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DNA claims rebutted on Book of Mormon

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  • Todd
    Oct. 23, 2007 2:55 a.m.

    Let me get this straight, a software consultant, with SOME training in Mesoamerican studies and anthropology, is able to rebut a molecular biologist such as Dr. Southerton? (a former Bishop, no less) He attempts to make his point by using scientific sounding non-conclusions and throwing a few red herrings into the mix to sound knowledgeable enough on the subject. This serves no other pupose than to confuse his audience into believing that HE is the true expert on the subject while minimizing and ignoring the full breadth of work done by Dr. Southerton on this.

    The ultimate hypcracy here is that he throws out personal speculation (as fact) that Thomas Murphy had already decided the Book of Mormon was fiction and was merely making conclusions to support this already decided belief. Then, only a few paragraphs later, Mr. Gardner professes that no study can 'change the truthfulness of the book.' Who is it that is making conclusions to support a preconceived belief here?

    And Don't forget, the title page of the Book of Mormon, still, to this day, states that it is a record of the ancestors of the American Indian as was taught by Joseph Smith himself.

  • Paula
    Oct. 23, 2007 4:05 a.m.

    Did he really say that the DNA research only involves mitochondrial DNA? If so, he is greatly mistaken. The Y chromosome is also very important in DNA research. I'm not sure why we'd want to take the word of a software consultant when the subject is DNA.

  • kodos
    Oct. 23, 2007 4:39 a.m.

    Gardner talks as if Murphy and Southerton simply made up the idea that the American Indians are primarily descended from BOM peoples out of whole cloth. They didn't. That idea has been taught by prophets since Joseph Smith, and is still claimed in the introduction the Book of Mormon published by the church. Is Gardner also ready to criticize the church and its leaders for these teachings?

  • Fan of Science
    Oct. 23, 2007 4:48 a.m.

    First, Jaredites referred to in the Book of Mormon as early inhabitants of the Americas were likely from Asia. The number of Jaredite names used by the Nephites indicate extensive interaction between these groups. Therefore, those who claim the presence or even predominance of Asiatic DNA in the ancient inhabitants of America refutes the Book of Mormon haven't really studied the record closely enough or don't understand what they have read.

    Second, there are no specific DNA markers that are exclusive to all Hebrews. The most common DNA marker for Jewish ancestry is only present in 2% of modern Jews. Thus, DNA evidence cannot exclude someone as a Jew, even if they lack some specific Jewish markers.

    Finally, European DNA markers (indicating, for example Finnish ancestry) found in pre-Columbian remains are usually discounted as evidence of sample contamination. Preconceived notions of some researchers has thus resulted in some interesting data being discarded.

    DNA evidence, therefore, has certainly not disproved the Book of Mormon.

  • Falcon
    Oct. 23, 2007 5:53 a.m.

    Is there anyone outside of LDS circles that believe the Book of Mormon is a factual history of a real people?

  • ma`at
    Oct. 23, 2007 5:54 a.m.

    Nowhere does the Book of Mormon state or even imply that the Lehites came to an empty continent. As Nibley pointed out long ago, the Jaredites appear to have been Asian, and colonizers would have disseminated from their civilization throughout its long history. Also, their "war of extinction" almost certainly left any number of stragglers. In fact, there is nothing in the Book of Mormon to indicate that the Jaredites came to an empty conduct. This is to say nothing of other trans-oceaning migrations, none of which are precluded by the Book of Mormon. How would one even begin to attempt to get a "Nephite" genetic signature? It's high time that provocateurs Southerton and Murphy got over themselves, and their irrelevant research.
    A note to Anti-Mormon, biblical literalists: lest you overlook the fact, studies suggesting that N. America was populated 10,000+ years ago from Asia, are even more damaging to your theology.

  • Mark
    Oct. 23, 2007 6:14 a.m.

    It is impossible to "prove" the Book of Mormon true or false on the basis of scientific evidence. All we know for sure is those that hate the LDS Church will use any and all means possible in their attempts to destroy it.

  • I'm no scientist...
    Oct. 23, 2007 6:58 a.m.

    But it doesn't take a genius to know that you can't trace DNA to a group of people that originated in 600 BC from a tribe that no longer exists (Joseph). What "Hebrews" would we be sourcing as the original DNA pool?? The only ones we have today are Jews (only one tribe) who come from all kinds of countries around Europe. So, no DNA source to compare with.

    Secondly, even if they were the original source, we are comparing a pool with 2,600 years of new genes introduced into the DNA within the eastern hemisphere, compared to a pool with 2,600 years of new genes introduced to the DNA in the Western hemisphere.

    A good test would be if we could confirm that Jews from Iraq compare favorably in DNA to Jews from Russia. Can anyone say if that has been done?



  • Anonymous
    Oct. 23, 2007 7:18 a.m.

    Am I supposed to believe in a software engineer over the word of DNA/Genetic scientist? That's an intellectual mis match. I am a mechanic, maybe I can try and become a key note speaker at an Economics seminar.

  • Clark Roger
    Oct. 23, 2007 7:25 a.m.

    From my point of view, the whole issue about the Book of Mormon and DNA sounds a lot like the debates different "experts" have about 9/11 conspiracies, or whether or not The Holocaust occured. In a nutshell, no matter what your opinion is, anyone can find a so-called expert to agree with them on anything.

    The Book of Mormon is just over 500 pages and covers a time period of about 2,000 years (Including the Jaredites). From that perspective, I don't believe anyone can totally prove or disprove it using DNA or archeological evidence. We simply don't have enough of the record to make of definitive conclusions.

    The real test of the Book of Mormon comes from the spiritual mainifestation one can receive when they read it. It's more than just a warm fuzzy, as some people claim. I'm talking about reading the Book of Mormon to the point that it changes your whole life. The Holy Ghost can have that type of influence, if you're willing to read the Christ-centered and beautiful messages contained in the Book of Mormon.

  • Ryan
    Oct. 23, 2007 7:26 a.m.

    People have devoted their entire lives to trying to disprove the Book of Mormon, and it is ever a tragic waste that has availed them nothing (in nearly 200 years of trying).

    I would submit that their fervor against the book is almost more of a confirmation of its truthfulness than anything I've ever heard in favor of it.

    They just have it in their heads that it's wrong and must be stopped at all costs, but I'm not sure even they know exactly why. They might divert all of that energy into something more useful (like, say, actually READING it with an open mind), rather than relying on prejudice, fallacious logic, inconclusive evidence, and limited understanding to disprove its worth entirely with one dismissive wave of the hand.

  • Evidence
    Oct. 23, 2007 7:30 a.m.

    Are you kidding me??? If Joseph Smith wanted to write a book to start his new religion, he could have clearly chosen a much simpler way of doing things. Instead, he produced a book, at 23 years old, that has 1,000 years plus of history, culture, systems of worship, military strategy, philosophy, argumentation, economics, literary forms, criminology, sociology, etc., etc.

    There is no other book out there with these characteristics that claims to be from an actual ancient civilization, through a modern source. It successfully attempts to be so many things and is just too complex to be lightly written off, especially with bad science.

    So someone with an axe to grind has 'disproven' the anthropological roots. There are all these other aspects that still support it.

    Oh, and add to all these other things, that it supports and interacts with both the Old and New Testament. The Book of Mormon is the ultimate "Inconvenient Truth".

  • Evidence
    Oct. 23, 2007 7:39 a.m.

    The scientific and historical evidence regarding the mortal origins of the Book of Mormon is vast and growing every day. However, does that make the church vanish? Of course not. For millions of faithful members, science and history are no substitute for the positive feelings they experience from their beliefs. People don't embrace their religious beliefs because the scientific data support their decision, they embrace their religion because it helps them manage the vicissitudes of life.

    Religion is a state of mind completely removed from objective investigation, and the church only opens itself to trouble and pain by attempting to reconcile scientific data with its scripture.

  • Andino
    Oct. 23, 2007 7:50 a.m.

    Carrie Moore needs to do a little more research into the Book of Mormon (printed by the newspaper's owner), given her comment that "LDS members have grown up believing that the only people who ever migrated to the Americas descended from Lehi's family in the Book of Mormon."

    Latter-day Saints who don't read past the first couple of chapters in First Nephi will believe as Carrie stated.

    However, later in that same book one can read that Ishmael's family and Zoram also migrated with Lehi (& family) to the Americas. Zoram married one of Ishmael's daughters.

    In addition, the Book of Mormon states that Mulekites had migrated to the Americas separately. These people could have mixed with the existing Nephites and Lamanites.

    And the Book of Ether states that Jaredites travelled to the Americas not long after the Tower of Babel.

  • Iluminar
    Oct. 23, 2007 7:58 a.m.

    I have not read any of the studies mentioned here, but I find it interesting that they talk about the "American Indians" as if they were descendants of one single group. It is an accepted fact that groups such as the Vikings, among others, lived in some areas of the Americas. With Ra II, Thor Heyerdahl demonstrated how people from the Ancient world could have traveled from Africa to the Americas.

    Furthermore, many LDS authors have pointed out that the Book of Mormon is NOT the history of ALL the inhabitants of the Americas.

    I am from Mexico and I am quite surprised at the differences in features of the extant inhabitants that have remained separate from the mainstream of the Mexican nation.

    You can do a Google image search for "Olmec head" and compare them with those of Mayan faces; you will be surprised at the differences, even though they lived in such close proximity.

    Undoubtedly more research needs to be done before jumping to any conclusions; particularly to lumping "American Indians" as descendants from one single group of peoples.

  • Camille
    Oct. 23, 2007 7:59 a.m.

    I will never look at a scientists "findings" as fact. They can say what they want, but I for one will believe what I feel in my heart where the Book of Mormon is true or not. I have read it and I believe it to be true. A scientist can print anything he/she wants but it won't make me believe any other way nor can anyone else.

  • j
    Oct. 23, 2007 7:59 a.m.

    The American Continent was already inhabited before Lehi - The Jaredites - and inhabited by others shortly after Lehi elsewhere unbeknownst to them - the Mulekites- who is to say that there weren't other people from other lands who migrated here. Nowhere in the Book of Mormon does it say that only a select group of people lived here. In fact, it states that others would be led to this continent throughout history. The American Indians could have genetic traces to anyone.

  • Hmmm
    Oct. 23, 2007 8:01 a.m.

    There is more proof that the book is a work of fiction than a true book. Some of the principles in the book are great (like the Bible) and that is where the idea of the book came from.
    Why doesn't someone dig up the Hill Cumorah? It's because they are afraid of what they'll find (or lack thereof). I'm sure there might be some lively debates to this post....but no proof.
    Enjoy this wonderful book and then start thinking that many wonderful books we enjoy are just fiction. Of course, the difference is that we know they are.

  • Lame
    Oct. 23, 2007 8:01 a.m.

    The only way this experiment would work is if you could do some sort of Jurassic Park analysis and find the actual remains of someone who we know for sure was a person in that book. Do a bone analysis or test blood in clothing, or whatever they do. The problem is finding someone you know lived during that time. There is no way in this world you can do DNA samples on descendants hundreds and thousands years later to find the DNA that matched those in Jerusulem...no way at all. If they can, you have to wonder what unaccredited junior college these "scientists" attended.

  • Henry Drummond
    Oct. 23, 2007 8:04 a.m.

    I'm not sure why the Church is so concerned about DNA evidence. Scientists have pointed to numerous pieces of evidence that point to Asia as the origin of Native Americans. This includes language, archeology, and customs. Meanwhile the Book of Mormon contains many references to an Iron age culture in North America for which there is no evidence. It also contains many anachronisms including references to Cyrus the Great who wasn't even born when the Book of Mormon peoples left Palestine. Science has always been at odds with this and other religious beliefs. Why not just leave belief in the Book of Mormon in the arena of faith and not try to contort science in an attempt to make it fit. A man can't serve two masters.

  • Genealogist
    Oct. 23, 2007 8:15 a.m.

    I looked at the online DNA databases a couple of years ago to see if it was worth spending the money to get into it. I looked at some of the results in my extended family tree (large well-researched Mormon family). They were so laughable. Close relatives were not showing up as being related to each other. It was happening enough in the DNA record so that you couldn't say that it was due to other factors. So let's all run out and change our theology based on a new technology that has problems in looking back four or five generations.

  • Mike Hodge
    Oct. 23, 2007 8:17 a.m.

    In the face of heavy attacks on the "historicity" of the Book of Mormon, the significance of the "DNA evidence" isn't that it disproves the book's historicity, but rather like many other "evidences", it clearly does not lend any "scientific" support to the Church's official postion that the Book is of pre-columbian origin. Those that believe the Book of Mormon to be historical will continue to do so no matter what the "evidence" shows because, when all is said and done, such belief is mostly based upon faith.

  • Dr DNA
    Oct. 23, 2007 8:23 a.m.

    The arguments used to question the use of DNA evidence in this article were the same used to question the evidence that 99.9% linked OJ to murder. There's always a little doubt in science, it's just whether you're willing to go with the majority of evidence or a very slight chance it might be wrong. If you were gambling money, I'd bet you'd go with the odds.

  • metamoracoug
    Oct. 23, 2007 8:33 a.m.

    For those concerned about the questionable credentials of Mr. Gardner or for anyone who cares to educate themselves on this topic, Michael Whiting (PhD, professor at BYU, curator and director of the BYU DNA sequencing center) has writing an article which addresses the Book of Mormon/DNA question. The article is availabel on-line through the FARMS website.

  • The Change
    Oct. 23, 2007 8:42 a.m.

    I guess after reading this article, one seems to forgot the FACT that after the supposed "curse" from God that there would be definite change in DNA as well.

    I can't explain why the Africans and Asians and Eurpoeans as well as the smaller tribal groups do not have links in their DNA since they are all supposed decendents of Adam.

    Question is, what are you trying to prove???

  • Tysonatthemovies
    Oct. 23, 2007 8:44 a.m.

    Who cares? You will never convince an unbeliever nor a believer of belief or disbelief respectively. People are gonna find evidence for either viewpoint and bend and twist it until it fits their viewpoints. Personally I don't buy into Mormonism, but maybe I'm wrong. So let people live they want within reason, don't push your religious notions on others and have some tolerance.

  • The only absolute is change!
    Oct. 23, 2007 8:54 a.m.

    I find it interesting how so many hang their hat on the current scientific trend as the absolute and final proof and then in 5 years when a new theory comes out which modifies, changes, "updates" or invalidates previous theories or practices, they then claim that this current line of thought is the absolute and final word.
    So to all of you who absolutely believe that this current discussion of DNA is the last and final say and the Book of Mormon is absolutely invalidated, wait for a few years science will change as it always has and we can have another discussion about your absolute knowledge.
    All of this doesn't matter anyway because an angel could appear on your bed at night and tell you it is true and you wouldn't believe. One day we will all KNOW and if we are wrong I'll apologize to you personally. Wait I won't be a person...?

    As an aside...how do you feel the world is made a better place if you discredit the Book of Mormon? Does the hate help you sleep at night?

    How could you improve the world if you spent this energy on something worthwhile? Just curious.

  • Steve Clark
    Oct. 23, 2007 8:56 a.m.

    The Flat Earth Society would welcome with open arms the likes of Brant Gardner and his Book of Mormon Archaeological Forum. And speaking of Brant Gardner's spiritual software, he could use a serious upgrade.

  • Mr Big
    Oct. 23, 2007 9:00 a.m.

    That there Book Of Mormon is sure one big fat comic book! Whoo eeeee! It shore is boys!

  • Hogwash Hogwash
    Oct. 23, 2007 9:01 a.m.

    Today's science is tomorrow's fiction. The fact that these two "scientists" are speaking in absolutes speaks volumes about their hidden (or not so hidden) agenda. The variables in their "conclusive" study, and the fact that the "scientists" failed to adequately address these variables in their study leave them open for peer review attack. I would agree that the speaker lacks credentials, but others with credentials are saying the same thing -- the speaker is only making restatements of the peer review literature.

    1. The adequacy of the the source DNA is highly questionable. Without a pure Lehi sample, any speculation to connect new DNA with old DNA is just that -- speculation -- not science.

    2. DNA lines extinguish for known and unknown reasons. No one can speak with authority until the cause of DNA line extinction can be excluded -- which it cannot at this time.

    3. Genetic isolation followed by catastrophic events such as genocide and massive casualties of a plague can substantially change the DNA map. Where have the scientists addressed this issue?

    Absolute positions in science do not make good science.

  • Jake
    Oct. 23, 2007 9:04 a.m.

    Gardner is one of the more prolific apologists defending the Book of Mormon against scientific evidence. LDS apologetics is primarialy made up of non-professionals writing outside their area of expertice.

    The real problem for the BOM is its historicity. Nothing matches reality. It fails all historical, anthropological, archeological, and reasonable scientific tests. If you think it's only "anti-mormons" who think this take your best evidence for the book to a regular academic professional and see how they view it. Take the BOM to a mesoamerican archeologist or a Mayan expert. Take the Book of Abraham to a Egyptologist. Take the quotes from the brass plates inside the BOM to a scholar of the Hebrew bible.

  • Skeptic
    Oct. 23, 2007 9:05 a.m.

    Everyone knows that America was really populated by Hobbits who came across on the Brooklyn Bridge (which, by the way, is for sale).

  • Examine the source
    Oct. 23, 2007 9:14 a.m.

    Examine the character of the "source" of the BOM, then make a logical determination as to the validity of the book. In light of the fact that we do not have the gold plates, we do not have the translator to interview, or his associates, we are left with very little, perhaps only faith. In this case, a logical person can look at the type of person who produced it and make some reasonable judgement about the liklihood of it being true. I say this not intending to sway a person one way or another.

  • Science Vs. Religion
    Oct. 23, 2007 9:15 a.m.

    How many people believe in God?
    How many scientific theories have remained the same for more than 50 years?
    I think I will go with the fact that more and more people believe in a God, than with science that can't stand the power of tests for more than a life time.
    Science, sorry to say, does change facts. God never changes. But science and "fact" does.

  • Stephen
    Oct. 23, 2007 9:17 a.m.

    It's interesting how science is completely dismissed by Mormons when its conclusion don't support Mormonism, yet fully embraced when it does.

  • Telavir
    Oct. 23, 2007 9:22 a.m.

    The lost tribes were taken north and east possibly to the northeastern Caspian region. The Jews intermingled primarily with Europeans. Lehi was from those ten tribes. So what they're saying is that the American Indians have more in common with peoples living west of Mongolia than the modern Jews. And I'm supposed to be surprised?

  • On Faith and Science
    Oct. 23, 2007 9:24 a.m.

    Ye shall receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.

    I feel sorry for those who are dupped by the "learned" experts that claim science as their religion. There are still so many variables that are simply not known. In addition to the Jaredites and other possible groups already on the American continent, The Book of Mormon ends in about 421 AD. There is much that could have happened between then and Columbus' landing.

    In the end, it comes down to a question of faith, not science, that will win the day. May you try Moroni's challenge to read the book, pray about its authenticity, and receive the spiritual conviction that I know will come.

  • Another Theory
    Oct. 23, 2007 9:26 a.m.

    What makes everyone think that the Nephites don't have the same DNA as Asians? Wasn't there a large group of people, larger than those that remained in Israel that were taken captive and taken north and east. The Lost Ten Tribes could have been the blood that makes up much of Asia. The Jews that remained were scattered and their blood may not be pure - so in reality the DNA similarity between the American Indian and Asia could be a witness that the book is true. A testimony of God and truth is not found through science - scientific theory can support or question your belief. But responsible science should look at all the possibilities then list those options. But in the end each individual can approuch God it see what truth is.

  • Dave
    Oct. 23, 2007 9:27 a.m.

    Does this really matter? Science can't tell me why I like the way the sun feels against my face, or what makes me me and not just a pile of protein. Theology doesn't really explain how the internet works. The point of life is to take all that we are given and do what is right. Luckily we have a choice about what we do and believe. Maybe we should not enforce our individual beliefs on others and focus our efforts on something good for all, like finding a cure for cancer.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 23, 2007 9:30 a.m.

    Good points here regarding the BoM peoples coming from multiple sources (including Asia, referencing Dr. Nibley). I know I've never met a scholar who believes that the Lehites were the ancestors of *every* Native American... One point that no one has made yet is that the book itself claims a genetic change in the non-Nephite survivors. (Okay, not in so many words, but a genetic change is the simplest way for God to work a physical change, although I'm very willing to grant Him other options beyond our scientific understanding).

  • Catherine
    Oct. 23, 2007 9:33 a.m.

    I prefer to spend my time pondering the deeper meaning of the Book of Mormon, Chirst's teachings, and the many eternal truths it holds inside its pages. I don't really care whether Lehi and his descendents were Asian or Hebrew; whether there were already people in the America's when he came over; how many times the Nephites and Lamanites got into a war; or who begat whom and on what date. Read 3rd Nephi. Do you think Jesus has something more in mind for us to learn and take away from this book?

  • Give Ear
    Oct. 23, 2007 9:34 a.m.

    The leaders of the Church, including Pres Hinckley and Elder Ballard have declared (more or less) that there will never be any external proof that the BoM is true, it will always be a matter of faith and how one feels about it. If there was proof then where would be the exercising of faith? So what if nothing in the BoM agrees with what we know about ancient meso-american culture? According to the Prophet and Apostles, it never will. Read B.H. Roberts' treatment of the subject. It's entirely possible and consistent that the Jaredites, Nephites and Lamanites were miraculously transported to another planet entirely during their ocean voyages, just like Christ's teachings, mission and atonement apply to all the other created worlds in the universe past, present and future, whose inhabitants only hear of Him through their own prophets. Perhaps they all have the BoM like we do. This should only increase the wonder and awe at the marvelous work and a wonder that is the latter-day restoration.

  • David Farnsworth
    Oct. 23, 2007 9:34 a.m.

    I note that many of the attacks equate software engineer to biologist. Who are you going to believe? But I am familiar with Brant Gardner's work. He knows his stuff when it comes to Mesoamerica. The two so-called LDS scientists, on the other hand, either know virtually nothing about Mesoamerica or about DNA. One is an anthropologist. Why would HE know anything more about DNA than a software engineer? The other is a biologist who, while knowing a few things about DNA, knows nothing about Mesoamerica. Put them together and you get a remarkably ignorant view of ancient America. And they are supposed to be the experts??
    Brant Gardner, on the other hand, specialized in Mesoamerica. He can read their languages. He is a top authority on Mesoamerican culture. And he sees many hits between the Book of Mormon descriptions of society and what he knows about Mesoamerica. Which do you think is the authority here?

    David Farnsworth

  • Moessers
    Oct. 23, 2007 9:36 a.m.

    What's amazing to me is how so many people run around now and say, well, sure, there could have been some asian people here too who got thrown into the mix... yet for the last hundred and seventy years all we have heard from the LDS church is how these native americans are the lamanites. Like everything else, when there's something that challenges the doctrine or the belief of the LDS church in a major way, they find a way to fit square pegs in round holes and justify it away and or subtly change their view or position; and after enough time, no one remembers how things used to be. So much for the same yesterday, today, and forever.

  • Jon
    Oct. 23, 2007 9:36 a.m.

    I don't think the church is concerned, it's just it's members. The presidency doesn't fund studies, plus members of the church shouldn't be basing their faith on scientific proof.

    as far as what science states, most of the time science states a theory, NOT a fact. but it gets reported and media blitzed and comes off sounding like a fact. how many scientific 'facts' have been found wrong years later, or for that matter flip-flopped on over the course of time?

    consider also, how long the bible has been around and how much of it has actually be found (lands, civilizations, etc) the bom has been around a lot less time...

  • CHUCK
    Oct. 23, 2007 9:37 a.m.

    Jaredites, Nephites, Mulekites, Zoram? Is this for real? You all need to read the Book of Mormon from cover-to-cover and then ask yourself if it makes any sense.

  • DNA Who?
    Oct. 23, 2007 9:38 a.m.

    The Jews are one of 12, twelve, tribes from Israel..
    So he is trying to prove the DNA of the Jews/Indians.

    What about the tribe of Joseph? So says my blessing, not to mention the tribe of Ephraim or the tribe of Manasseh.. Where did the Asian tribe come from? Maybe Dan?

    Come on people get serious.

    The Book of Mormon is true, the ex- Bishop just hopes its not...

  • Answer
    Oct. 23, 2007 9:38 a.m.

    "Is there anyone outside of LDS circles that believe the Book of Mormon is a factual history of a real people?" - Falcon

    If there are they're not large in number. The reason for this is they would have to accept the coming of Lehi & the Jaredites by boat to the Americas. They would also have to admit that Joseph Smith translated it in 2 months with an education of a third grader. That then leads to admitting he had the power of translation from god, that the LDS Church is right, then they would have to join and then they wouldn't be outside the LDS Church any more.

  • m&ms
    Oct. 23, 2007 9:39 a.m.

    There's one 'minor' thing that the DNA experts forget. They seek to find a link between the ancient hebrews & indians through the line of Judah -- but the BoM tells us that Lehi was a descendant of Manassah -- from Joseph -- who had a different mother than Judah. DNA lines generally follow the matriarchial line and in this instance, that premise would be false to begin with.

  • RE: Dr DNA
    Oct. 23, 2007 9:47 a.m.

    That's not a very good analogy. Lets make a few adjustments to show really what we're arguing about. first OJ lived about 4,000 years which is at the very least how far the DNA has to trace (The tribe of Joseph is lost and spread throughout the world, so we're tracing back to Isaac). Second the DNA trace we're using on this criminal is mixed about 50% with someone else's geneology we don't know (Ismael, and Zoram). You know what I'm going to stop here but it could go on much longer. I just want to say that it seems very unscientific for people to come to such conclusive denials of the historicity of the Book of Mormon based on the shaky ground of these type of DNA tests. Science is always a never ending dialogue, some people don't understand this and try to use science as a justification for pre-concieved biases; I recognize that goes both ways, lets just keep it real

  • CC
    Oct. 23, 2007 9:47 a.m.

    I guess it is who you want to look to for evidence, God or man. I prefer to place my hope in something that created everything scientists have been trying to figure out since the beginning of time. Has science, as defined by man, ever been able to define basic principles like faith, hope, and charity and how trying to adhere to them has the ability to increase mans capacity to love and be a better human being. Science is mans interpretation and definition of Godly things. I would imagine that God has his own perspective on gravity, the law of relativity, and DNA. Then again, maybe all of this that we experience as humans just happens and man is trying to define it or is it possible that we are just figuring out the same blueprints that were used to design and build it all in the first place.

  • Jakes mistake
    Oct. 23, 2007 9:56 a.m.

    Take the Book of Abraham to a Egyptology's. Take the quotes from the brass plates inside the BOM to a scholar of the Hebrew bible.
    -Jake-- Read Book of Moses, part of the Pearl of Great Price--.. God said: "Worlds without number have I created", --
    Now go to Hubble Space pictures and look Up Worlds without number... Trillions of Stars, Billions of Earths.. Galaxy's without number, as of now.. Jake..
    Now, Jake, You prove to me there is not a God, and he didn't approve/write the BOM or the Pearl of Great Price.. Sheeeesh..

  • ME
    Oct. 23, 2007 9:57 a.m.

    It is true. Take the test at the end of the book. :)

  • Hill Cumorah
    Oct. 23, 2007 9:58 a.m.

    There was a comment that someone should dig up the Hill Cumorah? That would certainly not be worth the time. Joseph Smith claimed that the angel Moroni took back the plates. That does not mean the plates were taken back to the hill, it just means Moroni took them. Again, as stated in other posts, the value of the Book of Mormon is not in proving it. The value is in reading it and allowing it to change your life for good, which it has mine.

  • Science has all the answers?
    Oct. 23, 2007 9:58 a.m.

    I am a big believer that we should do our best to study and try to come up with answers to the questions that we face. However, if I relied on science to answer all of the questions concerning my faith then those answers would change each month with the publishing of the newest scientific theories.

    I am OK with not having all of the answers right now and still living what I believe to be true. At the same time I am open to discussion on any topic dealing with my faith and the current view of science that either supports or opposes that view.

  • sfcretdennis
    Oct. 23, 2007 9:59 a.m.

    Heres what we have, we have thous who believe and those who dont and when you get right down to it it dont matter what you bring to the table you will have those who will believe and those who wont. It dont matter what the evidence states, what one needs to do is what it says in first James, 5 and 6, apply this and ask God for answers and remember dont rely on your own understanding but that of God. Science cant prove the Book of Mormon nor can it prove the Bible, we rely on God to help us understand. Human kid is trying to understand the Science of God and we could never hope to fully understand the Science of God.

  • lokonomo
    Oct. 23, 2007 10:00 a.m.

    DNA research isn't the nail in the coffin of the BOM; that's already clear from archaeology, language studies, and the like . . . It's the headstone on the grave. However, to some Mormons, that shouldn't matter. Faith never had anything to do with reality, look at what the Catholic church once taught about the shape of the Earth.

  • lokonomo
    Oct. 23, 2007 10:01 a.m.

    I believe it is offensive to blame members of the church for believing that the American continent was uninhabited before the Lehites or Jaredites or that the inhabitants of the American continent decended from Lehi. The book itself says that, as well as Moroni (or Nephi), God, and every supposed prophet since Joseph Smith (We also bare testimony that the "Indians" (so called) of North and South America are a remnant of the tribes of Israel; as is now made manifest by the discovery and revelation of their ancient oracles and records.
    PROCLAMATION OF THE TWELVE APOSTLES OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST, OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS . . . .April 6, 1845). The Limited Geography Theory (?) is a new idea that came about only to explain away the lack of evidence supporting BOM claims and the overwhelming evidence showing the American Indians were decended from ancestors in Northeast Asia.

  • lvman
    Oct. 23, 2007 10:02 a.m.

    The problems with trying to use DNA to trace ancestory was recently addressed by a story in 60 minutes where decendants of slaves are trying to trace their roots back to africa. Watch this program before you start making comments about this article.

  • Pray about it
    Oct. 23, 2007 10:03 a.m.

    Moroni 10:3-5

  • MJ
    Oct. 23, 2007 10:03 a.m.

