his wife and their children who married Lehi's children, and Zoram (lineage unknown).

So if we were able to actually find out what a person in the tribe of Manasseh's DNA would look like in 600BC then we could know a portion of what the original group's DNA would be. Unfortunately they married into the natives in the New World. Meanwhile the Israelites were scattered around so their DNA doesn't represent ancient Israelite DNA anyway.

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1) How do Mormons reconcile the alledged Jewish origins of Native Americans with the recent developments in mtDNA studies? For example,this article here is a great summary of modern research on American Indian lineages, and unequivocally links them to Mongoloid migrations. How do you reconcile this with the traditional doctrine that Native Americans are primarily Lamanite/Jewish remnants?

Like I responded to you in the other thread, this Mormon does not feel compelled to reconcile, or bring into harmony, the two seemingly conflicting ideas. If further light and knowledge has been gained, in this instance through science, then I let go of old ideas, notions, or traditions. That is the whole idea that B. Young espoused, "zion is to possess all truth, from where ever it comes"(paraphrasing).

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Like I responded to you in the other thread, this Mormon does not feel compelled to reconcile, or bring into harmony, the two seemingly conflicting ideas. If further light and knowledge has been gained, in this instance through science, then I let go of old ideas, notions, or traditions. That is the whole idea that B. Young espoused, "zion is to possess all truth, from where ever it comes"(paraphrasing).

For the case of evolution, you might have a point. But in the case of American Indians, the D&C very plainly refers to them as "Lamanites" and "Jews." I still have not seen anyone address this problem.

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How do Mormons reconcile Amerindian origins? We don't have to and most of us don't worry about it. That is like asking how we reconcile modern Americans to the statement that modern Americans are English. There is ample evidence that there have been numerous migrations from various places to the ancient Americas. A small Isrealite migration to a small area somewhere in the Americas may or may not leave a DNA blip. Second question what does the DNA we are looking for look like?

This does not address the problem of D&C, which openly equates American Indians with Jews and Lamanites. This is not a trivial problem with the revealed nature of scripture. I do not see how you can just casually sweep this under the rug.

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This does not address the problem of D&C, which openly equates American Indians with Jews and Lamanites. This is not a trivial problem with the revealed nature of scripture. I do not see how you can just casually sweep this under the rug.

I already answered you. Yes, Joseph in the D&C uses the term "Lamanite" to describe native American inhabitants. You are still mistaking the use of the term "Lamanite" as requiring descent from Lehi through his son, Laman. Its very clear in the Book of Mormon that the term "Lamanite" does not refer to descent, but to political and religious affiliations. Any person in the Americas who wasn't a Nephite was, by exclusion, a Lamanite.

The LGT holds that the mere story of the Book of Mormon and the Nephite people with which it is concerned were confined to a narrow region, since this is all the area with which the authors of the Book of Mormon were directly concerned. Yet it suggests a knowledge of and interaction with a much greater geographical area, thus gives opportunity for Lamanites and Nephites to be found in all parts of the western hemisphere. Even in the LGT, the native Americans may still indeed be descendants of Laman.

Even under the LGT it is likely that every single native American in the hemisphere was a descendant of Laman by Joseph Smith's day. This would have been true even if Laman's direct descendants inhabited only a small area somewhere in the Americas in A.D. 400. This doesn't mean that modern native Americans get the majority of their DNA from Laman or even that some genetic marker from Laman could be detected anywhere in the Americas.

Why do you people still adhere to the old concept of "bloodlines," the notion that in some small way we all carry some tiny bit of organic information from each and every one of our ancestors. That is not the case. It is extremely unlikely that we will ever identify the children of Lehi using genetic techniques.

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A better question for Anti-citizen:

How do Native Americans reconcile American Indian origins?

Bernard

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But in the case of American Indians, the D&C very plainly refers to them as "Lamanites" and "Jews."

