Skip to comments.DNA and the Dead Sea Scrolls how do the pieces fit!
Posted on 09/15/2007 11:47:41 AM PDT by restornu
Click Video- Learn how DNA was able to sort out and match the DDS fragments
Is it legit, or is it LDS propaganda?
I have no idea if this is true or not, but I read through many translations of the scrolls when I was in Vietnam many years ago and they gave me an entirely new view of the role that Constantine played in the canonization of the Bible. The Dead Sea Scrolls are worth more than a casual browse for any Christian.
Its legit. ByU Scientists have been involved for many years in putting the 800+ manuscripts back together. They were written on parchment(animal skins) and buried until 1947. It has been an a long process until they were able to start using DNA to verify which parchment piece goes with together.
He explained it by saying if you took 800 10,000 piece puzzles mixed the pieces together and threw away the picture on the box - this is what they have been faced with.
Listen to it - promise you won’t be brain washed into becoming Mormon. The dead sea scrolls are very precious to all Jews and Christians.
I listened to it. Had to laugh when he was stating that some of the scrolls had the rules of the community.
Apparantly they had a communial meal together every day(or week cant remember).
Only the worthy were allowed to attend.
If you were found guilty of being a fool, you couldn’t attend for 30 days. Guess Congress would all be skinny as a rail if they had that rule.
For the LDS Church to continue to evolve, this will have to change. More and more, the LDS Church wants to be regarded as a "mainline" Christian church and will have to continue to abandon its more, shall we say, "unique" practices. Ending and outlawing polygamy was a start. More recently, the allowing of blacks in the priesthood (1978) and changes in their temple ceremonies have been a direct result of negative publicity.
Now comes the irony. Mitt Romney, a Mormon, is running for president. Most Mormons think this is simply wonderful. Most, not all. I know many Mormons and have been interested in what they have to say about Romney. Some, of course, are mind-numbed robots that will dutifully go pull the lever for a Mormon. Others that I have spoken to have said emphatically "I'm NOT going to vote for Romney just because he's a Mormon!" And they meant it. The couple I spoke to that said this were hoping that Fred Thompson would join the race, so he was their first choice. And these aren't "jack Mormons" I'm talking about either. These are temple Mormons living in Utah, but even they have said they are to the point of wanting to throw up every time they see an article on Romney in the Deseret News, because it's just another warmed-over puff piece about him being a member of "the church".
Still another LDS member that I'm very close to doesn't even want Romney in the race. She said it's because she just doesn't want the "whole Mormon thing" in the news. This really got me to thinking. The more I think about, the more I believe that the farther Romney goes, the better it will be for the LDS Church in the long run. By that, I mean the longer Romney hangs around, and it looks like he's in the "top 3" right now, the more light will be shown on the LDS Church.
Nothing but good can come out of this. When the heart of LDS doctrine becomes more widely known in the US, the more difficult time the LDS Church will have in appealing to people who are looking for a "Christian" church. Their conversion rates have already dropped dramatically over the past 10-15 years, and this will only increase now.
With decreasing conversion rates and bad publicity what will the LDS Church do in response? My guess is they will do the same as they have before when cornered. Change.
Any precedence for this? Sure is. After Joseph Smith died, the LDS Church actually split. Some followed Smith's son, while others followed Brigham Young to Utah. The former became the Reorganized Church of LDS, while the later became the LDS church in Utah. The RLDS church slowly moved away from most of the "peculiarities" of Mormon doctrine. They now regard the Bible as the authoritative Word of God without exception (like "as far as it's correctly translated"). They also changed their name and are now the "Community of Christ". They believe in the Trinity as most traditional Christian denominations do. They are close to being little different than a traditional Christian denomination.
I believe this is also the path the Utah Mormon church will follow, albeit not without some kicking and screaming.
So, to answer your question, the LDS Church still puts much less emphasis on the Bible than do most Christians and they make it subservient to their BOM, D&C, and their "prophets". Hopefully, that will change, and hopefully soon.
How many scientists from your church are involved with the dead sea scrolls? We believe they sacred enough to finance in part and lend scientists to help in the project. Jews and LDS working together for the same thing.
As to the bible - we study it as much as we do the Book of Mormon. You see, the Book of Mormon is a companion to the bible. There is nothing in the Book of Mormon that contradicts the bible. It is simply the sacred text of the descendents of Abraham who came to America.
Each year in Sunday school we study a different text. One year is the old testament, one year the new testament and one year the Book of Mormon. Each Sunday we discuss in detail a section. What does it mean? How does it apply to our lives today? How can we become better Christians because of what we learned.
However, the most important thing that is stressed over and over is:
“We claim the priveledge of worshiping Almighty God according to our own conscience, and allow all men the same priviledge, let them worship how, where or what they may.”
You do not hear Mormons bashing the Baptists, Catholics, Jews or any other religion. We just don’t believe it is our place to tell someone that their beliefs are wrong. In fact we believe that satan’s greatest tool is to get Christians fighting each other.
BYU is excellent in all things related to document research - many of their breakthroughs have literally changed the way we handle old manuscripts and archival documents.
In addition, their language programs are among the very best in the world.
There is nothing in the Book of Mormon that contradicts the bible.
You, sir, are following a delusion. I found this on the net:
Mormonism is based on the belief that extraterrestrial humanoids from a distant star called Kolob, came to this earth and visited a young 14 year old boy named Joseph Smith, resulting in teachings that are very different, far, far removed from orthodox Christianity.
Mormonism teaches that trillions of planets scattered throughout the cosmos are ruled by countless gods who once were humans like us. They say long ago on one of these planets, to an unidentified god and one of his goddess wives, a spirit child named elohim was conceived. This spirit child was later born to human parents who gave him a physical body.
Through obedience, he proved himself worthy and was elevated to godhood as his father before him. Mormons believe that elohim is their heavenly father, and that he lives with his many goddess wives on a planet near a mysterious star called Kolob. Here, the god of Mormonism and his goddess wives through endless celestial sex produce billions of spirit children.
To decide these childrens destiny, the gods called a great heavenly council meeting. Both elohims oldest sons were there, Lucifer and his brother Jesus. A plan was presented to make the planet earth where spirit children could take on mortal bodies and learn good and evil. Lucifer stood up and made his bid fro becoming savior of this new world. Wanting the glory for himself, he planned to force everyone to become gods. Opposing this idea, the Mormon Jesus proposed giving freedom of choice, as on other planets. The vote that followed approved the plan of the Mormon Jesus, he, not Lucifer, would become savior of the planet earth.
Enraged, Lucifer cunningly convinced 1/3 of the spirits destined for earth to fight with him in revolt. Thus Lucifer became the devil and his followers the demons. They were to be sent to earth where they would forever be denied bodies of flesh and bone. Those who remained neutral in the battle were cursed with black skin. This is the Mormon explanation for the Negro race.
Spirits that fought most valiantly against Lucifer were to be born into Mormon families of planet earth. These would be the lighter skinned people.
Early Mormon prophets taught that elohim and one of his goddess wives came to earth as Adam and Eve to start the human race. Thousands of years later, elohim came to earth in human form from the star base, Kolob. This time to have sex with the virgin Mary in order to provide the Mormon Jesus with a physical body.
Mormon Apostle, Orson Pratt, taught that after Jesus grew to manhood, he took at least three wives, Mary (?), Martha, and Mary Magdalene. Through these wives, the Mormon Jesus, through whom Joseph Smith claimed direct descent, supposedly fathered a number of children before he was crucified.