    The world is flat. No, wait, I believe it is round. No, wait, it is some geometric form that is likely impossible to exactly and correctly detail without fault. That I don't understand it to perfection intellectually doesn't interfer with my belief that it exists and is real. It is beautiful and with all of its mystery and complexity affords me life and hope. So it is with the story of the Book of Mormon. Skeptics that have read it attempt to disprove it intellectually. Can they disprove the beauty and hope found in its pages? A marvelous thing happens when you read the story with an open heart ready to experience something beyond logic. It answers questions logic does not. I am thankful for our free land that allows us all to have our own veiws and beliefs. It is alright to view things differently and to disagree but first and foremost we should always respect each other. Who knows, DNA might even establish that we are connected.

  • Mo-town
    Oct. 23, 2007 10:03 a.m.

    Yeah Stephen, Mormons are the cause of all the worlds problems, aren't they. Maybe we all should just submissevely sit back while folks who mask themselves as experts devote their entire lives trying to debunk a spiritual work

    Truth is, it was not intended for spiritual things to be scientifically proven, and they never will be. You can not scientifically prove that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, you cannot scientifically prove that anything in the bible really happened, and you won't ever prove the Book of Mormon either

    For those of you who don't believe it, relax and go your own way. Funny though, they can't do that.

  • I agree
    Oct. 23, 2007 10:05 a.m.

    Hogwash Hogwash | 9:01 a.m. Oct. 23, 2007
    Today's science is tomorrow's fiction. The fact that these two "scientists" are speaking in absolutes speaks volumes about their hidden (or not so hidden) agenda.

  • Scientist
    Oct. 23, 2007 10:06 a.m.

    I am a scientist. I work with DNA pretty much every day. Admittedly, I don't do the type of genetic studies referenced in the article. It comes down to faith. On the one hand we have the Book of Mormon which some believe is not historical because of current scientific evidence. They would also have us believe that this major religious writing was fabricated by a 20 something young man with a third grade education. On the other hand we have those who believe that the Book of Mormon is what it says it is; written from gold plates and testifying of Jesus Christ. This genetic evidence against the Book of Mormon is, like previous arguments, rather tenuous when compared to the evidence for it.
    I have been in science long enough to know that what we think we understand now will look elementary, perhaps even misguided, in a few years. We go with the best knowledge we have, but sometimes we have to go on faith. I wasn't there when Lehi came to America; I didn't see anyone come from Asia, and none of us can know for certain. But, I believe God knows.

  • ROADY
    Oct. 23, 2007 10:06 a.m.

    we beleive things will be revealed when the time is ready. DUH!

  • Belief in Bible
    Oct. 23, 2007 10:07 a.m.

    So let me get this straight. The BOM contains stories from the Bible that most every rational person can see were meant to be metaphorical (the Flood, Adam & Eve, Tower of Babel) yet the BOM is supposed to be taken literally?

  • daveescaped
    Oct. 23, 2007 10:09 a.m.

    Falcon - Your question is a red herring. I might as well ask "Are there any non-Christians who accept the New Testament?". Any non-Muslims who accept the Koran? etc. While one might claim these documents have some generally accepted historical facts, they also occur in a region of known historicity (unlike the Americas). Where are the historical documents we could compare the BoM history to? There are none. So to claim it is or is not historically correct is only subjective opinion or in the case of the LDS a matter of faith. Also, if we validated the Koran historically would you become a Muslim?

    On the DNA issue, I agree that a software programmer isn't the first person I would trust. But that in and of itself doens't mean he is wrong.

    An easier evidence he could have offered is the fact that NO expatriate Hebrew group (in Russia, America, etc.) can be be proven to be of Hebrew extraction via DNA. Not with any certainty. And rather than a computer geek this is the opinion of a Harvard science professor.

  • Vladimir
    Oct. 23, 2007 10:11 a.m.

    Both science and religion are human responses to the unknown. Each has its strengths and its deficiencies. The trick is to keep an open mind and heart and not rush to judgment in any direction, particularly as it relates to others' conclusions. Everyone should take a deep breath, analyze the facts as a scientist, feel the spiritual as a religionist, and only then reach some personal conclusions -- which may be different for me than for you. Cumbaya.

  • Scholars? Apologetics?
    Oct. 23, 2007 10:17 a.m.

    If you base your faith on what Cleon Skousen and others like him have to say, or even on modern apologetics, these studies might conceivably blow your mind. I prefer to go to the scriptures for my information about the scriptures. Secondarily, I will read things like William Prescott's books. Nothing I have read in actual pre-Mormon-bashing ancient American history contradicts the Book of Mormon. Nothing in the Book of Mormon contradicts the idea that it gives the history of geographically specific tribes. It even tells right in the scriptures about the ties between Oriental lands and the people in the Book of Mormon. Hint: look up "Sinim."

  • MoJules
    Oct. 23, 2007 10:25 a.m.

    I will put my trust in the perfect scientist, who knows more than every scientist that has existed, even all those combined. There is a place in the Book of Mormon that talks about how the Jews wanted more complicated words, so the Lord gave that to them. I will never let science waiver my faith, because I do not put my trust in the arm of flesh. So no matter how convincing things are, I put my trust in an all knowing God and that what can't be explained to me today will one day be understood.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 23, 2007 10:27 a.m.

    I am a devout LDS member and believe the BOM is true. However, this article probably should not have been published by Deseret News.

    The expert was an amatuer and just had opinions. They may have been good opinions to have, but, this does not advance the understanding of the BoM and Ancient America in any way. It just sounds like an interesting fireside.

  • Moessers
    Oct. 23, 2007 10:29 a.m.

    To Pray About It:

    I did. And I was told beyond a shadow of doubt, it's not true.

  • Hill Cumorah
    Oct. 23, 2007 10:35 a.m.

    There was also supposed to have been a great battle there. Surely there would be weapons and such. I don't believe all the stories in the Bible, but there is an actual place on the map, artifacts and many other things showing that at least some of peoples existed.
    With the Book of Mormon there is speculation, no confirmed artifacts, the DNA thing and plenty of fallacys to be explained.
    I like the Book of Mormon and believe it was written as a work of fiction to accompany the Bible. The problem is it was potrayed as literal truth.

  • CB
    Oct. 23, 2007 10:36 a.m.

    I am fascinated by the ignorance on both sides of this issue--those who think their non-belief has been vindicated and those who think that the 'evidence' is wrong. Both are looking in the wrong place. Ancient records are plentiful since the earlier 50s and not only validate the idea of ancient records, but validate the material found in the ancient records, including the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon is a singularity because its origins are always questioned, and yet it exists. The best proof is within its pages. You determine the validity of ancient records by what they say. The race issue in the Book of Mormon is very complicated and is not like taught in primary, a record of the American Indians. That is ignorance on the part of most LDS.

  • look no further
    Oct. 23, 2007 10:38 a.m.

    Find 2 nice looking young men or young women that seem to have a kick in their step and sparkle in their eye wearing black and white badges and they will be happy to discuss this matter further with you.

  • Doug the Med Student
    Oct. 23, 2007 10:43 a.m.

    What a fun debate!! This has been one of the cleanest debates on the comments pages of the DesNews and I commend just about everybody here.

    My only comment to add as a scientist and (almost) physician is that we should never seek to discount verifiable, well-performed research. So the DNA evidence says something. Let it. In my field, we carefully report experimental findings, and then take EXTRA care when drawing conclusions. It is in the making of a conclusion that we enter the realm of opinion. I am not sure whether any of the three experts quoted in the article should be drawing conclusions based on the evidence they have accumulated to date.

    But it sure is a fun debate...

  • Re: CB
    Oct. 23, 2007 10:45 a.m.

    Ignorance on the part of most LDS? That ignorance has been taught to them by their "inspired" leaders. Gives a whole new meaning the inspired, huh?

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 23, 2007 10:56 a.m.

    According to the D&C, God said the Native Americans were Lamanites.

  • Of true importance...
    Oct. 23, 2007 11:00 a.m.

    Dr. Southerton, search your heart and not your mind. More importantly, trust your heart and not your mind. I am sure you must recall the experiences you have had that only your heart can explain and justify. You are still a divine son of God and my brother. God bless you and all of us.

  • Jon W.
    Oct. 23, 2007 11:07 a.m.

    I didn't take time to read all preceding comments, but has anyone brought up the point that the "curse" or "mark" on the Lamanites must have been a genetic change, since it was passed from generation to generation? This alone would invalidate any attempt to prove the descent of modern Native Americans from a Hebrew stock through DNA research.

  • Jayson
    Oct. 23, 2007 11:08 a.m.

    How can Gardner say that Murphy didn't believe in the book before and went off looking for things that would support his view? Isn't Gardner subject to the same criticism of making a conclusion that supports what he's already decided? I suggest that if you make a distinction between "Mormon Scientists" and "Scientists who happen to be Mormon," you'll find the studies of the later group to be much more reliable than those of the former.

  • Proof in the pages?
    Oct. 23, 2007 11:10 a.m.

    I get good feelings from many books including works of fiction. We can't go simply by our "feelings" to say something is "true". I like many stories that are not "true", but they give me a great feeling.
    So let's pretend we don't have this argument about whether the Book of Mormon is "true". Let's say it is. Does that make everything else in the LDS church right? There are many things in the church that has nothing to do with the Book of Mormon. The BOM follows closely along with the Bible and it can help us in lots of ways. But the problems I have had with the church (I'm no longer a member) comes from other belliefs of exclusion, inequality and labels that has nothing to do with that wonderful book.

  • JB
    Oct. 23, 2007 11:12 a.m.

    Based on scientific findings of recent date we can discount the entire Bible and Book of Mormon. For that matter all religion, and previous scientific findings to include Einstiens theories have been relegated to new theories. Ones personal beleifes evolve as time passes as well, if not, one is not learning and growing. Knowledge is limited by current understanding and perspective, we have a very limited understanding and have not touched the beginning of what science is and isn't. In understanding truth, one must keep an eternal perspective, for truth has a past present and future to withstand the test if time. Our limited view can be greatly supplemented when we allow the truths we have, to be guided by a honest and selfless desire, utilizing both our temporal and our spiritual eyes to see into God's perspective

  • Roland
    Oct. 23, 2007 11:15 a.m.

    If the Lamanites were not Jewish - then how come in Michigan there are indian petroglyps of jewish menorahs?
    Just google for images of petroglyph menorah.

  • metamoracoug
    Oct. 23, 2007 11:19 a.m.

    I like CB's response. The difficulty is resolving a complex question with a simplistic answer. Although I understand that belief in the Book of Mormon is a matter of faith -- as any religious belief is -- being an educated individual, I cannot dismiss scientific, historic, or anthropologic evidence. I have found sufficient evidence to believe it is possible the Book of Mormon peoples, cultures, civilizations existed. One small but significant example is David Freidel and Linda Schele's (both non-LDS scholars) referring to Maya script as reformed Egyptian (see their book A Forest of Kings).

    I encourage all to read Michael Whiting's (PhD, BYU professor, curator and director BYU DNA sequencing Center) article: DNA and the Book of Mormon: A Phylogenetic Perspective. It is found on-line at the FARMS website.

  • Forrest S. Cuch
    Oct. 23, 2007 11:21 a.m.

    I am not so sure testing the validity of the Book of Mormon is so critical as examining what is revealed in Mormon people's treatment of the so called "Lamanities." My observation is that they continue to be either completely ignored and made to be invisible, or they are exposed to the other extreme of being used, exploited, and taken advantage of. This causes me to question whether anyone truely believes the BOM and the LDS Faith.

  • Todd
    Oct. 23, 2007 11:25 a.m.

    I believe this question about Lamanite DNA is answered in the Book of Mormon its self. Read in 2 Ne. 5: 21 how the Lamanite DNA was changed.

  • Interesting
    Oct. 23, 2007 11:25 a.m.

    I go back to what the Prophet Joseph Smith said. Whether we agree or not.

    "...the standard of truth has been erected; No un hallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the great Jehovah shall say the work is done."

  • re: proof in the pages
    Oct. 23, 2007 11:28 a.m.

    I disagree, I can go off from my feelings to determine truth.

    I have witnessed many people over the years forming their opinions based on circumstances associated with actions of members of the church. Use caution to seperate the imperfect actions of man from the perfect doctrines of Christ. Fault will always be easily found in man. Your descriptions of exclusion, inequality and labels appear to me to be weakness of man.

  • I wonder about anthropologists
    Oct. 23, 2007 11:29 a.m.

    There will always be reasons to believe and reasons to doubt no matter what religion you profess. Call me bias but my experience in a university setting has conditioned me to doubt anthropologists in general. The problem is that anthropology is so general and inter disciplinary that I always find athropologists making fools of themselves. You find applied anthropologists making preposterous economic conclusions and recommendations that anyone with an intro to economics course would refute (I'm talking about basic economic laws). I do a lot of field research and I have been so surprised when people don't want to talk to me if I'm an anthropologist, they don't like how anthropologists have used them as specimens and misrepresented them. The problem is that anthropology brushes up against so many other fields, and anthropologists are rarely as well read as they should be. I don't think this guy is straight up denying the anthropologists results he's just stating something that has been obvious to a lot of people, the conclusive denial of the Book of Mormon based on DNA is questionable. which is why I'm glad most people in the church stick with Paul's advice 1 Cor 2:5.

  • Duwayne Anderson
    Oct. 23, 2007 11:30 a.m.

    I suggest folks read the book "The Journey of Man" by Spencer Wells. Wells has a Ph.D. from Harvard University (1994), focusing on population genetics and evolution. His book isnt about Mormonism, but the science is absolutely fatal to the cornerstone of the church. Let me quote a few paragraphs from his book:

    "There is one piece of DNA, though, that has recently proven to be an invaluable tool for inferring details about human history -- providing us with far greater resolution than we ever thought possible about the paths followed by our ancestors during their wanderings. It is the male equivalent of mtDNA ... known as the Y-chromosome.... The Y turns out to provide population geneticists with the most useful tool available for studying human diversity." [pages 42-43]

    "The genetic evidence is quite clear: all ancient migrants to the Americas seem to have traveled via Siberia." [page 144]

    Brant Gardner, a software consultant, simply doesnt know what hes talking about when he dismisses DNA evidence thats been collected and analyzed by scientists like Spencer Wells.

    Duwayne Anderson
    Author of Farewell to Eden: Coming to terms with Mormonism and science

  • Laughing in SLC
    Oct. 23, 2007 11:31 a.m.

    LOL! Debating the minutiae of the BOM is like debating the minutiae of Lord of the Rings.

    Mixing the epistemology of science with the epistemology of religion never results in satisfactory results.

  • Rick
    Oct. 23, 2007 11:32 a.m.

    Many LDS defenders seem to be forgetting something here. Many "Prophets" (same priesthood keys as Joseph Smith) have been telling modern "Native Americans" they are Lamanites. These are the people who have been shown to have no semitic DNA. It's not that complicated...either the modern prophets are wrong, or Joseph was wrong. Either way, it demonstrates the human fabrication of this mythical tale.

  • Why Argue About it?
    Oct. 23, 2007 11:33 a.m.

    It is apparent that there are alot of opinions out there on the subject. I find it interesting that those who oppose are those who have not read the book and taken the pronmise of Moroni, or are those who have had action taken against them by the church and lost their testimony. It was sted by the prophet Joseph Smith that; "...the standard of truth has been erected; No un hallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the great Jehovah shall say the work is done."
    Really it doesn't matter what we think or agrue about. The Lord's purposes will be fulfilled.

  • Pure love of Christ reaches all.
    Oct. 23, 2007 11:34 a.m.

    From the most weak and humble Hmong of Laos to the richest, and most undeniably "challenged" intellectual elites of any and all socio/politcal or religious persuasions or backgrounds all have ancestors and these will have had promises made to them by a loving heavenly father. We as Latter-Day Saints who seek to honor our commitments to the Lord who has declared that He will have a "covenant people" from among all people and out of every walk of life do well to emulate His bountiful example by promoting those who pioneer correct databases of all DNA samples. Since this cause includes people from every nation, kindred, and tongue we do well patiently learning the complete identity of each and every person we meet including those who presently remain burdened as "illegals". With kind regard and the most sensitive discretion we would be well advised to learn as many languages as we can and be prepared to allow these people to find out all they are prepared to know about their own ancestors. Obviously, we can continue to lead the way by starting out with our own family histories. Thus we can know when God Our Eternal Father keeps those promises.

  • SL Cabbie
    Oct. 23, 2007 11:34 a.m.

    I have been honored to know Simon Southerton well, and I was also privileged to meet Thomas Murphy a few years ago. Murphy's presentation at the "U" pointed to the decidedly racist tone of the BOM, and he placed it nicely in a context with a statement that "When white men want to act out, they dress up as Indians." Well, my ancestors weren't at Mountain Meadows, but I was still zinged by the knowledge of the actions of some New England forebearers circa 1773.

    Mr. Gardner's attacks on Simon Southerton amount to shock jock radio tactics playing to his audience and little else. Simon described literally "going to bed a Mormon and waking up a non-Mormon" after he reviewed the DNA findings, and for Gardner to imply any agenda is ludicrous. Think of the five Native American mtDNA haplogroups as colored marbles, say, red, blue, green, orange, and white. All of Mr. Gardner's rhetoric will not change them to the "blacks, browns, and pinks" of Semitic populations any more than Native American skin tones have changed despite the words of LDS prophets. Add to that the impossibility of Lehi's ocean voyage, and the case against the Bom is closed.

  • Not Metaphorical
    Oct. 23, 2007 11:39 a.m.

    Adam and Eve, the Flood, the Tower of Babel, etc. are not metaphorical, "Belief in Bible", they are real people and real events. There is ongoing debate as to the true location of the "final battle" of the Nephites and Lamanites, whether it was in Central America or North America, as there is a "Hill Cumorah" in each place. I truly don't care where it happened. It is enough for me to know that it did. The teachings in the Book of Mormon were written for us in modern times, kind of like an email sent to us by our ancient prophets to be discovered, or revealed, when the time was right. Read 1 Nephi Chapter 13. There is a lot in there about the settling of the Americas, the difficulties that would face the Jews and the Indians, and more. But beyond the historicity, it is an account of Christ's dealings with these ancient people, and His teachings for our time, to help us and guide us. I love the Book of Mormon.

  • T-Rex
    Oct. 23, 2007 11:39 a.m.

    The problem arises when someone like President Hinkley when speaking to a gathering of Native Americans refers to their Lamanite ancestors. DNA should back up his references if they are indeed descendants of Lamanites.

  • Telhri Agardy
    Oct. 23, 2007 11:40 a.m.

    Hooray for free speech in this country, no matter how mis-informed. Spectacular technology developments cannot account for customs which date back before the time line given. If the learned scholars had spent time in Harvard's anthropological studies, they would have noted that the underclass or non-rulers were picked up as slave/family to provide continuance in the trades. This goes back over 3000 years. THEY WERE NOT FAMILY in the DNA sense but in every other respect.

  • To Forrest S. Cuch
    Oct. 23, 2007 11:42 a.m.

    I disagree with Cuch's statement on the treatment of the native Americans. I can go to any of my numerous histories of the American West (not Church publications) and pull out statement after statement of Indians trusting their Mormon neighbors and being very wary of the "gentiles." I have had some very dear friends that belong to the Pima and Navajo tribes. I never used, exploited or took advantage of any of the Indians I know. They are humorous and interesting people. Furthermore, one of my distant relations was known as a particular friend of the Indians and his family keeps that reputation over a century later. Read the (based on fact) accounts by non-Mormon author J.D. Fitzgerald of the Mormons helping the Indians when the gentile government was stealing from them. Very little in history bears out your statement. I'm sorry if you had a poor experience personally, but I don't think that the overall historical record bears you out. From Joseph Smith's first mission to the Lamanites to today, the church has sensed their scriptural responsibility toward the native Americans. They certainly have not acted perfectly, but at least they've tried.

  • Moby Joe
    Oct. 23, 2007 11:42 a.m.

    In response to the person who posted as "Science has all the answers?":

    You say you support studying and learning to answer the questions we face, and leaving the rest up to faith. Fine. Is the DNA/Book of Mormon question one of those issues?

    I'm not saying that science has all answers, but on the question of whether Native Americans were descended from Lehi and his fellow Book of Mormon characters, science has a clear answer: no. There's no need for faith to answer that question; the question has been answered.

    And yes, your world view probably would change, possibly every month, if you relied on science to answer your questions. That's the beauty of it. Science changes because human understanding grows. No one claims a scientific theory is beyond question, and, ideally, as one theory falls, a better one takes its place, bringing us closer to the truth.

    If your ultimate goal is to understand truth, then your understanding and beliefs should change and improve as you learn more.

    True, some questions are unanswered, but be sure you don't reject answers when they come and when they make sense.

  • Hawk
    Oct. 23, 2007 11:50 a.m.

    It would seem that if you are disposed to non-belief or belief, DNA is your friend. Either way genetics is not as simple as the two sides would have you think.

  • New Okie
    Oct. 23, 2007 11:51 a.m.

    Didn't the Jaredites come from parts of the M.E. and Asia following the changing of languages and destruction of the Tower of Babel? In any case, they weren't Israelites. Whose to say, no matter how learned some former bishop may be, that more of the Jaredite DNA didn't survive through inter-marrying and various degrees of population destruction over the course of 2,600 years? The records are so detailed from that time period, and we're all so smart, we know exactly what happened. Right.

  • troublesabrewin
    Oct. 23, 2007 11:50 a.m.

    The most troubling thing about this article to me is the treatment of Southerton and Murphy at the hands of the church. If they don't tote the party line 100 percent on all things then they are kicked out? What is the good of that? Most members of the church are inactive, yet they still remain on the records of the church. Fine. Why single out these two? Don't we want ALL to come unto Christ and be baptized in His name? Let God be the judge of who is in and who is out at the last day!

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 23, 2007 11:52 a.m.

    A most timely and provocative subject, DNA and the lineage of cultures outlined in the Book of Mormon. But it was and is a giant mis-step, by either an editor, the writer or folk at the conference, to allow this "speaker and protagonist" to carry the banner for the LDS scientific crowd. Very disquieting to have the News offer such a piece and then juxtapose that a rank amateur make pronoucements best left to geneticists and trained scientists. The debate and discussion needs to occur, but the "public participants" should be those schooled not only in the culture of their "calling" but in serious academic endeavor. As is, the piece is largely "opinion" and to the malcontents, it just evidence the Mormons don't wish to shoot straight or play fair - when discussing the nuance of Book of Mormon lineages. Apparently there is plenty of mystery that remains to be explored; and with some the Book of Mormon story is re-branded and re-packaged nearly every decade. Navajo children, once of Lehi's clan; now part of the tribe of Northern Mongolians? A gordian knot of sorts,and who shall unwind the tortuous mystery? "Any speaker" at a public forum in SLC?

  • TYLER
    Oct. 23, 2007 11:56 a.m.

    My comment is to the person who claims the Book of Mormon to be fiction; How does a 23 year old farmer with an elementary education write a 500 page book that can so perfectly refer to the past and present, that fits so perfectly with the Holy Bible, that he devoted his life to, Putting his money, time, labor, and pain into the words of this book you call fiction. He willingly went into a mob prison where he prophetically claimed he would not be coming out of alive. He died for this so called fictional book. You must not know much about this Book of God if you truly believe its words to be fictional.

  • Moby Joe
    Oct. 23, 2007 12:00 p.m.

    To "Why Argue About it?":

    You say you "find it interesting that those who oppose are those who have not read the book and taken the promise of Moroni, or are those who have had action taken against them by the church and lost their testimony."

    You've described some, but not nearly all, of those who disagree with the church's claims about the Book of Mormon. I have read the book. I have prayed sincerely, fervently, desperately about it. If God gave me any answer, it was to trust what makes sense. The Book of Mormon doesn't.

    Also, I've never had action taken against me by the church. No one offended me, causing me to stop believing. There are hundreds of thousands of people who are just the same.

  • anon.
    Oct. 23, 2007 12:09 p.m.

    Read 4 Nephi. the definition of "Lamanite" was changed to denote those who rebelled against the believers around AD 190 or so. Under that definition, anyone not of the Nephite faith (or refusing it later) would have been classified as "Lamanite"--including American Indians.

    The problem, not with good science, but with people's twisting of good science, is that we quickly become overly confident of ourselves and our "results". Elder Scott (a nuclear engineer, btw) had it right in his last conference talk when he explained that we can never reach "absolute truth" using the scientific method.

    Scientific claims cannot knock down religious tenets anymore than religious dogmas will destroy scientific inquiry; the two are after completely different questions: Science searches out the "how", the mechanisms nature, but does a poor job of explaining "why", the underlying purpose. With religion, answers to the purpose of everything are sought, but the details are less important. I have no qualms with the idea that "And God said, Let there be light" leaves out some of the details of creation. Such mechanistic questions are not germane to the point that God brought forth the earth, however it was done.

  • DLN
    Oct. 23, 2007 12:12 p.m.

    To begin, I am an active member of the LDS church and I don't understand why Mormons continue to get upset about these types of articles. Somehow, we have gotten the idea that we are being singled out in some way. All you have to do is turn on the history channell and there is at least a program a day where "experts" of various forms debate the bible, it's teachings, what happened vs. what didn't happen. A lot of it is very interesting and I ponder what was discussed and other times I dismiss it. I guess the point I am making is that there are people out there trying to prove/disprove the Bible and its various teachings. They have discussed it until they are blue in the face and have not come up with any definite conclusions. The Book of Mormon is not exempt from these discussions either. We all need to look at these type of articles and take them for what they are. Opinions with a bit of science rhetoric. Stop getting so worked up about everything.

  • Beliver
    Oct. 23, 2007 12:19 p.m.

    I love it Attack the BOM and everyone and their dog comes out of the woodwork. The philosophy seems to be "I have already made up my mind, don't confuse me with the facts." Some things you just have to take on faith. Either you have faith or you don't. If people are leaving the Mormon church based on this issue, they don't belong in the Church. Happy Trails.

  • Active Doubter
    Oct. 23, 2007 12:26 p.m.

    I don't buy it. It's time for the Church to admit that the Book of Mormon is inspired fiction. Go to mormon.org and watch Elder Ballard's response to the question, "Is there scientific proof authenticating the Book of Mormon." His reply is indirect. He seems to be implying that the word of God does not have to be based on actual fact or history. I believe the Church is headed toward that premise.

    My sincere and direct statement to the leaders of the Church: This duplicity is causing major strife in my relationships. OWN UP to the truth! You will ultimately be responsible for much sorrow because of your actions.

  • Moby Joe 2
    Oct. 23, 2007 12:39 p.m.

    Like Moby Joe, I have read the Book of Mormon, prayed about it fervently...and was never filled with the Holy Spirit to change my faith journey. Why is it that people who honestly have read it...and NOT been moved by it..why is it that we are told we just were not being spiritual enough??? That we really did not try???

  • nate
    Oct. 23, 2007 12:41 p.m.

    i am native american. if i am not jewish then why am i circumcised?

  • anonymous
    Oct. 23, 2007 12:44 p.m.

    A few years ago, I took the Moroni challenge. My heart was achingly open. I read the entire Book of Mormon and prayed about it. Without knowing anything about DNA evidence, I knew that what I had just read was 19th century literature, written by a some rough genius. Not very faith-promoting, I know, but really, there are some things you can intuit with an open mind. Who really doesn't have an open mind here in this debate?

  • lawyer and philosopher
    Oct. 23, 2007 12:47 p.m.

    Does not Isaiah speak of a marvelous work and a wonder, at the end of verse 29,and he states that the coming forth, presumably of the Book of Mormon, will be to confound the wise and the learned? why then based one's belief principally on the ever changing development of human understanding? Did not "science" believe at one point the earth was flat? DNA debates problably neither prove or disprove a pointunless one has the control sample to compare it with, in this case Seventh Century Lehite. Is not the obscurity of the origins of the Book of Mormon part of the process of the|"depths of humility" required to approach in sincere prayer the putative author of the Book, namely God?

  • Huxelby
    Oct. 23, 2007 12:48 p.m.

    I think the reason why this non-issue is so important is that when a layman reads the Book of Mormon in the context of the LDS religion, it is clear to him that the preponderance of modern Lamanite ancestry is supposed to funnel through the Book of Mormon Lamanites, whose ancestry funnels through Lehi, Ishamael, Sam, the Mulekites, and the other characters who immigrated from Israel to the New World.

    Most people just arent smart enough to read the Book of Mormon and perceive that the genetics of the Nephites and Lamanites could have been totally drowned out millions of Asians who were already here.

  • dh
    Oct. 23, 2007 12:55 p.m.

    Just read the book with an open mind and then ask yourself if an ignorant, 19th century farm boy could have "fabricated" this writing. Perhaps JK Rowlings great great grandmother wrote the book? OF course if Rowlings ancestor wrote the book then Nephi would probably be gay! People who critisize the book have never read it - that is my experience. They have a bone to pick with the Church and so they start drumbing up a hodge-podge of unfounded so-called scientific mumbo jumbo that some ex-communicated member is hosting. Same ole same ole. Just READ THE BOOK. The Book of Mormon stands on it's own and doesn't need any scientific proof any more than the resurrection of Christ does.

  • So What?
    Oct. 23, 2007 12:56 p.m.

    Science also can not support the idea that Jesus Christ was resurrected. There is no evidence for this as according to science it would be impossible. So I guess that all Bible believers out there and those that profess Christianity are wrong because the Bible is wrong also.
    There will always be unanswered and unproven theories regarding religion. Why do you non-mormons feel that you have to spend so much time and effort to convince us how wrong we are? Are we doing something to hurt you by our beliefs? With all the good that the Mormon church does in the world to help others, etc. why do you feel you need to stop it? Why take it all so personally? Christ taught that by their fruits ye shall know them - whose fruits are sweeter here - those of the church and its leaders and majority of members or those who continue to kick against the pricks and accuse Mormons of believing in a false book.
    It doesn't matter to me the lack of evidence to support the resurrection and Bible either - I believe in Christ's resurrection as fully as I do the BOM.

  • Chicago Member
    Oct. 23, 2007 1:01 p.m.

