Reading in Jacob a couple of days ago I ran across a passage that completely solved for me the so-called “problem” claimed by the enemies of the Lord who proclaim against what his chosen servants have taught concerning the Lamanites in the Book of Mormon. Joseph Smith was an honest man telling the truth about the First Vision and the gold plates. Yet these people pretend they can overturn the truth by misapplying the findings of modern DNA science in a dishonest effort to deny the historicity of the Book of Mormon. Here is the passage that settles the “problem” for me:
13 Now the people which were not Lamanites were Nephites; nevertheless, they were called Nephites, Jacobites, Josephites, Zoramites, Lamanites, Lemuelites, and Ishmaelites.
14 But I, Jacob, shall not hereafter distinguish them by these names, but I shall call them Lamanites that seek to destroy the people of Nephi, and those who are friendly to Nephi I shall call Nephites, or the people of Nephi, according to the reigns of the kings. (Jacob 1:13-14)
Here in the Book of Mormon itself it is made clear that the Lamanites, who were the principle ancestors of the Native Americans, were not all the descendants of Laman and Lemuel who were the sons of Lehi, the Jew, who came out of Jerusalem.
The term Lamanite, according to this passage written by Jacob the brother of Nephi, was applied to anyone, regardless of ancestry, who sought to destroy the Nephites. DNA science, archaeology, and paleoanthropology have clearly established that the Lehi colony was not alone in the “promised land” of the Americas. And this passage of scripture clearly states that anyone who sought to destroy the Nephites was considered by them to be “Lamanites” regardless of their ancestry. So that completely solves the ridiculous assertion that there is some “problem” caused by the recent discoveries of modern DNA science. If the Nephites were calling those not descended from Laman or Lehi “Lamanites,” then the statement that the Lamanites were the principle ancestors of the American Indians is perfectly consistent with the scientific record. With this scriptural passage it is clear that Lamanites included but were not limited to the literal descendants of Lehi and his rebellious sons, Laman and Lemuel. And using this definition of Lamanites, those who came over the Bering land bridge from Siberia could have been called Lamanites just as well as those descended from Laman and Lemuel. If a few of the saints have made the error of assuming that all of the American Indians were descended from Lehi, they just didn’t read the Book of Jacob carefully enough. They overlooked this passage.
I just knew there had to be some scriptural explanation for this “problem” that could not possibly exist because the Book of Mormon is a genuine record of an ancient people brought forth by the power of God in our day.
Next I want to figure out how the references to horses is resolved.