According to the book of Mormon, after his resurrection Jesus came to the Americas to preach to the Indians who are really Israelites. Thus the Jesus of Mormonism established his church in the Americas as he had in Palestine.
By the year 421 AD, the dark skinned Indian Israelites, called Lamanites, had destroyed all the white Nephites in a number of great battles. The Nephites records were supposedly written on golden plates and buried at the hill Cumorah by the last living Nephite, Moroni.
1400 years later, a young treasure seeker named Joseph Smith, who was known for his tall tales, claimed to have uncovered these same golden plates near his home in upstate New York.
He is now honored by Mormons as a prophet. He claims to have been given a vision of the spirit world, in which he was commanded to organize the Mormon Church. All Christian churches, he was told, were an abomination. It was Joseph Smith who originated the peculiar doctrines in which millions today believe to be true.
By maintaining a rigid code of financial and moral requirements, and by performing secret temple rituals with themselves and the dead, the Latter Day Saints hope to prove their worthiness and thus become gods.
The Mormons teach that everyone must stand at the final judgment before Joseph Smith, the Mormon Jesus, and elohim. Those Mormons sealed in eternal marriage ceremonies expect to become polygamous gods in the celestial kingdom where they will rule over the planets and spawn new children throughout eternity.
The Mormons thank god for Joseph Smith, who claimed he had done more for us than any other man, including Jesus Christ. The Mormons believe that Smith died as a martyr, he shed his blood for us, so that we too may become gods.
“You do not hear Mormons bashing the Baptists, Catholics, Jews or any other religion. We just dont believe it is our place to tell someone that their beliefs are wrong.” Um, your cult is founded upon calling Orthodoxy apostasy! Smith’s supposed vision (first it was Nephi, then it was Moroni, then it was God the Father and Jesus, depending upon which year the vision is pointed from!) claimed ALL Christianity is in apostasy. Mormonism apologists are repeatedly posting material they intend to create doubt about Orthodox Christianity, into which the apologists will pour the heresies of Mormonism. Your assertion is pure bunk.
This is about solutions to some of the road blocks in being able to read the DDS and you all you folks can do is fault fine!
You should go and pray to the Heavenly Father to elevate your thoughts; backbiting isn’t from the Lord.
This angel is the one who told Joseph Smith where the gold plates were buried and can be seen on top of most LDS temples. However, a close examination of early church history tells a different story. Some early Mormon sources which say that the angels name was actually Nephi are as follows:
The Times and Seasons Vol. III pp. 749, 753 ("He called me by name, and said unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me, and that his name was Nephi."). [In modern printings of the History of the Church, this has been changed to read "Moroni". It is interesting to note that Joseph Smith lived for two years after the name "Nephi" was printed in Times and Seasons and he never published a retraction.]
In August, 1842, the Millennial Star, printed in England, also published Joseph Smith's story stating that the angel's name was "Nephi" (see Millennial Star, vol. 3, p.53). On page 71 of the same volume we read that the ...message of the angel Nephi ... opened a new dispensation to man...."
The name was also published in the 1851 edition of the Pearl of Great Price as "Nephi." ("He called me by name and said unto me, that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me, and that his name was Nephi." (Pearl of Great Price, 1851 edition, page 41) The original handwritten manuscript of the PofGP dictated by Joseph Smith reveals that the name was originally written as "Nephi," but that someone at a later date has written the word "Moroni" above the line. All evidence indicates that this change was made after Joseph Smiths death.
Walter L. Whipple, in his thesis written at BYU, stated that Orson Pratt "published The Pearl of Great Price in 1878, and removed the name of Nephi from the text entirely and inserted the name Moroni in its place" ("Textual Changes in the Pearl of Great Price," typed copy, p.125).
Why would the church feel the need to change Joseph Smiths story? The fact of the matter is that Moroni makes much more sense than Nephi because it was Moroni who was alleged to have buried the plates in the first place. But, let's not forget, Joseph Smith said the angel was named Nephi, NOT Moroni.
This is just another example of "The Brethren" changing Joseph Smith's story to make it more consistent and to remove (retroactively no less) all of the holes in Joseph's story.
LDS are not about creating doubt it is about there is more Good News for the children of God.
Please stop trying to create enmity by injecting your personal agenda on a non denominational project report on the DDS.
You got a religion grip take it to the religion forum and start your own thread.
This article is posted under News/Activism. If you want a protected propaganda post for Mormonism, take it to the proper caucus forum, otherwise the assertions by apologists are fair game for debunking.
In case your mind has no clue this is a news story in how molecular biology solved this situation so the DDS fragments could be organized!
If it was about religion I would have put it there this is about solving problem for DDS Project.
Your hate for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is for the religion forum.
No one is stopping you from starting your own thread on the evils of the LDS over there go head and have fun!
You ever read the Book of Enoch? Some very cool stuff there.
Here’s a neat site on angelic powers as depicted in ancient docs: http://www.thedivinecouncil.com/
Gee, I don’t know. What the hell is LDS?
Wow that is an interesting site I am going to bookmark it.
And they are just as correct about the ‘truth’ as the Bible is.
(I am not a Mormon, or LDS, but was raised a Methodist. I believe in the Bible. To each his own. Can you disprove Joseph Smith’s writings? Or the Bible’s?
How could a camel pass through the eye of a needle????
Dead Sea DNA - DNA analysis of the Dead Sea Scrolls
10/25 Using Technology to Reveal & Safeguard the Dead Sea Scrolls
Donald W. Parry
Professor of Hebrew Bible and Dead Sea Scrolls Brigham Young University
11/01 DNA & the Dead Sea Scrolls
Scott Woodward, PhD
Director of the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation
DNA and the Dead Sea Scrolls
Scott Woodward, PhD - Director of the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation.
You sound like one of those who has bought into the relativist lie - no absolute truth out there, whatever you want to call it, if you want to call something truth, fine, even if it is not. Truth is relative, in other words.
The truth is there for you to find, takes some effort on your part though, to find it.
Camel passing through the eye of a needle, for instance. The truth of what that means is there for you to discover. Clue: it is a middle eastern figure of speech, or euphemism.
You found all that on the Internet? Well, then, it must be true, right?
The truth is there for you to find...
If only the LDS Church actually followed their Book of Mormon. The Mormon missionairies come to your door and ask you to read a free copy of the BoM with the hope that you will read it, think it's true, and thus make the jump that if the BoM is true then the Utah LDS church must be the "1 true church" on the face of the earth. Forget for the moment how flawed that logic is, as there are many, many sects that regard the BoM as true. The real tragedy is that it's nothing more than a "bait-and-switch" game since the Utah LDS Church will replace the "milk" of the BoM with the real "meat" of their doctrine once they've got a convert baptized and in their grasp. Most (but certainly not all) of the problems that Christians have with LDS doctrine would disappear if only Mormons followed the Book of Mormon.
For example, the BoM states that there is only ONE God (Alma 11:27-39, 44, 2 Nephi 31:21, Mormon 7:7, 3 Nephi 11:27, & the Testimony of Three Witnesses); however the LDS Church teaches that there are millions of gods and that men can become gods themselves. WHERE IS THAT IN THE BOOK OF MORMON???
The BoM (Alma 18:26-28, Alma 22:8-11) teaches that God is SPIRIT; however, the LDS church teaches that God has a physical body and is a distinct god from Jesus Christ. Again, WHERE IS THAT IN THE BOOK OF MORMON?
