Book of Mormon DNA Problem Solved

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.

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37 Responses to Book of Mormon DNA Problem Solved

  1. Terry A says:

    Hey Jason. You crack me up. No wonder we have so many atheists in the world, when they hear Christians like yourself. I hasten to add that just because a story uses real place names and real paraphernalia, it has no relevance on it’s truthfulness. Authors of fiction have been doing this for millennia and making good money from it. In fact, i’m not aware of one story in either the new or old testaments that can be proven; we rely only on the bible itself.

    i’d be interested to know if you’ve studied the evidence presented by LDS scholars supporting the historicity of the BOM. If you have, and you can still make the “NOT ONE” claims above, then I respect your opinion. if you haven’t, then I suggest you study them. JS was sure lucky on quite a few guesses he made if he fabricated the BOM.

    Lastly, your attack on those who believe differently to you is disappointing. But then again, I was young and bigoted once upon a time and regret things I said.

  2. Greg says:

    I would like to know how DNA proves or disproves (in the mind of an atheist) the existance that all Whites, Blacks and Orientals came from Noah.

  3. Speck says:

    Curiouser and curiouser…only the Godhead can call individuals to repentance…quite an “Area Authority”!

  4. Guy Murray says:

    Very funny Aaron B

  5. Area Authority says:

    Dear Brother Redelfs,

    The Holy Ghost, the Spirit of the Lord and that of his Beloved Son are the only ones in authority to call me or you unto repentance. It is our job to listen to the promptings of our Constant Companion. He IS the proper Priesthood channel. I have covenanted to observe my Eternal Father’s will through The Holy Ghost’s promptings. It is in this spirit that I urge you to depart from discussions not central to conversion. The Book of Mormon is the most correct book on the Earth in terms of bringing both the Jew and Gentile to a knowledge that Jesus is the Christ. The Lord permitted the Prophet Joseph Smith to proceed with the Book’s publishing and vast distribution with what many members and non members alike “consider” to be errors in this sacred text. Consider: Would the Lord allow a blemished book with such a bold mission to go forward? Are these errors really errors? Also consider the impact of just one person not accepting the Restored Gospel because of the content or anti-speak posts of your readership. Is the consequence of a lost investigator and potential member equal to the joy you take in assuming a non-Priesthood called defender’s role? How much greater joy in Eternal Heaven would be yours if you had aided conversion? It is not my intent to debate how the Priesthood funtions in my or any other Authority’s area of responsibility, but I offer the following questions for your pondering: Were you called and set apart by those with proper Priesthood authority to initiate and maintain a Blog? Are you aware that the Brethren have called and set apart individuals to initiate and maintain Blogs and report on the content of their readership’s posts? Dear Brother Redelfs, I can assure you that you were not called by any Priesthood authority to do so. Again, and I speak with plainess, I urge you not to engage in topics that seem to be in error to you or in need further explanation. I also request that you eliminate the undertitle of your Blog regarding Elders Jospeh Fielding Smith and Bruce R. McConkie. Our beloved Prophet and President, Gordon B. Hinckley (and his successor) will always provide the most correct interpretation of the Restored Gospel, even when compared to the writings of admired and great Brethren of past generations. Our membership should not be given a “cafeteria” of choices on whom to believe or go to for guidance.

  6. Will the anonymous Area Authority who posted above please contact my stake president and Bishop to call me to repentance for my blog. I am John W. Redelfs of Ketchikan Ward, Juneau Alaska Stake. I will swifty and cheerfully repent if I am called to do so through proper priesthood channels. I am surprised that an Area Authority such as yourself doesn’t understand better how the priesthood works.

  7. Guy Murray says:

    Oh please . . . .like we’re going to believe because some joker posts as “Area Authority” we’re supposed to believe he/she holds some authority position in this Church and is calling John to repentence on his blog? Give me a break!

  8. Area Authority says:

    Dear Brother Redelfs,

    The Book of Mormon is exactly what it claims to be, another Testament of Jesus Christ. Your discussion of DNA, and existence/non-existence of horses is not central to the Book of Mormon’s mission. No explanation of horses, DNA, steel or other topics is required for conversion. You would be well served to keep your Blog’s topics more closely aligned to the spirit and intent of articles found in the Ensign.

  9. Area Authority says:

    Dear Brother Redelfs,

    Please avoid providing your interpretation of the Book of Mormon and DNA issues. The Brethren have provided appropriate responses to this and other issues on the Church’s website. You will see links on how the Church responds to these, especially with regard to the media. Your forum, while well intended, only provides another channel for those opposed to the restored gospel.