Actually it doesn't. It never mentions the term "American Indians". That is an assumed conflation.

It is also apparent that some Lamanites are a remnant of the Jews, but not all of them. So there isn't a tidy equivalence happening there either.

In fact the term "Lamanite" becomes so indeterminate as to render its meaning as simply, those other guys.

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http://www.scs.uiuc....ogroupsMaps.pdf

I tried to get this linked to appear so no one has to toggle back and forth to the chart. Sorry my failure there. Anyhow as after you view page one it represents the haplogroups before European expansion roughly 1500 AD.

You will note the following excerpt on the graph:

The data in this map is supposed to represent the situation before the recent European expansion

beginning about 1500 AD. In some cases such as some Native American tribes and the Maori this

can be done reliably because STR typing was done. In other cases, especially in America, it is

guesswork. The

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The first thing I would do is reconcile your statements with what The Book of Mormon actually says a "Lamanite" is:

Now the people which were not Lamanites were Nephites; nevertheless, they were called Nephites, Jacobites, Josephites, Zoramites, Lamanites, Lemuelites, and Ishmaelites.

But I, Jacob, shall not hereafter distinguish them by these names, but I shall call them Lamanites that seek to destroy the people of Nephi, and those who are friendly to Nephi I shall call Nephites, or the people of Nephi, according to the reigns of the kings.

Jacob:1:13-14

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.

And how blessed were they! For the Lord did bless them in all their doings; yea, even they were blessed and prospered until an hundred and ten years had passed away [since the coming of Jesus Christ]; and the first generation from Christ had passed away, and there was no contention in all the land.

4th Nephi 17-18

And now it came to pass in this year, yea, in the two hundred and thirty and first year, there was a great division among the people.

And it came to pass that in this year there arose a people who were called the Nephites, and they were true believers in Christ; and among them there were those who were called by the Lamanites

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I simply fail to see how you can accept the fruits of science with regards American Indian origins without openly contradicting the very plain language of the D&C. Or in the opposite sense, how do you accept the revelations of D&C without openly disregarding a huge body of conflicting genetic evidence?

I look forward to reading your responses!

Who is this "you" that you keep talking about? You do understand that a lot of the Mormons on this board disagree with each other, right? And you also understand, don't you, that you are posting these questions to an extremely small group of Mormons, who don't always agree amongst themselves, only a few of whom choose to respond to your posts, and that those who do sometimes heatedly disagree with each other? Seriously, are you not aware of this?

Are you trying to find out the opinions on this particular board, or are you assuming that you are discovering some kind of valid consensus of what "Mormons" (as if this were a one-voiced, monolithic group) believe?

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Lehi and his family are not Jews, and they married into Ishmael's family who were also not Jews. Their tribes were carried away captive by the Assyrians, and did not contribute greatly to the current genetic mix of the modern Middle East.

I have a huge problem with this statement and would vehemently challenge it. The Israelites of the Northern Kingdom left many descendants in the area. Among them are the Samaritans. Even if they did not leave one single descendant in the middle east, their haplotypes are all over the Middle East

in the other descendants of Terah and his brothers, uncles and ancestral cousins as well as the descendants of Ishmael and Esau from whom we know came millions of people.

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I have a huge problem with this statement and would vehemently challenge it. The Israelites of the Northern Kingdom left many descendants in the area. Among them are the Samaritans. Even if they did not leave one single descendant in the middle east, their haplotypes are all over the Middle East

in the other descendants of Terah and his brothers, uncles and ancestral cousins as well as the descendants of Ishmael and Esau from whom we know came millions of people.

Yes I have to agree with ktg. As Nephi was the son of Lehi we see that they were Jewish.

1Nephi 3:1-3

1 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, returned from aspeaking with the Lord, to the tent of my father.

2 And it came to pass that he spake unto me, saying: Behold I have dreamed a adream, in the which the Lord hath commanded me that thou and thy brethren shall b to Jerusalem.