The BoM (Alma 34:36) teaches that God dwells in the heart; however, the LDS Church has rejected such teaching as can be found in D&C 130:3. Another example of Mormon scripture directly contradicting itself.
The BoM (Ether 3:12, 2 Nephi 9:34) teaches that God can NOT lie. LDS doctrine holds that God COMMANDED LYING (Book of Abraham 2:22-25).
The BOM (Alma 41:8) teaches that God's Word is unchangeable; however, LDS doctrine holds that God's Word CAN change (D&C Section 56:4-5).
The BoM teaches that there was NO pre-existence of man (Jacob 4:9, Alma 18:28, 34-36); however, LDS doctrine is that man DID pre-exist.
The BoM teaches that death seals a man's fate (Mosiah 2:36-39, Alma 34:32-35), while the LDS church teaches that man HAS a chance after death.
The BoM teaches that there can be salvation for the heathen WITHOUT baptism, while the LDS Church practices baptism for the dead. What gives?
The BoM teaches that there are 2 places to spend eternity - heaven or hell (2 Nephi 28:22, 1 Nephi 15:35, Mosiah 16:11, Mosiah 27:31, Alma 41:4-8, Alma 42:16), while the LDS Church teaches that there are actually 3 levels of heaven. Again, that is NOWHERE to be found in the BoM. And before you protest with the predictable "Not ALL of the gospel is in the BoM", the LDS Church has taught that the BoM "contains the FULNESS of the gospel". If so, WHY NOT FOLLOW IT?
The BoM teaches that there can be forgiveness of even murder (3 Nephi 30:2), while LDS Doctrine is that murder can NOT be forgiven.
Of course a real biggie is the BoM being absolutely against polygamy. Well, we know that the LDS Church practiced it, and that Joseph Smith produced "revelations" that directly contradicted what the BoM he produced said about it.
Again, if ONLY the LDS Church actually followed their own Book of Mormon.
You do not hear Mormons bashing the Baptists, Catholics, Jews or any other religion. We just dont believe it is our place to tell someone that their beliefs are wrong.
As others have already pointed out, the LDS Church was founded on the idea ALL CHURCHES ARE WRONG AND AN ABOMINATION TO GOD. How's that for telling someone that their beliefs are wrong?! I talked to many LDS missionaries, and they've had no problem telling me where they thought I was in error.
You DO make a point though, which actually backs up my earlier point that the LDS Church wants to become part of mainstream Christianity. Is the LDS Church "in your face" about how their beliefs differ from traditional Christianity as much as they once were? Absolutely not! That's because they are more interested in "blending in" now, rather than separating themselves from Christians. It used to be Mormons insisted on NOT being called Christians. Now, they insist that they are indeed Christians.
Despite all this, I'm supposed to be impressed that they are involved with DNA and the Dead Sea Scrolls? Hey, why not apply the use of DNA to the BoM?
Actually, that's been done...
In December, 2002, Thomas Murphy, lifetime Mormon and chairman of the Edmonds Community College Anthropology Department in Washington, was threatened with excommunication over his research on DNA and Book of Mormon issues. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported:
In December, the local stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints scheduled a disciplinary council and informed Murphy he faced the possibility of excommunication, or expulsion from the church. But the president of the stakea district made up of a number of wardsindefinitely postponed the council after the debate hit the press and supporters staged rallies across the country. . . .
"Sin, Skin and Seed: The Mistakes of Man in the Book of Mormon" is the title of Murphy's talk today at the UW, . . .
The "sin" and "skin" in his lecture refer to Scripture linking skin color and behavior. The Book of Mormon states ancient Israelites came to the Americas about 600 B.C. and divided into two groups: the light-skinned, civilized Nephites and the dark-skinned, corrupt, Lamanites, who eventually defeated the Nephites. These Lamanites, according to the modern introduction to the Book of Mormon, are the principal ancestors of Native Americans.
In fact, says Murphy, DNA data, as well as anthropological studies, indicate American Indians are descended from Northeast Asians who migrated across the Bering Sea between 7,000 and 50,000 years ago.
The stir over his findings began when he published them on a Web site run by Mormon intellectuals and in a collection of essays on the Book of Mormon called "American Apocrypha.". . .
Murphy was frankly please with the publicity and subsequent response. He's received . . . missives from Native Americans who say they're happy to finally see someone addressing the issue of racism in Mormon text. (Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Jan. 13, 2003, page B3)
As we can see, LDS researchers are free to study whatever they want, but they dare not discover or say anything against current LDS doctrine. Under such circumstances, it's hard for me to have any faith in BYU researchers.
Why don't the BYU researchers take another look at the second part of the Pearl Great Price, also known as the "Book of Abraham"? It was supposed to have been written on Egyptian papyrus by Abraham himself about 4,000 years ago! According to Mormon officials, this same papyrus fell into Joseph Smith's hands and he began translating it in 1835. If the papyrus were really written by Abraham, its discovery was probably one of the most important finds in the history of the world.
For many years Joseph Smith's collection of papyri was lost and there was no way to check the accuracy of his translation. On Nov. 27, 1967, however, the Mormon-owned Deseret News made the startling announcement that the collection had been rediscovered in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The article went on to say: "Included in the papyri is a manuscript identified as the original document from which Joseph Smith had copied the drawing which he called 'Facsimile No. 1' and published with the Book of Abraham." The importance of this find cannot be overemphasized; it, in fact, made it possible to put Joseph Smith's ability as a translator of ancient Egyptian writing to an absolute test.
Although the Mormon Church tried to slow down the dissemination of material with regard to the Joseph Smith Egyptian Papyri, within six months from the time the Metropolitan Museum gave the papyri to the church, the Book of Abraham had been proven untrue! The fall of the Book of Abraham was brought about by the identification of the actual piece of papyrus from which Joseph Smith claimed to "translate" the book.
Noted Egyptologists Richard A. Parker and Klaus Baer translated this papyrus fragment and found that it is in reality the Egyptian Book of Breathings. Other Egyptologists have confirmed that it is nothing but the Book of Breathings. Even the Mormon apologist Hugh Nibley has admitted this identification. In fact, he has even made his own translation of the text.
It is obvious, therefore, that the papyrus Joseph Smith claimed was the "Book of Abraham" is in reality an Egyptian funerary text known as the "Book of Breathings." It is a pagan document which is filled with magical practices and the names of Egyptian gods and goddesses. It has absolutely nothing to do with either Abraham or his religion.
The LDS Church ignores these facts, hopes they will just go away, and wants us to take their ancient manuscript researchers seriously?
What has urged you to hijack a thread showing how molecular biologist and his understanding of DNA used to solve which seem like an impossible situation of tens of thousands of fragments of the DDS?
Despite all this, I’m supposed to be impressed that they are involved with DNA and the Dead Sea Scrolls? Hey, why not apply the use of DNA to the BoM?
No one asked you to be impressed
Actually, that’s been done...
