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Q: "What About Native Americans' DNA?" – LDS Missionary: "I Have No Idea!!!"

September 28, 2008

I was chatting with an LDS missionary recently and I asked him what the LDS Church’s position was on the lack of historical and archaeological evidence for the Book of Mormon. He told me it’s true there really isn’t much evidence, that’s why we need faith and the Holy Ghost, but that they do believe the Aztec temples in Mexico provide evidence that ancient peoples lived there. He then proceeded to explain to me that the Native Americans are the descendants of the Lamanites (one of the Judeo-Israelite groups that the Book of Mormon says were the early inhabitants of the Americas).

I then asked what the LDS church’s position was regarding the DNA research that has shown that Native Americans are not of Jewish ancestry. He said “I have no idea!!!” and then abruptly changed the subject and asked me if I had ever tried to write a book of scripture. I explained that I had not, but from what I have studied of Joseph Smith’s “translation process” he had some help from a magic rock.

It surprised me that the LDS missionary did not have an answer on the DNA issue. In fact, it almost appeared that this research was a complete surprise to him. I would think this DNA issue would be a big dilemma for the LDS church and that they would be educating their members regarding this issue and deciding what the official church position will be. I see that Mormon apologists are attempting to address the issue by questioning the reliability of DNA research.

I think it would be more prudent for LDS to consider the DNA evidence along with the many other evidences that God has been providing to clearly show people that Joseph Smith was a false prophet. I long for the Mormons that I love to find the truth in God’s Word that will set them free (John 8:32).

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. lvberean permalink
    September 30, 2008 4:32 am

    It’s obvious that the LDS Church is in “damage control” mode because they have made another change to the new Book of Mormon that will be coming out soon. In the current Book of Mormon – 1981 version – at the bottom of the second paragraph it says:

    “After thousands of years, all were destroyed except the Lamanites, and they are the principal ancestors of the American Indians.”

    The latest version of the Book of Mormon will now read:

    “After thousands of years, all were destroyed except the Lamanites, and they are AMONG the principal ancestors of the American Indians.”

    That word “among” changes things in a big way. Why the need for the change? Why can’t the introduction stand on it’s own? That isn’t the only change in the introduction coming out. The first paragraph that talks about the Bible is getting remodeled as well. Once again, as evidence comes out showing the Mormon Church to be false and Joseph Smith to be a false prophet and a liar the Mormon Church, its apologists and BYU spin doctors will have to “mop up” the “spilled milk” that is in the Book of Mormon and all the rest of its teachings.

    The DNA evidence shows with no doubt that the American Indians are of mongoloid (asian) ancestry. There is no Jewish connection whatsoever. FAIR and FARMS can spin this “four ways from Friday”, but it won’t change the evidence. Look at the Jewish people in Israel and then look at American Indians. Any similarity just on sight? Not even close. DNA doesn’t lie. The Mormon Church does to keep more people from leaving than already are.

  2. September 30, 2008 4:48 am

    Well, I sure hope you are right. I hope the numbers are in serious decline and that they keep on declining. I wish the LDS leadership would be more honest with members, but I suppose they would lose more members then.

    If my blog statistics are worth anything, I’ve had way more hits after posting a little blurb about a Christian movie than I’ve had about any of the Mormonism posts I’ve done…

    I hope that’s not because people are more interested in movies than theology, but I’m sure that, sadly, that has something to do with it…

  3. lvberean permalink
    September 30, 2008 5:00 am

    John Dehlin, a faithful Mormon who lives in Utah, has put together an hour long presentation that he gives at the wards in which he tells the brethren the things that the Church hasn’t told them so far. One of those “bombs” is the factual membership “inflating” that the LDS Church does in its member count. In his presentation he documents that 2/3 of the 13 million members are inactive. This has been confirmed in other places as well. Missoinaries aren’t converting people over like they used to. I believe this is another reason why the LDS Church does whatever it can to try to make itself sound and look Christian. They want to be mainstream and try to lure people from other churches over to theirs. Here where I live you should see all the new LDS billboard ads. They are giving the casinos a run for their money when it comes to advertising. Anyway, his podcasts are at:

    http://www.mormonstories.org

    The name of the video presentation is called:

    “Why People Leave the LDS Church”

    You know, theology, most people don’t care about that kind of thing. Who has time for theology and studying God’s Word when American Idol is on TV?! Theology interests me more than anything on TV, but then I guess I am weird like that.

    Keep up the good work, Jessica! You’re doing a great job!

  4. David permalink
    December 7, 2008 12:01 am

    This brief article is like many others in its assumption that the Book of Mormon took place someplace other than where most in the LDS church believe. I agree with LDS scholars that the events in the Book of Mormon actually occured in mesoamerica. This is nothing new- Joseph Smith actually said that Zarahemla was in the Southern Mexico and Guatemala region. The BOM critics are completely missing the point and argument. And almost all critics who cite “DNA evidence” actually know nothing of the science behind it. As a person with a background in biochemistry and molecular biology, I am humored by the claims that many of these people make. But I suppose it sounds good. Very few Book of Mormon critics have even read the book, let alone made a serious study of it.

    Many critics adopt such a conspiracy theory mentality demonstrated here- the church leadership is “hiding the truth” or the church is secretly crumbling. People have been saying this for decades. Look around at other churches- how are they faring? Many are losing members and support in dramatic fashion. I do not say this with any degree of glee- it reflects a drastic and unfortunate loss of faith and the belief in God in general in our society. I would say that, compared to all churches in general, the LDS church is doing quite well and will continue to grow in the future.

  5. Goldarn permalink
    January 10, 2009 7:40 pm

    “but that they do believe the Aztec temples in Mexico provide evidence that ancient peoples lived there.”

    That’s the funniest line of them all! DNA evidence (or lack thereof) aside, OF COURSE the ruins in Mexico are evidence that people lived there.

    What they are not, is evidence that Nephites and Lamanites lived there. In fact, reading in the Book of Mormon about Nephite and Lamanites culture, those ruins supply ample evidence that the Nephites and Lamanites did not live there.

    The DNA results aren’t the smoking gun. They are just one of many evidences against the Book of Mormon being literally true.

  6. Goldarn permalink
    January 10, 2009 7:43 pm

    Oh, and one more thing regarding the growth of the LDS church–even in Utah, the church’s growth rate is slower than the overall population.

    For a church with a birthrate above the USA average (at least in Utah), that’s pretty telling. It means that people are leaving the church, and their kids aren’t being baptized.

  7. David permalink
    January 12, 2009 4:51 am

    Goldarn,

    Don’t mean to be critical, but your logic in saying the following escapes me:

    “For a church with a birthrate above the USA average (at least in Utah), that’s pretty telling. It means that people are leaving the church, and their kids aren’t being baptized.”

    You are not accounting for immigration and other variables. Half the LDS in the USA don’t live in Utah. And what of the growth rates of other churches? Do their dropping numbers prove that they are false?

    Demographic experts have pointed out several times that the two groups in the world growing fastest are muslims and LDS.

    The coming calamities will result in a flood of people joining the church.

    DNA evidence- it is a joke. The proponents of such evidence are not geneticists or population scientists. (One of the two primary proponents was excommunicated for adultery- can you say conflict of interest?) The conclusions they make go WAY BEYOND what the actual data will allow. And they have not done any of the primary research themselves. But if you say something enough times, people will believe it, especially those who want it to be true.

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