    I believe in the Book of Mormon. Shouldn't that be the most important factor to me? I am secure in my faith and am not swayed by what others say to support or refute it.
    If someone else doesn't believe it, fine. If someone else does believe it, that's fine, too.
    I never understand why believers and non-believers care so much about what others think.

  • So What (cont.)
    Oct. 23, 2007 1:01 p.m.

    Those of you who don't believe due to these scientific facts obviously can not believe in a God, or in Jesus Christ, and apparently refer to Bible stories as only being metaphorical. If you take science as the ends all to all debate - then obviously you are all very atheistic.
    I will hold to my beliefs regardless of science as it gives me something more important to hold to than a belief in nothing more than the Big Bang theory and evolution. Just leave us alone and let us worship how, what, or where we may - the same as we do for you.

  • Johnny Rotten
    Oct. 23, 2007 1:03 p.m.

    I am an active, temple recommend and calling holding, tithe paying, member of the Church who doesn't believe in the historicity of the BOM.

    If you spend anytime studying DNA, BOM anachronisms, anthropology, textual critism, and archeology you will come to the same conclusion. If you visit with trained professionals even at BYU they will confirm that the BOM has hundreds of problems. It is not that evidence for the truthfulness of the BOM does not exist; while that is true, it is that there is a vast body of evidence that continues to mount against the BOM.

    All the Asian DNA predates 8,000 B.C.

    That means it predates the Jaradites, the Lehites, Noah and the flood and Adam and Eve. Furthermore we (the Church) are forced redefine the BOM to fit modern understandings of Mesoamerica and its population. The Prophets continue to teach that all these peoples and events are literal.

    Even Dr. Whiting has admitted that our understanding of the BOM and its lands must be redefined. I say yes, redefined as not historical, rather they were created in the mind of Joseph Smith.

  • DNA//Genetic Studies Still Young
    Oct. 23, 2007 1:07 p.m.

    I believe that DNA and Genetic technologies are still in their infancy. Science is always discovering new facts--the future holds an infinate number of new facts. The Spirit of Holy Ghost does not lie.

  • Ron Paul
    Oct. 23, 2007 1:06 p.m.

    Can DNA evidence disprove the divinity of the Book of Mormon? Of course not. But certainly several claims and popular LDS beliefs need to be re-examined. Might it be time to quit identifying anyone of American-Indian or Polynesian descent as Lamanite? Mormons and Americans must begin to call into question their notions of race. If we want to put DNA studies to positive use we will realize that we are all "mutts." DNA shows that we are all pretty much the same. Our group identities are historical and cultural constructs used to reinforce power relationships. DNA can't disprove the Book of Mormon, but hopefully it can challenge notions of being "God's elect" and racist attitudes.

  • Jerry
    Oct. 23, 2007 1:09 p.m.

    Why wouldn't the Nephites have Asian genetic markers?
    Nephi is a direct decedent of Adam and Eve.
    Adam and Eve were born in Missouri, some 6,000 years after Asians migrated to and populated the Americas.
    Hence all of Adam and Eve's decendents were Asian.

    Who needs Brant Gardner?


  • Johnny Rotten
    Oct. 23, 2007 1:14 p.m.

    YesI've read the BOM my entire life; I read it 8 times on my mission alone. I also taught seminary for three years. I never received an answer to my prayers, however I always felt warm and comfortable in Church. What is funny to me is that all my very good Evangelical friends have received similar "feelings of the spirit" when they prayed to know if what they believed is true.

    Furthermore, I have felt those same wonderful feelings while bonding with my wife, watching TV, enjoying good and not so good music, competing in and watching my children compete in sporting events, reading a good fiction novel, watching Star Wars, and playing war games in the US Army.

    I no longer feel comfortable using feelings as a means to test truth claims. I believe God gave me a brain and expects me to use it.

    Best,

    Johnny Rotten

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 23, 2007 1:20 p.m.

    Why are we relying in the arm of flesh to dictate what we believe? The BOM is historical no matter what DNA may state. We do realize that the knowledge of DNA hasn't been around all that long and when it comes to science anything "new" is rarely right and is filled with flaws.

  • A Scientist
    Oct. 23, 2007 1:22 p.m.

    I don't know why many of you seem to believe the notion that everything that is stamped with the word science on it is actually legitimate science. Anybody scientist that is completely familiar with the Book of Mormon and has actually read the works of Murphy and Southerton and honestly evaluated their claims without bias realize that THEIR CONCLUSIONS ARE TOTAL GARBAGE. Yes, I believe science, and I would never dismiss the claims of good science done well, but this is not good science. It takes claims the Book of Mormon never made, and then tries to disprove it using DNA from modern people without a legitimate control for comparison. The Book of Mormon makes no claims as to the genetic profiles of the peoples in it. Lehi, Mulek, and Ishmael were likely all of different genetic backgrounds, and even if you had their DNA to compare to, you might never prove that any native Americans were their descendants. My daughters are 1/8 Cherokee. But you could never prove that they were a descendant of their maternal great grandfather using Mitochondrial DNA or Y chromosome markers, because these genetic markers are not passed on in that way.

  • Joseph Smith
    Oct. 23, 2007 1:31 p.m.

    Didn't Joseph Smith also say that the earth was 6000 years old? Please someone correct me if I am wrong.

  • Benjamin Reed
    Oct. 23, 2007 1:41 p.m.

    If anyone bothered to watch the 60 Minutes (CBS) broadcast on tracing genealogy via DNA sampling, they would know that frankly it is an inexact science. The segment is worth watching and seems to trash the assertions from Simon Southerton. Also, think about this: Iraq/Turkey/Iran, etc. are technically located in SOUTHERN ASIA. WIth migration from those areas to other zones deeper in "traditional" Asia, this explains a great possibility of complicating a "pure" find. Also, as I recall, the most accurate comes from the X chromosome, not the Y. At any rate, there are a lot of "scientific mysterys" the surround the Bible, yet few question its veracity. Hence, we should take the Book of Mormon more as a spiritual not literal historical document. Anyone who has studied the monographs of Ce Acatel Tepolitzlan Quetzalcoatl and the Popol Vuh, see too many similarities to render the Book of Mormon invalid. It is impossible for Joseph Smith to have conjured up so many similarities over 150 years ago without knowing of them.

  • Johnny Rotten
    Oct. 23, 2007 1:43 p.m.


    B.H. Roberts (a believer) wrote in the 1920's that the BOM had serious problems regarding historicity (See Studies of the Book of Mormon). Since that time the evidence against the BOM and its truth claims has continued to grow.

    It is so overwhelming that apologists are forced to redefine important facts about which the descendants of the Lehites are, where they lived, were there others and rewrite other so called unchanged truths. Apologists even ignore D&C section 32 pronouncement from the lord to serve a mission to the Lamanites in the mid-western USA.

    Science only confirms the claims made by anti-Mormons that the BOM is not historical.

    Best,

    Johnny Rotten

  • Johnny Rotten
    Oct. 23, 2007 1:44 p.m.

    The problem with modern apologetics is that it is not intellectually honest. The apologists omit important facts, facts that put evidence in its proper context.

    For Instance they give hope to sincere members of the Church by stating that the Jaradites could be Asian, without explaining that the DNA evidence conclusively states that all migrations predate the end of the last ice age. DNA markers place the date prior to Adam and Eve.

    Furthermore they omit the information about DNA markers, information that can determine whether migrants come from western or eastern Asia. The markers prove the ancestors of the native-Americans almost exclusively come from Mongolia.

    They also fail to mention that the horses found in America died out over 8,000 years ago.

    It is the apologist that misleads and misuses evidence to cloud the truth about BOM studies.

    Best,

    Johnny Rotten

  • Bert
    Oct. 23, 2007 1:44 p.m.

    I prayed... God told me it's not true. End of debate for me.

  • To "A Scientist"
    Oct. 23, 2007 1:50 p.m.

    Ok, let's remove the DNA claims and see what we are left with. Look at many of the above posts and we are basically left with "feelings". Let's look at some of the other posts regarding "feelings". This is what we are basically left with. Some will use their feelings to make the world a better place...I hope so because I feel that's all we will have in regards to the BOM. Stop arguing and use the book to make your life better. Also, do not critisize those that know that "feelings" do not make truth. They can make the world a better place too.

  • Elijah Abel
    Oct. 23, 2007 1:54 p.m.

    To "A Scientist"

    "The Book of Mormon makes no claims as to the genetic profiles of the peoples in it." ?!?!?!

    Are you serious?

    Read the introduction. It still says that "the Lamanites were the principal ancestors of the American Indians."

    I take that at face value, to mean what I was taught my entire life as a Mormon, that Native American and Lamanite are interchangeable. Every LDS Prophet since Joseph Smith up until Gordon B. Hinkley has used the term "Lamanite" to refer to Native Americans. It is still used to describe Native Americans. My children are Native American and I find the application of the term "Lamanite" to my children increadibly offensive, since the Book of Mormon makes Lamanites out to be cursed with a skin of darkness.

    It is, what Thomas Murphy said, a 19th Century racist myth that dark skinned people got dark because God cursed them with dark skin, developed as a way to legitimized dehumanizing, exploiting and enslaving dark skinned people. It is the same with the curse of cain doctrine, which still stands and will be taught as long as LDS leaders refuse to set the record straight by repudiating it.

    Shame.

  • Challenge
    Oct. 23, 2007 1:56 p.m.

    If the BOM is not what it claims to be, where did it come from? I challenge anyone to write a single chapter of comparable content.

  • The grassy knoll? Roswell
    Oct. 23, 2007 2:16 p.m.

    Science, depends on who looking into the microscope and WHY? Been to Egypt 23 times and they can not determine the DNA of who's who and they KNOW who the body belongs to. This dog and pony show is just that.

  • Blueberry
    Oct. 23, 2007 2:17 p.m.

    Bert: didn't read it did you? Even though He can, God doesn't often reward intellectual laziness with inspiration and knowledge.

  • Johnny Rotten
    Oct. 23, 2007 2:20 p.m.

    A Scientist...

    I disagree with you; we do know many things;

    First it is inconsistent with Hebrew law to marry outside the Chosen people. And if you read Southertons book he explains who the control group is and how we identify ancient Hebrew DNA. That is the control group.

    Second, we know that all the DNA migrations to the new world predates book of Mormon peoples and Adam and Eve. The date to 8,000 B.C. or earlier.

    Third, we do know that the sample size is more than large enough and has a very small margin of error.

    Forth, the claims Southerton and Murphy refute, hemispheric and Meso-American models, in there books and articles were made by Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants section 32 or (God).

    cont...

  • Johnny Rotten
    Oct. 23, 2007 2:20 p.m.

    Fifth, there is NO, absolutely NO, mention of any others in the BOM text. The text is silent about others and the current Prophet along with every Prophet since Joseph Smith have identified ALL native American, North and South America as descendents of the Lamanites. The Church defined the grounds of the debate.

    Sixth, it is incomprehensible how a book a specific as the BOM can mention everything about war, metallurgy, farming, coinage and yet no mention of interaction with others. When ancient culture and civilizations encountered each other usually war resulted. Not in the BOM, it was so uneventful that no mention was made in the entire text. That is ridiculous.

    Seventh, DNA evidence refutes every population size with the exception of a small colony which is easily swamped by others DNA.

    Eighth, the Church continues to print in its correlated material, which is described as "inspired" by the members of the Church, a hemispheric model. So maybe you should send a memo to the "inspired" brethren that they are incorrectly describing who the Lamanites are and were they lived.

    Best,

    Johnnny Rotten

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 23, 2007 2:25 p.m.

    I suspect Joe Smith wrote the Book of Mormon in concert with Oliver Cowdry and Sydney Rigdon, lifting the main story from Spalding's "View of the Hebrews" as well as inserting extended passages from the bible.

  • Erico
    Oct. 23, 2007 2:27 p.m.

    All of you who are basing the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon on a "spiritual feeling" need to question your assumptions regarding that spiritual feeling. Just because you feel it, doesn't make it true. Based on the evidence, it's all in your head. Yes, it is wonderful and life-changing, but it doesn't mean it's true.

  • wondering
    Oct. 23, 2007 2:28 p.m.

    As a member of the LDS church, I think we should all be very respectful of science. I think is unfortunate when church members downplaying science. Of course science changes, but that is usually the nature of truth-seeking. Scientists are trained to conform their views to be consistent with the data, which I think is admirable.

    I wonder what is the best way for a person who wants to be a believing, science-loving, Mormon to handle difficult facts? The most comfortable response for me is to suspend judgement until we have further information. But there isn't a lot of room in the church for doubt or uncertainly. If more unpleasant facts are to come out in the future, maybe we will have to become more accepting of doubt and uncertainty?

    Our leaders seem to be setting the example of not being interested in intellectual or scientific topics, and most church members seem to be following that example. But how many generations will that last?

    Then there is the pleasant chance that at some future time science and history will become more "friendly" to our cause.

  • engineer
    Oct. 23, 2007 2:29 p.m.

    As used in this article, the term "LDS scientist" is an oxymoron.

  • Widow's son
    Oct. 23, 2007 2:52 p.m.

    Well, engineer, perhaps you're finally right and nobody has anything to answer you with just now.

    Oh, but wait! I think I see it coming to me now.

    (Please be so kind as to read my next message).

  • Steve
    Oct. 23, 2007 2:52 p.m.

    Funny, don't you think, that not only did both Southerton and Murphy admit in their essay in the book "American Apocrypha" (pg. 53) that their very DNA testing methods did not rule out a small scale migration of people into an already populated area (see John Sorenson's essay on the issue of "others" in the Book of Mormon) but that a report came in just three days ago that refutes those very same methods that both Southerton and Murphy used in their "rebuttal" of the Book of Mormon. I cannot post the link here, but I can direct people interested to go to Jeff Lindsay's blog "Mormanity" and then to click on the link given under his post "DNA and the Book of Mormon Update: Science Warns of Limitations on DNA Testing".

    For those who are triumphantly declaring that truth and science have "proven" the Book of Mormon false, might I suggest that they stick by their own standard and look at all of the evidence and facts before they jump to conclusions. In other words, do for yourself what you keep insisting the Mormons should do.

    p.s Pay attention to the 2nd to last paragraph in the report.

  • To Mr. Cuch
    Oct. 23, 2007 2:53 p.m.

    you are right. Utah was the last state to allow NDNs the right to vote-1954-, we might all be speaking Japanese if one of the Lamanite tribes hadn't been allowed to participate in the military. One has no farther to look than at a particular SE UThigh school with 50% percent natives yet the sports teams speak volumns of the racism that exists as a microcosim of that community. Within the last 5 years the county court had to be reminded to allow natives to be chosen from the jury pool, the town baseball field was one of only two to be awarded nationally using ndn numbers and proposals to get that huge grant. In county with 55%, being native, the descripancies ring loud and clear in who is in the detention centers and on the law enforcement.From the state colleges to the hospital being built NDN money and numbers play a significant role in rewarding grants. Issues that selma,alabama settled years ago still linger yet when you bring up the elephant in the room ..the answer is whipdeedo! or Kill the messenger. Heck they can keep the book just show us where the money is for real!

  • Daniel
    Oct. 23, 2007 2:56 p.m.

    You're gonna believe a London architect about the language of ancient Crete? Over the greatest scholars of ancient languages? Of course not. So Michael Ventris's decipherment of Minoan Linear B can be dismissed without a hearing.

    And, obviously, you're not gonna believe a clerk in the Swiss patent office over the great Newton and the leading professors of physics in the greatest universities. So that silly Einstein can safely be ignored. What a loon. If we was any good, he'd have a university appointment in physics.

    Credentials are everything. Evidence and argument count for NOTHING.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 23, 2007 2:57 p.m.

    What it always comes down to is this:
    Either Joseph Smith was telling the truth or was a liar.

  • Have mercy on the widow's son!!!
    Oct. 23, 2007 3:06 p.m.

    Dear engineer,

    If you had been the insightful engineer who had the commission to build the fortifications that Captain Moroni required to defend the people of his day but you knew that they would ultimately fail and would possibly remain to be judged by a people who you knew would far surpass any knowledge that you currently had wouldn't you try to secure the promise of your biographers to skew the books just a little?

    I stand ready to defend Joseph's actions, to testify of him as The Prophet of this last dispensation and take The Book of Mormon seriously enough to allow its historicity to play out in the sealed portion(s) thereof.

    Who can say whether either the descendants of Hagoth or perhaps even Moroni himself were not allowed to leave a record of being inspired to unite in bringing this record to its most recently recorded resting places from some other, yet undisclosed but real land that remains to be revealed for the very purpose that Our Father knew would happen so that our very faith might be tried as was prophesied?

    Is this all too convenient? Please keep Charles Anthon and the book of Lehi in mind!

  • Can I get a comment printed?
    Oct. 23, 2007 3:11 p.m.

    I'm not sure why I get censored. My comments are not that negative. Basically the computer geek let us know that there are possible explanations why the DNA evidence does not show middle eastern origins (Hebrew) for the natives of North and South America. I think everyone is too believing in the "science" of DNA matching. It can produce iron clad relationships, or, it can produce....nothing conclusive (the case here). Let's face it, thousands of years have gone by since the time of the BOM stories. Peoples have come and gone. We just don't KNOW anything for sure. What we can look at is the character of the person who translated the BOM. Now there is where we can begin a real debate....

  • Louise
    Oct. 23, 2007 3:15 p.m.

    DNA is powerful, but the key to DNA is not even close to being solved. Some people have a tendency to dispute scientific evidence if it doesn't fit within their personal beliefs, others incorporate science into their beliefs. I have been to church functions where some members are obnoxious about their political beliefs, assuming every other LDS person is a hard core right winger. Why ignore scientific evidence, why embrace ignorance? There is no scientific proof that the writings in the Bible are accurate. It is healthy to not blindly follow in any religion, it is healthy to seek the truth.

  • Fredd
    Oct. 23, 2007 3:17 p.m.

    I've always viewed religion as a philosophy on how to live your life. "Christian" principles such as love thy neighbor, etc lead to happiness for most people. If the Mormon philosophy satisfies you then it is positive. If you end up with eternal salvation good on you! I don't think anyone is going to burn in hell by practising christian values by whatever name you call them. FYI, for me the word of wisdom is not a christian value, but power to you if it helps you lead a happty life. I can say this with 100% certainty--Mormon women are hot! maybe the word of wisdom has some eternal good in it. Or it could be DNA.

  • Steve's Dad
    Oct. 23, 2007 3:21 p.m.

    Dear Anonymous,
    EXACTLY!!!

  • Zelph
    Oct. 23, 2007 3:33 p.m.

    We should be able to locate Zelph's bones and do a complete study on his DNA. That would clear it up.

  • Faith vs Science
    Oct. 23, 2007 3:34 p.m.

    If we believe science is the ultimate rule then faith has no place. Science speaks nothing of faith and hope. Science is only absolute. If we live by science we live in a cold, cruel world and die. Science tells us we come from like animals over tens of thousands of years. We are animals and there for we should act like animals. More and more this is the attitude of non believers, not just anti Mormons. The more we remove faith and hope from our lives the more we are animals. In fact many will read this and say what more are we then animals. It is our right to believe as we may. It is not our right to force others. The LDS Church make claims and continues Pres. Smiths claims because that is it's right. We can have faith in it or reject it, which is our right. Any one who uses science to prove or disprove it is acting on that right. But in the end Earth is either a mass of rock that will eventually be consumed by the sun or a place for god to raise children. Death is the only absolute.

  • Dumb Scientists
    Oct. 23, 2007 3:41 p.m.

    This is off the subject, but Scientists are doing anything they can to get a rise out of people. Example: Global Warming is cause by polution from cars, industrial plants, all by humans. Yet, figure how much polutant goes in the air when a volcano explodes. Ive yet to hear how the Scientist figure on caping one of the volcanoes up. In fact its probably the polution from volcanoes that built the Ozone layer in the first place. Our Scientist need to use there knowlege for finding cures for cancers, and aids. Not the DNA to try to turn people away from the church. Its not going to work. The gospel is true. We hope some day you find that out for yourselves.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 23, 2007 3:42 p.m.

    If the LDS Church does not put any stock in DNA science, then why is Michael Whiting, PhD, a professor at BYU and curator and director of the BYU DNA sequencing center?

  • Please Stop.
    Oct. 23, 2007 3:47 p.m.

    Apologetics disgust me. Can any of you really step back and look at your own philosophies from an objective point of view? Is it even possible? I want to know that you can prove ANYTHING in your favor if you REALLY want to. So it's no coincidence that a very small percentage of people ever leave the religion they were born into. This includes you, your parents, your grandparents, etc.

    Think about it: which looks more legit from a far-away viewpoint? Would the "Jaredite" markers have totally overtaken the Israelite markers of Lehi's group in such a small span of time? No. Don't you think there would be some remnant of archaeological evidence to support the Book of Mormon if it actually happened? Look at the apologists evidences. Are those really legit? Come on people.

  • Faith vs. Science rebuttal
    Oct. 23, 2007 4:02 p.m.

    Science and evidence support faith.

    When Christ was resurrected He left us with an empty tomb. The star in the sky appered at His birth. He worked miracles. His apostles did not have to walk by faith, Christ was with them performing rock hard scientific evidence to conclude this Man was not just any man. We do walk by faith today but that faith is grounded and rooted in historical facts, evidence, and science. If historical facts start to discredit your faith maybe your putting your faith in somthing that isn't true. The Bible has much scientific evidence backing it up. Does the Book of Mormon? I was LDS not too long ago but facts and evidence changed my views of Joseph Smith. Why rely on subjective emotional feelings to costantly discredit factual claims against your beliefs? This article is just another attack on a fact that was produced by an unexperieced "professional" trying to support a "warm fuzzy feeling" he had while reading the Book of Mormon. I support my faith with facts.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 23, 2007 4:27 p.m.

    Why did the First Presidency direct me as a missionary, back 30+ years, to teach Mesoamerican archaeology using "Ancient America Speaks" filmstrip and supporting pamphlets and photos in my missionary copies of the Book of Mormon, only now have removed it all?
    How confused would my investigators be if I came back one day later, and told them all that stuff I had taught them the day before, had been removed? We dont know where the Book of Mormon lands are! Or who the descendants are! Talk about science being unreliable? Inspired leadership?

    To quote from an authoritative source:
    "The Authenticity of the Book of Mormon constitutes our most important consideration of the work. Not only does the Book of Mormon merit [the most thorough and impartial] consideration, it claims, even demands the same The question of the authenticity of the Book of Mormon is therefore ONE IN WHICH THE WORLD IS CONCERNED.
    The Latter-day Saints base their belief in the authenticity of the book on the following proofs:
    certain external, or extra-scriptural evidences, amongst which are:
    5. Corroborative testimony furnished by archeology and ethnology."
    James E. Talmage, Articles of Faith [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1981], 247.)

  • Brutus
    Oct. 23, 2007 4:28 p.m.

    Faith and science are ultimately reconcilable because I don't have enough information to conclude that they're not.

  • Louise
    Oct. 23, 2007 4:29 p.m.

    Faith vs Science - I have disagree with you. Science is amazing, and how life perpetuates itself is amazing. I am unsure as to why you feel science is cold and absolute. Science is searching for answers to questions and creating questions. Science is why I am alive today, because without science my mother would have died before I was born, without science, I would have never had children, without science both of my parents would have died from cancer, without science people would not have vaccinations, anti-biotics and numerous other benefits to humankind. Without science, this forum you are posting on would not exist.

    Science is not cold and cruel, unless you interpret it to be so.

  • TYLER
    Oct. 23, 2007 4:32 p.m.

    TO "ELIJAH ABEL"
    I don't think you're correct in saying that the Book of Mormon is a way of dehumanizing, exploiting and enslaving dark skinned people. The Church has 12 million plus members, an extremely large percent are "dark skinned". In fact there are more Mormons outside the U.S. than inside. Missionaries are sent all over the world, ie South America, Mexico, Asia, Africa. I will soon be going on a mission to South Africa which is a 73% black mission... We Mormons would not sacrifice 2 years of our lives in hopes of teaching these people our religion and want them to join our church if we were racist. What's more an increasingly large percent of leaders of our church are "dark skinned" we love everyone equally and it's a shame that you've been misled concerning what the Book of Mormon truly means.

  • thinking
    Oct. 23, 2007 4:38 p.m.

    faith is not apart from reason

  • Get Honest
    Oct. 23, 2007 4:41 p.m.

    The observation has been made, several times now, that the Lamanites were a people genetically altered from their original state of " a white and delightsome people". Therefore, of course their DNA would not match a modern day hebrew(or an ancient one, either). When the first comment in this regard was made, this debate was over. Why this point was ingnored and arguing continued tells me that interest in DNA is not really the driving force of this discussion

  • Cognitive Dissonance
    Oct. 23, 2007 4:44 p.m.

    It doesn't matter what the evidence is, there will always be people who believe in the Book of Mormom and the LDS Church. It's a little thing called cognitive dissonance.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 23, 2007 4:51 p.m.

    It's hard to believe that there are STILL people who literally believe that an obviously angered god decided to kill all the mothers, their babies, puppies and kittens of the world in "The Great Flood." Come on people ... haven't you ever heard of symbolism and metaphor?

  • Michael
    Oct. 23, 2007 4:52 p.m.

    Can someone tell me why they are comparing Latin American DNA with Jewish. From my reading of the book of mormonn, Lehi was of the house of Manasseh and Ishmael from Ephraim. Both descended from joseph, not Judah. Why should we expect the same miotochondrial DNA if they had different ancestral mothers?

  • Craig
    Oct. 23, 2007 5:02 p.m.

    IF the Book of Mormon was simply the creation of a 23 year old farm boy then there would be many other 23 year old guys that would be able to write a similar book...where are they? In fact, IF the Book of Mormon were simply the rantings of a 23 year old farm boy it would make for a poor sunday school cirriculum...yet it is studied every fourth year in the LDS sunday school my millions. IF the Book of Mormon were simply a creation from the imagination of a young yankee farm boy it would not have the depth or complexity to be studied at the college level. Most importantly, IF the Book of Mormon were just the work of man it would not have the power to manifest the Holy Ghost to one that seeks to know of its divinity with a pure heart and with real intent. I know the Book of Mormon is true without a doubt because of a spiritual witness that was far more than "warm fuzzies" or an emotional experience, FAR MORE!!!

  • Scotty
    Oct. 23, 2007 5:14 p.m.

    How does DNA explain the sometimes striking European/Hebrew facial features of many North American Indian tribes, such as the Sioux, Crow, Cherokee, and Iroqua? These Indian tribe members do not look Asian at all, as compared to the Alaskan Eskimos. Many of the Sioux tribes were referred to as Teutonic Sioux by early settlers, because of their Germanic features. Judge for yourself. Look at the early photographs of the various Indian tribes.

  • FreeAtLast
    Oct. 23, 2007 5:16 p.m.

    Earlier this year, I e-mailed the anthropology departments of 15 major universities (starting with Syracuse Univ., which is just 70 miles east of Palmyra, NY) that have researchers who specialize in ancient American cultures to inquire if there is ANY evidence (archeological, genetic, linguistic, etc.) that supports what's described in The Book of Mormon and the foundational claim of the LDS Church regarding it (i.e., that the BoM is a history of ancient peoples in the Americas, and the Lamanites were the principal ancestors of Native Americans). All the departments' responses indicated the same thing: There is no evidence supporting The Book of Mormon.

    I also asked if there is ANY evidence of 230,000+ fair-skinned people (Nephites) who were killed in 385 A.D. in the vicinity of the Hill Cumorah near Palmyra, NY (where the LDS Church portrays the slaughter, as described in Mormon chapter 6, theatrically during its pageant). I was informed there is none.

    If The Book of Mormon was true, there would be genetic, archeological, linguistic, and other types of evidence supporting it. Unfortunately for Latter-day Saints, there is none. No thinking person can avoid these facts, or the conclusion that the BoM is not historical.

  • amazed
    Oct. 23, 2007 5:20 p.m.

    All you folks that keep pointing to the 60 minutes special, need to drop it. That show was about do-it-yourself kits. It had nothing to do with DNA migration studies like the Genographic Project being done by National Geographic.

    Also the lost tribes argument holds no water either. All the tribes descended from Jacob, and all his wives were sisters. All the DNA would match. Plus Asians existed before Jacob so that's not where they came from.

  • Hey, nay sayers
    Oct. 23, 2007 5:22 p.m.

    If Joseph Smith "wrote" the BOM by his own intelligence, then why cant you or your dispersion casting minions write one too? I mean you've only had since 1830 to duplicate Joseph Smith's work, whats taking you so long?

  • What?
    Oct. 23, 2007 5:26 p.m.

    "Faith vs. Science rebuttal" supports his faith with facts, such as "Christ's empty tomb, the star in the sky that appeared at His birth, Christ's miracles, ect." Mr. or Ms. rebuttal, are you really a Mormon believer trying to make a point using irony? What other "facts" support your faith? Do a few archeological remnants validate ALL of the stories of the Bible? What evidence PROVES the truthfulness of Christianity? It too has to be taken on faith.

  • ;-)
    Oct. 23, 2007 5:27 p.m.

    I agree with Scotty | 5:14 p.m.

    I mean, what idiot said the sun is the center of the galaxy? Just look and you can SEE that the sun swings around the earth!

    And what imbecile said that germs cause disease? It is obvious by looking at their eyes that sick people are possessed by demons!

    Scotty, step slowly away from the computer and put the keyboard down...

  • A Knower not a Believer
    Oct. 23, 2007 5:27 p.m.

    I forced myself to read all the comments coming from those of you who desperately want to believe in a book that you know cannot hold up to scientific scrutiny. I have heard, and at one time believed them all. If you want to believe in the Book of Mormon and its origins, according to Joseph Smith, then go ahead. Just do so with the knowledge that most of the world sees the book for what it is: a marvelous work of fiction.

  • Peer Review?
    Oct. 23, 2007 5:28 p.m.

    This is not science. Nothing has been peer reviewed; not Murphy's work, not Southerton's work, and certainly not Gardner's work.

    Thus this "news" article does not report on science, it reports some crack-pot conculsions of a bunch of people who have no idea what they are talking about.