In December, 2002, Thomas Murphy, lifetime Mormon and chairman of the Edmonds Community College Anthropology Department in Washington, was threatened with excommunication over his research on DNA and Book of Mormon issues. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported:
The Tempest in a Teapot
DNA Studies and the Book of Mormon
by Brant Gardner
There has been a tremendous flurry of media attention over the scientific study of human genetic inheritance and the Book of Mormon. That attention has swirled around declarations made by Thomas W. Murphy, a doctoral candidate in anthropology, and current chair of the anthropology department at Edmonds Community College in Washington. The storm clouds can be seen in a news article in the Los Angeles Times that says of Mr. Murphy:
His conclusion is that “the Book of Mormon is a piece of 19th century fiction,” said Murphy, a lifelong Mormon who calls himself a Latter-day skeptic. “And that means that we have to acknowledge sometimes Joseph Smith lied.”1
It is no wonder that with such conclusions it would appear that dark clouds are forming on the horizon of the Book of Mormon. The clouds appear especially dark when Murphy asserts that his conclusions are supported by modern science. Could it really be that science is proving the Book of Mormon wrong? This is Murphy’s conclusion, but it is a conclusion that does not flow from the evidence examined. Critics of the Book of Mormon have come to the same conclusion as Murphy since the book was first published. The difference is that Murphy is claiming a new basis for his conclusion.
It is important to remember that Mr. Murphy is not citing his own original research in genetics, but rather library research into the work of others. He is synthesizing conclusions from his reading. This is a critical difference, for it helps us understand why the researchers can be right, but Mr. Murphy can be mistaken in his reading of those researchers. It will help us explain why Dr. Michael Whiting, an Evolutionary Biologist at Brigham Young University and “an authority on DNA”2 does not believe that Mr. Murphy has his science right.3 This is not a statement of fault in scientific method, because Murphy is not engaged in this type of work. It is rather a statement that his conclusions are not consonant with the science. When we examine the nature of the data available, we find that Murphy’s particular conclusion does not flow from those data. He has asked the wrong questions of his data, and by asking the wrong questions, returns the wrong answers.
It should be understood by the reader that this article is not intended to be a review of Murphy’s media-attention-grabbing essay, but an assessment of the available genetic data and it’s implications relative to the Book of Mormon, in light of claims made by Murphy and other critics of the Book of Mormon.
To understand why Murphy’s conclusions do not derive from the data, it is important that we understand what the DNA research can and cannot do. After we understand the science, we must correctly understand the Book of Mormon. Only with this foundation established, will we be able to make correct conclusions based on the data.
What can historical genetics do?
There are large numbers of different types of studies concerning DNA. To keep them straight, we will confine ourselves to discussing those aspects of DNA research that look at the historical ties of biology, or “historical genetics” as a shorthand description. The short response to the question of what historical genetics and DNA research can do is that it can do wonderful things. The uniqueness of various aspects of human DNA has led to the ability of DNA tests to positively identify the physical remains of unknown victims of accidents. Since we inherit our DNA from our parents (and they from theirs), DNA can be used to trace biological family ties.4 One of the more fascinating family connections came from the examination of a nine-thousand-year-old skeleton in England (known as Cheddar Man), whose direct genetic descendant was found living in that very vicinity.5 It is important to remember with this study, however, that it took a specific skeleton and matched it to a specific person through the use of multiple genetic “markers.” It did not find the relationship by beginning with the modern man and tracing him back to the skeleton.
Scientists have used the biological chemistry of genetic inheritance to trace certain sets of genetic materials that are shared widely through related populations. By examining particular pieces of DNA (markers) that are common, scientists may reconstruct the line of descent, or “umbilical line” that shows how that inherited marker traveled through time back to an early common ancestor.6 One study has traced mitochondrial DNA, which is inherited only from females, all the way back to a “genetic Eve.” It is this type of research that Murphy is citing in his survey of the current research. These are remarkable new tools in our historical kit, and they do wondrous work. The real issue is to understand what they cannot do.
What can historical genetics not do?
Perhaps the most important caution about historical genetics is that it cannot yet say that all of the data have been collected and examined. For instance, in a recent radio interview, Dr. Scott Woodward, a professor of microbiology and head of the Molecular Genealogy Research Group at BYU,7 was asked about a study that indicated that the Ojibwa Indians possessed a genetic marker that was of unusual origin and appeared to indicate a possible European connection that was pre-Columbian. The study was published in 2001. That should be current science, shouldn’t it? Dr. Woodward noted that more recent work has found that marker in Asia,8 highlighting the rapidly advancing and changing state of this particular science, and highlighting the difficulty of stating any conclusion as dramatically final as Murphy has. This is important not only because we should understand that our information is not complete, but because it also illustrates an important difference between researchers in a field and those who simply report on the research of others. Those who actually do the work typically show much more restraint in the types of conclusions they draw from the data. As witness to this caution, Dr. Woodward notes (speaking specifically of tracing back tot he Book of Mormon’s Old World immigrants):
Have we made an adequate survey of the ancient population from which these individuals derived? No, we haven’t. We’ve been very limited in our observation of the population structure based on mitochondrial DNA because there have been a number that have gone extinct. Perhaps the sampling isn’t large enough; it doesn’t contain all of the mitochondrial DNA types in a population. So, there are some real challenges in trying to reconstruct the past genetic patterns based on modern, present day DNAs that are collected.9
Equally important, however, is that we must understand correctly what science is telling us. In the case of the “genetic Eve,” the popular understanding of the science was that mankind had been traced back to a single woman, hence the “Eve.” Similar to Murphy’s work, that conclusion was not made by those doing original research, but by people reading that research and making spectacular (and unwarranted) conclusions. The reality of the science is slightly different. Rather than the image of this single progenitor of humanity, we have a single progenitor of a surviving line of mitochondrial DNA. It is a difference that is easy for the non-professional to miss. Dr. Stephen Oppenheimer discussed this misperception of what this line of genetic research could do in the context of the “genetic Eve:”
The confusion is to see genetic lines too literally as representing individual humans. The so-called “genetic Eve” was the ancestral mitochondrial genetic line for all modern living humans. Obviously it was carried ultimately by one real woman over 150,000 years ago. But she was only the common ancestor for mitochondrial DNA. She did not carry all the rest of our ancestral genes. We have 30,000 functioning genes and they could each have had a different individual ancestor living at different times in different places.
The mitochondrial Eve was therefore one woman among thousands living over 150,000 years ago. Our other genes derive from our members of that ancestral population. The real importance of the mitochondrial genetic tree is that it gives a clear line of descent that can be used as a trail marker of our spread round the world. But it is only one particular tiny part of our huge human genome.10
The scientific use of historical genetics is tracing the spread of humanity throughout the world. It can be used to discuss the flow of populations, but not the complete definition of populations. The “genetic Eve” can be used to discuss the direction of human migrations, but cannot be used to posit a single female ancestor. As Dr. Oppenheimer notes, there were thousands of other women living at the same time as this “Eve,” whose mitochondrial line is the only one that survived to the present. The inherent problem with tracing historical lines is that they can only trace the information that survives. Dr. Woodward highlighted this very point in his discussion at the FAIR Conference in August of 2001:
If you see a traditional genealogy chart as you would construct it, often we have the males on top and the females going down the bottom. You can see the Y chromosome line going across the top. We can identify the males in that line based on your Y chromosome because it will all be the same. Likewise, we can identify all of the females on the mitochondrial line that comes down across the bottom because they will all be the same. But at this level of, 16 individuals, we’ve only identified two of the 16 and we’ve only analyzed the contribution of 1/8 of the ancestors of that individual by looking at the Y chromosome and the mitochondrial DNA. You need to keep that in mind when you read and see a lot of the DNA studies that have been done, out there on mitochondrial DNA or on Y chromosomal DNA. Understand that the picture that you are getting with that alone, is a very small part of the picture. Because at the next generation ... it’s 1/16. At the next generation it’s 1/32 of the information that you have.11
The nature of the genetic research is necessarily reductive. To trace something back into the past one can match only the information that survives, and the information that reconstructs into the past becomes smaller and smaller. There is a parallel in the world of historical linguistics, which similarly works with present data to reconstruct historical information. Linguists can reconstruct some of the vocabulary of ancient populations based upon the survival of various words into the modern languages descended from that earlier language and population. However, the reconstructed vocabulary is in the hundreds of words if they are lucky. The actual vocabulary of that people would have been in the tens of thousands of words. Those other words existed, just as did all of the other women at the time of the “genetic Eve.” The problem is that the traces of the other words and the other women have died out.