  10. Bishop Rick says:

    Stephen,

    You are absolutely right. One theory of the origin of PIE is the region north of the Black Sea. Interesting catch on the Noah grandson story. That scripture would seem to support a limited flood scenario wouldn’t it?

    JWR,

    Your last post describes you to a tee. I just hope the LDS president doesn’t tell you to sell all your property and move to Missouri, or to take up arms against the US government, because somehow I think you would listen to him.

    I would be interested to hear your views on polygamy.

  11. A better scripture is where Nephi notes that all those led by the hand of the Lord to the Americas before the “next wave” are spiritually part of “Lehi’s people.”

    That was a profound moment when I realized that he was expressly acknowledging other peoples and that he was tieing them into his group.

    there is evidence that a flood did occur in the area of the Black Sea around 5600 BC when the Mediterranean spilled over an inlet essentially turning a freshwater lake into what is now the Black Sea. This would have flooded the known civilized world and is probably where the story of Noah’s flood came from.

    What is really interesting is that the indoeuropean root tongue probably came from those people. Combine that with the story of Noah’s grandson who divided the land with the gentiles, after their languages (pre-Tower of Babel btw), and you have a narrative that acknowledges others not part of Noah’s family, within the text of the Bible itself.

    Lots going on there if you read the actual text.

  12. Jeff G says:

    “What about them? Why should Mormons or anyone else have to justify themselves to anyone. People believe all sorts of things. To you suppose God gave men religion so that they could have a big debating contest? What purpose does that serve? Live and let live.”

    I’ll tell you why, because it is the Mormons who are going from door to door trying to convert everybody else and not the other way around. It is the Mormons who have turned life into one big debate, not the other way around. “Live and let live?” C’mon, I’d like to hear that phrase used in a talk about missionary work sometime.

    I should also mention, that if Mormon do not have to justify themselves to others, then why this post? Why care about DNA and the BoM at all?

    You say you do not want to debate and bicker, but it simply seems that you do not respond to people when they present challenges, but wait until later when you can simply your “hypothetical” opponenet godless or an enemy of the Lord.

    One more thing, I understand that people do not “know” as much as they think they do, however this plays a far great role in religious belief than it does in scientific belief. Remember that science is based upon evidence and evidence either is or can be known, not merely believed but known. It is religious faith that acts like it is going on evidence in the same way when really it is not. It is religion that is far more prone to “infallibility” than is science, although science is able to stake a far better claim to the label than is religion.

  13. Jeff G wrote:
    My point was that if there is a conflict between something you know and something else that you merely have faith in, then it is that which you have faith in that must give to one extent or another.

    JWR responds:
    You don’t seem to understand my point. People don’t know as much as they think they know. They just accept is as “facts” because they read it in some book, or it is taught in some college class, or they hear in on some television documentary, and because they have faith in these sources, they assume that what they believe is knowledge. It most certainly is no such think in many if not most cases. All mankind can be dead wrong about something that it believes is a scientifically established fact. I could give you countless examples from history. What poorly educated people think is knowledge is no such thing in many but not all cases. And when I say “poorly educated,” I include a lot of scientists, scholars, and PhDs in that class of know-it-alls. The root of all understanding is an awareness of the extent of ones own ignorance. A person cannot be well educated without that awareness. And a great many scientists, scholars and PhDs are totally oblivious to the degree of their own ignorance. The great scientists like Einstein and Newton understood their own ignorance, and that is why they were great.

    Faith does not have to demure to “knowledge” of those who have a self-assured and bustling ignorance.

    Previously JWR wrote:
    “However, those who seek to tear down the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints most certainly are (children of the devil), as are those who try to undermine the testimonies of the Latter-day Saint faithful.”

    To which Jeff G replied:
    What about those who simply think that church members need to give better justifications for what they believe?

    And JWR responds to that:
    What about them? Why should Mormons or anyone else have to justify themselves to anyone. People believe all sorts of things. To you suppose God gave men religion so that they could have a big debating contest? What purpose does that serve? Live and let live. As a Mormon I never demand “better justification” from Evangelicals, atheists, or Buddhists for what they believe. Why should I? Am I going to bully them into becoming Mormons? Is the trick to living a Christlike life forcing your views on others? Why should they have to answer to me, and why should Mormons have to answer to anyone else? We are all going to have to answer to God on Judgment Day, isn’t that enough?

