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Single Word Change in Book of Mormon Speaks Volumes
Salt Lake Tribune ^ | November 8, 2007 | Peggy Fletcher Stack

Posted on 11/08/2007 5:23:05 PM PST by Colofornian

The LDS Church has changed a single word in its introduction to the Book of Mormon, a change observers say has serious implications for commonly held LDS beliefs about the ancestry of American Indians.

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe founder Joseph Smith unearthed a set of gold plates from a hill in upperstate New York in 1827 and translated the ancient text into English. The account, known as The Book of Mormon, tells the story of two Israelite civilizations living in the New World. One derived from a single family who fled from Jerusalem in 600 B.C. and eventually splintered into two groups, known as the Nephites and Lamanites.

The book's current introduction, added by the late LDS apostle, Bruce R. McConkie in 1981, includes this statement: "After thousands of years, all were destroyed except the Lamanites, and they are the principal ancestors of the American Indians."

The new version, seen first in Doubleday's revised edition, reads, "After thousands of years, all were destroyed except the Lamanites, and they are among the ancestors of the American Indians."

LDS leaders instructed Doubleday to make the change, said senior editor Andrew Corbin, so it "would be in accordance with future editions the church is printing."

The change "takes into account details of Book of Mormon demography which are not known," LDS spokesman Mark Tuttle said Wednesday.

It also steps into the middle of a raging debate about the book's historical claims.

Many Mormons, including several church presidents, have taught that the Americas were largely inhabited by Book of Mormon peoples. In 1971, Church President Spencer W. Kimball said that Lehi, the family patriarch, was "the ancestor of all of the Indian and Mestizo tribes in North and South and Central America and in the islands of the sea."

After testing the DNA of more than 12,000 Indians, though, most researchers have concluded that the continent's early inhabitants came from Asia across the Bering Strait.

With this change, the LDS Church is "conceding that mainstream scientific theories about the colonization of the Americas have significant elements of truth in them," said Simon Southerton, a former Mormon and author of Losing a Lost Tribe: Native Americans, DNA and the Mormon Church.

"DNA has revealed very clearly how closely related American Indians are to their Siberian ancestors, " Southerton said in an e-mail from his home in Canberra, Australia. "The Lamanites are invisible, not principal ancestors."

LDS scholars, however, dispute the notion that DNA evidence eliminates the possibility of Lamanites. They call it "oversimplification" of the research.

On the church's official Web site, lds.org, it says, "Nothing in the Book of Mormon precludes migration into the Americas by peoples of Asiatic origin. The scientific issues relating to DNA, however, are numerous and complex."

Mormon researcher John M. Butler and DNA expert further argues that "careful examination and demographic analysis of the Book of Mormon record in terms of population growth and the number of people described implies that other groups were likely present in the promised land when Lehi's family arrived, and these groups may have genetically mixed with the Nephites, Lamanites, and other groups. Events related in the Book of Mormon likely took place in a limited region, leaving plenty of room for other Native American peoples to have existed."

In recent years, many LDS scholars have come to share Butler's belief in what is known as the "limited geography" theory. By this view, the Nephites and Lamanites restricted their activities to portions of Central America, which would explain their absence from the general American Indian genetics.

Kevin Barney, a Mormon lawyer and independent researcher in Chicago, welcomes the introduction's word change.

"I have always felt free to disavow the language of the [Book of Mormon's] introduction, footnotes and dictionary, which are not part of the canonical scripture," said Barney, on the board of FAIR, a Mormon apologist group. "These things can change as the scholarship progresses and our understanding enlarges. This suggests to me that someone on the church's scripture committee is paying attention to the discussion."


TOPICS: History; Other Christian; Theology
KEYWORDS: bookofmormon; godsgravesglyphs; lds; mormon; nativeamericans; romneyisanut; thelatestrevelation
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1 posted on 11/08/2007 5:23:07 PM PST by Colofornian
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To: Colofornian

***In recent years, many LDS scholars have come to share Butler’s belief in what is known as the “limited geography” theory. By this view, the Nephites and Lamanites restricted their activities to portions of Central America, which would explain their absence from the general American Indian genetics. ****

So how did this “book” end up buried in a hill in New York if it only pertains to Central America.