Another aspect of the analogy to historical linguistics is that data are reconstructed to particular time levels. While reconstructions exist for many different times, it is inappropriate to make comparisons from widely different time depths without carefully correlating the data. Collapsing time periods leads to inaccurate conclusions. This type of interpretive error in reading the data is not unusual in the readers and second-hand interpreters of the data, not the original researchers. This same problem of “time depth” exists in the science of historical genetics. Dr. Woodward specifically cautions:
I noticed in the conference last week that was referenced that there were some papers and some discussion on DNA. I think there were some very good things that were said there but I also have some concerns in that there was some mixing of the data across time scales that may not be appropriate. There is a lot of mitochondrial evidence that has to do with population structure very deep in the past; ten-, fifteen-, twenty-, thirty-, one hundred thousand years ago. The experiments that were set up to look at those were set up correctly to be able to answer those questions in those time frames. If we then extrapolate those to the very recent past, the last two- or three- or four thousand years, I think we have to be very careful in extrapolating some of those results.12
The science on which Mr. Murphy is basing his conclusions is valid in the same way that Dr. Woodward discussed the underlying data of the papers in the referenced conference. The problem is not the science that produced the data. The problem is in the way one uses the disparate data to come to conclusions. With this background we can now turn to the application of historical genetics to the Book of Mormon.
What does historical genetics say about the Book of Mormon?
At this point we should carefully examine Mr. Murphy’s conclusions in the published article that provides the support for those conclusions. He says:
Now that quantitative scientific methods can indeed test for an Israelite genetic presence in ancient America, we learn ...that virtually all Native Americans can trace their lineages to the Asian mi-grations between 7,000 and 50,000 years ago. While molecular an-thropologists have the technological capability to identify descen-dants of ancient Hebrews, no traces of such DNA markers have appeared in Central America or elsewhere among Native Americans...
From a scientific perspective, the Book of Mormon’s origin is best situated in early nineteenth-century America, and Lamanite gen-esis can only be traced historically to ca. 1828. The term Lamanite is a modern social and political designation that lacks a verifiable bio-logical or historical underpinning linking it to ancient American In-dians. The Book of Mormon emerged from an antebellum perspec-tive, out of a frontier American people’s struggle with their god, and not from an authentic American Indian perspective.13
The problems begin with the very first phrase. He says, “Now that quantitative scientific methods can indeed test for an Israelite genetic presence in ancient America...” Murphy poses this as a given, a fact. It is a “fact” that Dr. Woodward, a researcher in the field, does not accept:
What did the genes of Lehi look like? How do we find out today what the genes of Lehi look like? I think that’s a valid question to ask. Second is, who would you compare them with in living populations today? Where would you go to make the comparison? Would you go to modern day Israel today? What is the genetic composition of Israeli Jews today? Is it the same as it was two thousand years ago? Three thousand years ago? I would argue that it’s not. Do we understand the population dynamics? What kinds of selection factors have been involved?14
For his part, Murphy bases part of his “fact” on the kind of popular thinking that created a single “Eve” instead of the more accurate population of which that ancestor was one representative. In discussing one of the genetic markers used to identify “Israelites,” he notes: “Researchers have uncovered distinctive genetic markers on the Y-chromosome that are useful in establishing linkages between ancient and contemporary Hebrew populations.”15 The science was done correctly, but Murphy gives a dramatic reading of that science that suggests that we may now identify any possible remnant of an ancient Israelite population. That conclusion overreaches the data. What Murphy fails to make clear is that these are reconstructed markers. They go from the present to the past. They are not like the example of the Cheddar Man where the historical is compared to the present. Reconstructions are reductive. Finding one does not indicate that we have an ability to discern any Israelite heritage, hence the difference in the statements made by Murphy and Dr. Woodward. In this case, it should be clear that given the choice we should accept the caution of someone who does professional original research in the field over one who is simply extracting conclusions from written studies.
Disproving the Book of Mormon or Mythology?
Murphy’s next statement in his conclusion is “that virtually all Native Americans can trace their lineages to the Asian mi-grations between 7,000 and 50,000 years ago.” The implication is that since we are able to trace Asian migrations, and we haven’t found distinctive Hebrew DNA, that therefore the Book of Mormon cannot be true. In this, Murphy comes close to a correct conclusion, but not quite. It is very common among long-time Latter-day Saints who were born into the Church to assume that the Book of Mormon describes the origin of all of the American Indians. That it is common, however, does not mean that it squares with what the Book of Mormon actually says. In fact, it does not.
Additionally, this understanding among long-time Latter-day Saints does not indicate that this is a doctrine of the Church. Nevertheless, it provides an easy target for Murphy and anyone else who would attempt to apply “science” to the Book of Mormon. As opposed to Murphy disproving the foundation of the Book of Mormon claims, he has simply identified a mistaken assumption of some lay-members about the Book of Mormon, which is not a new discovery. LDS Book of Mormon scholars have held such a view for years, long before Murphy was even born.
Is it true that, as Murphy writes, “...virtually all Native Americans can trace their lineages to the Asian mi-grations between 7,000 and 50,000 years ago.” It is true enough. What does this tell us? We may correctly conclude from the evidence that the popular opinion long held among Latter-day Saints that the Book of Mormon explains the origins of all Native American populations is mistaken. We may not conclude from that same evidence, however, that the Book of Mormon is incorrect. What is the difference?
Again, Mr. Murphy seems to present the results of his research as though this information about the hemispheric interpretation of the Book of Mormon is somehow new. The information about the Asian migrations into the New World is hardly new, and the faithful LDS scholars of the Book of Mormon have had that very understanding for a minimum of fifty years.16 The use of DNA evidence is new, but it doesn’t tell us anything that was not already known about the Book of Mormon. In fact, a good result of this public attention will be that the general population of LDS will more rapidly come to understand the actual historical foundations of their sacred text rather than the mythology that has grown up around it.
It is not surprising that the popular understanding of the Book of Mormon should come more from what people thought about it than what it said about itself. As Terryl L. Givens notes concerning the early use of the Book of Mormon in the Church:
Looking at the Book of Mormon in terms of its early uses and reception, it becomes clear that this American scripture has exerted influence within the church and reaction outside the church not primarily by virtue of its substance, but rather its manner of appearing, not on the merits of what it says, but what it enacts. Put slightly differently, the history of the Book of Mormon’s place in Mormonism and American religion generally has always been more connected to its status as signifier than signified, or its role as a sacred sign rather than its function as persuasive theology. The Book of Mormon is preeminently a concrete manifestation of sacred utterance, and thus an evidence of divine presence, before it is a repository of theological claims.17
This tendency of Church members, in general, to use the fact of the book rather than the text of the book has finally given way to an intense study of the text as a text. One of the earliest results of that research into what the book says about itself led to a reassessment of the relationship of the Book of Mormon to the geography, and therefore history, of the New World. That we should learn more through a concerted study of the Book of Mormon should be no surprise. The Church has never proclaimed that it possessed all truth, all at once. In the case of the Book of Mormon, recent research is anchored in the text itself.