    If the DMN is interested in some of my crack-pot conclusions, just let me know. I'd love a little press.

  • dissonance
    Oct. 23, 2007 5:28 p.m.

    Yep don't confuse me with the facts my mind is made up. If they discovered the golden tablet today and found they were written in ebonics and DNA showed we all came from one of Joseph's 49 wives, we would believe it anyway just as the BOM has been correctly tranlated and edited 200 time to be true and your not going to change us.

  • Clark Larsen
    Oct. 23, 2007 5:30 p.m.

    I find this conversation so hilarious I don't even know where to begin.

    First of all, has Simonerton or Murphy ever said that their evidence is air tight, irrefuttable and that no future science will ever alter their findings in any way? I don't believe either of them have said that, but it sure sounds like those who follow their works are saying just that, again and again.

    Second, don't Born-Again Christains believe that the Holy Spirit can manifest truth to them? I recently read where a critic of the Bible has called into question the writings of Bible Apologist Josh McDowell. In response, a Bible beliving Christian responded that she still believed in the Bible because of the "Holy Spirit" telling her it's true. Hmmmmm. So if a Christian feels strongly about the Bible it's the Holy Spirit working. If a Latter-Day Saint feels strongly about the Book of Mormon, it's dismissed by the same Christian as onl;y a "warm fuzzy."

    Finally, if the evidence against the Book of Mormon is so irrefuttable and air tight, why does the word "racist" have to be emphasized again and again by critics. Wouldn't the science be able to stand all alone?

  • Hey Henry Drummond
    Oct. 23, 2007 5:33 p.m.

    What are you talking about? There is no reference to Cyrus the great in the book of Mormon. You are thinking of the Old Testament.

  • DNA trumps photographs
    Oct. 23, 2007 5:35 p.m.

    Scotty,

    I trust that you are sincere in your remarks, but I would put more stock in comparing the ATCG's of the genetic code in tracing relationship to the subjective comparisons of photographs. Distinctive changes can occur through restricted breeding. Look at the variety of dog breeds that developed in less than a century.

  • There are plenty
    Oct. 23, 2007 5:37 p.m.

    of 23 year old talented writers (and they also have editors) I "feel" much truth too..., but not much literal truth. It's time to face reality people!

  • Moessers
    Oct. 23, 2007 5:39 p.m.

    To Challenge:

    Are you serious!? The world both now and in the past is filled with brilliant writers who could easily pen anything comparable or even better to a single chapter! In fact, even a whole book. Your challenge is ridiculous.

  • That's Right
    Oct. 23, 2007 5:42 p.m.

    Read the introduction? Yes, the introduction states that "the Lamanites were the principal ancestors of the American Indians". Let me reiterate...."PRINCIPAL ancestors of the American Indians". The key word here, principal, points to the fact that they were not the ONLY ancestors to the American Indians. Someone supposedly uninspired and making it up would reasonably have said simply that the Lamanites were the ancestors of the American Indians. Further, Jews today have many different ancestors, yet they are still referred to as and considered Jews and of Jewish descent, even when a possible DNA mapping shows otherwise.

  • Listen
    Oct. 23, 2007 5:42 p.m.

    Joe: Indians come from Jews.
    Scientist: DNA says they come from Asia.
    Joe: SOME of the Indians come from Jews.
    Scientist: Do you have proof of that?
    Joe: The BoM says their DNA was altered because they were righteous. They turned white.
    Scientist: Is black skin evil, then?
    Joe: Not anymore. The Mormon people were at fault because they forced their leaders not to give Priesthood to blacks.
    Scientist: How do you know the BoM is reliable?
    Joe: The Spirit tells me in my heart and in my mind.
    Scientist: How do you know that is the Spirit and not your own thoughts, feelings, and wishful thinking?
    Joe: I just know. Have you ever tasted salt?
    Scientist: Yes.
    Joe: Come be baptized and you can work for FARMS.

  • Things that make you go hmmm
    Oct. 23, 2007 5:43 p.m.

    How could the Jaradites have left the middle-east at the time of the Tower of Babel, when the Tower of Babel never existed?

    Things that make you go hmmm.

  • Victor O Bonberger
    Oct. 23, 2007 5:44 p.m.

    Brant Gardner is a good guy, but is the wrong person to be representing a point of view on this topic, even though he is probably correct. There are actual credentialed LDS human DNA experts who have already spoken on this topic on Gardner's side of the issue.

    To those who are calling Murphy and Southerton's work and conclusions "science" and "facts", I disagree.

    In my profession I work with scientists. My role is to make sure they set up their studies properly in order to effectively test their hypotheses. Murphy and Southerton fail to do this.

    DNA matching requires, obviously, two or more samples to compare. Conclusions must be limited to the source of the samples (time, place, etc.) and not go beyond. For a BoM test, you would require a representative sample at 600 BC of all potential populations in the Middle East, plus a sample from the (probably) Asian Steppes at around 2000 BC and compare those to native american samples from the same period (mtDNA and Y chromosome both).

    Until we can do this, the argument is meaningless.

  • And the results...
    Oct. 23, 2007 5:48 p.m.

    At the end of the day there are still over 13 million members of a church that is expanding over the entire earth, as prophesied, that has a mix of devote and casual members. Some quite confident and some quite confused. However, growing rapidly and surviving every criticism and test with impressive results.

    Additionally, there are over 6 billion earthly inhabitants that are mostly made up of good people with a vast aray of beliefs and traditions. Some quite confident and some quite confused.

    Many will have the story of the book brought to them and many will accept while many will not. Likely, 10, 20 and 30 years from now the membership will expand to impressive numbers.

    A most critical scientific truth, within 70 years most if not all of the authors today will know the truth. Until then, it will likely be a matter of faith for science likely cannot prove or disprove the matter.

    It is either a great hoax that teaches people sound doctrine of hope, love and service which directs them in positive paths (so, not a bad worse case scenario) or it is a GREAT truth that provides a blueprint for eternal exaltation. CUin70yrs2continuethisdebate...

  • anon.
    Oct. 23, 2007 5:50 p.m.

    "The text is silent about others and the current Prophet along with every Prophet since Joseph Smith have identified ALL native American, North and South America as descendents of the Lamanites."

    Johnny: Please cite your reference for Pres. Hinckley, Hunter, Benson, etc. where each of them states what you claim above. Also, please state which definition of "lamanite" you are using to base your claim (the one in Jacob 1 or the one in 4 Nephi).

    There is nothing incongruent about the BOM introduction (which is NOT scripture, btw) stating that "[Lamanites] are the principal ancestors of the American Indians" under the 4 Ne. definition of "Lamanite", i.e., everyone who did/does not belong to the Church of Christ set up in 3 Ne 11-18. In fact, unless you hold to the precept that 1) the LDS Church is a restored version of the Church of Christ and 2) you belong to it, then everyone who doesn't fall in that category would be a "Lamanite" under the 4 Ne. definition, regardless of skin color.

  • DNA (Just one reason)
    Oct. 23, 2007 6:08 p.m.

    Kinderhook Plates, Blood Atonement, Masonry, Adam God theory, DNA, Polygamy (that is still practiced albeit in the "celestial kingdom," 9 different versions of the first vision, Joseph Smith and Glass Looking, Teachings of Man lived on moon in pat. blessings, editing of the book of commandments to D of C, revisions of the church history, JS smoking a cigar after a sermon on word of wisdom. It goes on and on and on.
    Wake up.
    Research any of this (use all of the church teachings if you like....it is all there)
    Type any of these in the internet and only read church documents...you will be surprised that this is all part of the history of the mormons.

    Stop living the guilt from Bishops and neighbors and live a life of choice.
    There is no free agency in the church. People say that there is, but there isnt. You HAVE to follow the leader or you wont make it in the eternal kingdom. That is ridiculous.

  • Hey Blueberry!!!!!
    Oct. 23, 2007 6:12 p.m.

    Hey blueberry or any other LDS member who believes the BOM to be true. I am being completely sincere when I ask this. As an ex-missionary who defended the church, who lived the gospel to the fullest, who through blood sweat and tears, gave two long years of my life plus a good chunk of my life to the cause, how come I never received the answer that it was true? If anyone deserved the answer it was me. How come you or many others were able to receive this confirmation, yet I could not? Trust me, I was worthy, I poured my soul out in prayer and earnestly opened my heart. Nothing! Why?

  • Laughing Out Loud
    Oct. 23, 2007 6:13 p.m.

    To Listen | 5:42 p.m.

    Dude, you rock! That is the funniest thing I have ever read!

  • Ever Notice
    Oct. 23, 2007 6:25 p.m.

    That those who scoff at the challenge to duplicate Joseph Smith's work always say that there are plenty of talented 25 year old writers, but they never give evidence of a similar book as the Book of Mormon that has been created or written. Why not? Also, notice that the scoffers never will attempt to demonstrate themselves or show just how Joseph Smith did what he did. I know the Book of Mormon is true because the Holy Ghost bore powerful witness of it too me when I was reading it one afternoon in 1988. All the theories regarding how Joseph Smith produced the Book of Mormon seem rather pitiful once you actually know the truth. How did Joseph Smith create the Doctrine and Covenants, did he plagerize that document too from some unknown source? The real proof of the Book of Mormon is not from DNA, or external evidences at all, its from the withness of the Holy Ghost. I have had that witness given to me in a profound and convincing experience. I can not deny what I know, even though I cant prove it to others. One day all will know the truth.

  • Completely sincere...
    Oct. 23, 2007 6:36 p.m.

    In repsonse to your inquiry to Blueberry. I believe we each experience and endure specific tests and trials to allow us to achieve our potential. Some tragically lose loved ones as I did my little girl (and struggled with why?). Some are striken with life altering disease. Others have survived all manner of abuse.

    My personal believe is that you were handling your test impressively. You became discouraged and stopped short. I truly don't know how I would have handled the same test. The doctrine teaches to endure to the end. Resentment is a repellent to happiness and can destroy so no matter what else you do find a way to overcome what appears to be a large dose of it. Sincerely. We have to be careful what we claim we DESERVE. Forgiveness from our Savior is among the safe list.

  • Steve
    Oct. 23, 2007 6:40 p.m.

    Ever Notice 6:25:

    Truer words were never spoken. All of those who scoff never bother to produce their own "version" of a "Book of Mormon". Indeed, they, along with all other anti-Mormons, follow Hugh Nibley's rule of using rhetoric in place of evidence and never bother to do us Mormons the invaulable service of proving that it - writing the BOM that is - could be done. And what they fail to realize is 1) Joseph Smith had a third grade education, he enjoyed no formal training or schooling 2) Joseph simply dictated, he never refered to notes, he never went back or asked where he last left off, he only dictated (by memory if you do not believe his own testimony and the testimony of 11 other witnesses) a 500+ word document in three-four months. Now that is impressive! If Joseph Smith was just a good author, then he is the greatest author who ever lived and deserves posthumously the Nobel Prize in liturature. But the fact is that he was not "just a good author" he was exactly what he said he was. A Prophet of God comissioned to translate a true witness of Jesus Christ.

  • Hey, "Ever notice "
    Oct. 23, 2007 6:44 p.m.

    Have you read many books other than church books? I have. I have too many examples to name in front of me of great book writers of fiction (some young of age.
    Just because someone has a good imagination and a belief doesn't make him/or her a prophet.
    There is also such a thing as mental illness and there are many examples of that too.

  • ZZZZZZZZ
    Oct. 23, 2007 6:50 p.m.

    To DNA (Just one reason) - To all of the things you addressed, my response is, "Been there, done that."

    You can continue to repackage, retool, reshuffle and rearrange all the old, tired arguments against the LDS Church as much as you would like, but no matter what, they're still tired and old arguments.

    Christians on this post having been telling Latter-Day Saints, again and again to "Wake Up." My response is, wake up to what? To the true form of Christianity? What then is true Christianity? Is it the Christianity that supports gay and lesbian clergy, or the type that does not? Is it the true Christianity which teaches the "Word Faith" doctrine, or the type that does not? Is it the true Christianity which accepts the Catholic Church, or the type that does not? Is it the true Christianity which follows people like Benny Hinn, Bob Larson, Paul Crouch and Pat Robertson, or the type that does not?

    You want to know why some Christian ministries spend most of their time and resources attacking the LDS Church? Well, if a church can't even agree among itself what true doctrines to follow, then of course it will attack others.

  • Steve
    Oct. 23, 2007 6:50 p.m.

    RE: comments by 'Hey, "Ever notice"'

    Remember how I just wrote - quoting the ever classic Hugh Nibley, of course - that thing about critics using rhetoric in place of evidence? I rest my case.

  • RE: Completely Sincere
    Oct. 23, 2007 6:55 p.m.

    I am sorry to hear of your struggles and respect your opinion. However, why would I endure to the end in something that wasn't manifested or confirmed to me? I struggled with this from being a sophomore in high school, through my mission and up to a couple years after. I put Moroni's promise to the test and it failed. Since leaving the church, I have never been happier! I have no ill will towards the members as they are some of my favorite people out there. The world is a better place because of Mormonism! I just feel like everyone has a different path that suits them best. I like hearing what active members have to say because there is always a similar tone behind their answer. No hard feelings, but there are many other truths out there. Warmest regards!

  • Hey 6:44
    Oct. 23, 2007 6:57 p.m.

    Talks cheap, why not give examples of all these "great book writers?" If what you assert is true than you have been caught by your own snare...indeed, if the only criteria for being a prophet is a good imagination and mental illness than we should be swimming in a sea of Book of Mormon type books by now? The Book of Mormon stands alone in what it claims to be and how it claims it was produced. All your other fiction writers are just that, fiction writers by their own admission. Give me a break already.

  • Moroni's Promise
    Oct. 23, 2007 6:57 p.m.

    I guess he is judging you that you didn't deserve an answer. I think we all deserve an answer to gospel questions.
    It's okay though, I went through a similar experience: Lived the gospel fully, served a honourable mission, and followed Moroni's PROMISE,I prayed and prayed and never recieved an answer that the LDS church was true, but I did recieve warm feelings in my heart that the LDS church is NOT true. But I don't need a subjective emotional feeling to tell me what is true an what is not when there is overwhelming evidence against the church. So it comes down to either relying on your warm fuzzy feeling or relying on facts & evidence. My new church doesn't tell me "don't rely on facts". The LDS church would publish any evidence to sustain their beliefs but they don't publish any evidence that goes against the church. When a scientist studies the effect a certain drug has on humans they not only accept the "good" evidence but the "bad".

  • Let me say something
    Oct. 23, 2007 7:06 p.m.

    you are occupied whole post. I want say something. I believe in Jesus Christ i believe In Joseph Smith I believe in Book of Mormon. Period.

  • Warmest regards
    Oct. 23, 2007 7:23 p.m.

    Warmest regards to you as well. A lesson I learned long long ago is that there are many wonderful people and differences shouldn't seperate us or limit us from association. Too often they do. Or from enjoying each others strengths and uniqueness. Good luck to you.

  • Thomas
    Oct. 23, 2007 7:24 p.m.

    There have been several comments above suggesting that since God cursed the Lamanites by darkening their skins, it should be expected that their DNA no longer would reflect their Hebrew ancestry.

    The problem with that argument is that if you read Fourth Nephi, you'll notice that the "Lamanites" who were around at the end at the Book of Mormon were not all "ethnic" Lamanites -- that is, descendants of the dark-skinned peoples who had been cursed hundreds of years earlier. In Fourth Nephi, the people who survived God's slaughter of the wicked at the time of Christ's death all become one people -- there were not "any manner of -ites."

    Later, some people dissented from the church and took the name "Lamanites." It appears to have been a cross-section of the people who apostasized, not just true descendants of the original "cursed" population. It would be unlikely that these "neo-Lamanites" wouldn't have carried some Nephite genes.

    As some have pointed out, Lehi descended from a different tribe than modern Jews. However, they both descend from Jacob. Their descendants therefore *should* have genes reflecting a common ancestor in the Middle East in approximately 2000 B.C.

  • Ill tell ya
    Oct. 23, 2007 7:33 p.m.

    Moroni's promise worked for me. I dont know why, I didn't ask for it or even expect it. I didn't pray before I read the Book of Mormon. I didn't feel any peer pressure to know if the Book of Mormon was true. I was the only active member in my family at the time. I didn't feel I desperatley needed to have a testimony. Without any preconceived concience desire my testimony was given to me suddenly after some sincere repentance and having a desire to learn about the church and read the scriptures. The Holy Ghost flowed into my soul and rushed around me for about 15 seconds or so...it was as a rushing wind that carried with it such unspeakable joy that I cant find words to really describe it. I hope others on this thread that have been frustrated by their attempts to seek answers to their questions about the Book of Mormon will find the strength to continue to seek, ask, knock, and strive for answers.

  • Just Me
    Oct. 23, 2007 7:36 p.m.

    I know the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ. I know that God the Father and Jesus Christ came to Joseph Smith and the world of that young man, and my life would be forever changed because of it. I know that Gordon B. Hinkley is a Prophet of God. I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ live and I know that reading the Book of Mormon has brought me closer to God than I ever could have imagined.
    We are loved by a kind and loving Father, and that is all that matters. Science, money, the bills waiting to be paid and everything else only matter here, and while I am here, I will remember why I'm here and who it is I turn to when things are great and when things are bad, because without Him, there would be no reason to be here.

  • it may be true
    Oct. 23, 2007 7:51 p.m.

    but how about you! only the true creator knows as he is given us drought, famine and now pestilene of argueing amongst each other...practice love because in the end only kindness matters..I'll see ya when ya get there!

  • Evidence
    Oct. 23, 2007 8:08 p.m.

    I think with the lack of both DNA and archealogical evidence.... The Book of Mormon is fiction. I think most "experts" and "scientists" would agree.

  • Mark
    Oct. 23, 2007 8:20 p.m.

    I find this whole debate laughable. How can someone's entire spiritual life hinge on something like a DNA analysis of American Indian tribes? Why must the BofM or any other holy book have to provide accurate historical facts to be accepted as a source of spiritual knowledge? I mean, if our best scientific research disproves entire chunks of holy writ, then throw them out for goodness sake (since they're inaccurate). And keep the good stuff that actually has something remotely to do with spirituality. It's not like the BofM is the Final Word of God's canon.

  • Thomas
    Oct. 23, 2007 8:36 p.m.

    Moroni 10:3-5 hasn't worked for me after 25 years, one mission, and a dozen-plus readings of the Book of Mormon. I'm still open to the possibility that God might provide some kind of undeniable spiritual conviction of its truth -- but if you do the same thing enough times, a sane man starts expecting the same result.

    DNA evidence doesn't conclusively disprove the Book of Mormon, but -- overall -- I do think it has to be counted in the "evidence against" column. I judge that it would be more likely than not for a large Semitic population in the Americas to have left a recognizable genetic signature. The ingenious alternative explanations offered by Gardner and his colleagues are theoretically possible (just as OJ Simpson's high-priced lawyers thought up alternative explanations for the evidence that obviously pointed to his guilt), but less likely.

    Could Joseph Smith have written the Book of Mormon? I don't know. Writing the Book of Mormon unassisted would have been an astonishing achievement. Those are rare, but not impossible. Parts of the book are profoundly moving. Other parts strike me as melodramatic and boyish.

    I hope it's true, but I can't honestly say I'm convinced.

  • DNA is their God.
    Oct. 23, 2007 8:47 p.m.

    20 And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription?
    21 They say unto him, DNA. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto the Experts the things which are DNA; and unto God the things that are Gods.

  • My witness
    Oct. 23, 2007 9:05 p.m.

    Moroni's promise worked for me. I experienced a stupor of thought and now know the Book of Mormon is not a true witness of Christ. No logical arguments or DNA "proof" can shake my testimony. I now know that no matter what scientific evidence for the veracity of the Book of Mormon may appear, it will not affect the untruthfulness of this book.

  • unique book
    Oct. 23, 2007 9:14 p.m.

    I'm a Mormon who wants to be believing and build up the positive things of the church, even though I recognize that our beliefs are sometimes problematic.

    There may not be a person alive who can match a Shakespeare play, a Jane Austen novel, or the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon is a unique and fascinating work, but it's uniqueness and beauty don't prove it's historical authenticity.


  • Cognitive Dissonance
    Oct. 23, 2007 9:19 p.m.

    To all those who keep claiming that the Book of Mormon has to be true because there is no way Joseph Smith could have written it himself, does that mean that the Koran is true? Does that mean that Muhammad was a true prophet of God (or Allah)?

    He was just as uneducated, if not more so, and the Koran is arguably the most beautifully written book in Arabic.

  • Get Honest
    Oct. 23, 2007 9:56 p.m.

    Thomas:
    Thank you for responding to the posts you mentioned. Though your post was well said, I am not really connecting with it(yet). Are you saying that according to 4th Nephi, those who revolted against the church and called themselves Lamanites, eventually separating themselves completely, were never subsequently "cursed" with a darkened skin, but remained racially hebrew? I am not arguing a point, I am really asking you. What you said did not seem consistent. At this point, I am still with those who state that rebellion meant a racial change that altered DNA. Therefore, all debates on this topic are without basis.(pro or con).

  • Reality
    Oct. 23, 2007 10:12 p.m.

    The Desert News must not accept the existance of the three Nephites as they keep censoring the suggestion to use a sample of their DNA to prove the orgin of the Book of Mormon People. I have witnessed testimonies of people with experience meeting them. Let's be a little more open minded.

  • The only book with a challenge
    Oct. 23, 2007 10:33 p.m.

    There is no promise like Moroni's promise made in any other religious book out there, not even the Bible. It couldn't be more clear...read it, ponder it, ask about it's truthfulness and you'll receive an answer in your heart, BUT WAIT, you have to be sincere. People who ask just to know won't receive an answer. It MUST be sincere! Let me reiterate, pondering the message of the Book of Mormon and its teachings and asking about its truthfulness is the key to receiving an answer. I've seen the change in other peoples lives, and interestingly enough, in the lives of the Lamanites themselves in Central America, those who are in the middle of this debate. Who can refute an answer from the spirit. I read one comment that said that as Mormons only accept science when it's in our favor and throw it out when it's not, well you're incorrect. The answer from the spirit is all we really need man!

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 23, 2007 10:47 p.m.

    I am not a DNA expert therefore I cannot make a comment to support or deny how these tests were performed, what samples were used or how to interprete the conclusions. The only facts I understand about the golden plates or the Book of Mormon is that there are 12 people listed in the front of the Book of Mormon that testified that they held or viewed the plates that Joseph Smith said he obtained and translated. It is my understanding that there were many other witnesses that are not listed in the front of the Book of Mormon as well. Many of these witnesses left the church, but none recanted their testimony that they viewed the plates that Joseph Smith or heavenly messengers allowed them to handle or view. I suppose we should just forget about those that said they witnessed seeing the plates because the DNA evidence doesn't support the scientific conclusions of our day.

  • John Pratt
    Oct. 23, 2007 11:38 p.m.

    The Lamanites are the american Indians. They are not Mongols or Siberians. Look at the church paintings, the Nephites are white and delightsome. Would the Church hang those paintings if they weren't inspired to?

  • Chairman
    Oct. 23, 2007 11:39 p.m.

    "One day science will reach the top of the hill of knowledge and find that religion is already there."

  • kairos
    Oct. 23, 2007 11:54 p.m.

    Many Native American families living in Utah during/after the period of SWK's presidency were convinced by mormon leaders/ mish's that thru LDS placement programs their lamanite children would be educated, brought into the Gospel and have their skin tones(DNA?) lightened as God worked the miracle of transformation both inside and out. Clearly SWK believed sincerely he was doing the Lord's work among the lamanites. SWK spoke in conference on how "white" some children were becoming. Could the PSR be so sadly mistaken on that third part of "God's" program? Put yourself in NA's moccasins-would you feel used/abused, or simply let it be?
    You see, good intentions do NOT always the Lord's work make!
    That program led me and my NA relatives out of Utah and into a more racially tolerant faith tradition.
    How many Mormons today really care and have compassion for the NA lamanites, and how many LDS humanitarian resources go to the tribes as opposed to headline making tsunami victims?
    Worth pondering I would say!

  • PB
    Oct. 24, 2007 12:28 a.m.

    You believe what you want to believe and I will believe what I want to believe. We have the "freedon of choice" thank goodness!! I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I do NOT understand all this scientific stuff but I will believe what I believe. So there!! We are fortunate to have the chance to debate. Right? By the way, There are millions of people who do believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God. Someday, we will know the answers to all the questions we are asking now.

  • some help
    Oct. 24, 2007 12:40 a.m.

    Try reading "a Study of the Book of Mormon" by the most famous and revered Historian of the LDS Church, B.H. Roberts.
    It will take your mind of the DNA issue.

  • iboic
    Oct. 24, 2007 1:25 a.m.

    when you catch your mind wondering and thinking about the book of Mormon. you know its not true no matter how much is hurts face the facts. deep down you know a lie when you hear it. please move on and be free stop misleading yourself and your family. any parent should want better for their children don't let someone keep you in the dark please let yourself be free.

  • Geotopia
    Oct. 24, 2007 1:36 a.m.

    My first reaction to this is "why would there be Hebrew DNA in Native American blood lines?" If we take the Book of Mormon literally, we know that first, the native Americans are NOT Nephites, but are Lamanites. Secondly, we know that the Lamanites skin "became dark". Well, I don't know how even God could achieve that without altering the DNA of the population. Otherwise it would only have lasted one generation.

    But DNA really is a non-issue. To try to apply human science to matters of faith is doomed to dissappointment. Not because we won't ultimately know the truth, but because we will ultimately know the truth. Vis-a-vis, our methods to discern truth through scientific discovery will ulitimately catch up, but until it does, I wouldn't hang my faith on what we might be able to discern today through scientific methods. Even if the science proves the substance of my faith, I wouldn't even discuss it in more than a speculative forum.

  • To "iboic"
    Oct. 24, 2007 2:02 a.m.

    I have no freakin' clue who you are but, wow, are you lost. God told me specifically The Book of Mormon is true, not once but twice, and who are you or anyone else to tell me otherwise? If the science discussed in the story is accurate, someday we'll see how it matches perfectly with truth, no matter the source, yes, even religion. "And we heeded them not"......

  • lovesaltlake
    Oct. 24, 2007 2:08 a.m.

    how come no one has a response to "Hey BlueBerry"...

    ?

    oh well, the response probably would have been something like, "you didnt pray with a pure heart" or something like that...

    pretty sad.

  • To "kairos"
    Oct. 24, 2007 2:17 a.m.

    I was raised in Phoenix, AZ and had relatives that lived in UT. We drove H-89 MANY times north of Flagstaff through the Indian reservations of northern AZ going to UT and back. Never saw a single LDS chapel on the reservations. Later on we moved to UT and I joined the Air Force. I've had 2 assignments at Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson, AZ. So....more driving for me later in my life between southern AZ and northern UT. Probably 7 or 8 years ago I was making one of those trips when just west of H-89, maybe only a hundred yards or so off the road, in the middle of the Indian reservations (I mean the middle of NOWHERE!) and I'll be danged if there wasn't an LDS chapel! Wasn't there before but it's there now. So, the Church will grow among your people, just as prophesied. I'm sorry if you've been offended somehow but, come back. The Lord doesn't need us; we need the Lord. Dan Maloy

  • OK, for "BlueBerry"
    Oct. 24, 2007 2:37 a.m.

    Blueberry - It could be that God is waiting for you to make a move with the light and knowledge you already have. We all (LDS members) read the "formula" for a testimony in Moroni 10: 3-5 but I think some of us forget that the BofM also says in Ether that we "receive NO witness until AFTER the trial of our faith". Why is that? It seems to me that if the Lord told us everything first/shined the light constantly ahead of us and never expected us to venture out into the darkness a little on our own, we would be kind of lazy and constantly more than a little timid. That isn't the kind of beings we're supposed to be. At one time I too prayed to know "if" it was true and didn't feel a danged thing. Only after I realized I already knew it was true (having been raised in a good LDS home) my answer came, and yes, it came. Critics will say I imagined it but that wouldn't be correct. I was there; I know. Hang in there. (BTW, research how Marvin J. Ashton got his testimony. Sound familiar? Good luck!

  • JOHN J
    Oct. 24, 2007 6:01 a.m.

    I didn't deserve to know the truth. I was and am a sinner. The Book of Morman is true. ALL A HUMAN BEING has to do is follow the instructions in the book. Read it and fast and pray and ask with a sincre heart, with a lot of intent and the truth will be known to you. The heavens will be opened on you, there will be no doubt. If all of you would do this you wouldn't be reading, what I'm writing. Love to you all.

  • thought
    Oct. 24, 2007 6:51 a.m.

    Jesus said by this the world will know you are my disciples, that you love one another. Guess the way they love murphy and southerton speaks louder that all the DNA on earth.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 24, 2007 6:57 a.m.

    You guys do know that the curse was not dark skin but it was being cut-off from God right. The skin was just a symbol of the curse.

  • Angry Asian
    Oct. 24, 2007 7:34 a.m.

    Let me get this straight...God changed the pure Hebrew DNA to Asian DNA as a curse to the Lamanites? How offensive is that statement to 2/3 of the world's population?

  • Iluminar
    Oct. 24, 2007 7:33 a.m.

    This article talks about TWO scientists who have apparently "proved" through DNA studies, the fact that the Book of Momon cannot be true.

    Do you know how many scientists have written articles that "prove" Jesus Christ never existed?
    Just do a Google search and you will find MANY, not just two, such "studies".

    Should Christianity, which these experts quoted here probably believe in, fade away because of the studies of these other "experts"?

  • Changed Hebrew DNA to Asian?
    Oct. 24, 2007 7:39 a.m.

    This argument about Lamanite's DNA changing from their Hebrew origins begs one question:

    If God changed the Lamanite DNA so that skin color would change, why would He change it to Asian ancestry? Or to rephrase, God was punishing the Lamanites... giving them a sign that they were no longer God's people. So why give them Asian DNA? What was He trying to say? That Asians were NEVER God's people, so why not lump the Lamanites in with them? That Asians are already "punished"? That He isn't powerful, wise, or consistent enough to realize the Lamanites should be for their own sins, and therefore curse them with their OWN "curse"?