2 posted on 11/08/2007 5:28:53 PM PST by Ruy Dias de Bivar
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To: greyfoxx39; FastCoyote; MHGinTN; Pan_Yans Wife; svcw; Enosh; Elsie; aMorePerfectUnion; ...

FI Ping


3 posted on 11/08/2007 5:29:43 PM PST by colorcountry ("ever met a gang banger with a hunter safety card?" ~ Ted Nugent)
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To: Ruy Dias de Bivar
So how did this “book” end up buried in a hill in New York if it only pertains to Central America.

Oh, Details, details, details. (Shh. Ya don't want to cut into the tourist industry in the Hill Cumorah region of NY, do you?)

4 posted on 11/08/2007 5:31:02 PM PST by Colofornian
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To: Colofornian

The winds of change are blowing through the LDS Church. Perhaps one day, they will truly be one of us and we can call them Christian.

At this pace, it will take another 1000 years, but what the heck!


5 posted on 11/08/2007 5:31:29 PM PST by colorcountry ("ever met a gang banger with a hunter safety card?" ~ Ted Nugent)
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To: Colofornian
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe founder Joseph Smith unearthed a set of gold plates from a hill in upperstate New York in 1827 and translated the ancient text into English. The account, known as The Book of Mormon, tells the story of two Israelite civilizations living in the New World. One derived from a single family who fled from Jerusalem in 600 B.C. and eventually splintered into two groups, known as the Nephites and Lamanites.

Once upon a time, [insert fairy tale here]...

6 posted on 11/08/2007 5:33:10 PM PST by snarks_when_bored
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To: Colofornian

Dum dum dum DUM dum ...


7 posted on 11/08/2007 5:33:16 PM PST by ikka
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To: colorcountry
The winds of change are blowing through the LDS Church. Perhaps one day, they will truly be one of us and we can call them Christian.

Well, we've seen the RLDS move a little closer thru the decades. We've seen Armstrong's Worldwide Church of God become orthodox. And we've seen many LD Saints become holy saints in Christ. The Lord's arm has a long reach.

8 posted on 11/08/2007 5:33:58 PM PST by Colofornian
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To: Colofornian

“After testing the DNA of more than 12,000 Indians, though, most researchers have concluded that the continent’s early inhabitants came from Asia across the Bering Strait.”

Oh PA-LEEZE! These same “researchers” would probably tell us after extensive “testing” that the planet is MORE than 6,000 years old!

(extreme sarcasm alert)


9 posted on 11/08/2007 5:37:30 PM PST by Grunthor (Liberals need to be reminded that The Holy Bible is more than just Godís opinion.)
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To: Colofornian

I am still trying to figure out why blacks became ‘worthy’ or ‘human’ or what ever it was in the 1970s and how if god ordained polygamy as a tenant of faith how come he changed his mind, when it meant Utah could not become a state.
It is all sooooooooo confusing.


10 posted on 11/08/2007 5:37:51 PM PST by svcw (There is no plan B.)
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To: snarks_when_bored
Once upon a time, [insert fairy tale here]...

Yes, a good story teller always needs this intro. And then a good story teller tellin a tale from scratch needs a few thou "And it came to pass..." transitions to give said story teller enough time to conjure up the next phrase or scenario.

11 posted on 11/08/2007 5:38:00 PM PST by Colofornian
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To: snarks_when_bored
"After testing the DNA of more than 12,000 Indians, though, most researchers have concluded that the continent's early inhabitants came from Asia across the Bering Strait."

That DNA sure is pesky stuff.

"The Lamanites are invisible, not principal ancestors."

Look closely. See the Lamanite? You can't? It's because he's invisible! LMAO!