Dr. John E. Clark, an anthropologist at BYU, noted:
From textual evidence, one can approximate some spatial relationships of various natural features and cities. Distances in the Book of Mormon are recorded in terms of the time required to travel from place to place.18
The results of careful study of what the Book of Mormon actually says about itself tells us that it covers an area dramatically smaller than the western hemisphere. John L. Sorenson notes:
We can now be certain that the Book of Mormon story took place in a limited portion of the western hemisphere shaped roughly like an hourglass. The size of that territory was measured in hundreds, not thousands, of miles. The movements of peoples, the individual journeys, and the times involved in travels recorded in the scripture fit reasonably in a land southward around 350 miles long and not much more than half that wide at one point north of Zarahemla. The land northward is less well specified but seems not so long.19
That this more accurate understanding of the Book of Mormon may be seen as the more “official” understanding of the Church may be seen from both the publication of this information about the Book of Mormon in the Ensign in 198420 as well as in the article on “Book of Mormon Geography” in the Encyclopedia of Mormonism.
This deeper understanding of the internal geography of the Book of Mormon tells us that when we learn that the traditional hemispheric interpretation of the text is incorrect, it has no relevance to the Book of Mormon itself, because the text never says that. Part of Murphy’s conclusion is incorrect simply due to his mistaken assumption that the data contradict the Book of Mormon, when they really speak only to the mythology we have created around the Book of Mormon. Science does not prove the Book of Mormon wrong, because the science is not addressing the particular history of the Book of Mormon.
Is the Lack of Evidence...Evidence?
There is, of course, more to the story. Murphy’s next error in his conclusion is to assume that the absence of evidence equates to the impossibility of existence of peoples described in the Book of Mormon. There are two important points to understand concerning this erroneous assumption. The first is the probable nature of the mixing of early populations in the Book of Mormon, and the second is that the reductive nature of the evidence cannot dismiss the possible presence of valid genetic lines that have been lost.
It has been understood from the beginning of this serious study of the Book of Mormon that there were people here when the Lehites arrived; lots of people. When we remember the small numbers of people mentioned in any of the Book of Mormon immigrations into the New World,21 we have a picture of a much smaller population entering an existing population that is significantly larger.22 This more accurate picture of what the Book of Mormon says must now be compared to the correct understanding of the scientific data so that we can understand just what historical genetics does and does not say about the Book of Mormon.
The first complication comes from the simple facts of inheritance. Steve Olson, a science journalist, reports the following:
In a 1999 paper titled “Recent Common Ancestors of All Present-Day Individuals,” Chang showed how to reconcile the potentially huge number of our ancestors with the quantities of people who actually lived in the past. His model is a mathematical proof that relies on such abstractions as Poisson distributions and Markov chains, but it can readily be applied to the real world. Under the conditions laid out in his paper, the most recent common ancestor of every European today (except for recent immigrants to the Continent) was someone who lived in Europe in the surprisingly recent past—only about 600 years ago. In other words, all Europeans alive today have among their ancestors the same man or woman who lived around 1400. Before that date, according to Chang’s model, the number of ancestors common to all Europeans today increased, until, about a thousand years ago, a peculiar situation prevailed: 20 percent of the adult Europeans alive in 1000 would turn out to be the ancestors of no one living today (that is, they had no children or all their descendants eventually died childless); each of the remaining 80 percent would turn out to be a direct ancestor of every European living today.23
The mathematics of descent and mixing populations tell us two things. The first is that we seem to be related to virtually everyone else if we go back only 600 to 800 years. The second is that even though we are related, we can only trace a portion of that line of descent. The reductive nature of the research lops off huge branches of our ancestral tree and creates a simple ancestry out of what was, in reality, a tangled one. This should indicate the need for great caution in the way we understand historical genetics, particularly making conclusions on the absence of an “umbilical line.”
This caution becomes more relevant to the types of studies upon which Murphy is basing his conclusions because they also represent this streamlined view of genetic ancestry. When Murphy adamantly proposes the lack of non-Asian immigration before European contact, he is drawing a conclusion not supported by the data. The data actually say that the traceable origin is Asia. This flow of migration is the proper conclusion from the data, as Dr. Oppenheimer noted above. The data do not, and cannot, say anything about any peoples who did not come from Asia, but whose genetic lines cannot be traced because of the vicissitudes of genetic survival.
The most important indication that there is important genetic material that has been lost comes from the recent analysis of skeletal remains from Mexico. Tests indicate that the remains are nearly 13,000 years old. What is most important is what they tell us about migration pattern:
The two oldest skulls were “dolichocephalic” - that is, long and narrow-headed.
Other, more recent skulls were a different shape - short and broad, like those from native American remains.
This suggests that humans dispersed within Mexico in two distinct waves, and that a race of long and narrow-headed humans may have lived in North America prior to the American Indians.
Traditionally, American Indians were thought to have been the first to arrive on the continent, crossing from Asia on a land bridge.
Dr Gonzalez told BBC News Online: “We believe that the older race may have come from what is now Japan, via the Pacific islands and perhaps the California coast.24
The skull shapes tell us that there is a different genetic type making its migration into the New World. One of these types is more Caucasoid than Asian, as witnessed by the Kennewick Man.25 Similarly, a very Caucasian population existed in part of Asia where their well-preserved mummies clearly declare them distinct from the Asian populations that later inhabited that area.26 These findings complicate the genetic inheritance, as they either demonstrate how much genetic information may be lost, or that our definitions of Asian may have to be re-written to include populations that are not typically thought of as Asian. They also highlight that there is a difference in describing an Asian location and declaring “Asian” as a genetic type. The archaeological evidence tells us that these peoples existed in these places, but we appear to have lost their genetic inheritance.
The applicability to the Book of Mormon should be evident. The current state of historical genetics tells us what we already knew: the Book of Mormon does not explain the origins of all of the natives of the western hemisphere. However, it is no contradiction to the Book of Mormon, because that isn’t what the Book of Mormon says. It is no contradiction of official Church doctrine, because the Church never had an official doctrine on Book of Mormon geography (or genetics), in spite of the rather obvious popular beliefs.27 Historical genetics cannot say anything about the current understanding of the text because the limited contributions of Book of Mormon Old World genetic material was both small and long enough ago that there are any number of reasons why it could have disappeared from the traceable genetic lines that have currently been discovered.
There certainly are media storm clouds on the horizon, but they are more threat than real tempest. This media attention is really no more than a tempest in a teapot, and what rain comes from it may have the beneficial effect of washing away some traditional assumptions Mormons have held about their sacred volume that really do need to be replaced with a more solid understanding of what that text really says.
1 William Lobdell and Larry B. Stammer, “Mormon Scientist, Church Clash Over DNA Test,” Los Angeles Times (December 8, 2002), A21.
3 Ibid. Dr. Whiting responded to a statement by Maxine Hanks that Murphy was like Galileo. Dr. Whiting stated: “It’s an inappropriate comparison. The difference is Galileo got the science right. I don’t think Murphy has.” It should also be noted that Whiting’s DNA research has been featured in the weekly science journal, Nature (cover story, January 16, 2003).
4 The most powerful uses of DNA are to show biological relationships between an unknown and a known person. The issue of tracing biological families is the issue that will be discussed as we understand what DNA studies cannot do.
