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DNA RESEARCH VERSUS THE BOOK OF MORMON

LDS in Trouble Because of DNA Evidence

There is a big problem for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to deal with...somehow.  To summarize it, the Book of Mormon teaches as historical fact that the Indian tribes in the Americas are descendents of Israelites who came across the Atlantic mainly about 600 BC. BUT... studies of 150 plus Indian tribes' DNA has revealed a total lack of any Semite (Israelite) genetic markers in the Indians in the Americas. The logical conclusion is that the Book of Mormon story is fiction, not fact. The Book of Mormon is allegedly the whole foundation of Mormonism, so it is a bombshell issue.  This information has been out now for several years, and is appearing in tracts, videos and newspaper articles.  An article on this subject that appeared in USA Today can be read at http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/2004-07-26-dna-lds_x.htm. For more information connect to:  http://www.exmormons.org/.  Mormons are having mixed reactions; shock, disbelief, denial, and disillusionment. My heart goes out to this group of people.

THE EVIDENCE IS IN!  A purely scientific form of testing has been done of the Book of Mormon’s foundational claim that it is a record of the ISRAELITES who migrated to the Americas around 600 BC and whose descendants are the American Indians.

DNA testing is precise and accurate enough to stand up in any court of law.  The researchers (referenced below) reporting this information have no personal agenda or anti-Mormon axe to grind when they did their work—in fact, some were LDS to start with, and some still are LDS.

THE RESULTS:  Testing of mitochondrial DNA (can accurately pinpoint back through hundreds of generations) of over 5500 persons from over 150 native American tribes in North, South and Central America and Greenland, has revealed a total absence of any DNA markers to tie the native Americans to Israelites; the markers instead tie these people in 99.4% of cases to North and East Asian people (Siberia, Mongolia).  The other 0.6% of markers point to European or African extraction. (Post-Columbian lineage)  The Smithsonian Institution has stated for decades, and this information confirms, that the native Americans migrated from Asia, most likely across the Bering Strait (to Alaska) to populate the Americas.

This evidence is further confirmed by linguistic similarities study, dental traits study, and study of the artifacts of the cultures.  ALL the evidence agrees.  The Book of Mormon’s underlying thesis (as stated on the title page, and in the introduction’s testimony by Joseph Smith) is false in its claim to be a history of the former inhabitants of this continent (North America) who were primarily Israelites.

The Book of Mormon also claims to be the word of God and the equivalent of the Bible.  There are hundreds of artifacts and volumes of printed information relating to archaeological research that has confirmed the Bible as real history.  But not one person, place, or event in the Book of Mormon has been confirmed.   Ancient manuscripts of the Bible exist in the multiplied thousands of copies.  Not one confirmed ancient manuscript or part of one has ever been found for the Book of Mormon, nor a single artifact relating to it.

The Book of Mormon claims to be the most correct book on earth, a history, and the keystone of the faith of the Latter-day Saints, and so it has been proclaimed by all the Presidents and Prophets of the church since its inception.   But with no Israelite migration, all the ensuing stories become fiction, as well as Smith’s story about Moroni burying the historical plates, and the whole Mormon religious structure crumbles.

How do LDS respond to this?   Some are unaware of the information.  Some ignore the information, trying to segregate faith from facts (the Bible warns against being double-minded).  Some have suggested that God changed the DNA to test the faith of Mormons.  That would make the God who claims to be the embodiment of truth a deceiver.  He did no such thing to force faith in the Bible; why would He do so for the Book of Mormon?

Some are admitting the Book of Mormon is a product of the 19th century, but that undermines its divinity.  Some do not understand just how strong the evidence is (there is total consensus among the branches of anthropological science on this issue).   Some do not want to know.   But those who are HONEST enough to look at the facts...many of them… are leaving the church.

Some BYU scholars and scientists are honest enough to admit the truth:

Dr Daniel Peterson: "To the best of my knowledge no serious latter-day saint scholar or scientist contends thatto date, research on Amerindian DNA provides significant affirmative support for the Book of Mormon".  Peterson is a BYU professor and is also involved with FARMS.   Quote is from "Prolegomena to the DNA Essays,  Farms Review, 15:2, 2003, page 32.