    And to Bishop Rick who points out that there is not enough water on the whole planet cover the whole earth, I say: So what? Do you suppose that a Man who had the power to create this planet and place it in its current orbit, or raise the dead, or raise himself from the dead, would have any problem finding the water he needed for the Great Flood? He created the whole universe. Would coming up with a little water be a problem for Him? It is a miracle, OK? Much of what happened in the Bible, and much of what any genuinely religious person believes in is a miracle. So why should God be unable to flood the earth? I’m sure that when he did it he used methods that were in complete harmony with the universal laws of nature, but I’m also sure that ignorant mankind doesn’t know enough of those laws to say what God can and cannot do. It only seems like a miracle because we don’t know how he did it. But surely you can see that flooding the whole earth is no more difficult than creating the whole universe, the earth, everything in it, raising the dead, resurrecting himself and so forth.

    To deny that the Great Flood because “there is not enough water” is ridiculous if one claims to believe any of the other miracles. God knows everything that can be known, and has the power to do all things that can be done. How can puny man tell God what is impossible?

    I’ll tell you something that is harder for God to do than to cover the whole earth in a flood or even fling this tiny planet completely out of the solar system. It is harder for God to convert a man to Jesus against his will. It is harder for God to soften a man’s heart unto repentance. It is harder to get a proud man to humble himself. It is harder to get a person who is willfully blind to see.

    That is why the greatest of all God’s miracles is the change that takes place in a man’s heart when he comes unto Christ. God is utterly incapable of saving a man in his sins if he will not repent. And he is incapable of getting a man to repent unless that man is willing to do it of his own free will and choice. Why? Because God would have to break his own perfect laws to force a man to repent against his will. And God cannot transgress his laws because transgressing the perfect law of God is a sin. Can God sin? No he cannot. The moment he sinned, he would no longer be God. Therefore he cannot transgress his own law, the ones that bind him.

    Of course, some of his laws are only for men. He can break those whenever he pleases. It is only we who cannot break them unless we want to pay the consequences. God never forces the human mind. He just tells them what the consequences are to their actions.

    Flooding the whole earth would have been easy for the Man who created the whole universe and everything in it. People who don’t believe in the Great Flood just don’t believe in miracles. It is a common failing among men in these secular times.

  14. Bishop Rick says:

    John,

    “But there are people who despise the light and are repelled by the truth. Often they are unaware of what they do, but they single out the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a target of their anti-Mormon wrath because it is the Lord’s and teaches only the truth about the Father and the Son.”

    You are making the assumption that the LDS church is in fact the Lord’s church. JS is the only person who claims to have spoken with God regarding the state of his church in modern times, but there were no witnesses. You are taking his word for it with no proof to back it up. At best, you can only have faith that JS was telling the truth, but you cannot know this to be true without tangible proof. I’m sorry but personal witness is not tangible proof. You can pretty much convince yourself to believe anything you want thru personal witness.

    I am allowing for the possibility that JS (and You in this case) could be right despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, but you do not seem to allow for the possibility that JS (and You in this case) could be wrong.

    Rather than researching and studying in order to find the truth, You are closed mindedly searching for support for a predisposed, predetermined point of view. That type of research rarely, if ever, results in accurate data.

    I am not anti-mormon, or anti-religion. I am in fact an active member of the LDS church, but I don’t take anything at face value. I don’t blindly follow leaders, and I certainly don’t believe stories in the scriptures, or doctrine that has been proven false.

  15. Bishop Rick says:

    Rob,

    My problem with the flood of Noah is that such a flood could not have covered the entire earth. If all the ice in the polar caps and mountain tops melted, it still would not cover the entire earth. That event simply did not happen.

    Now that said, there is evidence that a flood did occur in the area of the Black Sea around 5600 BC when the Mediterranean spilled over an inlet essentially turning a freshwater lake into what is now the Black Sea. This would have flooded the known civilized world and is probably where the story of Noah’s flood came from.

    You have to realize that the Old Testament is a collection of stories and histories that were handed down by word of mouth for generations before they were ever written down. Not everything in the OT should be taken literally, and its accuracy is certainly in question.

  16. Jeff G says:

    John,

    My point was that if there is a conflict between something you know and something else that you merely have faith in, then it is that which you have faith in that must give to one extent or another.

    “However, those who seek to tear down the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints most certainly are (children of the devil), as are those who try to undermine the testimonies of the Latter-day Saint faithful.”

    What about those who simply think that church members need to give better justifications for what they believe?