6 Thomas H. Roderick, PhD, uses the term “umbilical line,” http://genealogy.about.com/library/blchattrans-roderick.htm.
7 Dr. Woodward is a professor of microbiology and faculty member of the Molecular Biology Program at Brigham Young University. He is also head of the Molecular Genealogy Research Group at BYU. While completing his postdoctoral work in molecular genetics at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the University of Utah, he discovered a genetic marker used for the identification of carriers and the eventual discovery of the gene for cystic fibrosis. He was also involved with the identification of other gene markers for colon cancer and neurofibromatosis. He joined the faculty at BYU in 1989 and has been involved with several excavation teams in Seila, Egypt. While in Egypt, he directed the genetic and molecular analysis of Egyptian mummies, both from a commoners’ cemetery and from Egyptian Royal tombs. Dr. Woodward has been the Scholar in Residence at the BYU Center for Near Eastern Studies in Jerusalem and a visiting professor at Hebrew University. His work has been featured both nationally and internationally on numerous programs including Good Morning America and both the Discovery and Learning Channels.
8 KUER: Radio West. “Science & Foundations of the Book of Mormon.” Interview: Terryl L. Givens, Thomas Murphy and Scott Woodward. Host: Doug Fabrizio. Salt Lake City, December 19, 2002.
9 Scott Woodward. “DNA and the Book of Mormon.” Presented at the FAIR Conference, August 2001. Dr. Woodward continues: “There are some ways that we may be able to approach that. And this is one of the approaches that we have taken in our laboratory at BYU. I wish that I could say that this was the magic bullet, and that it was going to be able to answer all our questions concerning ancient populations, but it turns out that the ability to recover ancient DNA and get useful information out of it is extremely difficult. It can be done. We have been able to do that in a number of limited situations. But for the most part, its going to be very difficult to go back in the past a thousand years, two thousand, four, five, ten, twelve, and recover DNA from individuals and say something about their ancient population structures.”
10 “The Real Eve.” Answers to questions by Dr. Stephen Oppenheimer. DiscoveryChannel.com http://dsc.discovery.com/convergence/realeve/ask/ask.html.
11 Woodward, “DNA and the Book of Mormon.”
13 Thomas W. Murphy, “Lamanite Genesis, Genealogy, and Genetics,” American Apocrypha, edited by Brent Metcalfe and Dan Vogel (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 2002), 68.
14 Scott Woodward, “DNA and the Book of Mormon.” It is worth noting that when Woodward asks about Lehi’s genetics, he is clearly referring to Lehi and his group (i.e. his wife, sons, daughters, their spouses and children) and not Lehi, the individual, only. Certainly, identifying Lehi’s mitochondrial DNA would be useless, as it would not be passed down to his posterity. The mitochondrial DNA of his wife, daughters, and his son’s wives would indeed be important. Dr. Woodward makes that distinction in his presentation. Dr. Woodward continues: “How much of Lehi’s mitochondrial DNA would you expect to see in Native Americans? That’s a trick question but you should know the answer because we just talked about it. Zero-right? It would be Sariah. Is that true? Why? Why is that true? Who were Sariah’s children? Sariah’s children were Laman, Lemuel, Nephi, Sam, Jacob, and Joseph. Do you see any mitochondrial carriers there? No, although in 2 Nephi, Chapter 5, Nephi mentions his sisters, so perhaps there were a couple of Sariah’s daughters that survived and that then would produce a possibility but who would that be? Who would then be mitochondrial donors for these people who came from the Middle East? The wife of Ishmael, right? Who was the wife of Ishmael So in reality, one of the questions we have to ask is, “What would we expect to see?” So how can we know whether or not we have Lehite DNA in Native Americans if we’re not exactly sure what exactly it is that we’re supposed to be looking for or if we could recognize it when we saw it?”
15 Murphy, “Lamanite Genesis, Genealogy, and Genetics,” 60.
16 An introduction to some of this history from the perspective of John L. Sorenson’s involvement in it may be read in a biographical review. Davis Bitton, “Introduction,” Mormon, Scripture, and the Ancient World. Studies in Honor of John L. Sorenson (Provo, Utah: FARMS, Provo, 1998), xxxiii-xxxviii.
17 Terryl L. Givens, By the Hand of Mormon (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002), 63-64.
18 John E. Clark, “Book of Mormon Geography,” Encyclopedia of Mormonism, edited by Daniel H. Ludlow (New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1992), 1:177.
19 John L. Sorenson, An Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1985), 22.
20 John L. Sorenson, “Digging into the Book of Mormon: Our Changing Understanding of Ancient America and Its Scripture,” Parts 1 and 2. Ensign (September 1984): 26-37; (October 1984): 12-23.
21 Even being generous, it is difficult to identify more than thirty people in Lehi’s party. Soon after their arrival they split into two groups, both of which would have been integrated into the larger populations in different regions of the country. Thus Murphy is suggesting that testing modern populations from all over the western hemisphere proves that these thirty people did not exist. There is no logic in such an assumption.
22 Dr. Woodward specifically notes that the smaller population would have an impact in the study of Lehite genetics, assuming that we knew what that meant. Continuing his list of important factors: “ The reduction of size and the dynamics of the demographics of the population of America and what’s happened to it; The huge bottlenecks that have happened; The selection factors that have been involved.”
23 Steve Olson. “The Royal We,” The Atlantic Monthly (May 2002), http://www.theatlantic.com/issues/2002/05/olson.htm.
24 “Human skulls are ‘oldest Americans” Tuesday, 3 December 2002, 15:22 GMT. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/2538323.stm
27 See the discussion in Clark, “Book of Mormon Geography,” 1:178
BTW their are renoun experts in the field of DNA and now have ever verified the finding of a small University Professor of little creditals
To repeat: You found it on the Internet, so it must be true, right?
Look at some of the other neat things one can find on the Internet:
1. John Lennon was assassinated by author Stephen King, who acted under orders from Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan. You can buy the booklet Stephen King Shot John Lennon at The truth about John Lennon's murder.
2. The Apollo moon landings never happened. The whole thing was a hoax. You can buy the video at www.moonmovie.com.
3. In the 1970s, an inventor developed an electric automobile engine that produced 40 times more power than it drew from the batteries. It, and a number of other free-energy devices, have been suppressed by powerful interests in industry and government. You can buy the books and videos at www.free-energy.com.
Now we find that Mormonism is based on a belief in humanoid extraterrestrials from a distant star, among other weird things. (I especially like the part about Mormons "performing secret temple rituals with themselves and the dead." It sounds positively ghoulish.)
By the way, do you have a link to the web site where you found all this fascinating truth about Mormonism?
Perhaps you can explain what I see as a serious inconsistency in Mormon theology.
Here it is:
"I know that God is not a partial God, neither a changeable being; but he is unchangeable from all eternity to all eternity" (Moroni 8:18).
"For do we not read that God is the same yesterday, today and forever, and in him there is no variableness, neither shadow of changing? And now, if ye have imagined up unto yourselves a god who doth vary, and in whom there is shadow of changing, then ye have imagined up unto yourselves a god who is not a God of miracles" (Mormon 9:9-10).
"Here, then, is eternal life--to know the only wise and true God. And you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves--to be kings and priests to God, the same as all Gods have done--by going from a small degree to another, from grace to grace, from exaltation to exaltation, until you are able to sit in glory as do those who sit enthroned in everlasting power." - King Follett Discourse
Moroni and Mormon describe God as immutable and unchanging. TheKFD shows something else. How can you believe that God is at the same time immutable and changing, that from all eternity he was as he now is, but he somehow evolved from a mere mortal?