    NONE of that makes any sense.

    There may be an explanation for why Native Americans don't have Hebrew DNA that still supports the Book of Mormon, but it isn't because God changed their DNA... to ASIAN DNA.

  • Forester
    Oct. 24, 2007 8:02 a.m.

    I was surprised that the first statement in this blog was that the title page of the Book of Mormon stated the Book of Mormon people were the ancestors of the American Indian. There is no such statement on the title page. Were you thinking of something else?

  • Faith
    Oct. 24, 2007 8:06 a.m.

    If the historical accuracy of any scripture or ancient text were easily proven through scientific methods, no person of any religion would have the need to exercise faith. What's wrong with having a little faith? I, for one, am not so arrogant as to assume that the human race is capable of systematically unraveling the mysteries of God.

    Proverbs 3:5-6

    5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
    6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

  • DMN: Thanks for making my point
    Oct. 24, 2007 8:09 a.m.

    What I would really like to know is why opinions or studies that produce evidence contrary to church "doctrine" are so feared by church leadership, as evidenced by the excommunication of Southerton and threats of discipline to Murphy.

    For anyone interested, I once read a book called "Christ in North America" by Delbert W. Curtis, which presents a strong argument that the geographic features described in the Book of Mormon more accurately reflect the geography of the area Joseph Smith was familiar with (i.e. the Northeastern U.S.). This book actually presents a stronger argument for the validity of the Book of Mormon than anything I've ever read or heard from church leadership. However, when first published this book was met with harsh criticism and threats of discipline to the author due to ideas contrary to what had been taught by church leaders.

    Let's face it, facts get in the way of a good story. Censorship, selective fact presentation and revisionist history are key to building and maintaining the kingdom.

  • Frozen Chosen
    Oct. 24, 2007 8:11 a.m.

    What about Nahom? Just a lucky guess by Joseph Smith, I suppose. And the Land of Bountiful? All early 18th century New England farm boys knew about that swath of green on the Arabian peninsula, you betcha!

  • hmmm
    Oct. 24, 2007 8:14 a.m.

    1. The Book of Mormon states in several places that God would "cause [the Lamanites] to be counfounded." One definition of confounded is, "to fail to discern differences between : mix up b: to increase the confusion of." (Merriam-Webster, online).
    2. As a scientist, the only way that skin color can change and be passed from generation to generation is through an alteration of DNA.

    The differences in DNA, according to the Book of Mormon, are very much expected.

  • Steve
    Oct. 24, 2007 8:18 a.m.

    to Cognitive Dissonance: regarding your statement about Muhammad and the Koran. Though I haven't read the Koran, I have heard many times that it is a beautifully written book. But this doesn't make Muhammad the same or even comparable to Joseph Smith. Joseph declared, as a "Prophet of God", that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the World and devoted his life to defending the Savior's divinity. This is what Prophets are called to do. Muhammad did not declare Jesus as the Savior of the World. Yet people are so quick to say the term "Prophet Muhammad", but refer to Joesph as "so-called self-described Prophet" Ask yourself what a prophet is supposed to do?

  • And who else testifies?
    Oct. 24, 2007 8:28 a.m.

    Many people around the world (billions to be exact) testify to something. One church with members equivlilent to the numbers in New York is only one of them. The world is full of much diversity.

  • metamoracoug
    Oct. 24, 2007 8:46 a.m.

    I have appreciated this wonderful discussion. It helped me hone my thoughts on this matter. First, I beg to differ with any who suggest that there is increasingly more evidence against the BOM's historical context.

    In 1829, when the BOM was published, nothing of the great central American civilizations was known among English-speaking people. The Spanish had this information available, but it had been conveniently tucked away to be forgotten. So, when Joe Smith produces a book stating that Native Americans had written language, governemnt, knowledge of astronomy, organized calenders, and tactical warfare, he was really putting himself out on a limb.

    It was not until 1842, with the publication of drawings of central American structures, that these civilizations truly began to come to light. It was still several decades before scholars suggested that the art decorating so many structures was written language. Scholars determined that the Maya had two calendars. The BOM indicates that the Nephites kept track of time from when Lehi left Jerusalem and from the time of the sign of Christ's birth. The maya had prophet/kings not unlike those suggested in Mosiah.

  • Proven?
    Oct. 24, 2007 8:58 a.m.

    The DNA evidence is subject to interpretation by fallible men on both sides. I don't care how much education a scientist has. He can still make mistakes. For example how many times in the last 30-40 years have we been told conflicting stuff about what's 'good' or 'bad' for you to eat?
    Big bang theory.
    DNA is not w/o it's 'change of tide' events. For those who crow DNA proves the BOM is false and if you're a Inerrant Bible Christian...What does the accepted DNA theory say about human origins? Hello monkey man!
    To the person that called all those University Scientists asking if there was proof that the BOM was true...If you're an IBC-Ask them if the flood has been proven!The creation of the earth in six days!The Garden Of Eden!The Exodus!Where's all the horses, chariots, Egyptian soldiers at the bottom of the Re(e)d Sea? Hebrew slaves in Egypt!Abraham, Isaac, Jacob!, etc-If you do happen find one... Published? Peer reviewed?
    I'm aware of "believer scientists" giving contrary views 'proving' it all, but the scientists that aren't believe don't agree.
    Proven? Valid argument. Actual Lehite DNA? Mulekite? Jaredite?
    Migration(s) - Chinese( Geez, They found Asian DNA. Suprised! Not!), Vikings, etc.

  • metamoracoug
    Oct. 24, 2007 9:10 a.m.

    Of course, none of the evidence I see, historically or archaeologically, has anything to do with DNA. This subject is extremely complex. Yet, we have boiled it down to a simple yes or no.

    We have undisputable evidence that Norwegians arrived in Newfoundland by 1000 A.D. Like everywhere else the Norsemen went, I'm confident they mingled with the natives. Yet, any genetic trace of their existence is erased. So it was for the Nephites. They were, no doubt, the purest genetic strain of the original colonizers. The BOM states they were always the minority peoples. Moroni records that strain was exterminated, save a few only, whose genetic signature -- like the Norse -- was lost.

    The thing that concerns me most in this discussion is the Biblical problem. God made it clear in the Old Testament that if Israel didn't repent, He'd scatter them throughout every nation and people -- over the face of the earth. If there are none of Israelitish heritage in the New World, it not only brings into question the truthfulness of the BOM, but also the veracity of the Bible. God didn't keep his word? He's a liar? I think not.

  • Get Honest
    Oct. 24, 2007 9:13 a.m.

    To Hmnnn:
    Would you please expound on what you said? It sounded interesting.
    To the offended Asians: These issues have to be explored fully or the truth cannot be discovered. And, of course, one must be objective. Highly emotional reactions may be very entertaining and attention getting but they don't get us facts.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 24, 2007 9:24 a.m.

    If I live to be a hundred, I will never understand why there are those who insist of thinking externally rather than take the inward journey to really become enlightened. Good things must always be "out there somewhere" to these types.

  • Markus G
    Oct. 24, 2007 9:35 a.m.

    Unbelievable ... The DNA argument is the new Salamander Letter..... First of all - if you believe in Diety - Mormon - Allah - Baptist - whatever - then you would accept the fact that Faith is what matters. God will not allow science to prove or disprove his existence - for if that were to happen - then there would be no faith..there would be knowledge. The science of DNA is so new.. so let me see if I get this straight. The issue focuses on DNA from the mother that is passed down on and on and on.,..so let me ask -- why don't we all have the exact same chromosome from Eve?

  • 200 words is not enough
    Oct. 24, 2007 9:47 a.m.

    The reason I think the Lord, the prophets, apostles don't want members relying on science as "proof" is that it's not conversion! The members that have a testimony...Yes I said a testimony - Aren't shaken by anything including DNA 'proof'. Science such as DNA is still in it's infancy compared to other sciences. Have they mapped the human genome yet? Everyone's? They just backed off how much chimps and humans share by quite a bit of DNA. If you'd asked a scientist how close monkeys and humans were related then...They'd would've said with confidence... we share about 95% DNA. Not now!
    Science in many disciplines is largely a work in progress. The Jews proselyted(See Matthew 23:15).
    Were the proselytes 'Jews'? How much DNA that wasn't 'Jewish' get mixed into the 'Jewish genome'? There's no record that records it! You weren't there to observe it! So how can you or anyone know for sure the true 'Jewish genome'. Same with the
    Lamanite genome! I have an Irish surname. I also have many other nation's blood in my veins. If you couldn't find my Irish markers in my DNA. Am I Irish or not? I'm Irish, Danish, French, etc.
    DNA argument, stupid!

  • Michaelangelo
    Oct. 24, 2007 9:56 a.m.

    There are thousands of people (generally LDS offshoots who likewise believe in the Book of Mormon) who have taken Moroni's challenge and have been "inspired" that Warren Jeffs (or some other nut) is the prophet they should be following.

    Discounting all scientific or tangible evidence (as many in this discussion have advocated) and basing ones beliefs on warm feelings only is not only stupid, it could be dangerous.

  • Rambis
    Oct. 24, 2007 10:01 a.m.

    Why are there Mesoamerican drawings of battles between light and dark skinned people?

    Why are there Mesoamerican drawings of people with large beards, when modern Central Americans don't really grow beards?

    Why are there artifacts and drawings of horses, when scholars said there were no horses in Mesoamerica?

    Why did the Central Americans believe that the Spanish Conquistadors were the fullfillment of the Great White God's promise to return?

    Why are there stories passed down through generations among some Central Americans that their ancestors came across the ocean in boats?

    Why have there been defensive earthworks been found, as described by the BofM (do a search for defensive earthworks of Tikal)?

    Why is chiasmus so prevalent in the BofM, when it wasn't even really understood at the time of its translation?

    Oh, because it's not true, and there is no archaeological evidence.

  • Mr. Mr.
    Oct. 24, 2007 10:13 a.m.

    Why does Rambis provide a list of nonsense questions invented by those threatened by evidence that doesn't square with the stories of the B of M?

    Nice try.

  • Book of Mormon
    Oct. 24, 2007 10:14 a.m.

    The Bible and the Book of Mormon is the word of God, simply put. You have two choices, either you follow what God has said in the scriptures or you go against what he has said.

  • philosoph
    Oct. 24, 2007 10:26 a.m.

    Any of you who know anything about philosophy of science would know that's it's categorically impossible to prove the negative. So refuting the Book of Mormon as not true, and everyone who believes it's knowledge as made-up, just because of the "lack of evidence" (either physical or spiritual) doesn't make philosophical sense.

    Has it ever occurred to anyone that God doesn't want there to be physical evidence? If he created the Earth, surely he's capable of hiding any evidence that might pop up and confounding people so they wouldn't figure it out. Why? Because he doesn't need scientists to prove to people that it's true so that he can gain followers. He's capable of gaining followers his own way.

    There may be no evidence, but you can still never prove it didn't happen. Don't think there's a God? Well, you can't prove that either.

    Philosophically, the MOST you can say is that it's unprovable by science EITHER WAY.

  • Scientist
    Oct. 24, 2007 10:31 a.m.

    I have read the article on Southern's web site. It is apparent that he was rather looking to be offended before he did any genetic work. When something as spurious as this "evidence" could convince him the Book of Mormon is wrong, you know there never was much depth to begin with. Better to believe an uneducated farm boy made up the Book of Mormon out of bits and pieces. This is a major religious text, and it was just made up? The scientific evidence might or might not change our view on the Book of Mormon, but I am 99.9% sure that an uneducated person, such as Joseph Smith was at that time, could not have made it up even with a rough framework to begin with. Yet that is what some of you highly educated experts would have us believe. As a scientist myself, I cannot see it.

  • I think it was true to Joseph
    Oct. 24, 2007 10:47 a.m.

    just like the Koran was "true" to Mohammad, just like the Old Testament was true to Moses and the New Testament to Paul (and many other ways of thinking) We can't just think that one way is the only way of thinking. Everyone will never agree and it's time that people take what is precious and make the world a better place. It's not fair to think that others have to think the way we think. If someone decides to that's fine, but don't think less of people because they have their own ways. I think the very fact the God allows our world to be this way tells us something.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 24, 2007 10:51 a.m.

    With due respect "Book of Mormon" ,the Bible and Book of Mormon is "the word of God" as you say, because someone told you it is.

  • TYLER
    Oct. 24, 2007 11:04 a.m.

    TO "MICHEALANGELO" you clearly know nothing about the LDS church. First of all, we sure do not support Warren Jeffs, the man is in prison where he belongs, secondly, he does not belong to the LDS church, he belongs to the FLDS church which is a breakoff from us and we denounce any other sects that breakoff from the LDS Church. Maybe you should leave comments where you know what you're talking about. Last, when one reads the Book of Mormon it is more than a warm fuzzy feeling that tells them it's true. It's the Holy Ghost, who is a very real Spirit that can strenthen you physically and emotionally like no other thing in this world can.

  • I decided to change my
    Oct. 24, 2007 11:10 a.m.

    ways of thinking. I grew up loving the scriptures (Bible and BOM) and I still do. But, I realized my knowledge was limited and I researched. I don't believe in any one "truth". The world is full of "true" things and I don't believe that "God" chose any one church or way of thinking.
    I now live my life in Peace and Love and "God" is my "ground of being".
    Bless you all!

  • Google this
    Oct. 24, 2007 11:12 a.m.

    "Skulls in South America Tell New Migration Tale"

    Bjorn Carey
    LiveScience Staff Writer
    LiveScience.com
    "For decades it has been believed that the first peoples to populate North and South America crossed over from Siberia by way of the Bering Strait on a land-ice bridge."

    Ya think scientists wrong?
    Wrong about American Indian origins? Asians, "AND" Africans, Australians! Who else? Nephites, Lamanites? Jaredites? Mulekites?
    We know everything about DNA right? We might as well not study it anymore! Save money...Close down the research labs!
    Think DNA theory ought to be reinterpreted by any new yet undiscovered evidence?

    News flash! Scientist imperfect!
    However, God is perfect! Knows end from the beginning!

    D&C 101: 16
    Therefore, let your hearts be comforted concerning Zion; for all flesh is in mine hands; be still and know that I am God.

    God revealed to me many times through Holy Ghost to avoid things that could have caused harm.
    I haven't been disappointed by the Lord.
    Know what? He is God! He's in charge.
    God debunks the debunkers!
    Scoffers can't 'prove' work isn't true.
    Let the heathen rage!
    For now get spiritual proof through revelation!
    Scientific proof? Our's will come when God's ready to reveal it!

  • Rambis
    Oct. 24, 2007 11:14 a.m.

    To Mr Mr, why are the questions nonsense? Have you done any research yourself? I have. Those questions weren't "invented". Nice try, yourself, at completely ignoring evidence that has, indeed, been found.

  • To Anonymous
    Oct. 24, 2007 11:22 a.m.

    Yes someone did, GOD. No one else in my case.

  • Bryan
    Oct. 24, 2007 11:22 a.m.

    Why try to tear down when you can build. Why accuse and fight when we can be brother and sisters trying to make the world better. There are so much bad in the world and we should have the same goal to make it a better place no matter what the religious or scientific beliefs are. Non-believers and believers a like are all brothers and sisters in this amazing thing called life. We can all hide behind man created catergoizations of culture and race but we are all the same brother and sisters of God and we should strive to be the best we can be. Letting each other have there own beliefs without belittling them.

  • FreeAtLast
    Oct. 24, 2007 11:31 a.m.

    If what Rambis described actually exists (info. sources please, Rambis), why have no archeologists, anthropologists, geneticists, or other scientists who specialize in ancient Mesoamerican societies indicated that there is evidence supporting The Book of Mormon?

    Furthermore, since the Lamanites were the "principal ancestors" of the American Indians (according to the BoM) and the Lamanites began as a race sometime between 588 and 559 B.C. as a result of God 'magically' darkening the skin of Laman, Lemuel and their followers because of their rebellion (see 2 Nephi 5), how is it possible that American Indians existed millenia before 588 B.C., as scientific work relative to several archeological sites in the Americas and genetic research involving retrieved skeletons has proven?

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 24, 2007 12:01 p.m.


    These are not good times to focus on setting ourselves apart from each other. Religiously or otherwise. To dunk or to sprinkle arguments is an absurd way of fostering brotherhood in man.

  • Thank you Bryan
    Oct. 24, 2007 12:11 p.m.

    Well put and my thoughts exactly. I've added a few such thoughts to this comment section and it's nice to see a few others that feel this way.
    Things don't have to be complicated in life.
    Bless You

  • Thank you geat philosopher
    Oct. 24, 2007 12:17 p.m.

    To thinking-You wrote- "faith is not apart from reason"

    Sounds like you sort of lifted the line from the movie "Leagally Blonde"!

    Cognitive resoning why non-believers can't make the leap to a religious mind-set.

    The problem with your "reasoning"...Religion can't be separated from faith. Religious people have to live by faith!

    Stories abound in scripture of faithful people basically going against what made "sense" or "being reasonable". Abraham offering Isaac is great example. It sounds crazy, until one realizes that he was offering Isaac in similitude to Father's sacrifice of Jesus(His Son) on the cross.

    "God told Moses to take us into the desert."
    "He's nuts there's no food, or water!"
    "I don't think I'll go"
    Would have been reasonable thinking!
    They'd missed out?
    Exactly!


    Reason probably told American colonies to just take what the British were giving out:
    Because after all the British empire had most powerful army/navy in the world at the time.
    America didn't have trained army, navy, industrial base.
    Of course they had some help from the French navy at the end, but even that was almost too late in coming.
    Guess what? We won, they lost!

    God's revelation is "reason" enough to a believer!



  • Anonymous
    Oct. 24, 2007 12:28 p.m.

    Bible and Book of Mormon stories can be compared to Aesop's Fables. There must be something one can learn from them. But what has happened is that they have been used to set people apart today and this benefits no one.

  • Dr. Spokter
    Oct. 24, 2007 12:31 p.m.

    How do you know that Jesus wasn't Indian?

  • A. W.
    Oct. 24, 2007 12:32 p.m.

    Is DNA really needed? Common sense works for me.

    The supernatural can be used to "prove" anything. And, therefore, proves nothing.

  • DNAGenealogist
    Oct. 24, 2007 12:39 p.m.

    Since not all the yDNA and none of the mtDNA in human cells recombine upon reproduction they pass to each following generation supposedly without change. However, occasional tiny mutations occur when the molecule is replicated. As the mutations accumulate and pass from generation to generation they create a text that tells our own personal history along with the history of all mankind. Modern science is learning how to read this text more accurately every day.

    For a discussion of the power of DNA as a genealogical tool check out the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation website.

    For a discussion of the power of DNA as an anthropological tool check out The Genographic Project, Atlas of the Human Journey. IBM and the National Geographic along with The Waitt Family Foundation jointly sponsor this project.

    As the body of scientific knowledge grows it becomes more obvious that the Book of Mormon is a pseudepigraphic religious text. Mormons would be better off focusing on the powerful messages, teachings and principles in their book rather than as a history of the western hemisphere.

    The time is coming when excommunicating Mormon scientists will no longer change Native Americans back into Lamanites.

  • Get Honest
    Oct. 24, 2007 12:38 p.m.

    to Free at Last:
    Here is an answer from personal experience. My father was a insulin dependant diabetic and during the 1950's, our family doctor diagnosed my father with gangrene in his foot, and set him up for amputation. My mother had been a nurse overseas during WW11, and knew a "trick" with boiling water,salt, baking soda and a good knife, with which she performed her own "operation" ( I watched this). Less than 24 hours later, the gangrene was declared cured by our doctor, with circulation returned to normal. To this day amputation is the rule for gangrene incident to diabetes, because our doctor was ridiculed by other scientists for this discovery.We could go on for three days talking about nothing but examples like this.
    I could only excuse your Naivete and overt trust in "scientists" to you being very young, or as Anonymous says, you just believe everything you are told.

  • Really? FreeAtLast
    Oct. 24, 2007 12:41 p.m.

    To FreeAtLast - read (Google this also)
    Actually God wouldn't have had to "magically" darken their skins at all...Pigment does that quite well on it's own. The lamanites ran around in loin cloths...Out in the sun a lot hunting, fishing, (Read the book, suprise they're dark skinned!)etc.

    My brother and I come from caucausian stock...However, you should have seen him in the summer as a kid. He looked like a "lamanite".
    In fact now that he's a lot older and he doesn't spend near as much time in the sun...He's still tanned(Dark skinned). Go figure?
    I've mostly stayed out of the sun. I look like more like a "Nephite", because I don't sun tan.
    We're related, but you'd never know from the shade of our skins.
    So your reason in your post for not believing the dark skin curse!
    Really kinda flimsy isn't it? Ouch!

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 24, 2007 12:57 p.m.

    Now, that's a really nice testimony, "thank you geat(sic) philosopher.
    But I am comfortable with my personal beliefs. Now what do we do?

  • Albert Einstien
    Oct. 24, 2007 1:00 p.m.

    Any good Latter-Day Saint knows that being able to receive revelation directly from the Lord enables them to confound the most learned person no matter how many years of education or experience that person may have. Therefore; if an illiterate deacon would state that the DNA evidence is wrong, it is WRONG, if that is what the Lord told him. Those science people waste so much time and effort when they could just become Mormon and ask the Lord.

    Silly scientists.

    Amen

  • Todd
    Oct. 24, 2007 1:02 p.m.

    Science is always "tentative". Just wait a little while and it changes.

  • Ronald Dato
    Oct. 24, 2007 1:10 p.m.

    Book of Mormon will remain true to everyone who reads it with full intent of finding what's in it. How can you dispute something that change your life for good? Shall I say oh this man found a scientific breakthrough and it says that the BOM is not true therefore i will turn to my old ways? HAHAHA thats senseless. Is the BOM being tested for it's physical truthfullness? If one ever tries he will surelly doom to fail for the book is not at all that physical tangible object that one can examine and hold. It is that word which came from differrent prophets of old. It is that word that came from God himself. Why not this Scientist test the word of God?

  • Reality Check
    Oct. 24, 2007 1:26 p.m.

    The same warm, fuzzy, energizing, sacred feeling that tells the former RLDS members that the Book of Mormon is true also tells them that the LDS church is false, that polygamy was an abomination from the beginning, and that women should have the priesthood.

    The same warm, fuzzy, energizing, sacred feeling that tells the FLDS members that the Book of Mormon is true also tells them that the LDS church is false, that polygamy should be practiced, and that Warren Jeffs is God's mouthpiece on earth.

    That same warm, fuzzy, energizing, sacred feeling that tells LDS members that the BofM is true also tells them that...

    Are you finally getting the picture now? Step outside of your perspective for a moment and think critically. It's not that hard to understand, but it is very, VERY hard to accept.

  • Thomas
    Oct. 24, 2007 1:32 p.m.

    Where reason can be applied, it should be applied. We don't use "faith" to decide whether a man is guilty of murder -- we put him on trial, look at all the evidence, and then decide as best we can. We know the evidence of reason is fallible -- that even in cases where the evidence looks clear-cut, it's at least theoretically possible we may be wrong. Yet we are willing literally to stake a man's life on our (imperfect) reading of the (imperfect) evidence.

    If DNA evidence, even with its uncertainties, is good enough to hang a man, it's good enough to evaluate someone's claim to be a prophet -- if that claim is capable of being subjected to rational study.

    We can use faith to choose to believe things that are beyond reason's ability to measure -- like the existence of a loving God, which can't be proven or disproven rationally. It's not "faith" simply to say we believe something we are genuinely convinced to be false. If Gordon B. Hinckley were to say tomorrow that Provo is five miles from Los Angeles, having "faith" wouldn't make it so.

  • Faith vs Science
    Oct. 24, 2007 1:33 p.m.

    I do not discredit the validity of science or its products. With out science I would not have a job. Life would not change and we'd be hunters and gatherers. My point is that in relation to life there are two possibilities. Science or faith. Science in its true form tells us the universe exploded into existence. Is constantly expanding, and changing. Our sun and its system are in a life cycle, which is possibly half way through. In millions of years the sun will lose its energy source, expand as it dies and consume earth. This is the cold cruel fact I'm talking about. Faith tells us we are created by a loving god who placed us here for a reason. Science ultimately discounts god and all religion, all religious recordsAccording to science both can't exist. Faith teaches God is the Master of Science. I am not advocating either. Either may be the reality. My point is we are our own agents in life. And we ultimately choose our beliefs. All the science and spiritual tests are subject to us individually. Death is the true absolute, the final inspiration.

  • E-Nuff
    Oct. 24, 2007 1:34 p.m.

    No one is forcing you to believe it. If you do not, then you have nothing to worry about, if you do, then you also have nothing to worry about.

    Religious freedom is the foundation of America, so shut up already

  • My goodness....
    Oct. 24, 2007 1:41 p.m.

    It is possible to get "dark skin" from being in the sun a lot, but it's not possible to pass it on to your children! Of course, probably over many years it is possible for a human to adapt to the environment. But the story told in the BOM is talked to as a "curse". How offensive that must be to all the people in the world with skins of different color (that a religion believes it was originally a curse.) Heaven help the human race!
    People will make any kind of rationalization they can to believe what they want to believe.
    Perfect example of the "Aesop Fairy Tales".

  • Todd
    Oct. 24, 2007 1:42 p.m.

    I remember a long time ago when President Kimball was recovering from illness on the Navajo Reservation he made the comment that Navajo's were not Lamanites.

    Interesting. It is my limited understanding that the Nephite family landed in the area of Brazil and then later when the familys split up the Nephites went North and the Lamanites stayed in the southern portion of South America.

    Navajo's language is a athabaskin based language that extends not only to Alaska but across to the peoples in Russia as well.

    The bible is not a history of everyone in the old world. Neither is the Book of Mormon a history of everyone in the America's.

    Science is often more a of a art than fact. We get some information and try and make sense out of it. Later on we learn that we did not interpret the data correctly. Science eventually gets it right.

    Data does not lie but interpreters often do.

  • Thomas
    Oct. 24, 2007 1:43 p.m.

    Get Honest 9:56 --

    You ask whether I'm saying that the Lamanites discussed at the end of the Book of Mormon weren't "cursed."

    There is no account in the Book of Mormon of this having happened. The only two instances of "cursing" in the Book of Mormon are in 2 Nephi and Alma ch. 3 (when a bunch of Nephite dissenters joined the Lamanites and got "cursed" along with them.)

    Now, the Alma passages do mention that any Nephite who "mingles his seed" with the descendants of the Lamanites would become subject to the same curse -- but again, if you read Fourth Nephi and the subsequent books, everybody mingled after the coming of Christ. (Presumably, the righteous Lamanites had gotten de-cursed and whitened.) There's no indication that this righteous population incurred a curse for "mingling" with former Lamanites; Mormon laments over a field full of "fair" Nephite corpses after the last battle.

    So I have to conclude that there's no scriptural evidence that the "Lamanite" population at the end of the Book of Mormon didn't carry at least some unmodified Nephite -- i.e. Hebrew -- genes.

  • Sherwood
    Oct. 24, 2007 1:52 p.m.

    reply to Johnny Rotten:
    -In your first post you state among other things, that you are a recommend holder and former seminary teacher.
    You then proceed to combat the historicity of the Book of Mormon, and also express your non-belief in the inspiration of church leaders. As it stands, the position you are taking would make it impossible to obtain the temple recommend without being dishonest. With this in mind, how could we lend any amount of truthfulness to your posts. Please explain.

  • you said it
    Oct. 24, 2007 1:55 p.m.

    To DNAGenealogist - you wrote - "Modern science is learning how to read this text more accurately every day."
    Base on imperfect knowledge of genetics...You expect all LDS people to drop their beliefs concerning the Book of Mormon based on somebody that tells me they can "create a text that tells our own personal history along with the history of all mankind."
    REALLY? How does one "translate" this text? With a "DNA and Thummin"?
    So, DNA can tell me who I had a crush on in high school? Who I went out on first date with?
    No, it's only a personal history insofar as who parented whom. That still requires a complete DNA knowledge. More than you currently possess. To know for sure that someone's ancestor didn't ultimeately have some progeny somewhere else on the globe now you would need a perfect knowledge of events in the distant past. W/o the aid of your perfect science,which I'm going to make an "educated guess" based on your statement that you nor any of your eminent colleaugues seem to possess at this time or in the forseeable future(I'm guessing you're not claiming to have visions! Are you?)want me to leave.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 24, 2007 2:02 p.m.


    When it comes to the Book of Mormon, it always boils down to this: Either Joseph Smith as telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth - or was lying. After much study and an overwhelming gut-feeling (faith), I believe he was lying. Now what?

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 24, 2007 2:08 p.m.

    I just remembered that the BOM is an abridged book meant for spiritual purposes. What would you scientists do if we got the college edition unabridged version of Nephite history and it corroborated with the story.

  • Ronald Dato
    Oct. 24, 2007 2:09 p.m.

    Subjectivism is not the ground work for truth. The Word became flesh, why would we settle for some second hand unprovable stories to base our lives on instead of the Living Word of God, Jesus, said "search the scripture for in them you think you have eternal life, they are they that testifies of me." John 7:52 Why do we settle for anything else dna, newer testament or experince, like children forsaking a trip to the ocean and indstead settling for playing in a mud puddle.

  • Whose Revelation?
    Oct. 24, 2007 2:11 p.m.

    Just because the Mormon church receives a "revelation" doesn't make it true for the rest of the world.
    It is very apparent that "revelation" is relative to someone's way of thinking.
    And there have been many "revelations" that have been proven wrong and destructive in the world. Your "feeling" are not a good indication as to whether something is true or not.

  • RC
    Oct. 24, 2007 2:15 p.m.

    Tyler wrote: "How does a 23 year old farmer with an elementary education write a 500 page book that can so perfectly refer to the past and present, that fits so perfectly with the Holy Bible,[....]"

    This is what's called confirmation bias, Tyler. You see what matches and ignore what misses. And the things that are near misses you count as hits. What you're doing is the apologetic approach to the Book of Mormon, i.e. treat it all as true and look for points to support that. There's no objectivism in your approach.

  • Title Page of the Book of Mormon
    Oct. 24, 2007 2:17 p.m.