    Rob,

    But do you have any reason or evidence whatsoever that 1) such a flood could alter the carbon dating, as well as all the other forms of dating which are used in such a uniform way around the world, and 2) that such a flood actually DID do so? Notice that an appeal to scripture will not help here, for while it does mention a flood, it says nothing about dating techniques whatsoever.

  17. rob osborn says:

    Jeff G,
    My whole reasoning with the whole horse fossils is based on the fact that carbon dating to the age we are seeing with the fossils is bogus. The reason being that the flood of Noah would have saturated the evidence to the extent that no real date could have been given if it really were that old. It was the Jaredites that probably first brought the horse to the newly formed continent so therefor horses should be found fossilized the same age as the jaredites and newer- 3500 years old at max.

  18. You demonize me by saying of me falsely, "Either we agree with you or we are the children of the devil." I know many good people who do not agree with me and yet they are not children of the devil. However, those who seek to tear down the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints most certainly are, as are those who try to undermine the testimonies of the Latter-day Saint faithful.

    I believe that many people make honest mistakes and hence disagree with me. And sometimes I am wrong and those who disagree with me are right. But there are people who despise the light and are repelled by the truth. Often they are unaware of what they do, but they single out the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a target of their anti-Mormon wrath because it is the Lord's and teaches only the truth about the Father and the Son. Those particular ones are indeed children of the devil. What else would you call the mortal enemies of the Savior's church, those who hate it because it is the Lord's? Is not the devil the Savior's adversary? Is not Adversary one of his names? So what would you call the mortal followers of the devil in his attacks upon the Savior's church? Such are the only children the devil has or ever will have.

  19. Jeff G, I too would rather be a man of knowledge than a man of faith. But that is like saying I would rather be a man of calculus than a man of mere arithmetic. Unfortunately, one has to master arithmetic before he studies calculus. You cannot just skip straight to the hard stuff. It is the same way with knowledge. You cannot just skip to knowledge. First you must have faith. Of course, there are many people who do not understand this most basic principle. So they skip the faith part and falsely imagine they have knowledge when what they really have is an illusion of knowledge, or in other words ignorance. And there are none so ignorant as those who falsely suppose they know something that they don’t.

    Or, as I used to tell my children when they were growing up, you may be smart, you just aren’t quite as smart as you think you are. True knowledge comes after the trial of your faith.

  20. Bishop Rick says:

    Wow John, with you it is all black or white. Either we agree with you or we are the children of the devil. I hope I am misinterpreting your intent.

    The only problem with making all arguments irrelivent (sic) once you determine that JS was a prophet thru revelations of the HG is that those revelations cannot always be trusted. Don’t you think the followers of David Koresh and Jim Jones also had personal revelation that these men were inspired men of God? They most assuredly did or they would not have followed him even to their own death.

    Personal revelation is simply not enough when known facts bear a different truth. Maybe JS was a true prophet, maybe he was a con man. The fact of the matter is, no one can possibly know the answer in this life. We can weigh the evidence that leans in one direction or another, and make our decision based on that, but don’t leave that determination up to a gut feeling disguised as the HG.

  21. Jeff G says:

    BTW, I would much rather be a man of knowledge than a man of faith any day.

  22. Jeff G says:

    John,

    I don’t think that you are being entirely honest with yourself or others. You seem to see anybody who presents an argument with which you do not agree as being “contentious” or “doing all the contending,” while you yourself are presenting arguments which advocate a position no less than any of those other people do.

    Where do you draw the line between presenting an argument and arguing? I certainly wasn’t trying to bicker with you in any of my comments, but you simply refused to engage the arguments which I presented. I’m sure that I feel that my positions are just as true as you feel yours to be: what make you so special that you get to criticize my position and I do not get to criticize yours?

  23. Doc says:

    Speaking as someone with a Bachelors degree from a non church university and 4years of medical school, I have to say that there is som e flat out misunderstanding of mitochondrial DNA if one thinks that the migration of DNA from a small party, or multiple small parties from the middle east to a populated American continent can be inferred by a lack of DNA evidence. I mean, first of all you would have to find someone to fund the study looking very specifically at THAT SPECIFIC QUESTION. What’s the scholarly purpose? Then you have to account for founder effect, genetic drift, and the fact that any unique sequences in the mitochondria could be lost in such a small group by intermarriage.

    I agree with the post. I remember decades ago discussing with my family that the idea of a hereditary curse on the Lamanites makes little sense. The people for the society of Nephi were Nephites, those that faught against were Lamanites, multiple groups left one group for the other and then they were all oneafter the coming of Christ.