3 For behold, Laban hath the record of the Jews and also a agenealogy of my forefathers, and they are bengraven upon plates of brass.

Nephi states to Lehi that Laban holds the geneaolgy of their forefathers which indicates Jewish lineage.

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Yes I have to agree with ktg. As Nephi was the son of Lehi we see that they were Jewish.

1Nephi 3:1-3

1 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, returned from aspeaking with the Lord, to the tent of my father.

2 And it came to pass that he spake unto me, saying: Behold I have dreamed a adream, in the which the Lord hath commanded me that thou and thy brethren shall b to Jerusalem.

3 For behold, Laban hath the record of the Jews and also a agenealogy of my forefathers, and they are bengraven upon plates of brass.

Nephi states to Lehi that Laban holds the geneaolgy of their forefathers which indicates Jewish lineage.

Not quite. If you read just 2 more chapters, you get the rest of the story. Laban's plates did not hold the genealogy of Judah (Jews), they had genealogy of the of the tribe of Joseph. They did have the record of the Jews, but the genealogy that Lehi spoke of was of Joseph.

1 Nephi 5:

11 And he beheld that they did contain the five books of Moses, which gave an account of the creation of the world, and also of Adam and Eve, who were our first parents;

12 And also a record of the Jews from the beginning, even down to the commencement of the reign of Zedekiah, king of Judah;

13 And also the prophecies of the holy prophets, from the beginning, even down to the commencement of the reign of Zedekiah; and also many prophecies which have been spoken by the mouth of Jeremiah.

14 And it came to pass that my father, Lehi, also found upon the plates of brass a genealogy of his fathers; wherefore he knew that he was a descendant of Joseph; yea, even that Joseph who was the son of Jacob, who was sold into Egypt, and who was preserved by the hand of the Lord, that he might preserve his father, Jacob, and all his household from perishing with famine.

15 And they were also led out of captivity and out of the land of Egypt, by that same God who had preserved them.

16 And thus my father, Lehi, did discover the genealogy of his fathers. And Laban also was a descendant of Joseph, wherefore he and his fathers had kept the records.

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Also, has anyone brought up the genetic change that came upon the Lamanites, so that those they mixed their seed with had the same change? If there are no pre-change (pre-curse) people to compare DNA with today's native populations, both old world and new, I can see a big problem. It's the elephant in the room that no one talks about when bringing up DNA.

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1) How do Mormons reconcile the alledged Jewish origins of Native Americans with the recent developments in mtDNA studies? For example,this article here is a great summary of modern research on American Indian lineages, and unequivocally links them to Mongoloid migrations. How do you reconcile this with the traditional doctrine that Native Americans are primarily Lamanite/Jewish remnants?

First of several problems.... 1. You built a straw man that you then attempt to tear down of LDS believes. The problem with your question from the very beginning is your "ignorance" of LDS thought on the subject. You take one quote and think THAT is LDS thought on the subject, let alone your interpretation of the quote in the first place. There is no "traditional doctrine" that Native American's are ONLY of Jewish decent. So, let me mention a couple of things.

2. You do know that long before DNA came about it was well known that the primary ancestors of the Natives of the America's were of Asian decent? So, how do you think mormons resolved the issue then? Same way we do now, with all the facts, and understanding what our leaders are actually teaching.

3. LDS have always known that Lehi is only ONE group who made it to the America's, thus you need to ask yourself what do LDS or their leaders mean when they say "Lamanites, etc." are of the House of Israel. Let me give you a clue..... All mankind is of one House of Israel or another, and it has nothing to do with the "obvious" DNA we now see. Further, DNA only detects the "dominate" strain of lineage, it doesn't detect every single blood relative. Thus, you have no clue scientifically speaking whether the Blood of Israel "is" in the Natives of the America's and the Islands.