    I've copied and pasted some of the title page of the Book of Mormon...Nowhere on the title page does it say anything about the Lamanites being the direct progenitors of the Indians!

    THE BOOK OF MORMON
    AN ACCOUNT WRITTEN BY

    THE HAND OF MORMON

    UPON PLATES

    TAKEN FROM THE PLATES OF NEPHI

    "Wherefore, it is an abridgment of the record of the people of Nephi, and also of the LamanitesWritten to the Lamanites, who are a remnant of the house of Israel; and also to Jew and Gentile"

    "...And now, if there are faults they are the mistakes of men; wherefore, condemn not the things of God, that ye may be found spotless at the judgment-seat of Christ."

    However do pay particular attention to the last line from the title page. Just some friendly advice to especially those who are making it a habit of mocking the Book of Mormon. Fools mock.

    The argument about what the book of Mormon says and doesn't say about the Lamanites and American Indians relationship is covered here. The rest is truly just conjecture.

  • Thomas
    Oct. 24, 2007 2:20 p.m.

    Frozen Chosen --

    Yes, "Nahom"/"NHM", "sheum," etc. are interesting coincidences.

    They are either evidence that the Book of Mormon is a translation of a document written in a Semitic language, or they are the result of chance. Which is more probable?

    To answer that question, you need to calculate the odds of those coincidences occuring on their own. What we call coincidences are actually less improbable, mathematically, than they intuitively seem, so it's not enough just to point to similarities without actually showing that they are statistically too unlikely to be reasonably expected.

    Joseph Smith was familiar with the Bible, which is full of Semitic names and placenames. Many of the unique non-English words in the Book of Mormon are at least vaguely Semitic-sounding. So it's not as unlikely that he might invent words that have parallels in actual Semitic languages than if he'd written names in a language with which he had no familiarity at all, like Chinese.

    I'm not a statistician, but I suspect that if I made up a hundred vaguely Semitic-sounding words, like "Gathoni" or "Gaddriel" or "Eggonihah," FARMS could probably find a parallel or two in some historic Middle Eastern language or other.

  • Thomas
    Oct. 24, 2007 2:31 p.m.

    Todd -- Science may always be tentative at the fringes, but as time goes by, certain findings become more and more established.

    The jury is not still out, for example, on the basic theory of gravity: Apples, regardless of their mass, will accelerate towards the center of the earth at roughly 9.8 meters per second (adjusting for friction, etc.) Ditto the germ theory: Inject Hep A-tainted blood into your veins, and you're likely going to get hepatitis.

  • Q and A
    Oct. 24, 2007 2:37 p.m.

    I don't know to much about the DNA analysis process but if there are Asian DNA in American Indians couldn't they be part other race as well? My kids are part caucasan, Brazilian which is a mix of European, African and Indian. I think it is shortsighted to say that they are only one race when we now that there have been plenty of mixing going on.

  • Chicago Perspective
    Oct. 24, 2007 2:41 p.m.

    I am still reading various reasons posters are giving for their not believing in the Book of Mormon.

    But I have yet to be given a reason as to why I should care.

  • Yes
    Oct. 24, 2007 2:45 p.m.

    A few people have said that science changes so we can't beleive what it tells us. With all due respect hasn't the church changed also.

  • Jon
    Oct. 24, 2007 2:53 p.m.

    I am a member of the church and I have noticed a few people have said that science changes so we can't beleive what it tells us. With all due respect hasn't the BOM been changed also.

  • JWK
    Oct. 24, 2007 2:56 p.m.

    Today's science seems more to be of consensus instead of true science. Ultimately, science cannot answer all questions because the human mind thinks too finitely.

    For those who believe in a life after this one, one day we will all know the truth. If those who don't believe in a life after this, then anything having to do with faith is a waste of time to them.

    I look forward to life after mortality when all questions will be answered. For now, I will continue believing the Book of Mormon is the word of God.

  • town Heathan
    Oct. 24, 2007 3:02 p.m.

    DNA is the least of LDS or any other "Christian" religion.

    Christians can't even prove that the Great Flood in the bible existed, so why should they be concerned about DNA?

    The beauty in religion is that they can ignore physical facts while claiming everything is a miracle.

    So disproving Christian or any other religion is virtually impossable due to the fact that they DON"T HAVE to provide hard evidence.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 24, 2007 3:07 p.m.

    Reality Check wrote - "The same warm, fuzzy, energizing, sacred feeling is felt by"

    Really?

    Is that quantifiable?

    Can you put it under a microscope and see it's the same?

    You can't...So don't try!

    I always describe it as a feeling of peace, calming(Holy ghost=Comforter) when I have the Holy Ghost with me even in times of crisis. LDS that have described it me descibe it the same way.
    Hmmmmmmmmmm!

    Would you know a sacred feeling if you had one?

    Maybe when you go about mocking somebody else's religious beliefs, feelings and experiences maybe you can't.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 24, 2007 3:33 p.m.

    It seems to me that people must work a little harder when it comes to discerning revelation.

  • Thank you guardians of truth!
    Oct. 24, 2007 3:38 p.m.

    My goodness.... wrote - "It is possible to get "dark skin" from being in the sun a lot, but it's not possible to pass it on to your children! Of course, probably over many years it is possible for a human to adapt to the environment."

    Are you talking out of both sides of your mouth?That's why there are only fair skinned(White)people that populate the earth. They only pass that trait(White) on to their children.

    Yeah I know...You talk for God as to what kind of curses he can put on people(s)?

    By the way...I'm glad we have so many experts on Aesop's fairy tales on this thread...Although wasn't Aesop Greek not Nephite?

    Maybe that's why you're having such a hard time discerning truth from error....You spend way too much time reading fairy tales!

    You're mistaking that energizing, warm, fuzzy feeling you get from DNA "experts" telling you about their fable like ideas on Jewish DNA not showing up in Indians proving the Book of Mormon false, and the energizing, warm, fuzzy feeling you get from reading Aesop's fables.

    I can get a good night's sleep knowing this! Thanks!










    So as far as rationalization goes your not guilty, right?

  • Baptized and Content
    Oct. 24, 2007 3:41 p.m.

    I was baptised a Latter-Day Saint nearly 35 years ago.

    When that occured, I was nineteen. I didn't know anything about genetics then and what I know now, could fill a very small thimble.

    But this is where I come from in terms of my thoughts on the subject. As important as scientific evidence is to the relavent discussion of a topic as important as this is, it really boils down to one's testimony and relationship with God Himself.

    I know all you mormon haters and other doubters will shriek and yell about a testimony and how our feelings are irrelavent when making decisions like this. Like Joe Friday used to say, just the facts maam. WellI can't compare my testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ with scientific facts. It never computes. But my testimony has been there for over thirty-four years and there is no denying that either.

    Knowing that Jesus is the Christ and the Book of Mormon is the Word of God comes from another source
    much higher than a piece of paper with its facts.

    Dr. Southerton and Mr. Murphy are entitled to their facts. Members or not. Eventually our facts, willcome
    fromChrist, notscience.

  • Bruce Whiting
    Oct. 24, 2007 4:02 p.m.

    While in Mongolia in 02-03 we noted that Spencer W Kimballs statement in the Instructor magazine was quite accurate. We noted 19 words in Navajo sound and mean exactly the same in Mongolian. Mongolians and Navajos eat similarly, look alike, and even act alike.
    When Pres Kimball stated that he believed that some Native Americans came over the Bering Strait, [as well as from other places] I believe he was correct.

  • A Reason to care in Chicago
    Oct. 24, 2007 4:11 p.m.

    The reason you should care about a book being true is if it hinders you in your studies of other things. I found that when I was of a certain "mindset" nothing else mattered. Certain groups drill into the minds of young children that something is "true" and the child may not ever question. A child may "bare testimony" of "truth" that they have no personal knowledge of. A missionary can do the same from the "good feeling" of familarity of the beliefs that was "drilled" into them from early on.
    It's time to think for ourselves and study and look at the vast knowledge in the world. If we've studied hard and compared we can then make an informed decision.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 24, 2007 4:13 p.m.

    I have a great respect for His Holiness The Dalai Lama. He said this recently - "Mankind is having a tremendous problem with the simple truth."
    I believe he is right on with this observation and I might add that darker days ahead because of this.

  • Actually
    Oct. 24, 2007 4:21 p.m.

    I was replying to the person that said he knew people that were "dark skinned from the sun" and that's how the Laminites got dark skinned. I was not saying he was correct at all. It is a fact that there are multi-colored skinned people in the world (dark skin is actually dominent) and I was telling him that it is ridiculous to say that the Laminites got "dark skin" from the sun. I believe "God" created all people (white, dark and anything in-between equally) and that skin color is genetic...not a curse.
    I wasn't rationalizing anything...I was calling the writer on his rationalization.

  • Mike G.
    Oct. 24, 2007 4:21 p.m.

    It is my belief that we are all hardwired to believe in a higher spiritual power. Some (or I guess most) are just a little more hardwired than others.

    I was born into the Church, graduated from BYU, served a mission, and married in the temple . . . but no matter how hard I tried I never received a testimony of the Book of Mormon or Joseph Smith.

    I still attend Church every Sunday and even go to the temple once a month, but only to make my wife and family happy. But, coming to my own personal conclusion that the Book of Mormon and the Church are not true, has finally brought me real peace and happiness . . . since I was finally able to free my mind and actually dive into the search for truth and knowledge that philosophers have been on for 2,500 years.

    Bottom line: if it makes you happy to believe, then believe. If you makes you happy not to believe, then dont believe. But why waste all the time trying to convince people either way?

  • People
    Oct. 24, 2007 4:23 p.m.

    People keep generalizing and are so absolute in there views. I believe in the LDS church and the BOM however I don't believe what alot of the people in the church says. People can say erroneous things. I believe in the Big Bang theory. Science shows that the Universe is growing. That More and more stars are formed. However this doesn't prove my religious beliefs as being false. One tries to provide answers on how the universe was created and the other provides why we are here in the Universe. DNA can show that there are Asian markers in Native Americans however this doesn't disprove that my believes that the eternal truths taught in the book are false. I don't know how the universe works and I don't know how to do DNA analysis. But neither of them conflict with my religious beliefs because they are there anwsering different questions. One is asking how the other why. "Why are we here" science says nothing. Religion "how" is this created we have a miracle. The two aren't in conflict but are seperate quests for knowledge. It is when you try to prove the other wrong using the other is fallacy.

  • Active Doubter
    Oct. 24, 2007 4:32 p.m.

    For the record:

    Not the title page, but the introduction to the Book of Mormon states, at the end of the second paragraph: "After thousands of years, all were destroyed except the Lamanites, and they are the principal ancestors of the American Indians."

    So please - no more posts stating that the book doesn't make any connection between the American Indians and the Lamanites. You just have to read past the title page. This is in addition to numerous statements by church leaders over the years. And on the cultural side, does anyone remember the "Lamanite Generation?" Now it is "Living Legends." I know I'm not the only one who questions the timing and purpose of that name change.

  • DNA testing isn't infallible...
    Oct. 24, 2007 4:35 p.m.

    We are we supposed to rely on Southerton and Murphy because they claim to be experts on DNA and make conclusions which logic alone dictate can't be made conclusively. What they are basically asserting is that since X is a Native American and X doesn't have a specific DNA sequence that X cannot be descended from Y's (who lived thousands of years ago but whose DNA isn't in our possession) descendents. So what they are doing is comparative DNA testing to see if there is a family link but they are doing it on a broader scale. What we know from such tests is that they aren't 100% accurate therefore the conclusions that they disprove the Book of Mormon cannot be made. If I wanted to know if someone with the same name as me is somehow related these tests don't prove or disprove that but only lead to the possibility.

    Several people have commented that Gardner isn't an expert. This is very fallacious reasoning. It assumes that because Southerton and Murphy have specific training and Gardner has general training that Murphy and Southerton are better qualified to make these assertions when there is no evidence that they are qualified.

  • Welcome anthiest/Agnostic
    Oct. 24, 2007 4:38 p.m.

    town Heathan wrote - "DNA is the least of LDS or any other "Christian" religion.

    Christians can't even prove that the Great Flood in the bible existed, so why should they be concerned about DNA?

    The beauty in religion is that they can ignore physical facts while claiming everything is a miracle.

    So disproving Christian or any other religion is virtually impossable due to the fact that they DON"T HAVE to provide hard evidence."

    I would be concerned if we didn't get a little action from the Atheist/Agnostic crowd. Thanks for your post. At least we have everyone represented.

    The "HARD EVIDENCE" is in the eye of the beholder.

    Just look in the sky above and earth beneath.
    In the ocean blue and the baby new.
    Look inside yourself because it's there to see.
    God in his infinite power majestically speaks.
    10/24/2007 4:45PM RC

    Before you write off Christianity and especially the LDS faith...
    The evidence you scoff at is being debated on this very thread. Read it, yes pray about it. Live teachings. Then witness will come.
    What better proof is there than proof you can discover about God w/in yourself.
    Life w/o God is empty indeed.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 24, 2007 4:43 p.m.

    It comes down to a matter of faith. No need to convince anyone one way or another. If you are having doubts this will ad to the many doubts that are already there. Everyone has their own experience. I believe in Science and that is my belief system. The difference between my system and religion is that mine is open to change based on new information.

    And I have read the BOM cover to cover several times. It did not ring true to me even in the same way that the Bible did as a historical document. But that is my experience. I can not tell you that mine is the right one or yours is.

    As an aside it is possible that the BOM is not a work of fiction but rather loosley based on a collection of historical documents that JS senior had from the multitude of ancient historians and travelers that visited his house. There are many witnesses to suport the possibility. Additonally Freemasonry has similar historical documents and account of Israel beliefs that may have helped fill in some of the mythology of the BOM. Most of the rituals are the same.

  • Try
    Oct. 24, 2007 4:49 p.m.

    I think it is easier for people to not believe that is why they say I am happier without that believe. It is a struggle to believe for some when people are trying to destroy your beliefs. It doesn't make it any less true then before. It is just easier. Americans these days....sheesh

  • feel like no one likes you
    Oct. 24, 2007 4:49 p.m.

    What some call anti-mormon might suprise you biblically, faithful are the wounds of a friend but the kisses of a enemy are deceitful. Go and learn what this means and you might find you have more friends than you believe (bible dna)

  • fredd
    Oct. 24, 2007 4:50 p.m.

    I find these posts illuminating for their content. The moderator allows a broad range of opinion. If you read all 300 posts without concern over whether DNA can prove or disprove heredity, you can really learn about what people believe. Very interesting. For example, the faithful LDS seem to have fairly varying beliefs. Are lamanites the forebears of American Indians? Using these posts by faithfull lDS I can come up with several different points of view. As someone who married into the LDS culture (but not faith) I really enjoy reading these. Thanks DMN.

  • Why?
    Oct. 24, 2007 4:57 p.m.

    A Reason to care in Chicago,

    How is trying to teach love, hope and charity hinder anything. Trying to tell others of the marvelous potential we all have if we but listen and obey. I know that I am a better man when I obey the truths that I have found. Some are taught by the LDS church others are taught by other religious and scientific affiliations. This doesn't hinder me at all. I obey and I have become better. I hope everyone will to. Try to emulate what we now to be good is good and doesn't hinder you. There may be "Rules" that you don't agree with that you think might hinder you in what you want to do but I have found that this is erroneous when you take a look at it from a broader viewpoint. you must have that correct viewpoint in order for you to see why we it is better. Love, live and believe in the BOM thats what I always say.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 24, 2007 5:00 p.m.

    "Actually - wrote - I was replying to the person that said he knew people that were "dark skinned from the sun" and that's how the Laminites got dark skinned. I was not saying he was correct at all. It is a fact that there are multi-colored skinned people in the world (dark skin is actually dominent) and I was telling him that it is ridiculous to say that the Laminites got "dark skin" from the sun. I believe "God" created all people (white, dark and anything in-between equally) and that skin color is genetic...not a curse.
    I wasn't rationalizing anything...I was calling the writer on his rationalization."

    I gave an observation that my brother and I through different sun regimines look different as far as color of our skin!
    You were the one that observed that it might be possible to pass it on.
    Of course it's evident that the darker skinned people occupy the more tropical regions, and the lighter skinned people the more northerly climes
    historically. That wasn't passed through the generations? A norwegian w/o any dark skinned forebears might bear dark skinned children?
    "It's dominant you know!"
    You admitted the possibilty, but backtracked.

  • Todd Moon
    Oct. 24, 2007 5:00 p.m.

    Bruce Whiting it is good to hear from you. It has been many years.

    Additionaly to the language simularities the Navajo's and Mongolians share the same birth markings as well.

  • We can have God
    Oct. 24, 2007 5:17 p.m.

    in our lives without believing any particular religion. We can find fallicies in any of them. I have studied many and find likes and dislikes in all. The bottom line is doing what makes you feel is good for yourself and mankind. Don't accept anything because someone "says so"....what's good for them may not be valid for you.
    I noticed a post that said that this person goes and does things for his wife/family, but he knows it isn't true. Usually this is doing a good in the short-run. In the long-run happiness depends on honesty and helping others to see what you feel inside.

  • Dwight Schrute
    Oct. 24, 2007 5:25 p.m.

    Todd Moon, Bruce Whiting, good to hear from both of you. It has been many moons.

    Additionally to language and birth markings, the food similarities are quite striking.

    Fact: The Navajo Taco and Mongolian Beef place are both located quite closely in the food court in our local mall here in Scranton.

    Fact: The coincidences outweigh the evidence in all matters of religous belief.

    Fact: Bears eat Beets. Neither Mongolians nor Navajos grow beets.

  • Active doubter define it
    Oct. 24, 2007 5:27 p.m.

    Active Doubter wrote - "After thousands of years, all were destroyed except the Lamanites"

    After thousands of years just what did their DNA contain? Quite a mixture of Jaredite(Find me some of their DNA), Nephite(Ditto), Ishmaelite(Arab convert? Ditto?), bloods, etc.
    The record also never really state that weren't any other DNA mixed in the Jaredite blood(Maybe during migration?), etc. What about after trading with the people of Hagoth? Did they intermarry with other peoples and somebody come back on a ship from where ever they went?
    What about after the record closes? Other migrations DNA mingling in?
    The BOM states that he leads peoples away from time to time and allows them to come to this continent. I already mentioned evidence of at least one Chinese migration. A prior post- MOngolians? The record really only deals with a small microcosym of time, place and history of 3 main migrations. Most of all it's a Readers Digest version of what happened. We don't have the Book of Lehi, and the sealed portion. The largest book is Alma, and that deals a lot with the wars, missionary work, etc..
    1 Nephi preaching!

    So define what Lamanite DNA should consist of exactly.

  • To Anonymous
    Oct. 24, 2007 5:34 p.m.

    I should make it clear that I don't believe that "Lamanites" are the Native Americans....in fact I don't believe "Laminites" existed. I feel that this is one of the many clues in the BOM that tells me the book is fiction.
    I think Native Americans are beautiful and that they were created as they are.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 24, 2007 5:51 p.m.

    To Anonymous wrote - "As an aside it is possible that the BOM is not a work of fiction but rather loosley based on a collection of historical documents that JS senior had from the multitude of ancient historians and travelers that visited his house. There are many witnesses to suport the possibility. Additonally Freemasonry has similar historical documents and account of Israel beliefs that may have helped fill in some of the mythology of the BOM. Most of the rituals are the same."

    Well I've got an idea rather than give every rumour possible some credence why don't you try something else. Read study, pray about the book.

    You see that's what the antis like to do...They don't just throw out one version, "Oh I've got you with this "one" now you poor misguided Mormon!"
    They throw out a plethora of rumors, inuendo, false stories about the BOM, Joseph Smith, history of the church, etc. That way you pick out a favorite pet "theory" as to how it all began, and why it's false because of your choice.
    Just read the negative posts you'll pick up at least a couple of dozen. Yours included!

  • Sherwood
    Oct. 24, 2007 6:09 p.m.

    Active Doubter -
    Why should it bother you what the introduction to the Book of Mormon states about the connection between American Indians and Lamanites. The introduction was not part of the original record, but added later. Joseph Smith and other prophets have made many statements or opinions that may not have been factually correct, but just opinion to which they are entitled to.
    Now if the introduction indicated that through revelation it is revealed that every flavor of native american indian from every tribe was a decendent of Lehi, then you might have a more valid point. As it is, we can look back to the title page to find out that it indicates any errors are the errors of man.

  • Bobby Miles Doopay
    Oct. 24, 2007 6:15 p.m.

    Sorta reminds me of how they rationalized the "Salamander Letter".

    Hey, if you believe the church is true, quit posting...

    If you think the church isn't true, quit posting...

    You are both right, and neither one of you is listening to the other...

    This is Bobby Miles Doopay...



    Good Day.

  • What?We can have God
    Oct. 24, 2007 6:28 p.m.

    We can have God wrote - "in our lives without believing any particular religion."

    While I appreciate the intent of your post...Let's all just get along.

    What you're really advocating is relativism.

    It is better to "agree to disagree" than it is to say there is no absolute truth.
    Revelations 3:15-16 Lukewarm?

    You said- "Don't accept anything because someone "says so"....what's good for them may not be valid for you.", and "I noticed a post that said that this person goes and does things for his wife/family, but he knows it isn't true. Usually this is doing a good in the short-run. In the long-run happiness depends on honesty and helping others to see what you feel inside."

    Your two statements are contridictory...
    Essentially, don't do what someone tells you and do what I tell you.

    He doesn't believe. What are you advocating with these words? -
    "Usually this is doing a good in the short-run. In the long-run happiness depends on honesty and helping others to see what you feel inside."

    I'm glad to see how freely you give advice.

    Are you advocating inactivity, or leaving the church or marraige?

    So much for relitivism.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 24, 2007 6:33 p.m.

    Oh yeah, Lamanites. Weren't they supposed to turn "white and delightsome" for one reason or another?

  • Emancipated
    Oct. 24, 2007 6:37 p.m.

    Dr. Thomas Murphy, a Mormon, correctly pointed out some years ago that there is no scientific evidence that any person who did not comply with certain religious teachings ever had their skin changed in color ('supernaturally' or through a natural process such as evolution). 2 Nephi 5:21 states that 'the Lord' was displeased with Laman, Lemuel, and their followers, and cursed them with "a skin of blackness". Skin color is determined by the amount and type of the pigment melanin, not compliance with religious rules (ref. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skin_pigment).

    Most people have confidence in scientists because their research has resulted in us gaining an understanding of so many aspects of the physical universe much, much better than the primitive, 'spiritual' perspectives of our ancestors. I have friends who are scientists. They publish their research, which is peer-reviewed so that any errors may be detected and corrected. The technology, materials, and medicine (three examples of many) that we benefit from would not exist were it not for the excellent work of scientists.

    When researchers who specialize in ancient American cultures say there is no evidence supporting the BoM, I have confidence in their conclusion.

  • What Really Matters?
    Oct. 24, 2007 6:39 p.m.

    Truth is important. People disagree about honesty and history, fact and fiction, feelings and reality. And I think I could have looked beyond all that if only it had been kind.

    The Dali Lama has said, kindness is my religion. When will the Church realize that its not being kind. Its not kind to label whole groups of people, gays, feminists, and intellectuals as enemies of the Church. Its not kind to tell mothers that they are not worthy to watch their children get married. Hasnt every mother earned that one basic right? (Last I checked, Christ himself, hung out with some unworthy characters. Would He really turn a mother away?)

    Its not kind to fire BYU professors, or to excommunicate members for simply exercising their right to free speech. How can a person stay in an organization that is so terribly unkind?

  • A AYALA
    Oct. 24, 2007 6:43 p.m.

    Weird...

  • Fredd
    Oct. 24, 2007 6:45 p.m.

    I believe in Mormongolians!!!

  • Post for all seasons
    Oct. 24, 2007 6:51 p.m.

    To- To Anonymous- wrote - "I should make it clear that I don't believe that "Lamanites" are the Native Americans....in fact I don't believe "Laminites" existed. I feel that this is one of the many clues in the BOM that tells me the book is fiction.
    I think Native Americans are beautiful and that they were created as they are."

    As far your non-belief...That's fine...You can believe or not believe what you want.

    But what clues? Your belief that they don't exist proves the BOM false!
    Wow! Well all head for the revival tent Jed we've been proven false by someone's belief that the "Lamanites" don't exist.

    I'll sleep better knowing that I don't have to recieve revelation for myself...I can get it off the internet from a stranger. Thanks for sharing!

    What's this?
    "I think Native Americans are beautiful and that they were created as they are."

    Well la dee da!

    What do you think you are somehow special in your love towards the "Native Americans"?

    What we don't "think" the are "created" as they are?






  • NorthboundZax
    Oct. 24, 2007 6:56 p.m.

    Oooooh! what a fun discussion over Mr. Gardner's rebuttal to the fact that DNA of Native Americans is demonstrably Asian and not Semitic. And an iron-clad rebuttal it is, too:

    Apologists have known about the problem for a long time (okay.....)

    No matter how many opinions someone might have about the Book of Mormon, if the opinion is wrong, it's the opinion that's wrong and not the book," Gardner said.

    I guess that seals it. The Book can't be wrong even if it is...

    The false positive stuff he's touting is just an attempt to put a blanket over the DNA issue and say "nothing to see here, folks! move along!". False positives matter when trying to interpret single measurements or small sample sizes. The sample size involved here is way past teeny statistical uncertainties.

  • laguna
    Oct. 24, 2007 6:57 p.m.

    with nearly 2/3 of LDS members not actively involved in their church and the church currently growing at only 3%, I think that alot of people are not buying what the church is selling.

  • So Cal
    Oct. 24, 2007 6:59 p.m.

    DNA cannot be proved in this case and should not be a factor in determining if the BOM is true or fiction. Anyone who has a science degree already knows how limiting DNA theories are and would'nt waste their time trying to disprove a book. Don't any of you have better things to do with your time?

  • I Still Believe!
    Oct. 24, 2007 7:02 p.m.

    I'll make you a wager, more and more people will attempt to prove the Book of Mormon as a fake and Joesph Smith as a fraud.

    Each will become more skilled and persausive in their arguments, so much so that many will believe them. In fact, the very elect of God may even become deceived by their logic.

    But everyone of these will ultimately be proven wrong. In fact, science will ultimately prove the existence of a God, as well as the varacity of the Book of Mormon.

    To base your opinion that the Book of Mormon cannot be true because our current level of understanding of DNA research seems to indicate the "Lamanites" are not decendants of the Hewbrews is illogical and niave. Please see 2 Tim. 3:7

    Science can no more prove that a prophet can hold back the waters of the Red Sea, withstand the heat of a great furnace, shut the mouths of lions, or even that The Savior could atone for our sins and then rise from the grave 3 days following his crucifiction.

    Despite all that science cannot prove - I still believe!

  • Science vs. BOM
    Oct. 24, 2007 7:13 p.m.

    You have the right to discount science. But you cannot have it both ways. You are either for science or against it.

    If you are against science, you cannot use the internet to post your precious feelings, because the internet uses science. As far as your "Book of Mormon", science was used to print and distribute it, so you must rid yourself of it's science-tinged
    text. Don't drive a car, go to a doctor, live in a house or do any other thing that science has created because it isn't true.

    Go live naked in a cave and freeze to death or die of a disease while knowing that you are right and science is wrong.

    Science is skeptical of everything, including science itself. It's a system that, unlike religion, filters out bad ideas and gradually defines truth.

    Einstein believed that science reveals the mind of God. I agree.

  • BOM and Stephen King
    Oct. 24, 2007 7:20 p.m.

    Wow! how come the poor natives have to be blamed for all the dilemas? I am native and where I grew up in Idaho..being native i wasn't allowed to date mormon girls by the parents..but when i go back now and see them ..I say thank you ever so much! Then we got blamed by the mormons for mtn meadows..so I will just stay with my own story of creation which is right here thank you and let all you plymouth rockers fight it out over the creator..I tell my friends when they ask me about the LDS church just to read the comments on the two papers as it helps explain better than i ever could.I think all the in-active women are so hot in Utah so much so that I could be JOE LAMANITE or you can call me sam, charles ,bill but you better not call me Sioux!

  • Realist
    Oct. 24, 2007 7:21 p.m.

    If you don't read it for yourself, how will you ever know whether its true or not?

  • I get it
    Oct. 24, 2007 8:08 p.m.

    Momons dna rebuttles the BOM
    Mormon rebuttle mormons scientist
    Baptist rebuttle mormons
    Mormons rebuttle Baptist
    and dolly loma has it all figured out
    thanks, see you all kansas, I'm the one
    clicking my heels!

  • You're On!
    Oct. 24, 2007 8:22 p.m.

    I accept I Still Believe's dare for a wager. I will wager $300,000 that during the next 15 years no genetic, archeological, or linguistic evidence supporting what's described in The Book of Mormon (BoM) in terms of Nephite and/or Jaredite societies will be discovered. My primary condition for this wager are that 10 university researchers (one can be LDS) with expertise in ancient American cultures spanning the BoM timeline confirm, in writing, that the evidence (e.g., artifacts, genetic data) supports the historicity of the BoM. I am willing to produce a notarized document confirming this wager.

  • Sounds wonderful
    Oct. 24, 2007 8:36 p.m.

    Ok LDS put up or...well you know

  • Army Guy
    Oct. 24, 2007 9:04 p.m.

    To You're On!

    Here's a better idea. If you're so keen on backing up your position with cash, why don't you donate your $300,000 (not nearly enough for a project of this magnitude) to 10 university researchers (who need money to conduct any research at all) so they can prove your claim. At least that way you would be putting your money where your mouth is, instead of issuing some hollow, notary-backed threat.

    I'd love to read what they come up with. Although, since we know money drives research, you (like others before you) might tell the researchers what they are looking for before they find it. You know, buy the results. Nah, that NEVER happens...

  • re:TG
    Oct. 24, 2007 9:06 p.m.

    Trying to prove science with science also makes the person of science look ridiculous.

    "If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it. (Albert Einstein, 1954, The Human Side, edited by Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, Princeton University Press)"

    It doesn't appear that even Einstein could rule out a higher power.