12 posted on 11/08/2007 5:38:28 PM PST by Enterprise (Those who "betray us" also "Betray U.S." They're called DEMOCRATS!)
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To: Colofornian
...as scholarship progresses.

Interesting justification for changing a long-held theory.

13 posted on 11/08/2007 5:40:20 PM PST by Ciexyz
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To: svcw
Still trying to figure out...how if god ordained polygamy as a tenant of faith how come he changed his mind, when it meant Utah could not become a state.

Well if you live in the twin cities @ the SW Utah-NW AZ border (Colorado City, etc.), the Mormon god hasn't changed his mind. If you live in the celestial kingdom, the Mormon god hasn't changed his mind. It's only if you lived in all other colonies, that he put it on hold for a bit.

I am still trying to figure out why blacks became ‘worthy’ or ‘human’ or what ever it was in the 1970s...

Well, I'll tell you one thing: Those African-American athletes playing for BYU are quite valiant, after all!

14 posted on 11/08/2007 5:42:49 PM PST by Colofornian
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To: colorcountry

I copied it quickly, before resty shows up with the hive members to have the thread pulled.


15 posted on 11/08/2007 5:43:45 PM PST by MHGinTN (Believing they cannot be deceived, they cannot be convinced when they are deceived.)
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To: Ciexyz
...as scholarship progresses. Interesting justification for changing a long-held theory.

You're not inferrin' that Reformed-Egyptian-decipherin'-Joe, that Greek-&-Hebrew-illiterate Joe, & DNA-clueless Joe was somethin' less than a scholar, are ya?

16 posted on 11/08/2007 5:45:48 PM PST by Colofornian
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To: MHGinTN

I wonder what will be the tracer “threat of the day.”

LOL


17 posted on 11/08/2007 5:47:10 PM PST by colorcountry ("ever met a gang banger with a hunter safety card?" ~ Ted Nugent)
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To: All
In 1971, Church President Spencer W. Kimball said that Lehi, the family patriarch, was "the ancestor of all of the Indian and Mestizo tribes in North and South and Central America and in the islands of the sea." After testing the DNA of more than 12,000 Indians, though, most researchers have concluded that the continent's early inhabitants came from Asia across the Bering Strait.

So, the then "living prophet" was wrong, mistaken? (If he was off-base on this, where else?)

18 posted on 11/08/2007 5:48:35 PM PST by Colofornian
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To: Colofornian

I remember reading this scripture and being told that the land was kept pure as the “land of promise” to Lehi and his family.

2 Nephi 1:8 And behold, it is wisdom that this land should be kept as yet from the knowledge of other nations; for behold, many nations would overrun the land, that there would be no place for an inheritance.
9 Wherefore, I, Lehi, have obtained a promise, that inasmuch as those whom the Lord God shall bring out of the land of Jerusalem shall keep his commandments, they shall prosper upon the face of this land; and they shall be kept from all other nations, that they may possess this land unto themselves. And if it so be that they shall keep his commandments they shall be blessed upon the face of this land, and there shall be none to molest them, nor to take away the land of their inheritance; and they shall dwell safely forever.

http://scriptures.lds.org/2_ne/1/5#5

Now the LDS Church wants us to believe that the Hebrew DNA was swamped out by the multitudes of Asians that were already on the American Continent.

The interesting thing is, they will manage to pull this story off with the True Believers.


19 posted on 11/08/2007 5:55:22 PM PST by colorcountry ("ever met a gang banger with a hunter safety card?" ~ Ted Nugent)
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To: Colofornian; restornu

{Yawn}

This is the big breakthrough you guys have been waiting for?

And you are trying to say that the President of the Church is always supposed to be speaking in his role as God’s Prophet?

Wow, you guys sure do get excited about very little. Been getting into the sacramental wine have you?

Please, y’all go ahead and have fun with this one. I wouldn’t want to spoil the only fun you will have all week!

8-)


20 posted on 11/08/2007 5:57:08 PM PST by Old Mountain man (Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice!)
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