    Additionally, time was prior to this DNA brou ha ha one of the criticisms of the BOM was that the numbers of Lamanites, outnumbering the people of Nephi in a very short time did not make sense if you held that the continent was totally unpopulated. All that argues to me is that people were already there, and not in response to some new criticism, but from close examination of the text itself. I just don’t understand why if you try to reason what the Book of Mormon is actually telling us about its people you are apologist while if you debunk some preconception of what “has to be true” if the BOM is a historical document you have nailed the coffin into anyones faith. Yet people have been debunking assumptions for almost 200 years and yet the text has been remarkably consistent with itself, leading to a necessary increase in the sophistication of these arguments all based on Faith that the BOM is NOT true and requiring faith in that premise. It strikes me as a very fruitless back and forth personally.

  24. Jeff G, you ask why I have a blog if “all other arguments are irrelevant.” Well, I do not agree with many of my fellow saints online who hold the same Iron Rod views that I do. They think the path of virtue is to demure from the debate. I think that such a course is abandoning the field of ideological battle to the wicked. If the wicked feel free to spew their spiritual filth far and wide on the Internet, and there is no voice to present the other side, the wicked will win the hearts and minds of the online saints by default. They are in effect forfeiting the contest.

    “All contention is from the devil.” This is what many of the TBMs (a label I wear with great enjoyment and satisfaction) feel. I feel that it is possible to testify for truth and against falsehood without getting into a contentious debate. Just testify of the truth and let the wicked weep and wail and gnash their teeth. They do all of the contending. And there is no answer for that.

    Now with that said, let me humbly admit that I sometimes forget my best intentions and actually become contentious myself. And for that I apologize and have to repent. But I do not feel it is right to leave the devil’s propaganda unanswered. Those online who are engaged in undermining the confidence that the saints have in their prophet-leaders are truly doing the devil’s work. And unfortunately I see a lot of online saints who claim to be faithful members engaging in this revolting behavior in the Bloggernacle and upon the many Internet email discussion lists where Mormons gather to discuss matters of interest to the saints. Their behavior contradicts their words. People with testimonies do not go about tearing down the testimonies of others. It is the devil’s children who do that.

    Bottom line: Sometimes silence is golden. Sometimes it is just plain yellow.

  25. Jeff G says:

    I should also mention that John did not really engage any of the problem which I saw in his reading of his quoted verses.

  26. Jeff G says:

    Ah, but John, the two scenarios are different. The reason why I criticize those religionists who pick and choose which science they will and will not accept is because they are merely accpeting or rejecting conclusions which came about by the same method, when it is the method itself that they should or should not accept. The method is out in the open for anybody to have a look at and criticize, accept or reject to their hearts delight.

    When it comes to picking and choosing religion doctrines: 1) it is necessary since various statements are in flat contradiction with one another and 2) since the method for each statement tends to be shrowded in mystery and secrecy, we have no reason to assume that we can’t have it both ways. Besides, if you are to insist on not having it both ways when it comes to religion, chances are we are going to have to reject all of it, since to embrace all of it would, as I said, require us to accept all sorts of contradictions, inconsistencies and stories that are far-fetched to say the least.

    One last question: If all other arguments are irrelevant, why do you have a blog? Why are you posting? Are you admitting that you have not received revelations from the HG, or are these other arguments more relevant than you let on?

  27. Jeff, the only “religious claim” that is of any interest to me is whether or not Joseph Smith was an honest man telling the truth about the First Vision and the gold plates. And the only source I accept as valid in confirming or denying that claim is the revelations of the Holy Ghost. All other arguments are irrelevant once that point has been established.

    You complain about Rob picking and choosing which scientific results he will accept as valid, yet those who oppose the Church and the Book of Mormon on scientific grounds think nothing of this “caffeteria style” of deciding which claims to accept and which to reject when it comes to the interpretation of scriptures or the doctrines taught by the Church. No one respects a person of faith who says “the Church is true” and then proceeds to pick and choose which prophetic teachings he will accept. Why should we
    place greater faith in the infallibility of scientists than we allow the saints to place in their prophet-leaders? It is clearly a double standard that reveals which side of the Babylon vs. Zion line which Moses drew in the deseret sand so many years ago in his controversy with some of the Children of Israel that he led out of Egypt.