Dr. Trent Stephens: "No genetic evidence specifically supports the hypothesis that native americans descended from middle eastern populations". Sunstone magazine article, "Now What?" March 2004, p 26

Please understand this information is not presented to try to destroy anyone’s faith in what is good, true, and real.  The golden rule states that we should do to others what we want done to us… I know that if I had been so deceived I would want to be told the truth!   For us to fail to do this would,  in fact, be unloving.

We would hope that in the process of re-evaluating their beliefs, Latter-day Saints will realize that it is not a sin to question the Book of Mormon or Joseph Smith.  Such an exercise is not at all the same as questioning God or Christ.    The Bible commands us in I Thessalonians 5:21 to “prove all things; hold fast to that which is good.”   Further, we would plead with LDS not to throw out the baby with the bath water.  The Bible has stood the test of time.  Its truths are life-changing.  God is real; Christ was a real, historical person.   Hang onto those objects for your faith.

One might wonder how and why such a seemingly good religion could be so deceptive and popular.

Permit an opinion.  Mormonism’s scriptures are inspirational for some simply because they are convincing replicas of Biblical style and of some Biblical truths.   But know also that they are deadly to the extent that  any major Biblical truth has been altered.

I believe the deception has been believed by so many because Satan has an interest in and role in the LDS church’s growth.  Why?  The LDS plan of salvation has been changed from the Biblical plan.  Interestingly, one can document that the LDS church started out on the right foot… for its original statement of faith made its plan of salvation simply faith, repentance, baptism, and receiving the Holy Ghost.  (One could be saved in a very short period of time under such a plan.)  But later, after Smith went through Masonic rituals and incorporated them into the church, it was realized that the initial plan of salvation did not include the temple rituals, so the statement of faith was CHANGED to reflect the concept that MORE WAS REQUIRED  beyond faith, repentance, baptism and receiving the Holy Ghost.   Now it states that those are simply the FIRST PRINCIPLES of the gospel… not the whole gospel, and LDS are involved in a life-long process obeying all the rules in order to become worthy of eternal life (Biblically, the equivalent of salvation).   But I John 5:13 says one can know they have eternal life (NOW!).

Romans 6:14 explains the difference between true salvation and the LDS version of salvation.  It says,  “For we are not under law, but under grace.”   Permit a paraphrase: True Christians are not saved by obeying laws but by accepting God’s free gift of forgiveness through faith.  Contrast this to the Mormon plan which now states that one is saved by  “obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel.”  There is a major problem with that statement:  the gospel as defined in the Bible has no laws and ordinances in it to obey.  I Corinthians 15:1-4 indicates that the gospel is simply the message that Christ died and was buried and resurrected for our sins.  Note there is no list of do’s and don’ts in that message.  We are simply to believe it applies to OUR sins.

John 20:31 indicates that the book of John was written to tell us how to gain eternal life.  Dozens of times in that book we read that it is by FAITH in Christ. (see John 1:12, 3:16, 5:24, 6:47, for example)  Good works?  Once we are saved, God gives us a desire to please Him and do good works  BECAUSE we have been saved.   But the truth is we are saved by what Christ did for us on the cross, not by what level of obedience we attain.  Eph. 2:8-10 indicates that by grace  (literal verb forms) you have been and now stand permanently as saved through faith.   You receive permanent forgiveness at the time you believe.    The word grace refers to receiving something you do NOT deserve...grace is for those who are unworthy, not the worthy ones.  (Be honest...we are all unworthy in the sight of a holy, holy, holy God—we never will be perfect in this life! — that’s why we need grace as the means of forgiveness). (Also study these salvation verses: Acts 10:43, Romans 4:16, 5:19-21, Titus 3:5, Heb. 10:14.)