  • re:laguna
    Oct. 24, 2007 9:32 p.m.

    Great use of facts.

    Now add sources and you have a real post.

  • Cognitive Dissonance
    Oct. 24, 2007 9:32 p.m.

    Does anyone remember in 1967 when the Church found the papyri that Joseph Smith used to translate the Book of Abraham? It was thought to be lost, but was actually in the Metropolitan Museum of Art? Anyway, everyone waited with baited breath as the papyri was sent to BYU where professors and egyptologists went to work "finally proving that Joseph Smith was a true seer and prophet". And then what happened?

    We got some weird Hugh Nibley article about the death rituals of the Egyptians . . . the papri said nothing of Abraham!

    And the Church still survived! It's called cognitive dissonance. Google it, it will be the best thing you've learned today.

  • Cognitive Dissonance
    Oct. 24, 2007 9:37 p.m.

    From wikipedia:

    "Cognitive dissonance is a psychological term describing the uncomfortable tension that may result from having two conflicting thoughts at the same time, or from engaging in behavior that conflicts with one's beliefs, or from experiencing apparently conflicting phenomena.

    "In simple terms, it can be the filtering of information that conflicts with what you already believe, in an effort to ignore that information and reinforce your beliefs.

    "In detailed terms, it is the perception of incompatibility between two cognitions, where "cognition" is defined as any element of knowledge, including attitude, emotion, belief, or behavior. The theory of cognitive dissonance states that contradicting cognitions serve as a driving force that compels the mind to acquire or invent new thoughts or beliefs, or to modify existing beliefs, so as to reduce the amount of dissonance (conflict) between cognitions.

  • True it is
    Oct. 24, 2007 9:45 p.m.

    The Savior said "My sheep shall hear my voice." Just because others don't believe the Book of Mormon, doesn't make it not true. In the days of Columbus, it was thought by scientists that the world was much smaller than it is. They were proven wrong. It was once thought by scientists that the sun circled the earth. They were proven wrong. Thirty years ago scientists warned of the "coming ice age", now it's "global warming." And science today proclaims the big bang theory as truth. Nothing could be more laughable, but it does eliminate God and makes it easy to justify sin. The scriptures say we can "experiment" on God's word and therefore prove it to be true. I have. It is.

  • I believe
    Oct. 24, 2007 9:57 p.m.

    To Cognitive Disonance:

    It was not a mistranslation. Joseph Smith didn't "literally" translate the papyri, he used them as inspiration in receiving the revelation for the Book of Abraham.

  • kairos
    Oct. 24, 2007 10:02 p.m.

    Can we settle this? the FP's vault contains bones of Zelph,great nephite/lamanite warrior. All we need is a bone sample/scrape and we can determine his dna/descendants. Good luck on convincing the FP
    to give up the bones-they already know the answer, and it ain't faith promoting!!

  • Incredulous
    Oct. 24, 2007 10:06 p.m.

    I have long, long held that if the BOM were one day "proven" (in actual fact) to be a great fictional story, it would matter not at all to the vast majority of LDS, who would go on believing in it and defending it nonetheless.

    The dialog herein have proven my point in spades. To the devout, it does not matter if the BOM is true or not, therefore debating it is a fruitless exercise for all concerned. Precious few will modify their positions.

  • Hey, "True it is"
    Oct. 24, 2007 10:05 p.m.

    Just curious, how does Galileo play into your little argument?

    Maybe my memory deceives me, but I'm pretty sure it was the church that prohibited Galileo's advocacy of heliocentrism, since it was contrary to the literal meaning of Scripture.

  • Jewels
    Oct. 24, 2007 10:07 p.m.

    Instead of acknowledging the real facts, The church would rather excommunicate people who expose the REAL truth about the church

  • Slick
    Oct. 24, 2007 10:28 p.m.

    Is Gardner talking out the side of his mouth or what. Amazing. The truth could smack Gardner between the eyes and he wouldn't recognize it.

  • Frozen chosen
    Oct. 24, 2007 10:41 p.m.

    Thomas,

    Could Joseph Smith have guessed the name "Nahom"? Perhaps - but unlikely. Could he have guessed the name for a place which actually exists WITH the correct geographic location AND with the correct time period? "Statistically" speaking, HIGHLY IMPROBABLE!

    I'll at least give you credit for offering up the only weak counter argument to Nahom that I've seen on this board (although I noticed you didn't address Bountiful in Oman).

    Don't worry, I don't base my testimony of the BofM on Nahom, but I do think that critics will not believe the BofM if they found a sign in Hondouras which said "Welcome to Zarahemla". The doubter can always find reasons to doubt, coincidences and lucky guesses can always be used as possible explanations.

    Should you believe the BofM because of Nahom? No. But it should at least open your mind enough for you to read the book yourself and ask God if it's true...

  • nvlawyer
    Oct. 24, 2007 10:43 p.m.

    Dwayne Anderson:

    Your Harvard Quote requires two population sources. First, you need a population source today that has something to do with the second population source and you need to have DNA from both.

    You assume -- incorrectly, that the Native Americans who we are testing have occupied the same space since (at best) 400 a.c.e. You are smart enough to know that even the best ruins investigated in Mayan areas only date back to around 600 a.c.e. at best. Even with that, we don't have DNA from even that time (and we are assuming that the Mayans are actually the same people of the BofM, which is mere speculation). So we have niether the original population, nor a current population that we can certify as being the same people possessing the same land. Your reasoning and arguments are fatally flawed. Sorry, but the truth hurts.

  • Active Doubter
    Oct. 24, 2007 11:07 p.m.

    Let's go with what most people would agree upon: DNA, archaeology, linguistics and other scientific means (not to mention the Mongolian/Navajo links mentioned above, reportedly acknowledged by Pres. Kimball) confirm with relative certainty that the vast majority of Native Americans came from Asia several thousand years ago.

    However, Joseph Smith called these same Native Americans "Lamanites" - people who descended from a group that left Jerusalem in 600 BC.

    Was Joseph Smith right or is modern science right? Each person who cares to have an interest may decide for himself. The trouble is that people having these conflicting beliefs have to live together at home, work together at Church, etc. It is becoming a significant issue and I think the Church should do something about it. I don't think that taking a hard line against science or allowing amateur archaeologists (like Mr. Gardner) to spout off is going to solve the problem. Does the Church really want to have a significant number of its membership (note the sampling represented here) as closet disbelievers in one of its major tenets?

  • nvlawyer
    Oct. 24, 2007 11:11 p.m.

    One last thought: Someone brought up the norsemen being in American, but no DNA to prove it, depsite absolute proof of their presence. That reminded me that there is a DNA problem with dilution in large populations. Once again these "scientists" never even offer this as a possible problem with their theory. The Nephites were a significant minority in the much larger population of Laminites -- who were probably of Asian descent and were probably joined by Laman and Lemuel -- hence the real reason for the dark skin, e.g., mixing of races. Kill off the Nephites and dilute the DNA of a few new additions to a much larger population and you are left with asian descendants alone. nuff said.

  • Maria
    Oct. 24, 2007 11:20 p.m.

    In reading through all these comments, I feel like I have been in contact with creatures from another planet.

  • derek marlowe
    Oct. 24, 2007 11:26 p.m.

    to the doubter that wants sources for:

    2/3 of members of the LDS church are inactive
    and
    the church growth rate is in the 3%range

    these are undisputed statistics provided by the LDS church. Sorry that nobody told you, but they are readily available. look them up for yourself, I am not your mother.

  • Take a moment and ponder this!!!
    Oct. 24, 2007 11:36 p.m.

    It's funny everyone is going against everyone in this argument. First, I agree with the mechanic at the top saying basically you are believing that a computer geek is your scientist. That doesn't make sense to me. Than you say we should go back to freezing in a cave and believe science not our religion. Well didn't mine and everyone's God create us. Which would mean that he would have to have some science knowledge to be able to create humans the earth or in a nut shell everything. But yet you criticize us and tell us to live in a cave and freeze did the cavemen have scientists to show them how to make fire, NO! To mock God and say that we would have to live in a cave and freeze because we don't believe science is ridiculous, not to mention very offense to our God who in fact is a scientist. If scientist are so smart than tell me why we are still trying to figure out the world that God created. I think we should believe in our God before we believe the people that are trying to catch up to him and prove him wrong!!!

  • no-scholar
    Oct. 24, 2007 11:46 p.m.

    It seems to me that people from both sides have a good argument. However, it also appears that those who believe in the BofM are somewhat blinded by their faith. Anything negative about their religion is automatically labeled "anti" and the person saying it is "apostate". In my experience, even AFTER reading the book..several times, I was told that I was doing it wrong/praying wrong because I never got the "fuzzy" feeling of it being truth...I have come to the conclusion that I'm not going to base my life on the so-called truths dictated by others...especially ones that claim that if I don't see things their way, then it's WRONG..."A foolish faith in authority is the worst enemy of the truth" Einstein 1901

  • ndn native
    Oct. 24, 2007 11:54 p.m.

    You Gentiles complicate things to much. According to the title page of the Book of Mormon there are 3 groups of people on earth. The Jews(Judah), the Lamanites(Joseph-Mannasah) and the gentiles(the rest of the world). The Jews were scattered throughout the world. The Lamanites were brought to America and given this land and were cursed, smittened, and scattered acorss the Americas. The Gentiles were led to America by the spirit. The BofM prophesies of Christopher Columbus and the Pilgrims coming to America. Could the Asians have made their way here thru Alaska and could the Vikings have come thru Greenland and parts of Canada probably. It doesn't matter though. There are only 3 groups of people anyway you slice it. Jews(Judah), Lamanites AKA Native Americans/Polynesians(Joseph-Mannasah) and the Gentiles(the rest of the world) according to the title page of the BorM. So please stop complicating things Gentiles!

  • For The Guy In Chicago
    Oct. 25, 2007 12:29 a.m.

    You know what? You're right? Pls forgive us. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our own lives and culture that I think we forget that there are others who don't belong to our church paying attention to us or what we say. Why DOES The Book of Mormon matter? Because it is the word of God; an additional witness that Jesus is the Savior of all mankind, or at least wants to be, if we will do our best to follow Him. The Book of Mormon not only testifies of the reality and divinity of Christ but also testifies, once one knows for themselves it is of God, that Christ's divinely authorized and inspired organization, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, teaches the one true gospel of Christ to prepare mankind for the Second Coming of Christ and to prepare God's children for eternal glory and joy in the portion of our life beyond the grave. In short, The Book of Mormon matters because if mankind follows it's teachings it will lead us closer to God and His son. I asked God if it was true and learned it was and now you can too. Good luck!

  • mchastherapist
    Oct. 25, 2007 12:55 a.m.

    For some they ask? Why the DNA test? The Book of Mormon indicates that a remnant of Lehi's sons, Laman and Lemuel's seed, called a remnant of Jacob, would join the church in the last days and be the ones who build the New Jerusalem in Missouri. So, who and where are they? Lehi was Hebrew. So would his sons be. But, if DNA is from the female, If the American Indians are of Asian descent, who are remnants of Jacob talked about? Someone in there has to have Hebrew blood. If ancestors of Laman and Lemuel were preserved and migrated to Asia--Hagoth was a ship builder, so could others have been--and mixed with Asian blood or Asian females, and their seed moved back to the Americas somewhere and now are American Indians but with obvious Asian mother ancestors, who's to know! It doesn't prove the Indians aren't also Hebrew. The DNA tests already done could leave that to one's imagination. Doesn't change why you are or aren't a member of the Church.
    Christ is still our Savior and Joseph a prophet, and Peter James and John came. And, when you know, you know!

  • Tonto Hershowitz
    Oct. 25, 2007 1:58 a.m.

    Personally i don't see what all the fuss is about.

  • Juan Pablo
    Oct. 25, 2007 6:37 a.m.

    The only one that can prove the authenticity of the Book of Mormon is the Holy Ghost.

    It's like saying, "prove that Jesus is the Son of God by scientific means." Well, we can't. Nobody can't. You just have to "Believe" and have Faith. The Holy Spirit will come to your heart, and if your heart is open, He will let your heart know.

    You either believe scientisits, or you believe the Holy Ghost.

  • Incredulouserer
    Oct. 25, 2007 6:53 a.m.

    Incredulous | 10:06 p.m. Oct. 24, 2007
    "I have long, long held that if the BOM were one day "proven" (in actual fact) to be a great fictional story, it would matter not at all to the vast majority of LDS, who would go on believing in it and defending it nonetheless.

    The dialog herein have proven my point in spades. To the devout, it does not matter if the BOM is true or not, therefore debating it is a fruitless exercise for all concerned. Precious few will modify their positions."

    And what if it were proven true (with actual fact)? Do you think people would come running to join? No, people like you would write it off. Point is, you can't prove its wrong and I can't prove it right. It's one of those things you have to study and learn for yourself.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 25, 2007 7:29 a.m.

    What is unbelievable is how Mormon defenders/apologists will endorse and support and utilize scientific research when it supports their claims about the Church, but then turn around and reject science when it may not support the Church's claims. Science is clearly the fair-weather friend of Mormons, and that is what makes their claims suspicious.

    Afterall, the two best (so far) DNA scientists who originally researched the common LDS claims of the Jewish ancestry of the American Indian were ACTIVE MORMONS when they did it!? From what they have said, they were NOT trying to disprove their faith. That just happened as a side benefit.

  • re:Derek Marlowe
    Oct. 25, 2007 7:30 a.m.

    Dear Mom,

    That is how you source facts?

    Lucky you never had to take any college courses.

    OK, then.

    Can't argue with them there non-facts.

  • Call Me Ted
    Oct. 25, 2007 7:33 a.m.

    The DNA research DOES change things dramatically for me. It opened a crack to let the light in, and now I am seeing clearly for the first time in ten years! The claims of the LDS Church are unsupportable, untestable, and absurd in most cases. I can finally relax and ignore the extreme fanaticism they have foisted on me for the past ten years!

  • Interesting
    Oct. 25, 2007 7:45 a.m.

    I think it's great that science has obtained a greater knowledge about DNA. I hope that scientists can obtain the funding to do more research in the area of DNA and microbiology. I don't believe DNA information can ever prove or disapprove the truthfulness of the BOM. Only the Sprit of God can do that.

  • Mazer2soc
    Oct. 25, 2007 7:52 a.m.

    Let's see. 'Ol' Joe Smith, Jr. Prophet or charlatan. Let's see what what some other guys said about all of this: Oliver Cowdrey, David Whitmer And Martin Harris. Yeah. These three knew for sure. Oh. And then there are these: Christian Whitmer, Jacob Whitmer, Peter Whitmer, Jr., John Whitmer, Hiram Page, Joseph Smith, Sen., Hyrum Smith and Samuel H. Smith. We can even add the name of Sidney Rigdon to the list if we want. Interesting that some of these gentlemen even turned against Jo Smith BUT none ever renounced or refuted what they saw, what they witnessed. No! Not one. And in fact, one even was an instigator of his death. Besides the Book of Mormon and the work that was started in 1830, and is still growing and growing, there can be only one conclusion: Joseph Smith, Jr. is the Prophet of the Restoration. So be careful, all you who feel you must fight against him and his work. You could find yourself fighting against God and His work for all his children, including even you and me! That's not a good place to be, fighting against God, no sir-ee, period!

  • Observer
    Oct. 25, 2007 7:55 a.m.

    The role of science is to explore the practical implications of our beliefs and theories. The theory that the American Indian descended from Jewish ancestors has been articulated in a number of different ways by a number of different LDS Church leaders. Which of these differing theories is being tested?

    And since these DNA researchers have published their findings, the scientific process will kick in to refine the theories and improve the research. That is why BYU is staffing up with researchers qualified for the task. Good luck to them. BYU researchers' credentials and research have historically been suspect because they have obvious and powerful biases. And in many cases, the best credentialed LDS researchers actually leave the Church.

    This should be interesting to watch over the next decade or so. In the interim, I will keep my 10% sin premium and enjoy a little wine with my dinner. Good luck to you all!

  • Wow, Cognitive Dissonance
    Oct. 25, 2007 8:08 a.m.

    I see so much Cognitive Dissonance going on here it's almost mind bogling. And the sad thing is, the people doing it don't even realize it. Some of you decided that a book is true and that nothing will sway you. Be aware, however, that there are many more people in the world (billions to be exact) that don't and will never believe. Your thirteen million (much less if you count inactives) pales in comparison to our numbers. Hopefully some of you received some information that will cause you to research (even if you won't admit it). In fact, I know some will because I was one years ago before I started to search. I hope that some of you will have the courage to speak out and not (silently pretend) like so many people do.
    This is my wish for you.

  • what's it's not
    Oct. 25, 2007 8:16 a.m.

    To Incredulous, Take a moment and ponder this!!! , no-scholar, etc , etc, etc - It not proof the church is not true. It's evidence the Jews DNA in the old hasn't shown up in Indians in the new world!
    What the DNA "experts" at the center of this controversy don't have is Jewish DNA samples from before and after the time that Lehi's family DNA, and the other's DNA that left Jerusalem 2600 years ago. They also don't have DNA samples from Jaredites that left from around the tower of Babel roughly 5000 years ago. They also don't have samples from the people that came to the Americas
    that we have no record of.
    So again it's not proof!
    What it is proof of...Is that those that want so badly for the church to not be true that they, the non-believers, will use this as justifacation for non-belief. "Can't be true because the scientist told me so!" Doesn't matter their conclusions, these "expert" scientists might be tainted by anti-LDS bias does it?
    It isn't game , match, point as badly as you yearn for it to be!

  • Mr. Mr.
    Oct. 25, 2007 8:22 a.m.

    The fuss is really about the fuss of what constitutes knowledge of history. If you don't think there's a problem with faith based history as opposed to evidence based history, then perhaps your content with people inventing their own history while ignoring overwhelming evidence that faith based history is bunk.

    It's funny how science is lame and stupid when it contradicts religious belief, but when science (pseudo-science) "proves" religious belief, then suddenly science is placed on a pedestal of truth.

  • J
    Oct. 25, 2007 8:44 a.m.

    The object of "true" sciene and "true" religion are to come to the truth of all things. They may take different paths but eventually they will cross.

    Matters of faith as said many times cannot be proved or disproved by science.

    As science gains more knowledge on a subject the theories change. But to say the science we have today disproves the validity of the BofM seems absurd becasue todays theories will be outdated in a few years from now. We used to belive the world was flat or the sun revolved around the earth. Those theories changed as we gained more knowledge.

    However, as people of faith we need to keep our minds open to "true" science. Becasue a scientist will come to the truth before a religious zealot will. Look at the dark ages.

    I used to believe the only people that were in the Americas where those spoken of in the BofM and that people did not come across the Bering Strait. However, as I have grown older and learned more I have changed my opinon. The BofM did not preclude people from other migrating to the Americas.

  • A Scientist
    Oct. 25, 2007 9:04 a.m.

    To Elijah Abel
    I am serious. When I talk about genetic profile I mean the actual DNA markers that they are using to track the peoples ancestry, not a generalization that these people are descendants of Lamanites. The introduction to the Book of Mormon that says that "the Lamanites were the principal ancestors of the American Indians" was written by Bruce R. McConkie, as I understand it, and was not part of the original book. I am not apologizing for the fact that it says that, because I believe that it is true, but you ought to understand where it comes from. But the word "principal" here doesn't refer to ancestors with Lehi's Y-chromosome or Sariah's mitochondrial DNA. It refers to a linage through which people receive their spiritual blessings.
    I feel sorry that you find application of the term "Lamanite" incredibly offensive. You must not appreciate the Book of Mormon the way I do. The dark skin spoken of was not the curse, it was a mark of the curse in the beginning to keep the Nephites from marrying those who didn't have their faith. The curse was actually that the Lamanites cut themselves off from God.

  • More like the Jews
    Oct. 25, 2007 9:13 a.m.

    Actually what we need to do is test the anti- posters to see if they have Jewish blood in them, because remarkably they are sounding and acting like the Jews in Jesus Christ's time. Using the same types of arguments against the LDS church as they used against Him and his church. They said Jesus couldn't be the Chirst, "He's the Carpenter's son.", "We have his mother and brothers and sisters amongst us",(That's "proof" if I ever saw it!) His teachings go against established doctrine, He's adding to our scriptures("We Have Moses and the Prophets."), etc.and then in the next breath they accused him of being a Samaritan, lunatic, charlatan magician(We have it's equivalent applied to JS in our day.), etc.
    They were so busy looking for reasons to not believe they missed real proof...His teachings, fulfillment of prophecy, spiritual feelings when He preached, etc.
    Hiding in plain sight?
    It was easier for them to believe lies detractors spread about Christ. Believing would require a change in their lives and beliefs.
    Hmmmmmmmm! That sound familiar to you?
    "Funny how the more things change...The more they stay the same."
    "If you can't learn from the past...You're doomed to repeat it!"

  • Bottom Line
    Oct. 25, 2007 9:19 a.m.

    Bottom line...the DNA search does not support our belief that the BOM is true, BUT it does NOT disprove it, since the genetic markers may be impossible to find. Disappointing, yes, the final word?, far from it.

    Oh, by the way, for Mr. Drummond...the BOM has no reference the Cyrus the great. You obviously have not read the book. Read before you criticize.

    Lastly, as I said much earlier, the logical approach (setting aside warm fuzzies) is to examine the character of the person who produced the book. He is a contemporary individual, with much written about him. My analysis of his character, of recent months, has left me wondering about his character. There is not time or space here to discuss it, but there are solid JS histories that explore many troubling aspects to his character in a neutral (and truthful) fashion. I think this is a more fruitful field to examine for us logical thinkers.

  • Wondering
    Oct. 25, 2007 9:20 a.m.

    This DNA debate certainly creates questions in a reasonable person's mind. I share the same question posted ealier: what difference does it make whether or not the Book of Mormon is "true"? Does it contain some secret to success or an answer to the woes of the world?

    If it does, then we would expect the Mormon people to be a far superior society/subculture than all others, wouldn't we? I mean, if you have the answers to life's questions, that would necessarily follow, wouldn't it?

    But what does the evidence show? Mormons are as troubled by the problems of society as any group around. They are just regular people, with problems and fears and average performance, etc. So what exactly are these wonderful secrets that nobody should be without? They don't seem to be working for you!

  • The Salamandar letter?
    Oct. 25, 2007 9:27 a.m.

    Bobby Miles Doopay - brings in the Salamandar letter as something the LDS should consider as another 'nail' in the coffin...Actually that letter was a forgery, and as such was shown to be false. Hoffman had been cookin' the 'antiquities' he'd been selling for years.
    As a member of the LDS church I'm supposed to believe a known forgery? I'm supposed to take that as anti "proof"?
    Wow! Thanks for doing my thinking for me. I'll sleep better knowing you're looking out for me!

  • A Scientist
    Oct. 25, 2007 9:31 a.m.

    To Elijah Abel (continued):
    Cursing comes when you cut yourself off from God, and the mark can be different, depending on who you are. Thus, later in the Book of Mormon we learn that the mark of the curse was a mark that people made on themselves in their forehead, as a sign that they had split off from God's chosen people. As I noted before, my children are of Native American descent though their maternal great-grandfather . (And as I also noted, I can't prove that they are his descendants using the two types of DNA spoken of, though it is only 3 generations, and not 2600 years). I rejoice in the knowledge that my children are possibly of Lamanite origin and teach them of the promises that are given to those of Lamanite ancestry. The Book of Mormon was Written to the Lamanites, who are a remnant of the house of Israel to show unto the remnant of the House of Israel what great things the Lord hath done for their fathers; and that they may know the covenants of the Lord, that they are not cast off forever. Lamanites (and others) believing this are not cursed.

  • Splitting hairs
    Oct. 25, 2007 9:56 a.m.

    Active Doubter wrote - "However, Joseph Smith called these same Native Americans "Lamanites" - people who descended from a group that left Jerusalem in 600 BC.
    Was Joseph Smith right or is modern science right?"





    You're doing backflips because the DNA doesn't show they're "Jews"?

    Actually He said they were decendents of Lehi a decendent of Joseph through Mannessah. Read the BOM!

    Come to think of it the DNA supports what the BOM stated all along! No Jewish blood in the Lamanites!

    Do you "...strain at a gnat and swallow a camel"?

    Ya got a DNA sample from Joseph? Mannasah?
    I thought so!

    Neither do your scientist buddies!






  • Thomas
    Oct. 25, 2007 10:05 a.m.

    NVlawyer -- The problem with the comparison to the Norse in America is that their presence lasted probably no more than a century, and never amounted to more than a handful of families. And the sources we have -- the Vinland Sagas (which I've read in the original Old Norse, BTW) make it clear there was no intermarriage, or even much contact with the natives -- who were constantly trying to kill the new arrivals, whose settlement was finally abandoned for that reason.

    The Book of Mormon describes an entirely different scenario. The Hebrew-derived Nephites numbered in the millions. They were present in the Americas for close to a thousand years. Multiple instances of large-scale intermarriage are recorded (for example, the constant joining of Nephite dissenters to the Lamanites).

    If you draw the most reasonable conclusions from the text, the most likely conclusion is that Nephite genes were broadly distributed among the local population. That makes it harder to explain why it should have disappeared entirely over the next fifteen hundred years.

  • Chicago Perspective
    Oct. 25, 2007 10:10 a.m.

    What's that you say? There are people out there that do not believe in the Book of Mormon? Really?

    And they tell people about the reasons why they don't believe it? On the internet even? No!

    This all comes as shocking news. If only I had gotten the memo.

    I guess I will just have to continue the selfish act of being the one to choose my faith, along with my reasoning behind it.

  • Thomas
    Oct. 25, 2007 10:17 a.m.

    Frozen -- As I said, I'm not a statistician. We may *think* the appearance of "Nahom" in the Book of Mormon and "NHM" in southern Arabia is an unusual coincidence, but neither of us really knows what the actual odds are. Neither do we know what the odds would be that there would be some islands in the Indian Ocean named the "Comoros," whose capital city is "Moroni."

    As to the argument that "NHM" is "exactly where the Book of Mormon says it would be" -- the text is general enough to cover thousands of square miles.

    As I said, it's an interesting coincidence, but I couldn't get it into court as evidence without some expert testimony by a statistician giving a rough idea of just how unlikely a semi-random coincidence would be.

    Re: "Bountiful," the story required enough timber to build a ship. I've seen pictures of the wadi in "Bountiful," and while it's a lot greener than the surrounding desert, the scrubby, brushy trees don't look like particularly great ship-building material. It certainly comes closer to matching the text than the surrounding territory, but it's not exactly a slam-dunk evidence, either.

  • Safety in numbers?
    Oct. 25, 2007 10:18 a.m.

    Wow, Cognitive Dissonance wrote - "Your thirteen million (much less if you count inactives) pales in comparison to our numbers."

    I'm sure that's what the last lemming going over the cliff says on his way down, too!

    There are hundreds of millions believing Muslims...I should go join them because of their numbers? Drug users...Yep!Lots of them too. They even tell me LSD will expand my mind! "Cool man!"

    Actually it takes more courage to speak out against the crowd...Especially when you're in the minority(I'm talking about us in comparison to the world.)when it's unpopular, when you're derided for your beliefs, etc.

    "I hope that some of you will have the courage to speak out and not (silently pretend) like so many people do.
    This is my wish for you."

    I'm glad that you can be "conscience" for so many "pretenders".

    If you've "searched and found" what you want to believe concerning the church....
    My wish for you...That you've went to the right source, and not "pretending" like others do when they leave the church because they weren't striving to keep the spirit in their lives. So they lost their testimony...If they ever had one. Then leave..."Finding the better way!"

  • Animals Evil?
    Oct. 25, 2007 10:28 a.m.

    I absolutely agree, if the BOM is shown one way or another to be true or untrue the majority on either side would not change their perspective.
    Haven't we proven that eggs are bad for you? And yet people still eat way too many. And haven't we proven that eggs are good for you? Yet people dont eat enough. Not to mention Milk. And sometimes water.
    I know I wouldnt change. My perspective of the BOM is built on my experience of having the only "person" I trust 100.00% tell me it was. For me to believe otherwise that same "person" would have to tell me otherwise. So far he's not impressed.

  • The Church?
    Oct. 25, 2007 10:31 a.m.

    Hey, "True it is" wrote - "Just curious, how does Galileo play into your little argument?

    Maybe my memory deceives me, but I'm pretty sure it was the church that prohibited Galileo's advocacy of heliocentrism, since it was contrary to the literal meaning of Scripture."


    The "Church" you're referring to is the Catholic church.



    As far as Galileo and the BOM are concerned it's right in the BOM!

    The BOM says the Lamanites are from Joseph through Mannasseh not Judah...So what's the big deal with Jewish DNA? Yawn! Non-Issue!

  • Timothy of Trail
    Oct. 25, 2007 10:41 a.m.

    The Book of Mormon cannot be proven to be wrong to some people (Incredulouserer's view) because they refuse to open their mind to the scientific and historical evidence that abundantly proves that it is not a true history of peoples in the ancient Americas. The DNA evidence that has genetically connected Native Americas with Asians (from northeast Asia) and not Jews/Israelis only supports what archeologists have determined, namely that the ancestors of American Indians came from northeast Asia several millenia ago (and not from Israel about 2,600 years ago).

    Why do some Latter-day Saints refuse to acknowledge in their minds all the scientific, historical, and linguistic evidence that does not support The Book of Mormon? The answer is obvious: To do so would result in the collapse of their religious belief system since The Book of Mormon is the keystone of the LDS religion. Losing one's faith is not the end of the world, however. People mature psychologically and move on with their lives. Some people ("New Order Mormons") continue to participate in the LDS Church for social and family reasons, but no longer believe in foundational church teachings and claims. It's OK to grow up.

  • Aint ya learnt to read?
    Oct. 25, 2007 10:54 a.m.

    re:Derek Marlowe - 7:30 a.m. Oct. 25, 2007- wrote-
    "Dear Mom,

    That is how you source facts?

    Lucky you never had to take any college courses.

    OK, then.

    Can't argue with them there non-facts."



    Aint ya learnt to read in grade skool?

    Guess what if all the anti posters had read the BOM they'd find out the Jewish DNA is a non-issue.