2) This question is specifically for those of you who are about to give me the whole "limited geography" hypothesis. That is, if you believe that Lehi's family merely inter-mixed with the locals, how do you reconcile this with claims like the following made by Spencer W. Kimball:

"With pride I tell those who come to my office that a Lamanite is a descendant of one Lehi who left Jerusalem six hundred years before Christ and with his family crossed the mighty deep and landed in America. And Lehi and his family became the ancestors of all of the Indian and Mestizo tribes in North and South and Central America and in the islands of the sea, for in the middle of their history there were those who left America in ships of their making and went to the islands of the sea."

1. There are plenty of scripture in the Book of Mormon which gives tell that there were OTHERS long before Lehi.

2. The word "Lamanite" was a term used to describe those descended from Laman/Lemual as well as anyone "Non-Nephite".

3. Both spiritually and literally speaking, the Prophets speak of decendecy and heritage when it comes to the peoples of the America's and the Islands. As I mentioned above, Lehi literally and spiritually IS the Father of the America's and the Islands of the sea. Prophets don't speak in science terms, they speak in terms of the Light of God.

4. Do you really think President Kimball didn't know about the sciences of the day, as well didn't know the Book of Mormon enough to know that there were others mentioned therein, who clearly existed before Lehi??? How stupid do you think we are?

5. Both the Limited AND the Hemispheric models are correct, depending on what is being meant and discussed. What is not correct is how anti-mormons interpret the Hemispheric model as being in relation to LDS leaders words of the past or present.

3) Or better yet, how do you reconcile "Limited Geography" with the Doctrine and Covenents, which very strongly suggests that Lamanites, Jews, and American Indians are all one and the same? See, for example,

D&C 10:48

D&C 28:8

D&C 54:8

D&C 19:27

Let me clear it up for you.... In the Church, "Lamanites" primarily in the BOM is what ALL the Natives of the America's and the Islands are called from a scriptural perspective. Lamanites also were anyone Non-Nephite. Lamanites in the Church and the BOM are like the "Gentiles" of the Bible. Lamanite is the BOM equivalent. As I mentioned above, you are under a false assumption that Lamanite is someone "only" blood descended from Lehi. LDS make no distinction save in certain circumstances. If you actually knew the Church, you would know for example that when LDS leaders visit certain areas of the America's and the Islands, they sometimes tell the people the are speaking too that they are literally blood descended from Lehi. Other times, they are adopted.

As another example, every mormon at a certain age get's what's called a "Patriarchal Blessing". In that blessing it gives us our "lineage". Most of the time we are adopted. But sometimes, it is spoken of as a literal lineage. However, every mormon, we all understand that our lineage whatever it says, isn't necessarily "literal" it is figurative, or an adoption spiritually, maybe even our blood changing in a way that cannot be discerned, we don't know. Either way, DNA is simply irrelevant to a mormon when it comes to lineage either in the BOM, in leaders words or otherwise.

So, figure it out.....

I simply fail to see how you can accept the fruits of science with regards American Indian origins without openly contradicting the very plain language of the D&C. Or in the opposite sense, how do you accept the revelations of D&C without openly disregarding a huge body of conflicting genetic evidence?

Of course you don't see, because you don't have a clue about LDS teachings. You instead take anti-mormons perversions of our faith who then try to apply such towards science, and say ooo ahh, mormons are dumb. Have you thought that if you actually knew mormonism, and you had instead only read mormon articles on the subjects in question (many from actual DNA experts instead of the anti-mormon versions most written by non DNA experts who also don't know mormonism), do you really think that you would be here asking this question? Nope, because there would be no confusion.... We understand our teachings and theology, and those of us who are into science and the intellect also understand the science. But unlike anti-mormonism, we are interested in the WHOLE TRUTH, not in trying to destroy another Faith by pointing out elementary problems and ignoring the rest of the facts on the matter which make them not problems at all.

I look forward to reading your responses!

Hope you enjoyed.... :P

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