    Science and the prophets MUST agree. And when they don’t, a man of faith will always vote with the prophets. That is what faith is all about. We have great faith that in the end the prophets, who by definition speak the Word of God, will be proven correct. Those who do not accept this are not men of faith. They are not prophets themselves as they should be. And because they are not men of faith, they are also not men of God. Not all Mormons are men of faith, unfortunately.

  28. Nate J. says:

    I think the point that has to be made is that any descendant of Lehi is not going to be a Jew as in someone from the tribe of Judah, but rather a descendant of Manasseh (Alma 10:3). Because of the diaspora, we know very little about the ten tribes and where they wound up. They are consistently pictured as heading north, though this is from apocryphal teaching. I don’t understand why this isn’t mentioned more often in the Book of Mormon DNA debates.

  29. Jeff G says:

    I think that I am going to have to agree with toss doubt on this one, and please don’t accuse me of not having thought about the issue very much, for I certainly have. Let me list the reasons why I don’t find John’s “solution” to be near as strong as he wants it to be.

    1) Just because one verse uses the term “lamanite” in a non-ancestral way does not mean that ALL usages of the term by every author in the BoM should be interpreted that way.

    2) The passage could just as easily be interpreted as referring not to individuals who fight against the Nephites, but rather those lineages that fight against the Nephites. In such a case, the problem is not solved at all.

    3) Not only were Laman, Lemuel and Nephi from the Middle East, but so were Joseph, Zoram, Jacob and Ismael. Since this verse gives no reason to suspect that any DNA except that of Middle Eastern ancestry was present, it is difficult to see how this verse helps with DNA at all. If anything, the failure of this verse to mention any others who were not of those 7 lineages seems to play right into the “enemies of the Lord” as John calls them.

    4) John’s reading of this verse seems to follow the religious flight from factual commitment. “Sure it could be read as being a truth claim, but it’s better to give it another interpretation which doesn’t commit us to any position at all, and therefore makes our claims unfalsifiable altogether!” Religion has always followed the same path whenever it comes in conflict with science, namely de-commit to a position and feign mystery/ignorance. While I do not want to say that such moves are always or even mostly inappropriate, we must admit that this refusal to make a affirmative claim leaves religious claims looking less than impressive.

  30. Jeff G says:

    Rob,

    Your reasoning concerning the dates of horse fossils is probably the worst I’ve seen in a while. It seems like a blatant picking and choosing which scientific conclusions you will or will not accept without at all attempting to deal with the fact that the same method is being used to come to both favorable as well as unfavorable conclusions. Either the method is flawed, or it is not. It can’t be both.

    John,

    The real “problem” about BoM DNA, Geography and Historicity is that one must explain, following JFS2’s own reasoning, why it is that those who received the most revelation about the BoM and what it was about turned out to be the most wrong on these matters. Sure, one can dodge DNA and Geographical criticisms, but not without saying that the earliest and most spiritually enlightened statements on these matters were flat out wrong.

  31. You say that my “solution” misses the problem altogether. I say that it does not. It addresses the problem perfectly and fully. You obviously haven’t thought this through carefully. You need to go back and read my post again and ponder it some. I’m sure it will come to you.

  32. toss doubt says:

    I just have to point out that your “solution” misses the problem altogether. the problem is not that they have found DNA from other sources in the americas, it is that there has been no DNA found that would indicate anyone here in the americas at the time of the BOM came from the middle east at all, anywhere. It has never been found. I would like to know your solution to the real problem of BOM DNA, and when you think it will be found.

  33. John, good point. I think I may have brought this up on my podcast. Also, the DNA science explains migration patterns that happened 10,000 plus years ago, and from what I understand, does not explain recent migrations, like Lehi’s party, which was only around 2500 years ago. So where ever one’s mitrochrondial DNA originates from, it does not preclude any group from migrating in recent history.

  34. Reach Upward says:

    A very good article by Michael Ash on horses and other animals in the Book of Mormon can be found here. Ash also has an article about flora and textiles in the Book of Mormon here and an article about warfare in the Book of Mormon here. Ash’s explanations go a long way toward decimating many arguments against the histrocity of the Book of Mormon.

  35. rob osborn says:

    Good post. The thing that has always baffled me with the controversy is that we truly only know of a few of the ineage of the first original inhabitants.
    What was Zoram?
    What were the Ishmalites?
    What were the Mulekites?

    From this alone, one could not definatavely say who was who to begin with and who they might be today.

    I personally believe the whole horse mystery is solved with the findings of horse fossils. Sure they may be 10,000 years old according to their scients, but so are the remains of human fossils found here also and we know from revelation that they obviously can’y be that old.

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