09 November 2007

Losing the Lamanites

The LDS church is changing a single word in its introduction to the Book of Mormon.

If you go get your Book of Mormon (or go to LDS.com) you'll find the following words in the last sentence of the second paragraph: "After thousands of years, all were destroyed except the Lamanites, and they are the principal ancestors of the American Indians."

But the new version will say, "After thousands of years, all were destroyed except the Lamanites, and they are among the ancestors of the American Indians."

Now if you haven't read the Book of Mormon, this might not seem like such a big deal to you. But the idea that Native Americans are the degenerate offspring of the Lamanite tribe is absolutely central to the Book of Mormon. In fact, other than Jesus showing up now and then in the New World, there just isn't much else to the silliest book every written.

So why did the leaders of the Mormon church drop the teaching about the Lamanites?

Because they had to.

Of course, anthropologists known for many years that Native Americans migrated from Asia thousands of years ago, long before the Jaredites and the Nephites supposedly made their incredible journeys. But recent DNA evidence makes it impossible to deny any longer. The Book of Mormon is wrong; Native Americans did not descend from the Lamanites.

That is what the LDS church is admitting with the 1-word change in the introduction to the Book of Mormon.


Robert O'Brien said...

You are right about the "Lamanites," of course, but the average rank-and-file Mormon will not be phased by the change, as can be observed here and here.

TOR Hershman said...

Howdy do, Steve,
Here's a lill' YouTube film you may/should(?) dig.


angelsdepart said...

Interesting! The Mormons seem to change their tune quite often. At one point in time they couldn't drink caffeine and people with black skin were considered evil. I guess the one thing that we can't fault the Mormons for is evolving!

McGuire said...

Religions don't "evolve" they merely gain a deeper understanding of the authors words ;)

Kevin said...



The funniest thing is that if all you people think that Mormonism and religion in general is just silly (its also intresting that you would use the word silly to describe religion, sounds a little familiar especially verse 31) why do you waste your time with it? why read teh bible and the Book of Mormon and the pearl of great price? why not just let the crazy be crazy and do something productive? I think Neal A. Maxwell (who had a lot to say about your type) said it real well

"they leave the Church, but they cannot leave the Church alone. Like the throng on the ramparts of the “great and spacious building,” they are intensely and busily preoccupied, pointing fingers of scorn at the steadfast iron-rodders (1 Ne. 8:26–28, 33). Considering their ceaseless preoccupation, one wonders, Is there no diversionary activity available to them, especially in such a large building—like a bowling alley? Perhaps in their mockings and beneath the stir are repressed doubts of their doubts." from hereYour whole blog is dedicated (atleast from my quick look) to the idea that God doesnt exist because there is suffering and pain in the world (be it by Him directly, or by his creations etc) And I will admit, that without the unique teachings of Mormonism, that is a great question that would cause me to doubt as well, but there is an answer! one that puts in all in place and makes it all makes sense, one of those things that went out with the apostasy. I wont tell you what it is (though it is mentioned 7 times in the first 7 paragraphs of the the outline for the first lesson that the missionaries would teach you if you listened so its not some deep dark truth only taught to the elite) Because I don't think you really care, you have all the ammunition you could ever want (there is a lot with an uninspired reading of the scriptures) and seem to take some joy out of ridiculing and wagging your finger while not giving any real answers to the questions that we all want answered. Why do I exist? Why is there something rather than nothing?


Stephen said...

This is an old thread, but since I only recently discovered this blog, I'm going to try to "resurrect" it. ;-)

@ Steve Wells: "Losing the Lamanites"... is that like having a "Lamanectomy"? :lol:

@ McGuire: Yes, and the more we learn about the authors, the more certain we are that their product is of exclusively human origin. Try reading "Misquoting Jesus- the story of who changed the bible and why", by Bart Ehrman.

@ Kevin:
1) The reason why "my type" can't just let the crazy be crazy (nice choice of words!) is that "your type" just can't stop proselytizing and trying to control how others live. I think of it as a sort of defensive action; plus, it doesn't help to stand by and say nothing when baloney is being purveyed. It's lowering to my pride.
2) There you go proselytizing again: "...there is an answer!" to the problem of suffering that only makes sense in the light of mormon theology. But, durn it, I have to get the secret from a mormon missionary. Curses; foiled again!
And here I was, going to suggest that you read Bart Ehrman's book "God's Problem: how the bible fails to answer our most important question- why we suffer"... but an uninspired reading would give you plenty of ammunition for criticism.
3) Some of us understand that it takes time to get the answers to those Big Questions, and we realize that we may not have those answers soon, or even in our lifetimes. But we would rather wait, and have answers based on adequate evidence than those pulled out of a hat (so to speak) by a con artist. And those answers have been forthcoming; we know an awful lot more about the way the universe works than people in Galileo's ... or even Joseph Smith's... time did.
Steve Weeks