Book of Mormon / Introduction Change

Prior to the 2006 edition of the Book of Mormon, a portion of the introduction read:

“After thousands of years, all were destroyed except the Lamanites, and they are the principal ancestors of the American Indians.”

Now it reads:

“After thousands of years all were destroyed except the Lamanites, and they are among the ancestors of the American Indians.”

Why this change? Does this mean that Mormon officials have a change of view about the ancestral origins of the American Indians? It certainly looks like it. 

How can the Lamanites be considered by Mormon officials as the principal ancestors of the American Indians for many years, and now be viewed as people who were among the ancestors of the American Indians? There are so many things that can be said about this change found in the Book of Mormon. I’ll let you think about just two reasons I can think of for now.

First of all, I believe it is because there is a huge problem when considering DNA research. 

There is no scientific foundation for the Book of Mormon premise that the Native American Indian peoples of North, Central, and South America were Hebrews, or of Semitic stock. The overwhelming scholarly consensus is that the native New World peoples are of Asian Mongolian stock. To cite the words of a Smithsonian Institution paper on this subject:

  • The American Indians are physically Mongoloids and thus must have originated in eastern Asia. 

Second, I believe the change was also made because there is a serious problem when considering early migration. 

There is no sound historical evidence for the Book of Mormon's claim that Hebrew immigrants came to the Americas in pre-Columbian times. According to the Smithsonian Institution, archeological evidence shows that the Western hemisphere was populated by East Asian peoples migrating across the Bering Strait and rules out "alternatives involving long sea voyages" as a significant contribution to New World settlement: 

  • There is no good evidence for immigration via other routes before Norse arrivals from Greenland and Newfoundland about A.D. 1,000, and if other early voyages occurred, they were insignificant for the origins and composition of New World populations. ["Origin of the American Indians," National Museum of Natural History-Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C., 1985, p.1] 

Mormon officials have never been able to refute these claims because they are sound. Instead, the change they made certainly indicates to me that these officials agree with the scientific claims that the so-called Lamanites are not the principal ancestors of the American Indians. Instead, they are now saying these Hebrew immigrants were among them in ancient American times. 

If you read the Book of Mormon, however, you will quickly find that it certainly does claim that the Americas were greatly populated by Lamanites. This is contrary to scientific evidence. There is no evidence found that Book of Mormon characters traveled across the ocean to the Americas.

These changes that the Mormon officials have made to the introduction of the Book of Mormon, certainly indicates to me that they no longer believe that the Lamanite characters should be viewed as the principal ancestors of the American Indians. If the Mormon officials believe something that is contrary to what the Book of Mormon is teaching, what does that tell you about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon? Mormon missionaries want you to pray that the Book of Mormon is true. But if this is not true, then what else is not?


See also It's In The DNA



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