    Lamanites/Lemuelites are sons of Lehi decended from Joseph through Mannaseh! They split before the Mulekites(JEWS)came on the scene! The majority Lamanites pretty much wiped out the minority Nephite/Mulekites!
    Hmmmm! No Jewish blood?
    No argument there!
    My oh my...I can still keep my Sunday go to LDS church card!

  • sb
    Oct. 25, 2007 11:15 a.m.

    I have a question relating to DNA. When they do DNA testing, is it true or not true they are only able to follow along the paternal line? If so, doesnt this exclude a lot of people when it comes to tracing and comparing one group of people to another?

  • TYLER
    Oct. 25, 2007 11:32 a.m.

    TO "WONDERING" just thought I'd clarify that Mormon people are quite happy successful people. The Mormon church donates more than any other church on the earth, that's a verifiable fact. I wouldn't say that we are superior by any stretch of the imagination, but as a people we are happy, giving, culture and I believe that our testimonies of that Book allow us to deal with life's troubles far more easily than without them. Please don't think that we feel superior, however I personally find comfort in the truthful words of the Book of Mormon. They are working for me!

  • Mike Reid
    Oct. 25, 2007 11:32 a.m.

    There is a simple verse in Jacob 7 that might speak volumes as to the erroneous assumption that the children of Lehi found an empty land:

    1 And now it came to pass after some years had passed away, there came a man among the people of Nephi, whose name was Sherem.

    So why would the writer describe a Nephite like this? To me it sounds like he was an outsider. A later verse indicates that he knew their language.

    So this debate about DNA is irrelevant. The Book of Mormon is never going to be proven true by DNA, or archeology, etc. That is not the point of scripture, nor is it how God operates.

  • TYLER
    Oct. 25, 2007 11:50 a.m.

    to "wow cognitive dissonance" You asked people to speak out so here I am. You're right about billions of people not believing...yet! Billions of people have never even heard of it! But either in this life or the next people will hear any many will believe. I am a person who has read literature that cotradicts the Book of Mormon, but it means nothing to me. What many people choose to ignore is that there is no possible way a 23 year old farmer with an elementary education could write such a contraversial book that fits so flawlessly with the Bible and Christ's atonement. Pioneers crossed the country sacrificing everything for their religion. Throw all the Anti-Mormon garbage you want at me but it won't even phase me and my faith.

  • Logical approach?
    Oct. 25, 2007 12:02 p.m.

    Bottom Line wrote - "the logical approach (setting aside warm fuzzies) is to examine the character of the person who produced the book. He is a contemporary individual, with much written about him."

    If (setting aside warm fuzzies) can bring you to truth...Why does Jesus send the comforter(Testifier of truth.) in the NT?
    God's truth is truth. The only place you should go for truth about JS is GOD.
    Reading anti will bring doubts. They write it that way for that reason.

    "My analysis of his character, of recent months, has left me wondering about his character. There is not time or space here to discuss it, but there are solid JS histories that explore many troubling aspects to his character in a neutral (and truthful) fashion. I think this is a more fruitful field to examine for us logical thinkers."

    "solid JS histories"? Name them!

    You've abandoned logic! Find he's of God w/o God? There's no "neutral" fashion to examine JS...It's
    a subject that can't be neutral. Either he is or he isn't God's prophet!

    You can't read "contempt-ary"(Agenda?, motives?, vendettas?) histories to examine(Eviscerate) his character.
    God/Holy Ghost/spritual truth inseparable...
    Spiritual truth...Sorry can't get it w/o HGhost(Warm, fuzzies?)!



  • Anonymous
    Oct. 25, 2007 12:30 p.m.

    Wow! This community is even more divided than I thought!
    First it was Harry Reid, now this.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 25, 2007 12:54 p.m.

    Timothy of Trail wrote - "Why do some Latter-day Saints refuse to acknowledge in their minds all the scientific, historical, and linguistic evidence that does not support The Book of Mormon?"

    What scientific, historical and linguistic evidence?

    Let's start with linguistic...Lots of words that are related to hebrew show up in Indian languages. Some pretty much dead on. Most of the written language that we can see on temples(Certainly doesn't tell us where they came from.) can't even be accurately read at this time. Maybe that could tell us more than some scientific theory about their origins.

    Historical? I guess it really depends on whose writing the history doesn't it. The native culture's oral histories talk about coming on boats not a land bridge! Could their own accounts be more accurate than some scientific theory?

    Scientific? Again depends on whose analyzing the "evidence"!
    Digging up temples, houses, pots, graves,etc tells everything want to know about people's history, religion, ancestry?

    Scientific theory((In!)accurate?)

    Written history would be more accurate wouldn't it(Dispel misconceptions.)?

    "Why do some Latter-day Saints refuse to acknowledge in their minds all the"

    Well...It's not proof!

    Why go to fallible scientists w/incomplete evidence.

    Want proof go to God!

  • Thomas
    Oct. 25, 2007 1:23 p.m.

    Guys -- JUDAH AND MANASSEH HAD THE SAME FATHER. So yes, descendants of Judah and descendants of Manasseh would have common DNA material. It just would come from one generation further back.

  • re:Aint ya learned to read
    Oct. 25, 2007 1:27 p.m.

    Huh?

    Yeah, just throw stuff on the wall a see what sticks.

    I never learned to read incoherance...

  • Thomas
    Oct. 25, 2007 1:30 p.m.

    Oops -- make that "Judah and Manasseh both descended from Jacob." Judah was his son; Manasseh his grandson. Either way, both of them (and their descendants) are descendants of Jacob, and would be expected to have common genes inherited from Jacob.

  • Ken Goddard
    Oct. 25, 2007 1:31 p.m.

    They are still looking for a (any) stitch of proof that the bible stuff even existed let alone the book of mormon. I personally think they are both fables. But no one should care about religion one way or another if only it was totally separated from the tax code, totally excluded from the political area, and, a requirement that all charity collected be disbursed towards beneficial causes for the betterment of society. No hoarding, none of these corporate churches or otherwise large scale business enterprises like we have now. As is now stands, "religion" is turning into a money racket where society might be better off without it.

  • Thomas
    Oct. 25, 2007 1:42 p.m.

    Mazer2soc advises us to "be careful" lest we find ourselves "fighting against God."

    Sir, that's *exactly* what I'm doing.

    Our God is a God of truth, and cannot lie. Also, as Peter said, we ought to obey God rather than men. I want to be on the true God's side.

    The Church is making some very serious claims. If they are true, they're potentially the most wonderful news that the world could hear: God *does* exist, is actively involved in human affairs, and really does have a plan to take care of us and give everything meaning.

    If they're not true -- well, then, they're not true, and accepting them as such is a kind of idolatry.

    It behooves us, then, to strive as seriously and as thoroughly as we can to find out whether those claims are true, or not. It follows that there is no room here for sloppy thinking, moral cowardice, exaggerated allegiance to received traditions, and so on.

    (cont. below)

  • Thomas
    Oct. 25, 2007 1:51 p.m.

    (cont. from above)

    I've been trying to become convinced that the Book of Mormon is what it says it is for at least 25 years, during which time I've done everything that is supposed to yield a knowledge that the book is true.

    Why didn't I give up, long ago, when my first few readings and ponderings and prayings didn't result in any spiritual confirmation that the book was true? Probably because my DNA is Mormon -- and because so many people whom I deeply respect have reported spiritual experiences that they describe as an infallible confirmation that the book is true. I haven't had any such experience, but I've always held open the possibility that I might, someday.

    The main problem is that I still haven't had any such experience. If I had, it could overshadow a huge amount of contrary evidence; otherwise, the rational evidence is all I have. And it frankly doesn't look too good at the moment. The arguments in defense of the Book of Mormon's historicity that I see on these boards don't fill me with much confidence. And Conference talks attacking the credibility of science don't suggest that things are going well.

  • Tyrone
    Oct. 25, 2007 1:53 p.m.

    Why do Mormons always fall back on "Joseph Smith was an uneducated farmer, there's no way he could have written the book, so therefore it's true"?

    Doesn't that same logic mean that Muhammad, a poor uneducated shepard, could have never produced something so beautiful and powerful as the Koran, so therefore the Koran is true?

    Just asking.

  • How God Works
    Oct. 25, 2007 2:00 p.m.

    You all miss the point. The Bible says that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. If God allowed the concrete proof of a spiritual guide you would be dammed because your knowledge of Gods existence would become sure. You would thus loose enmity and the right to have Christ atone for your sins.

    We do the same in our society. A person with knowledge has more accountability than a person with less knowledgeable. There are many legal examples. One such example is knowingly contributing to a death vs negligent homicide.

    If our scientist conclusively linked Native American DNA to the Hebrews, wouldnt the validity of the BOM be proven? If so, then our knowledge concerning its truthfulness would be whole and the existence of God confirmed. We no longer would need faith.

    Southerton proved God loves us enough to keep us from damming ourselves to Hell.

  • note to Deseret News
    Oct. 25, 2007 2:03 p.m.

    The comment page for this board has stopped at 10:31 Oct 25, 2007. Nothing since then has been posted.

  • WoW!
    Oct. 25, 2007 2:19 p.m.

    never the less, it seems to me if a people can give you the book ..how come you have so much resistance against the illegals..many missionaries went to their countries with the good news and the people listened , followed them back here to utah and contributed greatly but now it as if we don't count! That seems to be the real curse!

  • John Harvey
    Oct. 25, 2007 2:24 p.m.

    All truth is suppose to be consistent - that is a somewhat unique (when looking at religion in general) LDS core belief; that's why so many LDS Church members care about whether science (of whatever type) matches up with what they are taught.

    Science can only (in the best case) strongly confirm the likelihood or non-likelihood of a given hypothesis. By keeping track of which hypotheses are shown to be good predictors of subsequent events scientific theory advances. Most of what we identify as our current civilization is due to scientific progress.

    Science (of any type) will not be able to prove or dis-prove whether the LDS Church is what it claims to be. Everyone must eventually make their own judgment on that issue. The only "witness" available is God (assuming you believe in God). If you are not willing to ask, or listen to, God about the claim then you are left to your own conclusions.

    John Harvey

  • Ned
    Oct. 25, 2007 2:42 p.m.

    To TYLER: just thought I would clarify. "Wondering" was just saying that if the LDS church and people had the truth and the anwsers for life then they probably wouldn't suffer from the same problems the rest of society has. But the LDS divorce rate and bankruptcy rate etc. etc. are the same as the rest of the nation. That's allhe was trying to say.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 25, 2007 2:54 p.m.
















    Thomas wrote - Oops -- make that "Judah and Manasseh both descended from Jacob." "
    Judah was his son; Manasseh his grandson. Either way, both of them (and their descendants) are descendants of Jacob, and would be expected to have common genes inherited from Jacob."

    I thought we were talking mitochondrial DNA(mother)?
    Yes read deeper and you'll find that Joseph had a different
    1.mother
    2.married a non-Israelite(pharoah's daughter)(What nation was the mother in law from?Kings throughout the ages married daughters of kings of other nations to form aliances/treaties.)
    3.Who did Manasseh marry?What tribe/nation's genes are mixed into her DNA?*How much intermarraige went on w/in a specific tribe to cause what DNA traits to become dominant/recessive?
    4.Proselytes(converts.Adopted into Israel.)came into the mix. *See above
    5.What tribe was Sariah, Lehi's wife? *See above
    6.Laman/Lemuel married Ishmael's daughters. The name Ishmael is more likely Arab(Covert?). What DNA did they bring with them? Once they split off from Nephites.They intermarried till the cows came home. *See above.
    Once the BOM narrative ends we don't what other mitochondrial DNA is added to the mix?
    So you point about Jacob being the Father/Grandfather while true doesn't make your point valid!
    Jewish DNA? Read story!








    mitochondrial DNA

  • Anon
    Oct. 25, 2007 4:12 p.m.

    I guess at the very least this long list of comments refutes Mr. Gardner's comment that DNA is a non-issue.

  • mg
    Oct. 25, 2007 4:13 p.m.

    a while back i came across an interesting website put out by the Hope of Israel Ministries (not affiliated with the LDS church) called "The Saga of Ancient Hebrew Explorers" and their exploration into the idea of "who discovered america first?"

    It is an interesting read. They have found a lot of interesting evidences which they feel suggest that ancient Hebrew peoples did infact come to the americas thousands of years ago.

    How this all ties into the Book of Mormon and whether it would prove or disprove, I don't care. I guess it could do either (prove or disprove) depending on your perspective--how you choose to read it. At any rate, neither group can really convince the other when it does not want to be convinced. Furthermore individuals in either group can and will be convinced to join the other if they are willing to be convinced.

  • THEDOCTRINEISTRUE....
    Oct. 25, 2007 4:29 p.m.

    In Brigham Young's day the debate went on...and B.Y. with his logic and faith declared about the Joseph Smith controversy, when considering the problem people were having with him, "THE DOCTRINE IS TRUE". He knew Joseph Smith to the core.

    That is the simple truth about the Book of Mormon,
    'THE DOCTRINE IS TRUE'. So Brigham Young had no problems to distract him from his inspired work of building up the Latter Day Kingdom of God.

    Quoted Jesus Christ.."A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign".

  • Dave
    Oct. 25, 2007 4:49 p.m.

    Before bashing Gardner it would be good to know more information.
    He has a masters in anthropology from State Univ, Albany New York and also has completed course work for a PhD in anthropology

  • Truth Sometimes Hurts
    Oct. 25, 2007 4:58 p.m.

    So many people have spoken of "anti-mormons" on here, but I think mostly the problem is that "truth hurts". I know the things I've spoken are facts:
    I spoke of billions of people vs. 13 million people and I said that "not everyone will agree"
    Those are facts. If you want to believe certain things even if you believe "everyone will know" in heaven stuff that's up to you. It is not a fact.
    Be aware however, that other religions may think similar things about their religion and that they don't want to know.
    I once heard a joke about a group of people huddled together in heaven. Some asked "who are they?" the reply was "oh, those are the Mormons...they think they're the only ones here."
    Bless All

  • Time of Christ
    Oct. 25, 2007 7:42 p.m.

    I wonder what the science was at the time of Christ that the Jews used to "prove" that Christ wasn't who he said he was. Missing out on recognizing the son of God when he is standing next to you is kind of a biggie. I am sure that Herods experts had all sorts of proof that Christ wasn't who he said he was. Science says that the miracles he performed are not logical. Who can prove that the bread and fish thing really happened? If you believe in Christ but choose not to believe in the Book of Mormon due to some scientific finding you may be like some folks who believed in the coming of Christ but missed him when he was standing next to them.

  • sb
    Oct. 25, 2007 10:55 p.m.

    To MG: Thank you. If anything, it gave me something interesting to look up.

  • big boys rule
    Oct. 26, 2007 5:51 a.m.

    You have to understand that the indoctrination process Mormon people have been raised with is quite concise. The term "free agency" is bandied about, but if one dare entertain the notion that Smith may have been making the whole thing up, the Devil must be at work on your mind. (an external thing)
    With all formal religions, it is always "the big boys" in charge who have everything to gain.

  • BA Christians in glass.....
    Oct. 26, 2007 9:31 a.m.

    BA Christians in glass houses shouldn't throw out "DNA trumps the BOM truth" rocks.
    Isn't DNA scientist's basic premise that the evidence speak of an old earth(4-6 billion yrs?)? The Asians that they are saying the AI are decended from came across a land bridge 10,000 to 15,000 years ago!
    Ultimely they say they can show that man has a close relative in primates like Gibbons, etc. until to the "Genesis" they preach...Life came out of primordial soup several hundred millions years ago w/o any help from God.
    Can you say layers of complex above layers of rock embedded with "simple" life forms? Proof?
    I've read posts by Contributors that are Christian?
    Are they going to say that they believe DNA science as far as it's translated correctly? It's science? It's logical?
    Are Southerton, a former LDS bishop, Thomas Murphy BA Christians?

    The inerrent Bible(Isa. 11: 12)preaches that Judah is dispersed across the four corners(Whole world?)of the earth!

    If DNA evidence that there isn't any Jewish DNA in the AI just as damning to Bible as it is to BOM? Really?

    Maybe the J&S Tanner better join the fray on our side!

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 26, 2007 9:41 a.m.

    Anthropologist are not biologists. Jokes are usually not true and mitochondrial DNA can't tell the geographical origin of the woman whose DNA it is.

    Mitochondrial DNA can tell you that two people have a common ancestor and where each resided at a certain point, but not 2600 years back. Mitochondrial DNA does not take into account the father.

    This is really simple basic logic. It doesn't require an expert to figure it out.

    If one believes in the Bible, they believe that the black race came through the flood through Ham's wife. Most blacks on the earth today live in Africa. However,there are blacks in almost all countries of the earth. Anyone that believes that all blacks originated from Africa would be considered a fool. Anyone who believes that there are any blacks who have no white blood are equally foolish and short sighted. The Bible and fathers would have to be totally discounted for that to be true.

    The Book of Mormon talks of multiple migrations both to and from the American continent all involving women. The Bible tell us that Jerusalem was destroyed and the inhabitants were destroyed or taken into Babylonian captivity with Zedekiah after Lehi left.

  • You read and understood just fin
    Oct. 26, 2007 12:53 p.m.

    re:Aint ya learned to read | 1:27 p.m. Oct. 25, 2007
    "Huh?

    Yeah, just throw stuff on the wall a see what sticks.

    I never learned to read incoherance... "

    I wrote my response to: to:re:Derek Marlowe - 7:30 a.m. Oct. 25, 2007- wrote-
    "Dear Mom,

    That is how you source facts?

    Lucky you never had to take any college courses.

    OK, then.

    Can't argue with them there non-facts."





    To the mocking tone of Derek Marlowe's - "Can't argue with them there non-facts."

    I wrote - "Aint ya learnt to read in grade skool?

    Guess what if all the anti posters had read the BOM they'd find out the Jewish DNA is a non-issue.

    Lamanites/Lemuelites are sons of Lehi decended from Joseph through Mannaseh! They split before the Mulekites(JEWS)came on the scene! The majority Lamanites pretty much wiped out the minority Nephite/Mulekites!
    Hmmmm! No Jewish blood?
    No argument there!
    My oh my...I can still keep my Sunday go to LDS church card!"


    No facts just farce on his part.
    My response is apropriate in kind.
    My incoherence for his incoherence.
    You read the incoherence and understood
    it just fine.
    What about the rest of the post?

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 26, 2007 12:55 p.m.

    I am going to write but this one comment. It saddens me to hear so many say they have read the Book Of Mormon and do not believe it. It also saddens me to hear so many say the book is not true. No matter what scientists say they have discovered can be disputed by 4 or 5 other scientists. I know the Book of Mormon is a Book of God. It is ancient scripture written by ancient prophets. It was translated by Joseph Smith a prophet of God. I know this, This is not just my belief it is my life. God lives, he is as real as any of us. I have come to know him more by reading this book then could every be possible by reading any other book.

  • We never said
    Oct. 26, 2007 12:59 p.m.

    To Ned | 2:42 p.m. Oct. 25, 2007
    To TYLER: wrote - "just thought I would clarify. "Wondering" was just saying that if the LDS church and people had the truth and the anwsers for life then they probably wouldn't suffer from the same problems the rest of society has. But the LDS divorce rate and bankruptcy rate etc. etc. are the same as the rest of the nation. That's allhe was trying to say. "



    We never said we were perfect...Just trying to be with God's guidance through prophets, and to the best of our ability. Guess what we fall short.


  • CdnThinker
    Oct. 26, 2007 2:37 p.m.

    To Anonymous - DNA researchers ARE able to identify the region from which the ancestors of certain peoples (e.g., Native American tribes) came. Dr. Southerton discusses how they do so in his excellent book, "Losing A Lost Tribe: Native Americans, DNA, and the Mormon Church.

    The Wikipedia entry about mitochondrial DNA states: "Unlike nuclear DNA, which is inherited from both parents and in which genes are rearranged in the process of recombination, there is usually no change in mtDNA from parent to offspring. Although mtDNA also recombines, it does so with copies of itself within the same mitochondrion. Because of this and because the mutation rate of animal mtDNA is higher than that of nuclear DNA, mtDNA is a powerful tool for tracking ancestry through females (matrilineage) and has been used in this role to track the ancestry of many species back hundreds of generations."

    There are no scientists who dispute the fact that indigenous groups from northeast Asia migrated to North America several millenia ago and subsequently spread through the Western Hemisphere and became the ancestors of American Indians. Contact the Anthropology department of several universities to inquire yourself.

    Feelings are not an infallible guide to the truth.

  • East Coast
    Oct. 26, 2007 3:03 p.m.

    One thing that I find strange in this debate is the lack of understanding of native Americans and their extremely diverse culture and history. They are not one cohesive group. They speak many different languages that are not connected to each other.

    For example, the Navajos speak an Athapaskan language. They came from the north.

    The Hopis, who live right next to them, speak an Uto-Aztecan language. They came from the south.

    There are 17 language groups containing close to 150 languages (including three groups simply called "other" containing a couple dozen unclassifiable languages).

    I do not think this issue is as simple as everyone makes it out to be.

    Have the authors typed every one of about 150 different groups among native Americans? Have they DNA typed every ethnic group in the Middle East to match the markers? There is not just one type of Native American. There is not just one type of Middle Easterner.

    This is not a simple good vs. evil or faith vs. science debate. I won't get upset and have my faith overturned because my faith is not based on either science or "science."

  • Back to what I was doing
    Oct. 26, 2007 3:12 p.m.

    As I began to read these postings I became convinced that the Book of Mormon must be true and decided to accept it. Then, I read further and determined that it must not be true so I decided to reject it. Then I read further and decided to accept it. Then I read further and decided to reject it. Then... I decided to go get a tan. Then, I decided to go back to what I was doing before I got captivated by all of the opinions and views expressed.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 26, 2007 4:09 p.m.

    I am an outsider and non-Mormon, so I have not had the privilege of undergoing the conditioning process that exists here.

  • Thomas
    Oct. 26, 2007 4:33 p.m.

    Anon 12:55: "No matter what scientists say they have discovered can be disputed by 4 or 5 other scientists."

    Right. For every scientist that says that gravity makes rocks fall to the ground when dropped, there are four scientists who say no, they fly straight up into the clouds.

    Sheesh.

  • Sing "Feelings"
    Oct. 26, 2007 6:36 p.m.

    "Feelings Nothing more than feelings"

    A scientist tells me w/o hesitation I can't tell the truth from feelings.

    Is that something that you can put under a microscope, weigh, measure, really observe with 100% accuracy, etc.?

    Aren't feelings subjective?

    Isn't that beyond the power of any scientific instrument known to man?

    How do you really observe feelings? Facial expressions,etc?You might be able to observe the after-effects on the body(Chemicals, etc.), but those aren't the feelings themselves.

    How do you know that a subject you haven't tested before doesn't have the ability to do so?

    Does your powerful intellect tell you so?
    Is it wishful thinking on your part?

    Have you ever been mistaken about something, anything in your life? You couldn't be so now about the ability to discern truth by a feeling?

    Really aren't you out of your field of expertise(If you really are a scientist at all)? Is there a science devoted to measuring/quantifying actual feelings ability to discern truth(Isn't it really religion's job?)? Psycology-Nah?

    So you shouldn't be saying with 100% certainty that it can't be done! Science can't/won't do it!

  • Your "Truth", My "Truth"
    Oct. 27, 2007 5:55 a.m.

    It will never be the same. Enjoy yours and I will enjoy mine. My truth is not literal...yours is. Thanks for sharing, but no thanks.

  • BH
    Oct. 27, 2007 9:07 a.m.

    Gardner said: ""We're often trying to compare our traditions versus science, but what does the Book of Mormon actually say? ... No matter how many opinions someone might have about the Book of Mormon, if the opinion is wrong, it's the opinion that's wrong and not the book."

    So then ...if the opinion is wrong then the opinion is wrong?

    well DUH!

    Who is this genius?

  • me
    Oct. 27, 2007 11:40 a.m.

    Don't you people have anything else better to do?

  • Tim
    Oct. 27, 2007 4:50 p.m.

    Read "History of The Hebrews" and you might well see how JS got some ideas. B.H. Roberts was "shocked" when he read the work. The book was rather well know during JS's early teens and twenties.

    JS used some glue (ideas) from others and pasted this and that with a fetile imagination. He certainly was a was a brilliant and creative man all his life.

  • Thanks Tim...Exactly
    Oct. 27, 2007 5:13 p.m.

    He was a "creative man". He was talented....I will give him that. If we had a trial with evidence and everything I think we know which side would be considered valid. I do know that not all things are or should be brought "to trial", but still we can use this in our thinking.
    I try and use a little "common sense" in everything. My sense is that if something can help you live a good life (and does not hurt others) go for it! If something hinders and/or hurts others in ways of exclusion, "elite" type thinking and arrogance, I do without it.

  • Junior
    Oct. 27, 2007 11:20 p.m.

    It is only fitting that as science has matured over the past 250 years, to the point of being capable of solid DNA analysis, that the question of the origins of the American Indians should be explored using our best science.

    The idea that the American Indians had their origins in Israel dates back as early as 1765 (Boudinot, 1816) or before, in America, England, and Denmark.

    At least two relatively extensive books on the subject were available in New York and Vermont before 1828, and the provocative idea was extant in that region and in Europe (producing multiple editions of some of these books).

    In these books and in the ideas they spawned are all the concepts, prophecies, scriptural supports, and claims that can be found in Joseph Smith's works and teachings. He added little (if anythig) that was new.

    I'm afraid that science is destined to debunk yet another myth. Hold on; it will be a passionate battle between faith and science, as the comments here attest. But I think science has the better track record.

  • Aspiring scientist w/TESTIMONY
    Oct. 28, 2007 8:14 a.m.

    There are many scientists with testimonies that have posted here. All these postings are noteworthy. I would fancy myself being among their venerable ranks. Their service to our nation, the world in general, and the improvements upon the infrastructure of our lives and communities has been unrivaled for millenia. Gratitude and appreciation are owing to many of these who have been more in touch with the Spirit of Christ than many of ourselves and others of our brethren who profess Christ and lay claim to His Gospel.

    This new science MODEL I propose:

    Let us not forget the source of all blessings nor those scientific tools that allow an even greater expression of appreciation and gratitude, yea, even a greater magnification of those powers of creation and accountability than hitherto had been possible.

    It will come as no surprise to many who read these posts that science figures prominently in a certain model of faith that has been available since Adam. Namely, that doctrine of faith expounded by a very successful prophet called Alma. While faith precedes the miracle, so too are many if not all scientific hypotheses(sp), theories, principles, laws, and axioms thus derived. Faith lays dormant.

    More later.

  • Wake-up
    Oct. 28, 2007 9:54 p.m.

    Right, on, Tim. B.H.Roberts revived LDS Historian, and respected on the 'outside' for his intellect, came to the conclusion that J.S. had a very vivid imagination, and admitted to his plagerism of the "View of Hebrews"...word for word in many places.
    I'd be interested in the average age of the people defending the BoM...I can't get over the ignorance of young mormons and their blind acceptance in this day and age. Is it fear, or just plain laziness?

  • mchasetherapist again
    Oct. 28, 2007 10:09 p.m.

    I've been thinking for sometime on this article. Since the DNA tracers are from the female line and Laman and Lemual's seed are the ones who are supposed to have been preserved, it just seems that DNA tester's need to find a male marker, which I'm sure they've tried and keep trying to do or we may never really be able to tell who the Lamanites are or the remnant of Jacob until the time the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints needs to call upon a work force to be in charge of building the New Jerusalem. Then, DNA or not, the remnants will be known. Maybe it's God's secret, although I'm sure he hasn't left the prophet in the dark.
    I was told 25 years ago as a missionary that one authority at the general level had a spiritual feeling while in the Midwest that the Lord was going to send tornadoes so large they would wipe out entire towns and a tornado would go through New York City. Seems like that happened this past summer.

    I believe the teachings that a remnant of Jacob will come forth--DNA proven or not.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 30, 2007 9:51 p.m.

    To Junior

    Yes, and perhaps the Utah Mormons should be told that the world is not flat anymore!

  • Dawn of the living
    Nov. 13, 2007 7:54 p.m.

    Let's do what the English have always done... Dig it up today and rebury it tomorrow. It a good way to check out everyones DNA. That includes pioneer people too. They need to start with those lost souls and their remains in "This Is The Place Heritage park" in SLC. We would really like to know who those pioneer bones belong too. Everyone wants to know who we are and who we have descended down from. Ancestry.com is trying to fit DNA to many people and put the pieces together. It's all quite interesting.

  • The basics prove it
    Jan. 6, 2008 11:08 p.m.

    If anybody can duplicate a work like the BOM then I would eat cat food. It takes months to traslate the book into different languages using modern technology. The BOM is way too complicated for any group of educated people to come up with in years of work. No way could JS have put it together. Christ came in a way that puzzled most. Even the most righteous couldn't realize that he was the Messiah. We have a similar situation here, those who are looking for truth in the BOM will find it. Those who saw Christ healing on the Sabbath saw him as a sinner. Those who look at the BOM as a lie won't see the truth. God works this way folks. He only seeks after those who are honest in heart and are seeking the truth. Look at the humble circumstances that Christ came into the world. JS was in similar circumstances and that folks is how the Gospel was restored. That is the way God works. JS was a Prophet of God! Open your eyes!!!

  • James
    March 29, 2008 1:04 p.m.

    "The basics prove it"?
    Then start eating your friskies now.
    I can "duplicate" it with a copy machine.
    Okay, I get the point you are trying to make...but you still have to eat your kibbles.
    Using your logic, since the bible and other holy works came before the BOM, then the BOM is a "duplicate"....and all the words in all the holy books are written by man, too. If you are seeking mystery and supernatural, you will find it...even if you have to mix a little logic with some legend and a little self-brainwashing...and a great leap of faith or two.

  • Elias
    Sept. 22, 2008 10:54 a.m.

    Evidence like this is not what gives you a testamony against or for the Book of Mormon. The Mormon Church emphasizes prayer to God, who knows all. In fact, almost all churches emphasize that. So is that what we should do?