 There is more to the deception.  There are not “three degrees of glory.”  Rev. 20:15 states that those whose names are NOT in the book of life will end up in the lake of fire, and Rev. 21:24-27 indicates that those whose names ARE in the book of life will have access to the very throne of God in the new heaven and earth with open access between those places.  Think with me:  What other options can there be besides name-in-book and name-not-in-book?   None!  (Amazingly, even  D&C 101:65-66 indicates this.)   Ultimately we are either saved or lost and will either spend eternity with God or apart from Him.  We pray LDS will be honest and accept the scientific truth and the Biblical truth, and be saved….by grace.    Questions?  We’d love to discuss these salvation issues with you.  E-mail us at: saintalk@cableone.net.

 This article is a digest of the video, DNA VS. The Book of Mormon. 

 It can be viewed on-line at www.mormonchallenge.com

 Researchers:  Dr. David Glen Smith did 30 years of work on native Indian DNA; U.C. Davis, California
                Dr. Dennis O’Rourke, Molecular Anthropologist, Univ. of Utah (Ancient DNA researcher)
                Dr. Randall Shortridge, Ph.D Molecular Biologist, U. at Buffalo, NY
                Thomas Murphy, Mormon Anthropologist, &  Chairperson , Edmonds Comm. Col., Lynnwood, WA,
                Trent Stephens, Ph.D, Id. State U, Biologist and LDS scholar
                Dr. Stephen Whittington, Molecular Anthropologist, U. of Maine
                Dr. Simon Southerton, Ph. D., Molecular Biologist, former LDS Bishop
                Dr. John McLaughlin, Linguist, Utah State University

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 PS:  Jeff Lindsay has written an article which supposedly refutes this DNA information.  But it does not! Here is why:

The article states:

1.  The Book of Mormon does not claim to explain the primary genetic origins of all Native Americans.   But that is just what the introduction to the Book of Mormon DOES claim… that the record on the plates was deposited, “giving an account of the former inhabitants of this continent, and the source from which they sprang.”  The first   page of the introduction also repeats the premise… that the Lamanites are of the House of Israel.

2.  Since we do not know anything substantial about the DNA of Lehi or his wife in 600 B.C., what should the DNA of his ancestors look like? (He was Hebraic, but not from the tribe of Judah, a presumably primary ancestral source for modern Jews).   This fact was not ignored in the DNA evaluation!

3.  Since there were many other people in North and South America when Lehi landed, regardless of what has long been assumed, their net contribution to the gene pool of the continent could be minute. Must we expect that purely paternal or maternal lines going directly to Lehi or Sariah can be readily found today?

The information shows that Native American DNA does not include ANY Semitic DNA markers... THAT is the problem. Regardless of how much the gene pool has been interspersed with other nations... if these people had ANY Jewish ancestry, it would still be there. IT IS NOT. The test results showed 99.4 % Asian heritage and the  rest African/European. That makes the Book of Mormon a lie.

4. Lindsay has suggested that there is some kind of shared DNA between Jews and Native Americans.  However, for the Book of Mormon story to be true, there would have to be evidence of a direct descendency from Israelites in the DNA of Native Americans. There isn't. It's that simple. And that's why the LDS scholars are trying to muddy up the issue, because they know they can't refute the simplicity of the claim, all they can do is sow confusion about it and make it seem more complicated than it is. For example, they say that Native Americans and Israelites do, in fact, share some DNA. And this is true, we don't refute that. But they are using that fact to draw incorrect conclusions.

Here's a simplistic example of what I'm talking about. I am related to my cousins. I share a certain amount of DNA with them. Now, some of my cousins are Filipino, or part Filipino, anyway. To follow the same logic that Mormon scholars often use, they would have to draw the conclusion that I, too, have Filipino ancestry, which is not the case. I don't have any Filipinos in my line of ancestors, even though my cousins do.

My point of relatedness with my cousins only goes back two or three generations. Likewise, Native Americans and Israelites “are” related, and thus share some DNA, but the point of relatedness goes back a long, long time before the supposed migration occurred...indeed, if you go back far enough, we are ALL related. But relatedness is not the same thing as descendency. The confusion is sowed when they try and muddy the distinction between relatedness and lineage

 The Jeff Lindsay article can be found at www.jefflindsay.com/LDSFAQ/DNA.shtml