God evolved or he didn't. Mormans seem to have it both ways.
How is this possible?
HW: Would you agree the other huge idea is an embodied God?
DHO: The first revelation received by Joseph Smith was the appearance to him of the Father and the Son embodied, separate, identifiable, tangible Beings who appeared to him in what we refer to as the First Vision. And that first revelation, concerning the nature of God as an embodied, glorified, resurrected Being, challenged the creeds of Christianity. Christianity describes God as a disembodied, incomprehensible, spiritual entity that fills the whole universe, and an indistinguishable Father and Son.
HW: A big idea! Any other idea that was startling and got peoples attention?
DHO: Before the close of his ministry, in Illinois, Joseph Smith put together the significance of what he had taught about the nature of God and the nature and destiny of man. He preached a great sermon not long before he was murdered that God was a glorified Man, glorified beyond our comprehension, (still incomprehensible in many ways), but a glorified, resurrected, physical Being, and it is the destiny of His children upon this earth, upon the conditions He has proscribed, to grow into that status themselves. That was a big idea, a challenging idea. It followed from the First Vision, and it was taught by Joseph Smith, and it is the explanation of many things that Mormons do the whole theology of Mormonism.
HW: Is it the core of it?
DHO: That is the purpose of the life of men and women on this earth: to pursue their eternal destiny. Eternal means Godlike and to become like God. One of the succeeding prophets said: As man is, God once was. And as God is, man may become.
That is an extremely challenging idea. We dont understand, were not able to understand, all [about] how it comes to pass or what is at its origin, but it explains the purpose of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is to put peoples feet on the pathway to a glorified existence in the life to come that is incomprehensible, but far closer to God than the Christian world generally perceives.
And this contradicts the Mormon and Moroni verses that talks about an unchanging God the Father, from everlasting to everlasting. This remains the question, that you do not answer.
Because you asked a reasoned question instead of attacking, I will try to answer your question.
If you believe in the trinity then this would be hard to understand. We believe the Godhead is made up of three separate beings God the eternal father, Jesus Christ and the Holy ghost.
I you read the entire Moroni 9 then you see he is talking about Christ and God. God being the eternal Father and Jesus Christ his son.
If you have a Book of Mormon read the the correlating references found in the Old and New testament for chapter nine.
“If you believe in the trinity then this would be hard to understand. We believe the Godhead is made up of three separate beings God the eternal father, Jesus Christ and the Holy ghost.”
My friend, the LDS church rejects the concept of One God in Three Persons, the Holy Trinity. You just spelled it out for all to consider carefully.
This concept is at the core of Christian belief. And it has everything to do with, Who is Jesus? Christians have unwavering faith that Jesus is the great “I AM”. He tells his deciples, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.”
That is your natural man thinking!
I have news for you, when Jesus died he received a resurrected body of Flesh and Bone no longer had a body of Flesh and Blood, that was the body changing not the spirit just the housing of the spirit for Celestial Kingdom!
In the time of Moses God came in the form of a burning bush etc.
Ex. 3: 3-4
3 And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.
4 And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.
Mark 12: 26
26 And as touching the dead, that they rise: have ye not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spake unto him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?
Another time God the Father spoke from a heaven!(spirit don’t have speaking voices)
Mark 1: 11
11 And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
Luke 3: 22
22 And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.
Bwahahaha, you gonna call the moderator on yourself for diverting from DNA topic to MOrmonism Apologetics?... Your efforts are so transparent, restornu.
When will scientists be allowed to examine those golden plates?
Never, since they’re fake.
Is it legit, or is it LDS propaganda?”
All LDS stuff is by definition propaganda. LDS do not feel required to tell the truth, otherwise Joseph Smith would have been debunked long ago. I just read a good example, from Joseph Smith on most of the chruch leaders at some point denied they were involved in polygamy when they were neck deep in it.
I’ll answer your question with a story:
A client of mine was a former siding salesman. One day, accompanied by a new saleswoman with his company, he called on an elderly couple who, as it turned out were Mormon. In the course of chatting, the new saleswoman said she had gone to BYU and was LDS. Turning to her and thinking she was referring to some type of disability, my client said something like, “Wow, that’s very impressive. You finished fours years of college even though you’re LDS.” The older couple nearly fell on the floor laughing. LDS = Latter Day Saints, a euphemism for Mormons.
“How is that possible?”
Good question. One answer may be found by dropping the last letter from the name of the Angel Moroni.
“Still another LDS member that I’m very close to doesn’t even want Romney in the race. She said it’s because she just doesn’t want the “whole Mormon thing” in the news. “
Romney is going to have a lot of ‘splaining to do. While Mormon men might not be polygamists on earth, they must certainly become ones if they get a planet in order to generate enough spirit children.
But this brings up the question of if you need spirit children, you need spirit wives. Now, are any of those wives Goddesses? I mean, are Mormon men saying they are the only gender who can become Gods and frolic with the fems?
Which then brings up the question of whether there is a Mother God who should be worshipped, and if not why not?
I guess what that long article is suggesting is that the Lamanites were just a small inconsequential tribe, almost like they didn’t exist.
Special software is being used to reconstruct shredded Stasi documents.
The following is a quote from the book of mormon:
"I know that God is not a partial God, neither a changeable being; but he is unchangeable from all eternity to all eternity" (Moroni 8:18).
In your oun words, what does this verse mean?
If god is "unchangeable from all eternity to all eternity" how can he change?
Well, you caught us. We do not feel required to tell the truth; in fact, we are required not to tell the truth. Everything we say (including "Good morning!" and "How are you?") is propaganda.
It doesn't stop there. (After years of deception, it is a relief to get this off my chest.) Every week I exhort the members of my LDS ward to lie, cheat, and steal. Of course, since there may be nonmembers present, I have to tell the members not to do those things. But the members are in on the deceptionthey know the codeso they understand what I really mean.
It is getting harder to get away with evil-doing because smart people likeyou have figured out that a Mormon cannot ever be trusted. Ever. You certainly would never fall for anything a Mormon might say. To make our quotas, we may even have to subcontract the work of evil to others. (I hear we are in negotiations with al Qaeda to do the real dirty stuff.)
There, I have said it. Do you feel better now?
"I know that God is not a partial God, neither a changeable being; but he is unchangeable from all eternity to all eternity" (Moroni 8:18).
In your oun words, what does this verse mean?
If god is "unchangeable from all eternity to all eternity" how can he change?
“It doesn’t stop there. (After years of deception, it is a relief to get this off my chest.) Every week I exhort the members of my LDS ward to lie, cheat, and steal.”
Well done, you’ve spun what I’ve said to the extreme (just like all good Mormons do) to avoid facing the ugly fact that on matters of the church, the LDS fathers routinely excommunicate dissenters because they are afraid of the truth.
Here’s a nice expose that goes into what happens when honest people meet the Mormon hierarchy:
I know what your reply will be, that every church has the right and need to expell those who don’t believe their core tenets - and I certainly agree (just as the Catholics excommunicated Gallileo and Martin Luther). But with a little research, one will find that ever since Joseph Smith, Mormons have had to excommunicate at a ferocious pace in order to keep from falling apart.
Here is a question for you to spin, Who was the original God the Mother who produced all the Spirit Children? Did you put her out to pasture like a cow???
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